A surgical abortion without anaesthetic.

11 years ago at the age of 21 I discovered that I was pregnant after missing my period by about one month. I was in a relationship with my then boyfriend who was a student at the time.
I clearly remember the day... I went to see him at his house and told him that I had been experiencing bad nausea and missed my period.It had not dawned on me at the time that I was possibly pregnant until we both went to buy a pregnancy test kit and then we both nervously waited for the results, which came out positive. I came out of the bathroom shaking and nervous as I handed the test result to my boyfriend who also appeared shaken by the result.
We were both young and scared and being of African heritage I did not want to bring the shame of a child born out of wedlock upon my parents. My boyfriend was the first to say that he was just not ready to have a child because he could not afford it financially....

Part of me was scared and not ready to be a young mum and part of me really wanted to keep it.

''We have to make an arrangement for you to get rid of it,'' he said.I agreed even though part of me felt scared to terminate the pregnancy.
I was panicking and tried to ask a close friend of mine if she knew where I could have the abortion done,but she refused to get involved incase something wrong happened.(because in Africa it is a shameful thing to have an abortion and it is also illegal).In desperation I went to another friend that I had met through my boyfriend and she arranged a private appointment for me with a local midwife at the hospital for an agreed fee.
A week later my boyfriend had managed to save up for money for the abortion,and I vividly remember the day just like it were yesterday. My 2nd friend escorted me to the hospital and when we arrived there,the nurse I'd made an appointment with asked me sit in a waiting room that had several other women in it, most of them who were also young. After a few minutes she led me into a room and asked me to empty my bladder then put on a gown then lie down on the bed.

Nothing was really explained to me and I felt very very scared.

The nurse used a vacuum to carry out the abortion and this is when the agony started to kick in because I was not offered any anaesthetic. Although the procedure only took a maximum of up to 25 minutes,it felt like an eternity to me. I could feel every single part in my lower abdomen quiver from the pain while the life of the foetus in my womb was suctioned away.Tears streamed down my cheeks and I clung onto the rails of the bed quietly crying in pain.
When the procedure was over,I was given some antibiotics to take for five days for the prevention of infection.I went back straight to my boyfriend's place and wept uncontrollably from afternoon till I fell asleep. I felt angry at myself and hated my boyfriend...how could I allow this to happen.
My boyfriend,my friend and his friends tried to cheer me up but I just wanted to be on my own and cry all the pain of losing a part of me out. I spent the next few days at home and experienced heavy bleeding and could feel something also fall out whenever I visited the loo.My mum noticed the difference and knew what I had done,I felt shame and could not even look at her.

It's been years now and I still carry the guilt of the day I had an abortion,it makes me cry whenever I think and always imagine what my child would look like and how old they would be.
I never had any counselling to help me through and although I have forgiven myself and my ex, I cannot forget and it makes me cry even more because I have been married for nearly 6 years and struggling to fall pregnant.I am still able to conceive according to all the tests I have had done at my fertility clinic but the only problem is due to male factor.I can't get funding for IVF because my husband has children from his previous relationship even though I am childless. **I feel like I am now suffering the punishment for terminating the life of what could have been my only child.** My advice to women who fall pregnant at a youg age is to please think carefully about making the best decision and not because you are pressured into doing things you aren't sure of.

Editor's Comment

That sounded a very frightening and painful ordeal, and you were grieving your loss afterwards. It is very sad that you are still carrying the guilt and regret of that abortion, and feel that you are being punished for it. I wonder if you have considered post abortion counselling to give yourself a chance of releasing some of the pain you still carry. Rhianon's journey on the website describes the post abortion support programme that could help you even though the abortion was years ago. Please contact CareConfidential to access this help You can call the national helpline, log on to Online advisor, or follow the link to find a centre for post abortion support in your area.
This story was sent in on 07/01/2013 and it's been viewed 162 times.

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