This is the story of my abortion.
By anonymous on 20/01/2015This is the story of my abortion. It was a roller-coaster of a ride but I actually feel blessed by how it happened in the end, although it was incredibly stressful with how things didn't pan out how I expected. It was a relief to find I was only 5 weeks and 5 days pregnant on the scan, as going from my dates, I could have been up to 11 weeks. I have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), so I don't have a regular cycle. This was a blessing, and made things easier for me to reconcile my decision not to go ahead with the pregnancy. It was the size of a lentil, it was a bundle of cells. This really helped me. Before attending the clinic I did my research and read women's stories alongside the medical information. I was already facing the unthinkable by choosing an abortion and I wanted to have as little to do with the procedure as possible. I therefore chose a general anaesthetic and surgical abortion. There was no problem with my decision, the clinic were happy to arrange it, and I went away with a date 7 days later to return. I went home feeling elated that it was so early on and that I could proceed with my choice of 'treatment'. I carried on with daily life- it was almost as if nothing had happened. AS the day approached, I started to get anxious and it began to hit me that it was real. I was up early on the day and thankful that the forecast snow had not arrived. I was booked in for 9am, so I didn't have long to wait- out of bed, black tea, in the car, off we went. No time to think about it, just up and do it. It was when we got to the clinic that things started to go wrong. The surgeon was stuck in snow 100's of miles away and was going to be arriving late. An unknown wait time, but it would still happen today. I went into panic mode. I had to be back to collect my daughter from school- I didn't want my parents to know anything, so I HAD to be back. Panic set in. The nurse I saw on my first visit took me through and took my blood pressure. It was just under the permitted level, but still ok. I had an internal scan to confirm I was just over 6 weeks. It was all ok. Back to the waiting room, which by this time was now full. There was nowhere to sit- the surgery delay meant that it was packed in there. I sat on the coffee table, on top of the magazines. I felt really anxious, like things weren't going right. You shouldn't be sitting in a room like this with a lot of worried or glum looking people, like at a train station waiting for a delayed train, and then go upstairs in what is basically a large Victorian house, and have an operation. It felt wrong. Next time I was called by another nurse who was to put on my wrist band and do some final checks. She was abrupt, uninterested and in complete contrast to the other staff. She yawned as she spoke, reeled off the information so fast it was hard to follow and acted as if it was the dullest words she had ever heard. I felt panicky again. I didn't feel safe. She took my blood pressure- it was high. Too high. She told me to calm down, take deep breaths. This made it worse. She asked me if I'd considered local anaesthetic as an option. Then I really did panic- they weren't going to do it. Another 3 readings and the readings just got higher and higher. She rang the anaesthetist, who wasn't in yet. Told me to go back to the waiting room as she didn't think we could go ahead. Back to the waiting room, everyone packed in, there was no chance to speak privately to my partner and I was full of anxiety- it was all going wrong. So, all the people round me heard my whispers as I tried to explain what was happening. We couldn't discuss it, he just whispered back that I should think carefully. I got on google on my phone and reminded myself why I didn't want the local option- I was terrified of the trauma of hearing it all happening, and the pain. I knew it would haunt me. My friend text and suggested I do it but ask for headphones to drown out the noise. When I was called back, I insisted that my partner come with me- it was frowned upon, but I insisted. I still didn't know what I was going to do. It was all going wrong. They told me I had to go home. See my GP. Get blood pressure medication. Come back in 2 weeks. That's when I was in floods. 2 weeks?! The whole point was that I was doing it early, I was 6 weeks. It was a bundle of cells. They grow so quickly; in 2 weeks time it would be so much further on. I felt devastated. Even the local wasn't an option because it was such a high reading. My partner took over then as I was ushered back to the desk to re-book. I had retreated into myself, couldn't speak, tears rolling. They agreed dates and times and I was back into the car, ringing the GP and asking for an emergency appointment. As we drove away, it hit me- why didn't they offer me the medical option? I could still have the pills couldn't I? No anaesthetic? Why didn't they discuss my options with me? I went to the GP an hour later and she said my blood pressure was normal. It was the stress of the situation. I could have medication to bring it down and I would be ok in 2 weeks. I asked if she could guarantee it would be low enough in 2 weeks, and she couldn't, although she thought it was likely it would be. She asked me if I wanted the more effective tablets that would harm the pregnancy, or the less effective ones that wouldn't. I was in floods again. I knew it had to go, that I needed to not be pregnant, but I didn't want to harm it whilst it was here. But I couldn't risk being refused surgery a second time, so I agreed to the 'harmful' ones. The pharmacist asked if she could phone me a week later to see how I was getting on with the tablets. This made me feel uneasy about taking them. Why would she want to monitor me? She didn't know I was pregnant, so what was it with these tablets that harm embryos and mean I have to be monitored? It didn't give me much faith. I didn't take a tablet. Overnight it hit me hard- what if I end up in the same situation in 2 weeks time? The doctor said the tablets might make me light-headed as I don't have high blood pressure. What was I doing considering taking them? In 2 weeks time, if I am in the same situation,I would regret so much not taking the medical abortion option now. It's going to be horrible whichever way I go, but this baby that's growing inside me... I need it to stop now. I don't want it to grow for another 2 weeks. The next morning, first thing, I rang the clinic and they said no problem... come in at 8am tomorrow. Just like that. It felt right. No-one told me that if my blood pressure was high I couldn't have the tablets, but as it turned out, my first reading was ok. The nurse was truly wonderful, I felt cared for and she had a very supportive attitude, taking time to talk to me and reassuring me. This was so much appreciated. I took the first tablet and we went to the beach. I walked for hours, just me and my dog. I felt at peace with things. It was happening smoothly, this was the right thing to do. I had no symptoms aside from some initial nausea, no pain, I felt normal. I went back to the clinic and did start to feel scared. I bought ibuprofen, paracetamol and a hot water bottle on the way back in Tesco. I saw baby clothes and babies in prams. It didn't upset me. I was doing the right thing. Back at the clinic I didn't need to wait... straight in for a blood pressure check... which was high! Deep breaths, calm down... it was still over what it should be, but only just. She gave me the tablets. Oh, the relief! I inserted them myself in the toilets, then went back for my antibiotic tablets to be taken there and then and then a brief but reassuring chat with the lovely nurse, she gave me my codeine, pregnancy test (3 weeks then do it), condoms and a letter for a doctor or hospital in case of complications and then we were out. I asked her if I was likely to see anything of the actual pregnancy as it passed and she said not unless you go looking for it. Best thing to do is to sit on the toilet when the worst of it is happening and then use pads after that. I remembered this advice. It took about an hour to get home and by this time I was having niggly pains. I put on my pyjamas, got on the sofa, had some food and put the TV on. A box set of Alan Partridge. I know this sounds bizarre- it's not the usual background environment to an abortion, I'm sure, but it made me feel safe, easy watching, took my mind off things. Being relaxed really helped. As the pains kicked in, I took the full dose of ibuprofen and paracetamol and found the hot water bottle immensely effective. Relax, don't worry, let it happen. I didn't need any more pain relief, it was all working just fine. I hadn't had any bleeding but at about 7pm I became aware that something was happening. It felt ok. It got heavier and I went and sat on the toilet a few times. It felt ok, it was all manageable. There was a lot of blood and clots, but nothing worrying. There wasn't much pain. I did end up seeing 'something'- it was there when I wiped... white and mucus covered, but it wasn't a full embryo, just 'matter', a bit like suckers on an octopus. I felt sick, but also relieved. It was passing. It was all fine. I went to bed, took my next dose of ibuprofen and slept the whole night. I was surprised. I felt relaxed and at peace. The next day there was blood but nothing scary- just a heavy period. I took more pain killers in the morning, but didn't need anything after that. I never did need the codeine. It is now 5 days on and I am bleeding, like a period. Nothing hurts, I feel tired but fine. I am back at work, I am getting on with my life. I am so glad it happened this way, and slightly guilty that it was so less traumatic than I expected. I would even describe it as a gentle process. I was expecting the equivalent of early labour pains, but it wasn't like that at all. I was expecting it to be full on, crying out loud pain, but it wasn't. It was all perfectly manageable and keeping calm and trusting in the process made all the difference. It felt natural, and I took comfort in knowing that my body was doing what it would have done for a normal miscarriage- there was nothing medically intrusive with surgery and anaesthesia. It was the right way to do it for me, even though it was the complete opposite to what I thought would have been right for me originally. I really hope reading my story will help others in my situation. It is never going to be an easy decision, but it is often the right one, and thinking your way through everything and making the right decision and choosing the right treatment for you and your circumstances will, I'm sure, help reconcile everything in the long run.
Editor's CommentIt sounded a difficult and anxious experience for you at the clinic, but ultimately turned out better than you had anticipated. The medical abortion procedure seems to vary enormously from very little pain to quite severe pain, and I suppose the difficulty is that you don't know what your own experience will be like.
I hope you recover well, for post abortion support. should you need it.