Surgical abortion of twins at 12 weeks - the biggest mistake of my life
As it was christmas and the Drs' surgeries were closed until the 3rd of January I just took Paracetamol and ibupbrofen for the pain and hoped that it would go away.
Unwell for so long
However during this time it just grew bigger and I started to feel really unwell with it as well as in a lot of pain, when I finally went to the Drs she said she wasn't too sure if it was a cyst or maybe an ingrown hair so she gave me a week's course of antibiotics.
It is now 6 weeks since I had a surgical abortion on the 23rd of May, I can honestly say it has been the biggest mistake of my life.
On the 24th of December I noticed that I had what looked like a small cyst on my vagina.
These never touched the cyst and it was continuing to get bigger by the time I could get another appointment at the Drs the cyst had burst but I was getting sicker and sicker to the point that I was unable to get out of bed for feeling so drained.
The Dr then confirmed that I actually had a double bartholins cyst and the inner cyst had burst allowing all the poison to go through my body. I was given multiple antibiotics to take and these helped to clear the cyst up.
Over the following month I remained feeling very lethargic, sick and no appetite when I went back to the Drs they told me that it was possible I had post viral fatique and told me there was pretty much nowt they could give me apart from me resting.
These symptoms continued to get worse and worse to the point I was unable to get out of bed and generally go about my day to day activities. One day I would feel great and would buzz about trying to catch up on all the chores that were mounting up and the next day I would be in bed for a week unable to even make it downstairs for a glass of water.
By this time I had been back and fro at my Drs nearly every week and had seen 4 diff Drs (my reg Dr who is great only works part time and has never got any appoints cause she is that good). I eventually got an appoint with my own Dr and explained to her how I had been feeling (as she knew me she could see by just looking at me that something was not right, usually I won't leave the house without my hair washed and make-up on and I was sitting in front of her in my pj's and my hair that hadn't been brushed for a week) and that on my previous visit to one of the Drs I was given a blood form with different bloods to be taken and tested along with a HIV test!!
My Dr was not happy at me being sent for a HIV test (getting a HIV test can affect you getting or your current life insurance as well as you should be given the appropriate counselling prior to the test) and seen no reason for me to have that done.
I know a Staff nurse and was asking her if it was possible that I was going through the early menopause as I was getting my periods however they were only lasting a day, as well as no energy, sweats all symptoms of the menopause.
I also went on to tell her that I knew I wasn't pregnant as I had suffered from severe hyperemisis (severe morning sickness) with my other 2 children who are now 14 & 16.
She marked me down for all the possible blood tests she could think of but told me that she thought I had developed M.E.
As there is no actually test for M.E it would be a process of elimination via my blood tests, she asked me to come back the following week.
Finding out I was pregnant
On returning to the Dr she told me that all the bloods had came back clear however it had indicated that I was indeed pregnant (hcg levels were through the roof)
No one could have prepared me for that news as that was the last thing I thought of especially as I was still having my periods and with my previous pregnancies was sick from 4 wks I was in total shock.
When she examined me she thought I was about 16 wks (although I did not feel that far on) looking back now I had a bump and my breasts were larger and I was starting to lose my waist it had become more rounded, but I just put that down to not eating properly with not being well I was eating just junk when I felt like eating.
The dr arranged for me to have a scan as soon as possible but this wasn't for another 2 wks.
My relationship with my partner was that of very unstable, I had been with him for 4 yrs however he is an alcoholic who is in denial.
Our relationship started off great as all usually do but it wasn't until a few months down the line that I started to notice a change in my partner (or maybe I just opened my eyes) when we would go out he would always get totally drunk and we would end up arguing over stupid things, then as time went on he started getting verbally abusive (I'd always just put it down to the drink as he would be fine when he didn't have a drink).
He had his own flat and I still stayed with my parents at that point. However I started staying at his more and more, things seemed to be getting worse when we would drink together which would always lead to him throwing me out, then he would be all apologetic the next day and I would go back.
This then became a regular pattern and I stopped drinking when he was drinking (when I say I was drinking I am talking 2 glasses of wine on a sat night max) which still never improved things. I decided that I was going to get a place of my own with the kids so it was security for us, he then decided that he would give up his flat and move in with me.
Things only went from bad to worse and his drinking spiralled out of control one week he would be at home next week he would be away at his pals staying and out drinking or he would go to the pub on a friday night and come home paralytic not knowing where he was and shouting all kinds of threats and abuse at me. Urinating on walls, and smashing things up in the house. (Believe it or not if you were to meet him you would be oblivious of his problem until he started drinking).
I probably know people will think why did you put up with this, but it is hard when you are in a relationship with someone you genuinely care for and love, trust me as a nurse I've seen it many a time drunken men coming in to the ward and their partners putting up with so much and I would say why on earth do they put up with that but until you are in that position you don't know what its like.
I gave my partner ultimatums (drink or me , pub or me) and he always choose me for a few wks then it all started again.
I went to the drs with him and he was put on alcohol withdrawal meds and went to counsellors with him to help him but the longest he stayed dry was 6 mths.
Telling my partner
When I told my partner I was pregnant he was expressionless, I just assumed like me he was in shock, he is older than me I am 35 and he is 45 with 2 grown up kids of his own.
That night he never returned from work until 10pm to which I was annoyed at as I thought he would have been home early so we could of talked things over. He would normally work long hours 6am till 9pm monday to sunday but I just thought that was his way of trying to stay out of the pub.
When he came home and we spoke about the pregnancy he didn't say very much gave nothing away, I told him I had to go for a scan in 2 wks and he said he would come along. As I had brought my other 2 children up as a single parent I told him that if we were continuing with the pregnancy then I would need his support as I didn't want to go back to being a single parent.
He told me that he would support me throughout. We had agreed that I wouldn't tell anyone about the pregnancy until I had been for my scan however this didn't follow through.
Admitted to hospital
The following few days I still remained to be very unwell being unable to get out of bed or do anything in the house, when my partner came home one night he found me lying in a heap on the floor upstairs I had collapsed from exhaustion, I told him Ididnt feel right but would go to the drs the next day and I just needed to sleep it off.
However when I got into bed I started to shake uncontrollably, I tried to ride it out by the time my partner came to bed I told him I thought I needed to go to the hospital he went beserk at me shouting that I should of got myself seen to sooner rather than leaving it to that time of night.
I went to the out of hours gp, who told me she thought I had a urine infection and gave me some abx.
After a couple of days I was still no better, no energy, unable to eat or drink, throwing up between 40-50 times a day, shaking uncontrollably.
I could see that my kids who were still unaware I was pregnant were getting worried about me, my eldest couldnt even bare to look at me.
My partner continued to work his ridiculous long hours, coming in expecting his dinner to be ready for him. I phoned him in tears telling him I couldnt cope feeling like this much longer, he said what did I want to do. I told him I needed to go to the hospital, he said he would be home as soon as he could and appeared home 2hrs later.
I was admitted to hospital that day with severe dehydration and was given 6l of fluids as well as antiemetics to stabilise me.
I was told on admission that I would go for a scan the next day, however my partner never asked if he could attend along with me and to be honest by this time I couldn't of cared if I was dead or alive the way I was feeling.
When the drs came round that morning I broke down again and told them I wasn't sure if I could cope feeling like this as I had been really sick with my 2nd child for the full 9mths but this was so much worse.
They told me that I would have to go to my own Drs to be referred for a termination if that's what I was wanting, but said they would still like to proceed with a scan and that I could ask for the monitor to be switched off so I didn't need to see the images.
By the time I went for my scan I was not as emotional and had calmed down and thought I couldn't give up my baby at 16 wks there was no way I could have had a termination that far along.
I didn't say to the sonographer what I had been thinking and as she was scanning me there was nothing coming up on the screen apart from what looked to me as being a empty womb, she asked me if I had ever had an ectopic pregnancy or a phantom preg, to which I said 'no' and thought there is no way I can feel this ill and there be nothing there.
It wasn't clear to her but I saw a perfect head and body
She finally got an image however to her it wasn't clear, but to me it was I saw a perfect head and body formed shape which was sitting up almost like a dog in a begging position.
She asked me if it was ok to do an internal scan as the pic wasn't clear, she then said she would need to get someone else to confirm what she was seeing.
By this time I was starting to panic but soon realised when I heard them speaking what it was she was seeing.
It was twins and I was actually only 8 wks along.
In and out of hospital
I continued to be in and out of hosp for the next month with severe dehydration and vomiting up to 60 times a day, bp of 60/40.
It felt as if things were getting worse not better and none of the fluids nor drugs were helping.
I also felt as if the nurses thought I was being a hypochondriac and would feel guilty for asking for a cup of tea or a biscuit on the rare occasions that I felt like something to eat or drink.
My home life wasn't much better and throughout my 14 admissions to hospital my partner had only came to the hospital 3 times, on one occasion I had been taken in by ambulance at 4pm and my daughter txt him to tell him I was in hosp and he never came in to see me until half 7 that night.
In between everything I was also due to be moving house, however was in hospital and everything had to be left up to my mum and dad to organise packing up our old house and unpacking and moving into our new house.
This also was causing me great stress, my partner managed to take a couple of hrs off work to move the larger items by van but left the rest for my mum and dad to sort out.
I had been discharged from hospital on one occasion and came home to there being no bed for me to sleep in I had to sleep on the floor whilst he slept on the couch, he never thought to sort the beds out and I just didn't have the energy to sort them.
I managed to stay out of hospital for a whole 2 days and as much as I felt like crap though I felt a bit better but then ended up back to throwing up continuously.
On the Thursday morning my partner made me a cup of tea in bed then got ready for his work, he started to do his usual winding me up complaining that his socks weren't paired together and that all his stuff was all over the place that he couldn't find anything (bearing in mind we had just moved and everything was everywhere) in the same breath he then turned and said that he thought I should get rid of the twins as his job wasn't secure (first I'd heard about that) and that we couldn't afford them.
I was in total shock what he was saying and didn't give him any reply as he was just looking for an argument. That night no more was spoken about what he had said.
On the friday I was back to being in a dreadful state and knew within myself I needed to go back into hospital, I knew that my partner usually finished his work at no later than 7pm on a friday night so kept holding on to go in despite my mum and dad begging me to get into the hospital.
I wanted to wait so he could take me and be there for me.
7 o'clock came, 8 o'clock came and still he wasn't home, I knew what this meant that he was in the pub, 11 o'clock came and I was lying collapsed on the bathroom floor unable to get up, my daughter was in my bed lying watching TV but at the same time watching to make sure I was ok as I'd left the bathroom door open.
I heard a car pulling up outside and asked my daughter who it was, she said it was my partner.
I don't know where I got the strength from but managed to pull myself up and get down the stairs, I was going absolutely berserk and told him to get out, to which he did.
That was the last I have seen of him.
I was taken into hospital that night with twins and came home an empty shell
I phoned and txt my partner to tell him I was in the hosp but he just ignored them, I left him until the monday but still he ignored me.
I then decided that I couldnt go on like this and couldnt cope with twins and my 2 children as a single parent.
The Drs and nurses were great with me and never judged and were very sympathetic towards me.
I was given a time to go to the clinic to go through the protocol.
Even when I was sitting in the clinic, and getting another scan I didn't want to give up my babies. Now looking back I wish I had asked to of seen the scan pics as at that point I was 12 wks and would prob not of went through with it if I had seen them.
The clinic process was very easy, you were there for a few hours and I felt a bit like a freak as I was unable to sit up in the waiting room I had to lie down along the chairs as my bp was so low, but I didn't want to make a fuss as all I could think of was what I was going to be doing.
You get a scan at the clinic to date your preg, then get bloods taken. The nurse then talks you through the procedure and asks you which method you would prefer, due to me being so ill I was advised to take the surgical option and that I could get the procedure done two days later.
My head was all very much a blur, and I couldn't see past being and feeling so unwell, as well as how my partner was being so unsupportive, I felt betrayed by him as if we meant nothing to him.
Not once during my appointment did anyone ask me what the reason was I was having the procedure nor did they advise against it I assumed they put it down to me being so unwell)
I was offered counselling but refused it as I thought that I would be able to cope on my own (Now I would advise anyone to take this option)
I txt my partner when I came out of the clinic and told him I was booked in for a termination on the thursday, but he continued to ignore my txts
Day of termination
My appointment time was 12 noon, I was taken from the maternity unit to the day surgery.
I was still numb with what I was doing and everything was a blur, I felt as if id came this far I needed to go through with it.
I was given my own side room and the Dr came in and spoke with me and explained the surgery, she was really lovely and took time with me. So did the anesthetist and the other drs who would be in the room came in and introduced themselves and tried to put me at ease.
I was given 4 tabs to insert into my vagina to soften my cervix to allow them to insert the instruments for the procedure, I was also given a abx suppository.
Once I had inserted the tabs I wasn't allowed out of bed, the tabs took 2hrs to work and I was last on the theatre list that day. I had very little side effects from the tabs apart from very very mild cramping feeling, however I was severely sick to which I'm not sure if it was the abx or the tabs that had done that.
By now I wasn't being sick as a normal person would be sick I was vomiting blood which I was told was due to me being so sick that it was the lining of my stomach and esophagus.
I was taken down to theatre at 3 o'clock and was back on the ward by 4pm.
I had very little bleeding, but was absolutely drained. I was given an hour to sleep off the anaesthetic and then given some tea and toast.
I was then asked to get up and get dressed and go to the toilet, when I got up there was a small pool of blood that came away but this is normal it was no more than when you get your periods during the night and get up in the morn and feel a flooding sensation.
When I went to the toilet I passed some small clots that I got checked but was told was also normal.
I was home the same day by 7pm.
The following days I felt alot better, I had stopped being sick and had gained some of my energy back.
I was trying to keep myself busy around the house and block out what had happened.
Although my body was in agony I felt as if someone had been jumping up and down on my chest and had a lot of chest pain and lost my voice due to being incubated, I was reassured that all this was normal.
The bleeding was very light and I only bled for about 3 days thereafter for about another 4 days I had a light brown discharge.
For the first few days I was in denial of my true feelings and high on the fact that for the first time since xmas I felt like myself and the first time in 12wks I hadnt been vomitting 60 times a day.
Those feelings didnt last long though, by the monday I was in floods of tears all day unable to control my emotions, I would be speaking to people on the phone and would have to hang up or would go out for the day to the shops to get out of the house and would find myself walking along oblivious that I had tears streaming down my face.
I was also much more aware how many pregnant women there were about, everywhere I turned there seemed to be pregnant women or mothers with prams.
I felt as if I was suffocating.
The hardest feelings to deal with was that of the empty feeling that I had inside, it is hard to explain but I just felt empty.
I was also experiencing phantom kicks, even tho I was only 12wks because i was having twins and this wasnt my first pregnancy I had felt the babys move. I was still getting this sensation for a few wks after the termination.
I know it wasnt my uterus contracting as it was in the exact same place as id felt them move and it would be at night I would feel it.
My mum and Dad have been my rocks always been there for me, listened to me, supported me even at 3 o clock in the morning. I have tried to hide my hurt and feelings from my kids but I know that they can see Im not coping very well, they dnt no I had a termination they think I lost them as I couldnt bring myself to tell them what I did.
6 wks on
I have been back to the Dr and she has been great she didnt want to give me anti depressant straight away and I didnt want to be put on them.
She told me that what I was experiencing was normal and that I was grieving for my loss. She told me that just because I choose not to have the twins didnt mean that I didnt love them or wasnt allowed to grieve for them.
I am still not sleeping very well and have now been put on a anti - d but iv taken it once as it knocked me unconcious until 3pm the following day so havnt taken it since.
I still have that empty feeling inside and days where I cry and cry at what I have done and lost and only wish that I could of been stronger and not let how I was feeling take over my decision to keep my Twins, I also wish my partner had been there for me.
I think alot of how I am now feeling is due to feeling alone on this, if I had had his support then at least we could have been there for each other.
I never heard from my now ex until the night I got out of the hospital after the termination to when he txt me asking if he could come to the house and pick up his clothes. I was so hurt and angry that he was treating me that way.
My mum packed his stuff up and put it in his car for him to collect, he came and got his car and I never heard from him for another 2 wks.
I am now getting a load of abuse that its all been my own fault this has happened etc etc, if I reply back he ignores my txts to this day he has never once asked anything about the twins, scan, termination, how far along I was or how I am...
As hard as it is to accept I know I have prob done the right thing in the long term but living with that guilt just now is sole destroying.
I am usually a very strong person and didnt think this would effect me this way, I have always been pro choice but now I would tell anyone considering a termination for whatever reason to make sure they are 100% sure and if they have a bit of doubt dont do it you will live to regret it.
This story was sent in on 03/07/2013