Having a termination did not ruin my life.

I had a surgical abortion when I was 17. It was quite late - 15 weeks - because initially I pretended to myself that it couldn't possibly be true and then, when I did eventually go to my GP, the hospital made a mistake with the referral, which added a couple of extra weeks. The actual process was difficult, as it meant an overnight stay and a drip/cervical catheter leading to labour. It was a long time ago, and I've read since that I should have been offered sedatives, but I wasn't, so I was quite frightened and felt very alone. Not all the nurses were kind (or even civil), but one, a student nurse, was wonderful and she talked to me about a play she had read at school (I told her I wanted to study English Literature). I have always remembered her - I imagine she went on to be an amazing nurse. That was 30 years ago. I haven't regretted my decision ever. I have never struggled with it, and although I have thought about it sometimes, that has been more to do with the process, particularly what I understand now to be deliberate cruelty, designed to teach me a lesson and make me think twice about "doing it again". It was completely the right thing for me to do. I have chosen not to have children - that's a healthy choice and right for me. I don't know what I would have done if I got pregnant again, every situation is different, I just know that having a termination did not ruin my life, it did not destroy my mental health, it did not fill me with guilt or haunt me. I did the right thing for me in the situation I found myself in. I'm actually rather proud of my 17 year old self. I think she did just fine.

Editor's Comment

It was an enormous thing to go through by yourself and I'm so glad for the student nurse who cared for you and supported you at that time. I hope that punishing mentality no longer pervades anywhere.
This story was sent in on 12/02/2014

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