I felt so blessed to have two beautiful twins and yet so cursed that I couldn't have them
I found out I was pregnant just after Christmas. I knew I was pregnant before I took the test, I could feel it. I was shocked, my family were shocked. It was very emotional. There were arguments and discussions, positives and negatives but ultimately I think everyone knew that I couldn't do it.
Financially I wasn't able, with debt and a couple of part-time jobs. I didn't have my own flat. The father wasn't interested in any way. There were no extended family members there to support me. I am ill myself, my mother is ill and she would be the only person who could properly offer me support.
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An internal scan revealed twins
A week later I had a scan. It was so early that I had to have an internal scan performed vaginally. The nurse eventually found the foetus...and then the other...it was twins. I was absolutely heartbroken. I knew then that the decision to abort was even more final. I didn't have a say.
We were told to come back in a weeks time for a second scan because the second, smaller twin wasn't as developed and as such, the nurse thought it may be reabsorbed by the body.
If only one survived I would continue the pregnancy
Both my mum and I agreed that if the second one was, we should just go ahead and find a way to care for the other twin. Somehow, carrying one now seemed so much easier. I thought that this baby was being given a second chance, we were being shown that it might not be that hard compared to having two babies to look after.
A week came and went. The second scan was performed, the same scenario. The nurse told me both twins were healthy and active. I was gutted. I felt so blessed to have two beautiful twins and yet so cursed that I couldn't have them. After a long discussion, my mother and I in tears booked me in for the abortion pill the next day but I decided to have it later on the next week, it felt too soon.
I've never felt sadness like it
I wasn't ready. I was an emotional wreck. I can't tell you how awful that feels when you still know you're pregnant, you feel it but you know you can't keep them. I was in tears every night, trying to justify why I HAD to do this awful thing. I kept playing that little scene from Disney's Dumbo on my phone "baby mine"... I've never felt sadness like it.
We visited people, emailed people, asked organisations for help, asked the extended family. I spoke to a few people at work. No one really helped. There was not a lot of financial help available for someone who works. If I went on benefits, I couldn't pay off my debt, I couldn't just quit work as I would be refused benefits.
I had to accept that what I was doing was right
Getting a house would be difficult and the babies would need to be born before I would be given extra points. I had no money to furnish a flat or pay the bills/rent. I thought about when they were older, if I worked, the cost of childcare for two would be horrendous.
I thought about how my body would cope, I would be a high-risk pregnancy, I could end up having major problems with my kidneys because of the strain and the fact that I already show signs of protein in my urine.
I asked my father for help but all he could offer was to have a chat. I realised I had to accept that what I was doing was the right thing. I realised that I couldn't give these babies the basics, never mind what they would deserve. I realised that I struggle as it is to feed myself, so how would I manage to buy double of everything, feed them, feed myself, pay the rent etc... I looked at every possible scenario and I hit a dead end each time.
Medical abortion - first stage
When I finally went up to the hospital that Tuesday morning, the nurse asked me a few questions, proceeded to present me with the tablet and told me to take my time. I quickly grabbed the tablet, swallowed it and said I wanted to leave. I felt numb.
I didn't have any problems, no bleeding or feeling faint. I did, however, notice that I didn't feel pregnant. My breasts stopped hurting. My body looked slimmer as I lost the fluid I was holding.
The second stage
After two days, I went back on Friday morning. That morning I was very ill. I started getting bad pains in my lower stomach, like ovulation/constipation pain. I then passed a lot of jelly-like tissue when I visited the loo. When I stood up to leave, I nearly passed out twice. I was shivering, I felt sick and I was weak.
I eventually made it to the hospital, I felt a lot better at this point. They gave me my own little room. Told me to undress from the waist down and to rest on the bed.
The nurse came in 10 minutes later to explain everything to me. I was given my new contraceptives and a pregnancy test to do in two weeks. I was then given two big blue antibiotic tablets. Then four tablets were inserted vaginally which wasn't overly unpleasant and I then had tablets placed in my bottom for pain relief. I was told to sit or lie down for the next half hour.
The pain began within 20 minutes
Within 20 minutes the pain started. It started to get intense. After the half-hour was up, I went to the toilet (there was a little blood) but I was starting to get contractions that were quite strong and quite painful. I left and got a taxi back home.
I passed two sacs
In 10 minutes, after the taxi ride, I stood up and felt something down below. I ran to the loo and found two pockets of jelly on the pad. That was the two sacs. I was horrified. I couldn't see any foetuses but it was very surreal.
After I had passed them, the pain got better then worse. I ended up with an upset stomach and the blood was very, very heavy. I went to bed for two hours, took my strong painkillers then finally felt better. I now feel ok. Relatively pain-free, still bleeding of course.
It was painful, scary and upsetting
The experience wasn't enjoyable. It was painful and scary and very upsetting. I was told I was 6 weeks so I was quite early but when you pass the pregnancy, you can end up passing what can seem like a large amount, I want other women to know that. Some people have described it as just being a few blood clots, it isn't if you are slightly further on when taking these pills.
No regrets as I had no choice
I don't regret what I did. Why you may ask? Because I had no choice. The only choice I had was to make sure I used birth control properly. I didn't. That was my fault and my partners but I took responsibility for my actions.
I weighed it up. I looked for advice and help all over the internet, from family and from people I knew. I looked at my financial situation, my support network, my housing situation. I didn't look at this selfishly. I could have gone without clothes for myself or parties or holidays (I don't enjoy any of these right now, whilst child-free) but I had to be able to afford the basics at least and I knew it wasn't possible.
I was told throughout the decision making process that I was losing hours at both my jobs resulting in a £400 a month wage loss. This was what made me realise that the decision I made was the correct one.
Figure things out, write lists, speak to people, ask for support
What I want girls/women to know is this. Take the necessary precautions, never risk it. Prevention of pregnancy is key. Even then, we all make mistakes, it happens. Young or old, it is a human trait. That is how we learn.
If you end up in this situation, figure things out, write lists, speak to people, ask for support. Ask yourself what you want out of life. Can you handle this now? I think it is best to weigh up the practical side of things and how you personally feel. Include family members as well, especially if you are young as it has a huge impact on them.
If you have the support and your health and you think you can do it then go for it. If you lack any of these fundamental things, like me, then you need to think carefully about this. I feel like an idiot for allowing this to happen but in the last four weeks, I have learnt a lot. I will never allow this to happen again until I am absolutely ready, with a good partner, wage, health and have good support and a decent living situation.
I have already started looking for full-time work, I have some interviews in the coming weeks, I will start volunteering in a few weeks and I plan to get cracking with my degree. These twin babies have taught me so much in such a little space of time. They have done so much for me already. I keep telling myself that it's ok to make mistakes but you must learn from them, the key is not to repeat it over and over.
Do not beat yourself up but do learn from your mistakes
I hope that this story helps girls/women in a similar situation. I hope you won't beat yourself up over it. I hope that you can move on to better things, come out of this a stronger, more mature person. I hope that you can accept that sometimes, you just don't have a choice but if you make that choice, for whatever reason, that is ok, you should not feel like you are a bad person.
Some people can make you feel so, so bad about it like you are some monster but you aren't. You are a human being who MAY have made a mistake, who has to learn from that mistake and move on with a positive outlook. Everyone's situation is different. Everyone leads a different life, no one else can tell you that your decision was wrong, they have no right. Life is a big learning curve.
I feel positive knowing that I was finally given a good kick up the backside to move my life on. I believe that they understand, planet earth is unpredictable, life is unpredictable, we are all just trying to survive. I did not want to drag my children up in a jobless environment, struggling to make ends meet. It isn't easy and it wouldn't be fair on them.
These twins were not a mistake to me, they weren't products or blood clots, they were so small but taught me so much. I hope one day, in another ten years or so, I can provide my new babies with everything they need and WANT, that we won't struggle, that we will have a beautiful life filled with beautiful things and it will be because I made this decision, the decision that was correct for me, at the time.
I will never look back. I don't believe in having regrets, I believe in moving forward, learning from it and propelling yourself on to bigger and better things.
Terms mentioned in this story
- Abortion Pill
The term Abortion Pill is commonly used to refer to the termination of pregnancy by use of medication rather than by surgical procedure. Rather than being a single tablet, as "Pill" suggests, medical termination involves multiple tablets in two stages usually around 24-48 hours apart.