I had a surgical abortion under general anaesthetic
I had an abortion. It's still so strange to say those words. It's been over 2 years now, 3rd January 2012. It's one of few dates I'll never ever forget. I was 24 at the time and in a very unsteady job, the father was around as only a friend of a friend and not somebody I would ever want to have a child with. I decided to go for an abortion, something I thought I'd never do and even if it got to that situation I was sure I could never actually go through with it. I guess this shows you really don't know yourself until you're in that situation. I had a surgical abortion under general anaesthetic, I went into it thinking I could be no more than 6 weeks but was informed I was 11. When I was told this my heart sank, I'd gone into the clinic alone because the only friend I'd told had work that day and I assured her that I could deal with this alone. When the doctor said 11 weeks I think that's the closest I came to changing my mind, I know nothing about pregnancy but what I do know is that 12 weeks is the "safe" stage, the part where you can start telling people, having scans and getting excited. I'd be doing none of that. There was a lot of waiting around this day so I had a lot of time to think, I decided I was doing the right thing for me. The father wasn't involved in this decision and it's not something he knows about even now. The procedure itself was fine, I'm not sure if I was lucky but I didn't even have any minor cramps afterwards or anything. It was all done within about 20 minutes and that's including waking up from the anaesthetic enough to walk to the next room. I'm not sure if the story I'm telling will help anyone but I hope it does, even though it's a little all over the place! I was young and not in the right place in my life to have a child, I've always been pro-choice and now I understand why. To this day I feel like I made the right decision, but I do want to share the downsides with you. There was a LOT of crying afterwards. As I said earlier I told one friend and that's it, I went home and hid from my housemates. I googled pregnancy at 11 weeks and that was the worst possible thing I could have done. I think I cried for about half an hour before I thought "pull yourself together" and had to go and make an appearance to my housemates. One thing that came out of this is how strong I realised I was, many months earlier before any of this happened I'd arranged to throw a baby shower for my friend. The baby shower took place at my house exactly 1 week and 4 days after I had an abortion. Not one person there knew what I was going through, yet I had to bake cupcakes with lots of cute baby things on, decorate the house with lots of cute baby things and play lots of cute baby games. It was killing me inside, it wasn't a feeling of regret as I'm still 100% on my decision but that doesn't mean I don't care or feel for what might have been. The day after the baby shower I met up with an ex that I had been back in contact with for a while. I'd tried to explain that now wasn't a good time to start anything up but at the same time I needed someone. He didn't know at first but a few weeks later it came to us sleeping together for the first time since getting back together. I broke down in tears at the thought of it, he was so scared and confused that I had to explain. He held me as I cried and I felt safe. This carried on every time, I cried for the next few weeks. Everything was looking up and I was so positive about everything, then we had an argument. I can't even remember what it was over now all I remember is the things he said. Out of nowhere he brought up the abortion, saying that I'm selfish for doing it and much worse that I don't want to put on here. This was said to me by text, I was halfway through getting ready for work when I got it. I read the text and literally fell to the floor sobbing, I couldn't breathe I was crying so hard. I made myself sick I was crying so hard. Now because I'd gotten into this relationship with him so soon after the abortion I think I relied on him to keep me feeling safe, I don't think I ever actually dealt with it until we ended and this didn't happen until months later because I stupidly forgave him for the disgusting comments. The abortion got brought up time and time again whenever he couldn't get his way. I eventually got up the courage to let go, only after this did I think how strong a person has to be to go through what I went through alone. I turned my thinking around. My abortion wasn't something that showed selfish actions at all, it was one that showed strength. So is it hard? Yes! And you won't realise how hard until weeks, months or maybe even years later. Because this is something that's going to affect you for the rest of your life. Personally whenever I get into another relationship I won't do anything different, if we're going to be serious about it then he has to know everything about me and the abortion is a huge part. If he doesn't agree then you can't make a life together. I don't share the story with many people but a partner is one person where I think it's necessary. So if you think an abortion is something you want or need to do, then go ahead with it because we're lucky enough to have the right to choose and to do so safely. I will say though to put a lot of thought into it. Whilst I don't regret my decision, I now realise that I really didn't think through just how much this would affect me. It's not a quick-fix it's a life-changer and as long as you're making your decision for the right reasons it can be a positive life-changer.
Editor's CommentThank you for sharing your story so expressively. It is very helpful to hear your emotional response over a period of time, rather than the physical details of the abortion experience. Please contact the helpline or Online advisor if you ever feel you would like some post abortion support.
This story was sent in on 10/05/2014
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