I was early enough to have a medical abortionBy anonymous on 04/03/2014
I've never grown up thinking about children or feeling maternal. I've grown up thinking about my career and what I can achieve. I thought I'd get around to having children in my 30's, after I had achieved what I wanted to in my 20's. I believed the man I was involved with was infertile, so when my pill ran out I didn't bother replenishing it. Of course, I ended up pregnant.
The initial 24 hours after finding out was terrifying, even shocking. I was disappointed in myself for being lazy with my contraception. I felt ashamed.
Immediately I had decided I wanted an abortion, which he said he would support (he never gave me a concrete answer as to what he wanted, just that he would support me whatever I chose). However, once I had wrapped my head around the fact I was pregnant, I began enjoying the pregnancy. I felt connected to my body and in awe of what it was doing. It was a very confusing experience. I also cared very much for the man who had impregnated me, which made the experience conflicting. I believe, at least in the first few days, it brought us closer together.
On the day of my scan I was told I was just under 7 weeks. I breathed a sigh of relief as this meant I was early enough to have a medical abortion, which I thought would be as simple as taking a pill. I hadn't 100% decided it was what I would do (I'd say I was 90% sure), but I booked my first appointment for the pill anyway. Over the next 24 hours, I discussed in great length with my partner what was best. He admitted he would like to keep it, but I knew it wasn't right for us. We have a tempestuous relationship, and I'd hate to bind myself to him forever. The nature of my work also means I'd have to plan a pregnancy. It just wasn't the right time, nor with the right person.
I held the first pill in my fingers for longer than I should have, knowing that swallowing this would change the course of everything. After I had done it, I cried. I didn't regret it, but I did find it difficult.
Two days later I paid my final visit to the hospital. Every medical abortion is different, I'm sure, and unfortunately I was one of those women who loses a lot of blood. I also had no support network; no friend or boyfriend with me. About 3 hours after inserting the tablets into my vagina, I shuffled to the bathroom to be sick. On my knees, as I was sick in the toilet, literally everything fell out of me. I can't explain the physical sensation of feeling it pour out of me. It felt heavy and messy, like I was emptying my insides. I knew that had to be the pregnancy.
As I lay there in a pool of my own blood on the floor, the nurse came into the toilet and told me to stand up. She said "Don't look down if you don't want to see anything", and she began undressing me. Pyjama bottoms off, pants off. I stood there half naked as she threw my pyjamas into the bin and cleaned up my mess. Weirdly, I wasn't embarrassed. I think I was in shock. Plus, the nurse dealt with it brilliantly. She suggested I take a shower and she gave me a gown to wear.
I don't think any other women in the ward had to change into a gown. I lost so much blood I went through two. Fortunately, that moment in the toilet was the pregnancy passing, so that was the worst over. Typically you are kept in for 2 hours after the passing, but I had lost so much blood it was 4+ hours for me.
Despite the physical pain (cramping), the lack of dignity (laying in my own blood, being stripped naked), lack of support (I did the whole thing on my own), I got through it. And it was OK. The nurses were supportive and didn't bat an eyelid at the mess I had made. They made me feel comfortable throughout.
Reading through this, my experience sounds horrific. It's a strange feeling. It was horrific, but very tolerable. Every aspect was tolerable. It was never pleasant, but it just happened. I'm a strong person.
Sadly, the few people I had told about my pregnancy weren't there for me (everyone was 'busy'), and that was the worst part. Going home alone and realising that nobody was there when I needed them most. The experience changed my perspective of the people I have in my life, including my relationship. He was supportive up until the grand finale. In fact, the people who would have supported me through the entire experience were the people I didn't tell; my family.
It has now been 4 days since my abortion and I am still thinking about it every day, but not in a regretful sense. I believe I did the right thing, and I had made a promise to myself beforehand that I wouldn't live with regret. I will never know what my life would have been like had I gone through with it, but I like my life as it is now. So that's okay.
The experience has changed me, but for the better.