I am writing this to help anyone considering a medical abortion.
After making my decision, I went to the doctors and they referred me to my local hospital. There I saw a consultant who made sure I understood the facts and that I really was certain about my decision. I had to sign some paperwork and she gave me an examination which only involved her using her hands to prod my belly and the other inside me. It was no more invading than having a smear test. I was actually expecting a lot more like a scan. Then a nurse spoke to me; she took a blood test to see if I was rhesus negative or positive and went through what I would experience two days later. She gave me a table to swallow, explaining that at that point I would be committed to losing the pregnancy.
After that I went home. I went to work the next day; I felt a bit sick and tired but nothing much worse than I had already experienced. I had some light bleeding - nothing as strong as a period.
The next day I got to the local NHS hospital as early as I could (7.45). There a nurse took my blood pressure and gave me four tablets. I had the choice to insert them myself or she could do it. I was concerned that I may not put them in properly but decided to do it myself as I wanted to feel less invaded. (8.45) I didn't feel anything for ten minutes or so apart from a warm tingling sensation where the tablets were. After that, I started to feel quite ill, faint and very sick. At this point my boyfriend left as he had to go back to work for a bit but also I felt so uncomfortable I just wanted to be alone.
I varied from sitting on the loo (I had my own bathroom) to lying on my bed. I couldn't get comfortable. I then listened to my body and realised I was actually having contractions. This made it easier to deal with. I lay on my front on the bed, my eyes shut and breathed through the pain. It was easier like that because I could predict when the pain was going to come and I always knew it was going to go. At this point, a hot water bottle would have been great but the water wasn't hot enough. I was told I could ask for pain relief at anytime but at this point I couldn’t face talking to anyone. There was no blood and I was really concerned that it wasn't going to work.
Just before 11am, I felt something different. It was like when I know I'm going to get my period and I can almost feel when I start bleeding. I went to the loo and a massive clot just whooshed out and there was a feeling of relief. The pain stopped. I was convinced it was over. I went back into my room feeling faint but better. Then the contractions started again and I had to have pain relief, not because it was worse but, because I knew it was working, I felt up to speaking to someone. The painkillers helped a lot.
After about another twenty minutes (11.15), I went to the loo again and there were more clots. After this the pain stopped totally. I was very very cold, shivery and faint, but felt so much relief that it was over. At that point I realised how women give birth and can forget about how painful it was in some cases. I was in an awful lot of pain for over two hours but the rush of relief was intense and I found myself thinking - ah, that wasn't so bad. Because, in the grand scale of it all, it wasn't. I just wished that they had explained that I wouldn't bleed for a while because I spent a long time thinking I would have to take more drugs or have a surgical termination.
My boyfriend came back, brought me hot tea and comfort. We had to wait around for ages and ages, not really understanding why but, at the same time, I didn't mind because I felt so much better.
The bleeding was just like having a period and no more massive clots came out. At 4.30, after having my blood pressure tested again, I was sent home. I was totally exhausted but that's all. The next day I went to work and I had more energy than in weeks and weeks.
Five days later, I am still bleeding like a period with the occasional clot, but nothing extreme or unpleasant. I was worried about how I would feel afterwards but I know I made the right decision and am looking forward to my future with my lovely supportive boyfriend who was there for me, and still is, even though he didn’t totally agree with my decision, but ultimately it's my body and the decision had to be mine.
Editor’s note: Thank you for sharing your story with us…I’m sure many readers will appreciate your straightforward factual account of your experience so that they know the kind of thing to expect with a medical termination.
You seem to be very focused on the physical aspects of your experience and although you allude to your emotions having been affected, it sounds as if you have now successfully tucked them away and allowed your rationality to come to the fore. It sounds as if you are a very strong person in many ways.
You don’t say how thoroughly you considered every aspect of your decision - not only the circumstances, but also the deeper underlying heart messages. I hope you feel that you had sufficient time and opportunity to consider the deeper aspects of your instinct, conscience and beliefs and feel you made a fully informed decision.
Lastly, I sense a slight disconnect with your boyfriend over this decision. You say he is lovely and supportive, which is great, but it sounds like you had the trump card – that it’s your body and your decision and not really about what he may have wanted. Many men feel marginalised or left out in the decision-making process (even if it’s true that some men don’t want to take any responsibility for it at all!) and I wonder how your boyfriend is feeling now that it’s over. I wonder if he may have been supportive of what you wanted because he didn’t want to lose the relationship with you.
If at any time you and/or your boyfriend need support for coming to terms with the meaning of this event in your lives, then please visit a centre, ring the helpline or use Online Advisor.