I'm finding it difficult to think about my surgical abortion
I found out that I was pregnant on New Year's Eve. I immediately went into panic mode, thinking things like “my boyfriend's going to freak out and leave me!”.
I hadn't had any of the symptoms like morning sickness, so I just assumed I wasn't that far on. I hadn't had a period for months either, which I thought was down to me coming off the pill. Oh, how wrong I was.
[Links to more stories organised according to abortion method and stage of pregnancy]
My GP thought I was around 15 weeks pregnant
After telling my boyfriend, we both mutually agreed that it wasn't the right time. We were living in between houses, I was literally months away from finishing University and he was the only one who had a job.
After that, we were passed from pillar to post. I first went to my GP, who felt my stomach and said he thought I was around 15 weeks. After that, I had to make my own appointment at my local hospital for a scan and a consultation.
The scan showed I was 13 weeks pregnant
The scan showed that I was 13 weeks pregnant - something I definitely didn't want to hear. I originally wanted to go for the medical termination, however, the hospital I was at said they didn't do them on women who were that far on, so I had to make another appointment at a different hospital.
It was moving and starting to show
By this time, I had to live with it inside me for 3 weeks. It was awful, I kept feeling movements which I kept thinking were it moving around and I started showing. I'm really skinny so it was pretty easy to see!
I thought surgical abortion would be less traumatic
At this point, I decided to go for a surgical abortion, as I thought this would be far less traumatic.
I'd be last as I was furthest on in pregnancy
A week later, my boyfriend and I arrived at the hospital. It was 8 in the morning and we were told I would be the last to have the operation as I was further on in the pregnancy.
At 11am, I was given the first tablet of which I had to insert inside myself. This was to widen the cervix. I felt a little uncomfortable after about an hour of taking it, but nothing too extreme.
At 1:00pm, I was given the second tablet which brought on a little more pain. I had to curl up into a ball on the bed in order for it to go away. I've had cramp like this before so I was pretty prepared. At this point, the other women were being escorted down to theatre.
I kept counting down in my head how many more it would be before I was due to go. The anticipation was unreal.
It was my turn - I was in total panic
At around 3:00pm, it was my turn to go. Leaving my boyfriend behind was the most heart-breaking moment. I didn't want to leave go of his hand as I feel the most safe when he's with me. Little did I know that he was following me right down to the room where I was to be put to sleep.
I was in total panic mode at this point because I was terrified at the thought of being put to sleep. The nurses were lovely, they kept me calm and spoke to me about my University course. One of the nurses could see that I was really stressed, so she held my hand as I drifted off.
In recovery, I felt so relieved
The next thing I knew, I was lying in recovery. I felt so relieved that it was over, I just couldn't wait to see my boyfriend and know that we didn't have to worry anymore.
It's difficult to think about it
At the moment, I'm finding it difficult to think about what I did. I keep reliving moments and thinking that I'm a bad person. But some days, I can think about it and know what I did was the right thing.
All I can say to people considering having an abortion is to definitely go down the surgical route. It felt like it was over within seconds and there's no pain afterwards.
Also, don't keep things locked up in your head. Speak to someone, even if it's a counsellor. It's not good to keep it hidden away!