I had a medical termination at 6 weeks in July 2012.
Age 32 this was the first time I had been pregnant, and after trying to conceive 2 years before with a previous partner for approximately 4 months with no success I felt happy to actually be pregnant and also in shock as this was not planned. I did 4 home tests to make sure.
I felt in a daze as though the situation was not realI also felt certain I would not continue with the pregnancy. Apart from the father showing no support and breaking contact I would also be half way through my second year of a professional degree on my due date. In addition I was just about managing financially providing for myself. I have always wanted children but felt sure I didn't want to bring a child into the world under these circumstances. Particularly as I do not know my own father and grew up in a single parent family where my mother struggled financially, and did not want that for my own child.
Within a week at 5 weeks I went to the Dr who referred me for a consultation. The nurse was friendly and non-judgmental which helped as I was already feeling guilt and alone as I felt ashamed to tell anyone. However I did feel part of a process of females coming in and out being asked the same questions. Looking back I needed something personal which should have been from a friend or family member. I advise anyone not to do this alone.
I also had a dating scan which confirmed I was 5 weeks. I asked to see the scan but was strongly advised not too. When I persisted I was told that as I was so early there was nothing to see. I think I was told this as seeing the scan may cause me distress. I do wonder whether I would have changed my mind seeing it. I wonder whether I should have been more persistent or whether it was good for me not to see. Despite a lot of conflicting emotions that day I remained certain I was doing the right thing.
The following week at 6 weeks I went into hospital to orally receive the first tablet. I experienced a conflict in my mind on whether I should take the tablet right up to it being handed to me by the nurse. Though once handed to me I took it just thinking "this is it your decision is made". Although not unfriendly the nurse was very clinical and matter of fact. I should have had a friend or family member there. I had to return to hospital 2 days later.
During the two days I felt very odd and strange sensations. I am not sure whether this was due to the tablet or my emotional state. The father contacted me during this period where I informed him what I had done. He did not offer any support but attempted to engage further in a casual relationship with me, which I declined. I did not hear from him after this. Although I still felt certain the decision was right I had great feelings of guilt and being selfish. I wanted to tell someone but felt very ashamed of myself.
I returned to hospital 2 days later at 8:30 am as requested. I was told I would go home at around 2 pm. At 9 pm 2 further tablets were inserted with an instrument similar to a tampon. I had a hospital bed and the curtains were drawn for my privacy. I was offered food and drink throughout my time there. Again nursing staff were not unfriendly but very clinical and matter of fact. I really wanted friendly support and someone who cared.
I can only emphasis to anyone how much you should have personal support through this experience.
It took quite a while, I would say 3 hours for the tablets to take effect. Just before 12 I began feeling discomfort and pain in my stomach which grew more and more intense. Not long after this regular trips to the toilet began where I experienced loose stools, bleeding and clotting. By another hour later the pain became I would say unbearable, it was on and off and I was experiencing a high temperature and sweats, and also feeling very sick. I found pacing and rocking helped a little. I felt in so much pain over the next hour at 2 pm the nurse offered and gave me an injection of pethidine. The side effect was having poor balance, almost like double vision and vomiting. Due to this I found it difficult to use the bed pan in the toilet and had to attempt to look to make sure I didn't go all over the floor. Unfortunately I saw the collection of what had grown of the pregnancy and found this distressing.
I left the hospital at 4:30 pm, and took a week from work sick to rest as I was experiencing a very heavy blood loss, and to gather my emotions together. I attempted to call the father throughout this time but he never answered my calls. I also considered telling a friend but couldn't bring myself to do it.
Once I returned to work and began living my normal life, I became easily distracted and was able to put the termination to the back of my mind. My blood loss continued for approximately 6 weeks, but became less heavy after about 2 weeks.
During September of that year when I returned to University I began to struggle with my emotions again. I felt confident enough to tell a few close friends about the termination. However I increasingly felt down and ashamed of myself and also anxious I would never have children. I began experiencing panic attacks. This was on-going so I attended my GP in November who prescribed me with anti-depressants. I decided not to take them and to pull myself together. Christmas was a good distraction and I was able to do this. I also began a new relationship at this time and the New Year appeared positive.
February of this year was my due date which will be etched in my mind forever.The closer I came to the due date the more I began to think over my decision and feel guilt, shame, anxiety and depression, and be very tearful. I continue to feel this way. I feel a sense of great conflict as although practically I still feel I made the right decision, emotionally I struggle to cope with the decision I made. I did not anticipate to what extent I would feel this way. I'm hoping that over time this will lessen.
From my experience I would advise anyone to seek proper counselling prior to a termination, and to have personal support from a trusted friend or family member.