I am 22 and had a medical abortion this week.
I wanted to share it with you because of all the horrible stories I read before I had my abortion. I scared myself silly. Me and my partner are in a long distance relationship and are not financially stable. I still went backwards and forwards, thinking I wanted to keep it and then telling myself it was for the best to abort. It was a strange time - sometimes I felt like I wasn't even pregnant and I was really rational, almost making the decision from the outside. Other times it felt very real and overwhelming. I didn't tell my mum, I just didn't want her to be disappointed in me. My boyfriend was my rock, he supported either decision even though we both agreed it might not be fair on the baby to keep it. We both had times of weaknesses and felt guilty too. Due to the distance I went to the first appointment on my own - bad decision! I'm not good with pain and was emotional when I got there too. That morning appointment was the worst for me. What got me was signing the cremation form - I hadn't read anything about that before I went so it caught me by surprise and cremation makes it sound like you're killing someone (I prefer to think I just stopped something from happening as it doesn't have a brain or feelings yet). I'm also a whimp with needles and had to have blood taken. I think it was the worst appointment because it felt so final. When you take the first pill there is no turning back. I didn't get any pain in between my appointments I just felt a little light headed and lost my appetite a bit (although I could still eat). When I went to the next appointment (2 days later) I went to a unit were it was only women going through the same thing. The nurse asked me to lay in a bed and inserted the medication with her finger (didn't know what to expect but it was over in seconds and not painful at all). It didn't take long for the pain to start and it was worse than period pains for me. I stayed in hospital for 6 hours and had 2 lots of painkillers, don't be afraid to ask for them! The worst pain was at the beginning. I was a lot more sick than anyone else in the ward and couldn't stomach anything at all (even water!) I had three really bad waves of pain at the beginning which probably lasted about 30-40 minutes. I felt burning hot and freezing cold (so take layers that you can add/remove). Between the waves of pain I did have a chance to rest though were I just felt uncomfortable, not in pain. After that it was just cramping. I was surprised that when the foetus passed I didn't feel much pain at all - I was just hot with mild cramps. Some of the things I didn't know was that you sit in like a waiting room with other women, and share bathrooms. You ring a bell to call the nurse to your bathroom when you have passed anything into a cardboard container that they put over the toilet seat. From what I read, I expected more tissue to pass. For me, it was mostly really runny bright red blood - and it wasn't as much as I expected either. When I passed the foetus I definitely knew because I saw a little lump in the blood but I made a conscious effort not to look incase I saw anything recognisable. The nurse told me I'd passed only half of the foetus. About 20 minutes later I passed a large clot - it was just like a big blob of blood. I knew that was it and the nurse confirmed. The nurses were so kind and understanding. After 6 hours I left. I went home and slept the pain away (I'd just had a painkiller which helped) but it was OK by this point anyway. When I woke up 2 hours later I felt hungry and kept my food down just fine. I haven't bled anymore than I would during a normal period since I passed the foetus. After all the horror stories I'd also like to say that out of all of the women in there, there were only a few moans and groans as people tried to get comfortable. No one was visibly upset and I used the loo more than anyone else (probably because of the sickness) so I don't believe they were having this majorly traumatic experience that I read about and worked myself up about. As I say, it's not pleasant but you can do it if it's for the best. I hope you find comfort in this post. I've been as honest as I can and even though it's not pleasant, the pain didn't last too long and I could cope with the discomfort (considering I'm a huge whimp!!) I've had a roller coaster of emotions over the last few weeks but I know this is the right decision for me.
Your medical abortion sounds similar to many of the stories posted on this web site, in that it was an unpleasant experience physically but you felt that you coped with it. Support from nursing staff, and good pain relief seem to be 2 of the most important things during the procedure. Your emotions often go up and down and this is partly due to hormonal changes but also the effect of the decision you made, and what you have been through. For many women this settles after a few weeks, but if you find yourself still struggling emotionally or psychologically please contact CareConfidential for post abortion support.You can speak to a practitioner on the national helpline 0800 4000 999, or log into Online advisor for post abortion support.