Hello, I had a surgical abortion under sedation a couple of hours ago, and would like to share my experience to try and help others facing the same situation. I found out I was pregnant 4 days ago. It was a complete shock, I was on the contraceptive pill. I couldn't stop crying. I knew immediately that my only option was an abortion. My husband is in the army and has PTSD. We are struggling just to exist at the moment and bringing a child into the mix is not something I could even consider. My doctors couldn't give me an initial consultation for a week. As Christmas is coming up next week, I was anxious to get the process started. I contacted Marie Stopes who were amazing. I called them on the Friday and went through some basic details, they arranged a telephone consultation for the following Monday. The consultation went through some medical history, asked the reason why I wanted the termination (they didn't need too much detail, and just put that emotionally I wasn't ready) and eventually asked what kind of procedure I wanted. I hadn't realised I would have to choose then, I didn't even really know what the options were. So I think it's worth having a read up in advance. Obviously you can always change your mind. I opted for the surgical procedure with sedation. Initially I wanted the one with general anaesthetic, however there wasn't a date for over a week and the clinic was also much further away. I arranged the procedure for the following day. In the morning, I had a telephone counselling appointment which was extremely useful. Was good to be able to talk to someone independent and non judgemental. I finished the conversation feeling confident that I was making the right decision. I was told that I was entitled to a further six sessions after the procedure which was very reassuring. My mum drove me to the clinic in Reading. The entrance was very discreet with a buzzed entry system, the receptionist was kind and friendly and put me at ease. Had to wait first of all for an appointment with the nurse, she took my blood pressure, a drop of blood to find out my blood type and iron levels and then did the scan. I personally found the scan the hardest part. It was the only time I've ever been pregnant, and I always imagined having the scan as being a wonderful exciting thing rather than being on my own in an abortion clinic. But it was over quickly, you don't hear anything or see the screen. She told me I was six weeks and one day pregnant. Next I went downstairs to the next waiting room which was women only. In a couple of minutes I was called in. It was a communal recovery room, more intimate than a hospital ward. There were six reclining chairs that looked like sun loungers. I was asked to get changed in the toilets by taking off everything on my lower half. I was wearing a dress and leggings so kept the dress on which felt a bit more private. They gave me a sarong for decency and a pair of white hotel type slippers. Next I went into the treatment room , there were three people in it and two were male which surprised me for some reason but wasn't a problem. I had to lay on a bed with my feet up in stirrups. I had an injection in my hand where they put the sedative, usually I'm anxious about needles but I barely felt it. I had time to ask the man how long it took to work, and that was it I was out like a light. I don't remember any of the procedure, next thing I was back in my sun lounger with a drink and a biscuit. I was kept there for a while to come round. Felt a bit woozy and tired for a couple of hours afterwards but that was it. This was all about three hours ago, feel fine, no cramps yet. I was very impressed by how quick, painless and professional the experience was and would highly recommend having the surgical procedure under sedation. The hardest thing has been the fact that my husband left me to it, didn't come and hasn't contacted me to see how it went. I know it was the right decision for me.
Thanks for sharing your experience. It is hard to face an experience like this alone, and to feel that your husband is not there for you. If you need to talk to someone for support I would suggest taking up the counselling offer from Marie Stopes, or call the national helpline or Online advisor for post abortion support,for post abortion support.