This weekend I had a medical abortion

This weekend I had a medical abortion, and the pain I read about was very much real. Here is my story... One week ago today, I found out I was pregnant. Complete and utter shock. My boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years. I was on the birth control pill (although my failure to take it at exactly the same time every day, was probably the reason it failed). The next day, my boyfriend and I made an appointment at the local clinic to confirm the pregnancy and see how far along I was. I was approximately 5 weeks gestation. After the appointment, we sat down and weighed our options. After A LOT of tears and deliberation, we both decided that abortion would be the best choice at this time. I looked online, and this is when I first discovered that there was a pill you could take to terminate early pregnancy. It seemed easier and less risky than surgical abortion. So, I scheduled an appointment for that Friday to start the process. During the next few days leading up to my appointment, I started reading the horror stories about how painful medical abortion was. I also read that surgical abortion had a higher success rate, and the actual surgery could be done in 5-10 minutes. After reading many articles that said the same thing, I decided I was going to opt for a surgical abortion. My appointment on Friday started at 7:15, and by the time I left the clinic it was 12:15. I HIGHLY recommend bringing a support person with you, as it is a LONG process, and also a very scary one to do by yourself. Had my boyfriend not been with me, I might have walked in the door and then walked out. He helped to calm me immensely. He was also able to come with to the different little appointments (blood work, counselling, ultrasound etc..) During my ultrasound, the nurse was unable to really locate the embryo. After looking for what seemed like forever, she did finally see the pregnancy embryo. She told me that since I was so early, the doctor might not feel comfortable doing an abortion that day, and that I might need to come back in 2 weeks. I started to cry (A. I lived 2 1/2 hours from the clinic B. I just wanted it done that day and not have to get more pregnant over the next 2 weeks) My ultrasound was done by 9:00. I had to wait until 11:00 until someone finally came and talked to me again. As the nurse had predicted, it was too early to do a surgical abortion, but I could still start the medical abortion that day. The choice was simple, as I didn't want to wait another 2 weeks. That day, I took the first pill to end the pregnancy. I felt slight nausea the next 36 hours, but that could have been the pregnancy itself. I was prescribed some anti-nausea medication, but honestly that made me feel more nauseous and really drowsy. On Sunday morning, I took the last 4 pills. The side effects of those were a much different story... On Sunday at 9:40 am I put the 4 pills in my mouth under my lower lip and waited for them to dissolve. After 1/2 hour I still had quite a bit of the pills still in my lip. I swished them with some spit and waited another 10 minutes (40 min total) then I just washed what was left (which still seemed like a significant amount) down with water. I then took a co-codamol and 3 ibuprofen (anticipating the worst) and waited.
From 10:30-12:00 I felt moderate cramping and had some light bleeding. I thought "Wow!This is not bad at all!" I even put up Christmas decorations and ate a light lunch. Then, like a ton of bricks it hit me.

From 12:00-2:30 I was in THE worst pain I have ever felt in my life.

The contractions felt nothing like period cramps, they felt like full blown pregnancy contractions. There was no way I could sit/lay to be comfortable. For the first 1/2 hour I had diarrhoea and that made the pain slightly less for the couple minutes that it lasted. From then on, nothing could make the pain go away.
I took another co-codamol, but honestly felt no relief. I was puking every 10 minutes from the pain. Puking did make it feel better in those momentary seconds. I really thought I was going to die. At one point I was laying on my kitchen floor with my head between my legs, and I had to reach into the cupboard to grab a bucket to puke in because I could not make it to the bathroom. My legs cramped up as well.
After literally 2 1/2 hours of this, I sat on the toilet for my 100th time, and then I heard something plop into the toilet. This next part kind of freaked me out...at the bottom of the toilet was a small white sac. It was about the size of my pinky fingernail. I'm almost positive that was the embryo. It almost looked like mushy brain matter. I did not at all see anything that resembled a human/foetus, but it was a little white sac.
Then, like magic, my cramping started to come in waves further and further apart and with MUCH less pain. This is when I also started to bleed quite heavily. At about 3:30, I felt like I was having a regular period. I had some minor cramps, but really felt nothing in comparison to what I had just been through. I was physically exhausted and drained. I couldn't believe it was over. It is now the day after my abortion. I have some light bleeding and cramps. Yesterday seems like forever ago. I am not trying to scare anyone away with medical abortion (hey, I made it through and am happy I don't have to be pregnant another 2 weeks) but, I think you should know that it is a painful process. I do feel a lot of relief, and I also still feel some guilt. I'm told this is normal. I don't think there is one right way to feel after an experience like this. Good luck to all the women who read this, stay strong! You will surprise yourself with how strong you can be.

Editor's Comment

I think that every one's experience is slightly different although there are some similarities. Usually the further on a pregnancy is the more painful it can be, so it's unusual that your pain was so severe when you were at a very early stage of pregnancy. It must have been hard to find yourself having a medical abortion, when you had decided on the surgical option.
I hope that the feelings of guilt are getting easier, but please contact CareC4000onfidential for post abortion support if you need it, 0300 4000 999.

This story was sent in on 10/11/2014

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