My experience of the procedure was a positive one (physically)
I'm sharing my story here for anyone worried about having an abortion. Having one is the woman's choice so I'm not here to persuade anyone to have one or not have one. That's your decision. But I can tell you my experience of the procedure was a positive one (physically).
I live in Ireland and due to ridiculous laws, I cannot get an abortion here. So I had to travel to England. I chose to have a surgical abortion (click for more surgical abortion stories) as I didn't want to be bleeding or cramping too much coming home on the plane. I also chose not to have an anaesthetic as again I didn't want any complications coming home.
I arrived at the clinic early the morning of the abortion with my boyfriend. There was a range of women there, from very young (she looked around 16) to a woman who was 43 (I chatted with her afterwards). There also was another Irish girl there. Again disgraceful that we have to travel to another country (but that's another issue).
I was brought in to a consulting room and asked a number of questions, including was I sure I wanted this abortion and was not being forced to do it (this was asked a few times).
After another wait, I was brought to another room and scanned where I was told I was 7 weeks 6 days pregnant.
Again after another wait (there was a calm feeling in the waiting room I have to mention) I was brought upstairs to the theatre. I confirmed I did not want an anaesthetic. It was my turn to go into theatre. I lay on the table and the nurse and doctors spoke very reassuringly to me and kept the topic on other things (Guinness and other Irish things).
I felt a slight cramp at one stage, really nothing at all, just like a period cramp, and then it was over. I was shocked it was finished so quickly. I actually asked the nurse was she sure it was finished! I don't know how long the procedure took but it felt like 2 minutes.
I was wheeled out to recovery where other girls were coming round after their anaesthetic and I was glad I didn't have to go throught that bit. I was then brought to another room where I sat for a while, having some water and my blood pressure checked.
I'm not sure how long I waited there, maybe 15/20 minutes, and then the last area I went to was a room where we got hot drinks (I needed a hot chocolate) and biscuits. It was good to sit with the other girls and talk. There was a special thing between us.
I was given painkillers and antibiotics, information on post-abortion, a letter for my doctor if needed, and that was it. There was a fair bit of waiting but the procedure itself was so quick and not painful (and that's without anaesthetic).
Afterwards, I didn't bleed much until maybe a week after. And then it was sporadic. Don't lift anything heavy. I found that out when I lifted my daughter. That caused heavy bleeding. But all in all the whole thing was straightforward with no issues.
Don't be put off by scare stories. I wonder when I read some if they're real or made up by anti-abortion people. That certainly was not my experience. If you are 100% sure you want to have one then don't be frightened. You'll be ok. And you're not alone. Many others have gone through it and we're still here and fine.
Best of luck, and don't let anyone else judge you. It's your choice.
Kate sent this story in on 17/08/2015