My Medical Abortion Experience at 6 Weeks of Pregnancy
Well, nearly 5 months on and I now feel ready to share my story. The last few months for me have been some of the lowest I have ever had. I have never had to deal with feeling sad like this before and it has been a life lesson I never thought I would ever take.
If I was to describe myself, I would say I am a career girl, I love my job, my independence, holidays and doing what I want when I want. I am not what I would have called a girl that falls pregnant by a man who isn't my boyfriend at the age of 25. This has made me realise that you can never tell what is going to happen in life - I just did not see it coming.
[There are other stories here, listed according to different aspects of abortion e.g. type of abortion, number of weeks of pregnancy etc.]
My story starts in December 2012, I met a handsome Irish man in a bar and struck up a flirtation with him. Harmless at the time, but as it went on I realised he was not as available as I had originally thought. Living over here 80% of the time and going home to Ireland every now and then meant he was here a lot and really lived a single life. But not one part of me wanted to stop seeing him and having fun with him.
It was, what it was. Never serious, never dating, just fun with a handsome Irish man. We would go weeks without seeing each other and then started seeing each other more and more until July last year when I fell pregnant. My feelings for him were (maybe are) stronger than I would ever like to admit but when I found out I was pregnant it changed how I felt about everything.
I was late for my period, I left it a week knowing that sometimes I could be irregular. But I think I knew deep down that I was. My boobs were HUGE and so sore, my lower abdomen felt like it was tender to touch and I felt exhausted.
Three tests later and a visit to the clinic and it was all confirmed - I was pregnant. Pregnant. Pregnant. Even writing it now doesn't feel real to me. It was not a clear cut decision for me, I felt I had to seriously think long and hard about this tiny little life beginning to grow inside me.
I instantly loved it and felt I had to care for it
My initial reaction was to cry (solidly for 2 days!). I have never had such conflicting feelings in all my life, loving something so much but also knowing that deep down I couldn't keep that little something.
Telling the father was not easy either, I know I had feelings for him - would never tell him that of course, but it made the decision so much more difficult. I know I shouldn't admit this, but I had an opportunity to keep this man in my life forever. Whether he was bad for me or not, but he was not available and I knew he wouldn't look after us. He had his own life back home and this was all one big mistake to him.
I told him, and I made it clear that I wanted him to be a part of the decision-making process but ultimately it was my decision. I had around 2 weeks of torturing myself and not knowing what I would do. Family and friends were so supportive and just wanted the best for me. I know they didn't want me to have this Irish man in my life, but they left it to me to make the decision.
The dad was there for me, said the right things when he had to and overall tried to keep me sweet so I wouldn't say anything. It was awful. In the end, I decided I had to think about what life I could offer this little baby. I know myself, and I know I need emotional support from someone close to me, I didn't feel strong enough to do it on my own.
I wanted to enjoy a pregnancy - not cry all the time and fill those 9 months with the anxiety of not knowing what was going to happen. I could not bring a baby into this world knowing that its father wouldn't be there for him or her. Maybe it's weak feeling you need someone to share it with, I know single mums and they are amazing. But I just knew that this baby would be brought into a world where mummy loved daddy and daddy didn't love either of them.
I had to make the decision and have an abortion
I decided I had to make the decision and have the abortion. I booked it with the clinic and it was all confidential, they were fantastic. I booked a couple of days off work and it fell over the August Bank Holiday weekend.
I didn't really take time to think about the abortion method, and looking back now, I really wish I had. I went with the medical abortion where I took tablets. I wish I had gone with the surgical abortion now, though at the time you just don't think about it.
My sister went to the clinic with me, the first visit involved a scan followed by a chat and the first tablet is taken to prepare your body for the abortion. I then had to return the following day for the following 4 tablets, though to me, the moment I took that first tablet the baby was gone.
I know it sounds silly, but I spent a good half an hour saying goodbye to the little life that was growing inside me before the first appointment. I had to let it know how much I loved it and that I wished the circumstances were different. It just wasn't our time.
I didn't physically feel any different after the first appointment, but the second was a different story. I had to dissolve 4 tablets on my gums for half an hour, they didn't taste of anything. They were just unpleasant. They sent me off home the moment I took those tablets and explained that in that half hour I would start to lose the pregnancy.
I felt cramping very quickly and it was severe, by the time I had got home I had started passing the pregnancy and it was horrible. The cramps were excruciating and it was such an emotional experience. This continued into the evening but got a lot easier very quickly with the cramping easing up by the time I went to bed.
Tears, emotion and regret
There were lots of tears, lots of emotion and lots of regret in that first 24 hours. I felt incredibly sad but my sister was amazing and took such good care of me. The dad sent the odd text and I made a point of telling him everything I was going through so he understood what I was doing.
I then went on to have a long heavy period but the cramping did not last.
I threw myself back into work and tried to move on, but the sadness did not go away. I still feel sad now, I will have moments where I burst into tears. Especially when I have my period, it seems like a monthly reminder of what happened.
My best friend had her baby boy 7 weeks ago, he is so lovely and the moment I met him I burst into tears. I have so much happiness for my beautiful friends around me having children and starting families, but he was the first baby I held since I fell pregnant and it was a shock.
I know deep down I made the right decision, but every day I think about my baby that could have been. How far along would I be now? What would I be doing with the dad? What colour hair would my baby have? Would it be a girl or a boy? These questions and doubts haven't left me yet but I promise it does get easier.
I will always think about my baby (and yes, it was a baby, I've often heard people say "it's not a baby yet, it's just a group of cells!" but to me, it was a baby). I have taken up some counselling sessions through my GP and it has also helped me make sense of the decision I made and the feelings I have towards the father. The handsome Irish man is now off the scene, thankfully.
The feelings I have are still there but this whole situation was a big scare for both of us and I think it changed us hugely. I suppose that every woman's story is different, but when I came on here I searched for hours looking for someone's story who was a little bit like mine.
I just hope that this can help someone going through the torturous decision-making process. All I can say is, you will do what you want to do. It doesn't matter how many stories or blogs you read, your story is yours and it is unique. You need to do what feels right in your heart.
I now know that one day I would love to have a baby and now I also know I can get pregnant. These are two positives I am taking from the whole situation. I know my baby will happen, with a man that loves me who will also love our baby.
This baby will never be forgotten, ever, but it will get easier with time. I know that now. The advice I can offer you is to do what is right for you. Let your instincts guide you and you will come to the right decision in your own way.
Terms mentioned in this story
Please note, sources will open in a new tab/window and take you away from the Pregnancy Choices Directory website.
- Surgical Abortion
Surgical abortion is a medical procedure to remove the pregnancy from the womb.
There are three ways in which a woman may undergo the procedure:
Local anaesthetic (awake but things are numbed)
Conscious sedation (awake but relaxed due to having been given a sedative)
General anaesthetic (completely asleep).
There are also two methods of carrying out a surgical abortion depending on the stage of pregnancy:
Vacuum or suction aspiration where a tube is inserted through the entrance to the womb (the cervix) and on into the womb. The pregnancy is then removed through the tube using suction.
Dilation and evacuation (D&E) where special instruments called forceps are inserted through the cervix and into the womb to remove the pregnancy.
Medical abortion refers to the taking of medication to end a pregnancy and usually takes place over two stages. The first stage is where a medicine called mifepristone stops a hormone that allows the pregnancy to continue. The second stage, usually 24-48 hours later, is where a second medicine, called misoprostol, is used to cause the lining of the womb to break down causing bleeding and the loss of the pregnancy.
Medical abortion doesn't require surgery but sometimes not all of the tissue is passed and may require a small surgical procedure to remove further remnants of pregnancy tissue.