A medical abortion at 5 weeks

Hi, I wanted to share my experience. I have a wonderful partner, we have been together for 6 years and have two beautiful children. Our youngest is just over a year old. 10 days ago we discovered I was pregnant again. A huge shock as I take my contraceptive pill religiously. Just one of those things, nothing is 100% I guess. We both decided about 6 months ago that we did not want anymore children. We have one of each sex, we are happy as we are and feel our family is complete. Financially, a third would be a struggle. Both children were born via emergency sections, due to placental abruption. I knew my body was not ready to carry another baby. I knew it would be high risk, with the probability of another abruption being high and another c-section a certainty.
Within 24 hours of our positive pregnancy test I had seen my GP, discussed options and was given my referral forms. I was still in shock, it was all so quick. I am such a maternal woman, I knew if this wasn't dealt with quickly I could not go through with a termination. I am completely pro-choice, but had never been in this situation before. I got home, called the Marie Stopes clinic I had been referred to and booked a telephone consultation for the following morning.
The lady I spoke to the next morning was so kind and helpful. Obviously they deal with this on a daily basis, and I must say were so professional. Not judgemental, not overly sympathetic, you could say impartial. But in the most kindest of ways. I felt very relaxed and not upset as I thought I would be discussing my reasons for wanting a termination.
My dates showed I was just under 5 weeks, and after discussing medical history and termination options I decided a medical abortion would be the best procedure for me. As the clinic was an hour away from us, I opted for the tablets to be taken on one visit to the clinic, 6 hours apart. The appointment was booked for the following Friday (this was the previous Saturday). Over the following few days myself and my partner went through a roller coaster of emotions. Ultimately we knew it was the right thing to do. My partner was very anxious about coming to the clinic, so during those few days we decided my mother would accompany me and my partner would stay at home with the children. We have been extremely open with our families and they have all been so supportive and agree we have made the right decision for our family. I forgot to mention we are mid-twenties (I don't know why this makes a difference but thought I should add that).
On the day we set off to the clinic,we got there a little early. Everyone again was very professional, kind and made me feel relaxed. I was so incredibly nervous. I saw a lovely nurse first, had to do urine and blood samples. Then was time for the ultrasound. This part I was dreading. After having two children, the only memory I had of a scan was joyous.

Emotionally, it was difficult, I won't lie.

Unfortunately the nurse could not see anything on the tummy scan as it was so small, so I had to have an internal scan, which showed I was 5 weeks 6 days pregnant. After a little chat and signing some forms, I went back to the waiting room. Shortly after I was called to take the first tablet. I hesitated, I had a lump in my throat. I thought of my family and knew it was right. After taking the pill I was allowed to leave, scheduled to return 6 hours later. My mother and I passed the time, almost having a mum and daughter day out! Lunch, shopping, coffee breaks. It was so surreal. That may seem awful to some that I could carry on my day like that, but in all honesty it was such a welcome distraction. I had a few tiny cramps but that was all. The time came to go back, the nerves set in again. This was it.
I went straight in, had a chat with the nurse, discussed after care and given the relevant information leaflets and telephone numbers. I took a course of antibiotics and was given four more to take the following morning. This was 4.18pm. I then had four tablets that I had to place between my top gums and cheeks. They had to stay there for around half hour until dissolved. That was it, I was allowed home.
My goodness those tablets tasted vile! They went chalky in my mouth and I just wanted to wash them out but I didn't! My gums went numb, and it was such a relief to have a drink after half hour and swallow what was left. By the time I got home I had started having cramps, very bearable though. My mother stayed for a while, had a cuppa and made sure I was ok. My partner carried on normal routine with our children, tea, bath, bed etc. I was up in the bedroom out of the way so the children didn't have to see anything. My cramping got a little worse but not so bad that I needed painkillers.
Bleeding started around 8pm. Not heavy at first but gradually got worse. I was feeling a little sick and dizzy, and tried to get some sleep. I must've been so tired as I didn't wake until 1.30am (saturday morning) I had cramps still (not bad at all luckily). I went to go to the toilet to change my pad, and gasped. My bed sheets were covered in blood, I was covered, top and trousers drenched in blood. It was quite scary. I got straight on the toilet where my blood flow was extremely heavy. I passed a few big clots then I felt I was passing something bigger. I didn't want to look but I had to, to check if I had passed. It was clear I had.

My eyes filled with tears and I sobbed my heart out.

I called out for my other half, I didn't know what to do. I ran into the bedroom and heard my partner flush. I sobbed uncontrollably then. He joined me and we cried together for a while. That was our grieving time. I changed the bed and got into clean clothes, we lay together and talked until I drifted off. I woke in the morning drenched in blood again. The cramps had completely stopped soon after I passed, but the bleeding was very heavy until around 4pm (passing a few clots/tissue in that time). I slept most of the day while my partner took the kids out.
It is now Sunday evening. My bleeding is like a heavy period, no pains, just tiredness. I've felt ok. I got a bit emotional this morning seeing my children play and knowing there could have been another. But then I looked through our family album and the photos on the walls and know we made the right decision. We have our family, we are complete.

Editor's Comment

It must have been frightening passing so much blood and you needed your partner there to support you since the procedure happened at home. I often think that it is hard to prepare yourself for the emotional, psychological and physical impact that an abortion can have on you. 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 16/06/2013 and it's been viewed 442 times.

Other similar/related stories…

I had a medical termination when I was 9 weeks pregnant with twins.


I risked unprotected sex with my boyfriend: how wrong & selfish!

I bought a test and took it one morning to find…


Help & support is available

If you're struggling through a situation like that described above, or are being affected by similar issues from your past, no matter how long ago, help is available.

You can get free, sensitive & confidential help at a centre near you. Use these links for:

Got a story to tell?

Relating your story to other people can be very difficult but rewarding.

If you'd like to tell other readers, possibly facing the same problems you did, about your experiences please click the button to:

Tell your story →