I had a surgical abortion when I was 15 weeks pregnant.
I had a surgical abortion when I was 15 weeks pregnant. I was 27, with a loving partner but had crippling antenatal depression which led me to terminate. I booked the appointment with Marie Stopes and they were so helpful. They gave me a counselling session over the phone, and I must have cancelled the appointment about 10 times. The first time I went to the clinic alone. I was terrified and not sure if I was making the right decision. My boyfriend had left me as he did not agree with abortion so I was completely alone. When I got to the clinic they did a scan and told me how far along I was. I went upstairs to the waiting room and took a seat on a blue chair, it reminded me of a sun-lounger. Then I noticed a woman coming out of theatre from her procedure, she was really distressed and this sent me into panic mode. I told one of the nurses I was unsure if I could go through with the procedure. She took me into a side room and said that if I had any doubts whatsoever I had to leave as they could not perform something so serious if I was not 100% sure. I got home and my mental torture was continuing, I didn't feel strong enough to be a mother. I had no idea how to be a mother, even though I was 27 I felt like a little lost girl. A week later I rebooked the procedure. My parents were so supportive and drove me to the clinic. Again I was unsure if I could go through with the abortion so my Dad turned the car around and we went home. I felt like I was in a nightmare of indecision and awful stress. I wasn't eating or sleeping and I lost the ability to think straight. All I could do was stare into space. Finally I made one last appointment. Again the love and the strength of my parents was unfathomable. They drove me to the clinic again and this time my Mum came in with me, she sat with me until it was time for me to go upstairs. Once I got into the waiting room the fear started to set in again. The nurse gave me the tablets to take before the surgical procedure. He explained fully that once I took them there was no going back. I sat for 30 minutes thinking thinking again. My mind was blank and I had run out of answers, I just wanted all the pain and the depression to leave me. I took the tablets and then started to feel cramps. It felt like I was waiting forever for my turn in theatre. When they called my name I told them I thought I had made a mistake and asked them was there anything they could do to stop the tablets from working. They said no that the tablets would have stopped my baby's heartbeat so it was too late. I then went into theatre and was laid down on a bed and they gave me an injection to put me to sleep. The nurse held my hand and I was praying for forgiveness. The sense of guilt I felt was unbearable. When I came around from the procedure I was wheeled back into the waiting room and given a cup of tea and biscuits. Physically I felt fine, I had little to no bleeding and my cramps were not even noticeable. The staff at Marie Stopes were very supportive and made me feel at ease 100%. I did suffer from depression for a few months after the termination, like the strongest grief I had ever felt. I cried and begged the lord for forgiveness, I wasn't even particularly religious. I know a lot of people's experiences are very different, for me the mental side was a lot harder than the physical aspect. I know a friend who had a termination and felt nothing but relief afterwards. I know this experience will stay with me forever but I think it has made me stronger now and it has made me realise how far a parent's love will stretch after how much my parents supported me. I hope that one day I will be a Mum and I will handle things a lot better next time around. Antenatal depression should not be taken lightly.
It is sad that you were not able to get more support and medical help for your depression. It is very crippling for women who get antenatal depression and you need professional intervention to be able to see a pregnancy through. It is not unusual for a relationship to breakdown as a result of an abortion decision, especially when one of you is in disagreement with the choice. I would advise you to talk to your GP about this experience so that you can plan the help and support you may need if you wanted to try for another pregnancy. There are some helpful websites that can support you through depression in pregnancy where you can talk to other people having similar problems, netsmum or call the helpline for support 0300 4000 999.