I was told that the medical way was better for me firstly because it was 'helping nature along' ...

By anonymous on 21/04/2008
I was nine weeks and three days pregnant when I had a scan that proved to me that I was pregnant. Until this point I think I was in denial and totally believed everyone had got it wrong. My periods were always late so I wasn't too panicked when, two weeks after Christmas, it still hadn't come. I was and am still in a loving relationship with my boyfriend but after too much wine one night we had unprotected sex. Little did I know that this night would change my life forever.

I decided to have a medical termination as, having never had an operation, I was frightened of being put to sleep. I was told that the medical way was better for me firstly because it was 'helping nature along' and secondly because it can be a shock to be put to sleep, have the baby removed and wake up never knowing what had really happened. I think they tell you this because they want you to realise the sheer enormity of what you are doing. However, believe me now, what I went through was not 'helping nature along'. It was the worst experience of my life.

I went to the hospital on a Friday and had my first pill by mouth. This was to stop the baby’s heart beat. I didn't come easily to this decision and on the night before I nearly backed out, until my boyfriend said he couldn't be a dad right now. I guess I felt alone and had no other choice. I took the pill. I went back to the hospital on the following Sunday. I was already very emotional as I had started to bleed in the shower that morning. I had two small pills inserted at the neck of my womb by a doctor. At this point, and for about the next twenty minutes, I was fine. Then the pain started.

Unable to move from lying down for an hour so the pills could dissolve and stay in place, I was in agony. This went on for what seemed like hours, but in reality I lost my baby pretty quickly. I passed some blood before and each time I went to the toilet had to show what I had passed into a bed pan to the nurse. It sound very humiliating but at the time I was in so much pain I really wasn't aware. By now, I was being violently sick and I was very dizzy. I literally looked so pale, I was green. I was allowed pain relief.

A short time later, I can only describe it as a feeling of something pulling away inside me. I went to the toilet and felt something slip out into the bed pan. It was my baby. Nothing could have prepared me for that sight. I was told not to look on a previous visit to the hospital, but how do you not? It was tiny, white and had small arms and legs. About half an hour later, I passed what I believe was the after birth. That looked like a large blood clot. I was allowed home by about three that day. Still in a lot of pain, I experienced heavy bleeding for about a week after that and terrible stomach ache.

Some people may think that I am a cruel person for doing what I did, but no-one can punish me more than I punish myself. I still feel very alone even after nearly a month. At first I was ok, maybe because I was still having the bleeding and the pain, but in the following weeks the enormity of what I had done finally hit me. I will never ever stop seeing the image of my baby in that cardboard pan, or forgive myself for not even taking a minute with it, just to say sorry, but I didn't. I was in too much pain.

I find it hard as my boyfriend's younger sister has a little baby and his older one has just found out she is pregnant. My boyfriend is a wonderful person but he never talks about what we did. Looking back I wish I had taken him with me on the day it all happened as well as my mum. Maybe then he would have more of an idea of what I went through. I saw two other girls that day in the clinic. They came alone. I have no idea how they went through it, or if they went home as quickly as I did. I often think of them too. I planted a small rose tree for my baby and wrote a letter which I buried underneath. I said everything I felt and how I was so very sorry. I will never forgive myself or forget, but it was a choice I made. I only hope that even though the memories will never fade, the pain may lessen in time. Thank you for reading my story.

Editor’s note: Thank you for being willing to share your story with us…You have had a great shock, faced with the reality of what an abortion does. The eyes of your heart always see, deep down, the reality of what’s happened, but you’ve had the ‘double whammy’ of seeing the result with the eyes of your head as well.

As you say, you sound as if you feel very alone in all this, alone with your feelings of guilt and grief. You’ve made a positive step to alleviate your feelings by planting the rose tree and writing the letter, and you’ve clearly taken responsibility for your choice, but there is a sense that you think you don’t deserve to be forgiven or to forgive yourself, that you should bear the punishment for this. Sometimes it feels better to us to pay the price, but this is really an emotional prison. The good news is that there is a way to walk out of this and the first step is to talk to an advisor at your nearest centre about ‘The Journey’ post-abortion recovery programme. It’s early days for you yet, but you do not have to bear this pain alone. We’ll be thinking of you.

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