My medical abortion at 8 weeks - emotional and unforgettable throughout
Being a student with financial issues is one problem. Being a student with financial issues and the maturity of a 10-year-old is an even bigger problem, especially where a baby is concerned!
I am a 19-year-old, full-time university student in Glasgow and this is a positive story about my medical abortion at 8 weeks and my emotional and unforgettable events throughout.
[If you're looking for similar experiences of e.g. medical abortion or abortion at 8 weeks pregnancy use these links to related stories]
Buying a pregnancy test
So, my first event was a very simple one in hindsight! Trying to buy a pregnancy test is a horrible experience for anyone hoping they're not pregnant.
I was on google searching "glasgow shops with self checkout"... how pathetic? I know. Eventually, Boots was my hero and I then had the difficult task of trying to find the test and then buy it without the nosey security lady looking in my basket.
After arriving home, I had my four home pregnancy tests and I was hardly worried. I had seen loads of negative pregnancy tests before thanks to my friends. I would be fine. I couldn't be pregnant! No way.
Four, five minutes went by and walking back into the bathroom was a tense walk!
POSITIVE POSITIVE POSITIVE POSITIVE. Oh no. There were no words, not even a tear could fall. I was beyond shocked. I had a little baby growing inside of me and I was no more than a baby myself.
The decision was not a hard one to make. I had always imagined the first time I told my parents I was pregnant to be a joyous time. Lit up eyes, tears of joy and smiles all around. I would be happily married and completely supported by everyone in my life.
Not some knocked up naive teenager with barely an ounce of maturity. The tears my parents would have at this news were certainly not tears of happiness.
They mustn't find out. Ever.
The doctor's appointment
Wednesday, 6th of March.
The first time I had to tell anyone was also a confirmation for myself. I wasn't stuck in a horrible nightmare anymore, this was happening and I had to take charge of the situation.
Luckily, my doctor was considerate, kind and very supportive, she arranged all of my appointments within twenty minutes and I was then able to go home.
Initially, I had an appointment arranged for Monday, 11th of March, at the Southern General Hospital. However, Scotland was gifted with inches of snowfall and I was unable to attend. Was this a sign?
One very short phone call later and I had arranged for my appointment to be moved to the 18th of March.
This appointment was very short yet the most emotionally draining. Firstly, seeing my 7-week old baby in the scan was difficult. Was I already attached?
Following this, I had to see a very unsupportive nurse that was sent in to test my decision. However, this is their job. They need to ensure you are completely committed to ending your pregnancy. I was.
My bloods were then taken and I was given two appointments for later that week.
Wednesday, 20th of March.
My first appointment to begin the abortion process was a very easy and short appointment.
I had a very caring nurse who made me feel less guilty about my choice and was very understanding. I was first told about how the pill works and I was then handed a small pill and glass of water.
The next few days were very uneventful. No cramping. No bleeding. I was only sick once on the Thursday evening which may have been due to the many horror stories I had been reading about medical abortion.
Every girl experiences different emotions and pains, having the expectation that you're going to have a terrible abortion means you probably will because you will get so emotionally wound up.
Friday, 22nd of March.
I was due in at 8 am at the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital, Glasgow. I arrived early at 7.30am, again due to Scotland's unpredictable snowfall and my panic to get there on time! Whoops!
I was shown to a bed in a 6 bedded ward and all the curtains were shut around me. This situation was much better than I had expected, it was almost like being in my own room!
The nurse then came to see me at around 7.50am, once I had settled and changed into pyjamas.
My blood pressure was taken and then I was given six pills to insert myself. Now for the gross part... I was given four regular-sized pills covered in a lubricant to insert into my vagina, this was an easy process due to my experience with tampons.
I was then given two slightly larger medications to insert into my "back passage". The words "back passage" terrified me and the size of the two pills made me very uneasy, however, I was VERY surprised at how easy these were to insert due to the lubricant and shape.
I was then told to lie down for an hour to allow the medication to settle. About forty minutes had passed and I was beginning to experience mild cramping and slight nausea.
After the hour, I was told to walk around the ward as it speeds up the process. Although I had only been walking for ten minutes and I became very dizzy and was sick.
This wasn't a nice experience as the shared toilet was occupied so I had to be sick in a small sick bowl. Oh, I forgot to mention the bedpans! I'll get to that soon. That's the best part!... NOT. After being sick I felt much better but decided to sit down and read my book.
At around 9.30am I was beginning to need the toilet, however, I struggled due to the medication in my back passage having not dissolved completely.
At 10.10am, I decided to try going to the bathroom again as the cramping was starting to get worse. This time I was able to empty my bowels slightly, a horrible experience when you're told to do "everything" in a bedpan, however, the nurses were very used to seeing "number twos" so I was less embarrassed. This then started the process very quickly.
The next hour after this was the worst for pain and I decided to just fall asleep for about 30 minutes.
When I woke up, the pain was very intense. This is when everything began to "move downwards" which was a relief as the girl next to me had already passed her pregnancy and was preparing to go home! I wanted to go home too!
The next toilet trip was one I will never forget.
Despite the nurses being fantastic and very supportive, they were very slow-paced so when I pulled the "attention cord" for them to collect my bedpan in the bathroom, they did take their time. This amount of time meant I was able to see into my bedpan and all of its contents.
I was expecting to see a miniature baby with ten tiny fingers, ten tiny toes and a little button nose. I'm extremely glad this wasn't the case.
I had about three minutes with this tiny little white blob. It had two little stumps as arms and a tiny black dot for an eye. It was hardly recognizable as a baby and was no bigger than a 50p coin. However, this little white blob was my baby and this image will live with me forever.
I was overwhelmed with guilt and sadness at getting myself into such a situation, although I am glad I got to see it because I was then relieved that the procedure had been successful and I was able to apologise which was something that helped me emotionally.
After the baby had passed, the pain also passed and then I only experienced mild cramping and had to get to the bathroom quickly every time I felt a blood clot coming.
After about three or four more toilet visits, the nurses were satisfied that the blood clots had lessened and I was able to go home at around 2 pm.
I was given four antibiotics to take that evening and an anti-d injection as I have O- blood. This was just a small and very quick injection into my hip which will be beneficial to the health of my future pregnancies.
I would highly recommend not being alone on the evening of your abortion, for both your emotions and in case of heavy bleeding.
I was overjoyed when my mum texted me asking if I wanted to come home that night as it was the end of term and I was due to go home for the Easter holidays. An hour later she picked me up and emotionally, I was relieved to see her.
Despite her not knowing about my situation or ordeal that day, my mum is my best friend and just being in her company was great support for me.
The bleeding has settled and now it is like being on a regular period. I still have mild cramping but again, the same pain I would experience with my regular period.
Emotionally, I am feeling much better today than I was last night. It's hard to believe my abortion was only yesterday! It all feels like a lifetime ago. However, looking at all the options I had and the decision I made, I still feel it was the right choice for me and I am relieved that I am able to move on with my life. I am smiling again as of this morning when my mum got stuck in a washing basket! Oh, life has its ups and downs.
Thank you for reading my story and I hope it helps someone, somewhere.