I elected to have a surgical abortion with sedation at 6.5 weeks at Marie Stopes
Married and in my early 30s, when I discovered I was (accidentally!) pregnant I knew this wasn't the right time. We'd like to have a child one day - but I don't mean next year - I mean maybe in 3-4 years time. We're responsible and mature, and my husband is broodier than I am (and his parents beg for grandchildren at every opportunity), but we truly just don't have the means or the mindset at the moment.
When I have a child I want to feel positive about it, feel that I'm able to provide well for it. I want the news to be exciting, not sad. I elected to have a surgical abortion with sedation at 6½ weeks via Marie Stopes, who was absolutely wonderful, kind and caring throughout the entire process. Only my husband and my very best friend know.
[This page has links for stories organised according to aspects of abortion such as abortion type, abortion provider and the number of weeks of pregnancy.]
Most of the other women looked my age
I thought I must be one of the only married women in her thirties who would make such a choice and I started to judge myself for it - but when I went in for the termination, although I don't know their stories, of course, most of the other women looked around my age, with partners in tow or wedding bands. There were also a couple of younger women with (probably) their mums.
I was worried that my husband might feel differently to me about this, but we had a really good talk about it, and felt we made the decision together and that it was a positive thing. I checked with him often to see if he was alright or if he felt sad.
And I told him about the counselling numbers to call and that it was normal if he wanted to talk to someone besides me. But he reassured me that he was not sad and was behind me 100%, and he took care of me lovingly throughout everything. He did ask me for reassurance a couple of times that we'd definitely have a child later, and I felt a little guilty then, but I reassured him that yes we definitely will.
They made everything as comfortable and efficient as possible
Marie Stopes made every effort to make the process as comfortable and efficient as possible, from the moment I walked in the door to the moment I left. The only unpleasant part was that in the actual procedure room they were suddenly far more impersonal and swift and clinical than everyone else had been - but I suppose that fits with what they are doing.
The injection of the sedation I found painful - but then I was out in 2 seconds anyway and woke up on a comfy lounger with a bowl of biscuits next to me. The nurse made me a coffee, other women came through from surgery in a constant stream, which made me feel not alone in this - I found it comforting.
Each was looked after with the same kindness and care. In total, I was at the clinic for barely 3 hours. An hour of that was recovering from sedation. I never had to wait more than 10 minutes for counselling/waiting for the procedure, etc.
The clinic was located near to many shops but in a tucked-away place, was very safe, and no one was protesting outside or anywhere near.
I've had no pain and very little bleeding after the procedure - I felt immediate relief from debilitating nausea, discomfort, brain fog and fatigue I had felt for weeks. Only my breasts are still painful, but already much less swollen. I was able to go out for dinner with friends later on the same day.
Marie Stopes treated me with sensitivity and dignity
I will say that I had my initial consultation through my local hospital (I avoided my GP, who is an unsympathetic dragon in general), prior to going to Marie Stopes. This was a mistake. I was treated brusquely and with scorn - made to wait in a packed waiting room with heavily pregnant women and screaming babies, despite having been told myself not to bring children. Marie Stopes treat you with sensitivity and dignity in this very specific situation.
Terms mentioned in this story
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- Surgical Abortion
Surgical abortion is a medical procedure to remove the pregnancy from the womb.
There are three ways in which a woman may undergo the procedure:
Local anaesthetic (awake but things are numbed)
Conscious sedation (awake but relaxed due to having been given a sedative)
General anaesthetic (completely asleep).
There are also two methods of carrying out a surgical abortion depending on the stage of pregnancy:
Vacuum or suction aspiration where a tube is inserted through the entrance to the womb (the cervix) and on into the womb. The pregnancy is then removed through the tube using suction.
Dilation and evacuation (D&E) where special instruments called forceps are inserted through the cervix and into the womb to remove the pregnancy.