I have read a few stories online now about women who have been through an abortion and unfortunately my story does not seem to mirror the general consensus towards the choice of termination. I am a typical 21-year-old university student, trying to achieve the dream I've had of becoming a doctor from the time I was a small kid. This is my story. I fell in love with my best friend in my 2nd year of university. Our relationship was very complicated because we both came from different ethnic backgrounds and our parents did not approve of us dating. This did not stop us from becoming intimate and taking our relationship to all the "next-levels". I am going to be a doctor so I took for granted that I know all the risks of getting pregnant and that I successfully protected myself from it. I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with my boyfriend and I knew I wanted to have his children. My dreams of becoming a purely career-driven adult with no time for children or a marriage started to change when I was with him. My new dream was to become a wonderful surgeon, a wonderful mother and live happily with a man that supported me. One day (to be exact) before returning home for the holidays I decided to take a pregnancy test. I did this as a routine to make sure I was never blind-sided were I to fall pregnant. I did not expect the test to come back positive - IT DID! My room-mates who were with me at the time told me to call my boyfriend and tell him before making any drastic decisions. when he arrived I told him while he sat across from me, sweat dripping from his brow. At that point he was supportive, saying the things that every girl would want to hear in that situation - "don't worry", "we will do this together", "I am here for you" and the clincher "I love you so much no matter what". We went to the hospital and I took a blood test which showed elevated HCG levels which simply means PREGNANT!! To be honest, my first reaction to finding out that I was pregnant was a feeling of happiness. I held my tummy in disbelief and smiled. I didn't notice the worried, pained expressions of everyone around me. No one felt the same way as me. My room-mates said they think I should have an abortion but ultimately the decision was mine to make. MY boyfriend said we will talk about it when we get home. So I waited. I couldn't stop the maternal feeling that started to spread through me at that point. I didn't tell anyone how I was feeling. When my boyfriend and I talked his entire attitude towards me changed. He said that now that he had seen his father and his family he couldn't imagine breaking their hearts by telling them he got me pregnant, he said his father would stop paying for his education, he said my parents would do the same. I fought him as hard I could. I said I could do this. If they (by they I mean my parents and him) could just help me financially and emotionally for the 3 years then I could have my baby and my career. He said nothing. I said I have a plan and I have courage and I want nothing more than to have my baby. He said nothing. Eventually he said that he can't because he is not ready and that if I had it he would not acknowledge the child was his. I said you don't have to marry me, I don't need you, just let me have my baby. He said "please do this for me".
After that I told my sister and my best friend and their response was when are you having the abortion? No one in my life could comprehend why I would want this baby and no one thought I could. I am not a religious person but I have never prayed as much as I did in those few days. I did not stay strong for very long after that. I begged my then ex-boyfriend to let me keep it, he kept saying please. I felt alone and defeated and I told him to make an appointment to get an abortion. It was a Thursday morning and my appointment was made for ten o'clock at a Marie Stopes clinic. When I arrived at the clinic the first thing that struck me was how many girls that looked just like me were sitting in the waiting room. I filled out a form and waited. I believe that once a baby is conceived it is an entity different from yourself, it is made up of different D.N.A, it is foreign to your own body. While I waited I wondered how many of these women thought the same as me. I opted to take the medical abortion. I didn't want to be in that clinic longer than I had to. I remember sitting across from the nurse telling myself not to break-down. My ex-boyfriend was brooding over me, I felt like he was only there to make sure I did it. I was silent until the nurse filled a glass of water and placed it in front of me. I started to sob uncontrollably, I started to choke, I started to make sounds that I didn't give my body consent to make. The nurse asked me why I was crying, was it because someone was hitting me. I managed to shake my head. I could not speak so my ex had to answer all the questions. How old am I? is this my first child? I think I broke in that moment. The nurse put the first tablet in my hand, it kept falling. She said why are crying? you don't want to do this? I wanted to say I want this baby. She continued to tell me that I have to make it fast because she has other people to attend to. My ex kept saying my name. I put the tablet in my mouth. I couldn't swallow it. I closed my eyes and forced it down my throat. The next day I took the course of tablets that would force contractions. The way your body reacts to the tablets is similar to how you would think your body would react to poison. I felt weak but the pain was not so intense for me. The bleeding was unbearable. I was 8 weeks pregnant so I knew I was going to see the foetus (as the internet likes to call it)/ the tissue (as the abortion clinic likes to call it)/ my baby (the only way I ever saw it). It was the worst moment of my entire life. It was a small white mass about 15mm long and it had two black eyes. I felt like the biggest failure as it lay before me in a spoonful of blood. I will never be the same person again. This experience took something valuable from me. For women who are having an abortion in the future I would advise you to have a surgical abortion if you find blood and having to see the foetus/tissue/baby traumatizing. For those of you who are unsure about having an abortion I advise you to make a calculated decision because it is something you can't take back. You don't have to believe in God or be a perfect human being to want your baby and choosing to have an abortion is the best option for some women. Please, make sure that whatever decision you make, it is the right decision for you and whatever you believe is happening to your body.
It is very distressing to lose a pregnancy that you longed to keep, and the loss of a relationship that seemed so different from how it turned out to be. It is hard to pursue a career with a young child, but not impossible especially with plenty of support from friends, family and partner. It seems that everyone turned their back on you when you needed them most. I believe you will recover from this but you may never be quite the same person you were, as experiences do change us. There is post abortion support available, if you would like to talk this through with a trained practitioner, for post abortion support.
or call the national helpline 0300 4000 999.