After the abortion, physically I'm fine, emotionally I'm slightly numb

By anonymous on 08/10/2012
medical abortion abortion 8 weeks

I wanted to post this to help people considering this procedure who, like me, are terrified by the horror stories online.

I found out I was pregnant on the 06/09/12.

I had a miscarriage earlier in the year (a baby me and my other half had decided to keep) and realised I wasn't ready for a child so soon after.

With hindsight, I'd rather have had a surgical abortion

In hindsight, given the actual procedure and the memories it bought back, it wasn't my best choice and I would have rather gone for surgical - but this is for personal reasons rather than the numerous mentioned in other posts [stories about surgical abortion»].

I couldn't bring myself to arrange it

My other half and I took our time making a decision, longer than necessary. We both knew what we wanted to do, but I couldn't bring myself to arrange it.

Eventually when I calculated I'd be about 6 weeks, I realised I had to get things moving. I arranged a visit with my GP who simply queried my reasoning for wanting an abortion and she provided me with a recommendation certificate authorising an abortion on the NHS. She set up an appointment for me at the family planning clinic.

The family planning clinic appointment

At the appointment, I first went in to the nurse. She took my blood pressure, a blood test and done a chlamydia screening test and asked various questions, mostly non personal age, weight, health problems etc.

I then went in to the doctor who conducted a vaginal ultrasound. This found me to be 8 weeks and 2 days gone.

I was 8 weeks and 2 days & had to decide there and then

The doctor went through the medical and surgical procedures with me, and due to how far gone I was, if I were to have the medical I needed to decide there and then as the limit is 9 weeks. I opted for medical.

I then went back in to the nurse who arranged the visits at the hospital for me and then I left.

The first hospital appointment

My first appointment was 14:20 Friday 5th October. A month after I found out.

I went in to the hospital, a nurse gave me the pill orally which prevents the hormone which develops the baby. She then sent me on my way and confirmed an appointment for 6pm on Sunday 7th October (yesterday).

Between the two appointments, I felt no negative side affects like others advise. No cramps, no bleeding or anything. I continued to experience the normal pregnancy symptoms such as tender breasts and sickness but nothing more than previous to taking the tablet.

The second hospital appointment

I arrived at my 6pm appointment at the hospital.

I had chosen to stay in after taking the tablets, purely due to the horror stories I had read online, but they do give you the option to go home. My boyfriend came and stayed with me and they were fine with it.

She told me the pain has been described as unbearable

The nurse went through the procedure again. Told me what would happen from start to finish and what to expect. She was honest with me and told me the pain has been described as unbearable. Being a wuss who is in tears from stubbing my toe, I was frankly terrified and close to backing out.

The nurse laid me down on the bed and inserted 4 pills in to my vagina which would start the abortion process. She then turned me on my side and inserted a painkiller up my bum which was uncomfortable, but not painful. The painkiller would dissolve but the abortion pills would not.

I was then instructed to lay on the bed for an hour and to ensure any toilet I did, whether it be a wee or a poo, was done in to a cardboard bed pan. I was to then ding a bell, they would then remove this and it allows them to ensure all of the pregnancy has passed.

Having never experienced period pains I didn't know what to expect

Having been fortunate and never experienced period pains, I didn't really know what to expect. For the first hour of laying in the bed, I had VERY mild cramps. I did feel like I was leaking slightly, but nothing came out.

After about 1 hour 15 mins I felt like I was going to have a serious bout of diarrhoea so ran to the toilet. No diarrhoea - a bit of wee and a weird white blob from my bum which I assume was the remains of the painkiller. By this time, it was about 7.45pm (having been given the tablets at 6.30pm).

I was able to chat with my boyfriend and read a book relatively pain free. There was the occasional sharp pain in my abdomen but nothing compared to some of the stories I have read online.

The nurses were not the most informative people

For a few hours nothing had happened except I had passed blood in my wee a few times, but no clots. I was begining to get concerned it wasn't working due to the no clots/no pain. Unfortunately, the nurses were not the most informative people and I sat down cross legged without standing for about 1.5 hours.

I stood up, that's when it all happened

The nurses came in at about 10.45pm wanting me to go for a wee and then they'd examine me and give me more pills to help pass. I stood up, and that's when it all happened.

Unfortunately I wasn't at the toilet and it's so difficult to describe, it felt like my insides were falling out - not painful - but constant slimy things falling out of me. Fortunately I had quite an absorbant sanitary pad on and I managed to make it to the toilet.

The only piece of advice I would give is NOT TO LOOK

This was the worst part of all. The fetus had seperated from other parts (sorry I am not most technical, I never really queried it all since I have quite a weak stomach, I believe it was mostly placenta and afterbirth) and the only piece of advice I would give is NOT TO LOOK. It is clear what it is, a curled up baby with visible limbs and a dot where the eye would be.. and my heart broke.

I went cold and shaky and called for the nurses who calmly removed the bed pans informing me I had passed it all and ordered me to rest in the bed for an hour when they would come and examine me.

The image will live with me forever

This hour was the worst part of the whole experience. So many conflicting emotions and the image of my child will live with me forever, though I don't doubt I made the best choice, I would most certainly ensure I hadn't looked had I known this previously.

I spent the hour crying from shock, upset & guilt

I spent the hour crying, from shock and upset and guilt. My boyfriend was amazing support so I would certainly recommend taking somebody with you rather than going through it alone.

After an hour, they came and inspected me.

The smear test was more painful than the abortion

I am only 21 and had never had a smear test but this was the most painful part of the whole procedure. They had to open up my cervix to make sure there was no remaining tissue which would cause infection.

They used a metal clamp style thing and it really was quite painful - I don't know if this is a meter for which those who have had a smear test can judge by... but for me the smear test was an 8 on a scale of 1-10 and the actual procedure a 3. They judged the abortion to me complete, gave me an antibiotic up my bum and some antibiotics to start taking the next morning (today) and sent me on my way.

Physically I'm fine, emotionally I'm slightly numb

Right now, as it has not even been 24 hours, I don't know how I feel. Physically, I feel fine, if not then slightly tired. But emotionally I feel slightly numb, like I haven't really accepted it and it doesn't seem real, but it's still early and time will tell.

I just wanted to share my experience, not really for the emotional side but for the physical side. I understand everybody's experience is different but I have only ever seen horror stories with regards to unbearable pain and wanted you to know it's NOT like that for everybody.

Editor's comment

Thank you for describing your experience. As you say everyone has a different pain threshold and feel things differently - on this site there's a wide variety of experiences, not all horrendous. I think the emotional pain is often harder to process and understand. When you choose abortion for personal reasons it sometimes comes as a shock when you struggle with your loss. Please contact a centre for post abortion support in your area.

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