I've had 2 abortions in the past: one surgical at 8 weeks and one medical (in a hospital) at 14 weeks
Today I had my medical abortion (I've just got back home) and I just wanted to write this so people know what to expect.
I've had 2 abortions in the past, one surgical at 8 weeks and one medical (in a hospital) at 14 weeks. I was incredibly scared for both as I had no idea what to expect other than what I'd researched on the Internet. But I just want to say please don't worry!!!
I have the lowest pain threshold of anyone I know and also a fairly big fear of injections so, to be honest, I don't really know how the hell I managed to handle anything haha. But both my experiences were quite positive.
Surgical abortion at 8 weeks at Marie Stopes
So my surgical abortion was at Marie Stopes.
I went for a consultation, talked stuff through with the nurses who were very kind, had my scan and chlamydia, gonorrhoea and HIV checks. They just consisted of one swab you put inside you which you then put in a bottle and then the HIV check was a tiny pinprick in your finger. Honestly, nothing to worry about!
2 days later I had the surgery
Then I returned 2 days later for my surgery and was sh*tting it! The night before and journey there was the worst bit but honestly, I don't know why I was so scared. It's the fear of the unknown but there's nothing to fear! I'm a wimp so if I can do it, you can do it, I promise!
So I went in and had to wait around a while then got called in to discuss future contraception and have my blood pressure taken. Waited some more and then finally I got called upstairs. Then waited more haha.
Eventually, I got called into a room where I got changed into the gown and took off my bottom half. I was so scared I ended up talking to the cleaner for the remaining 15 min before I went in for surgery! She was so nice and also my boyfriend wasn't allowed to come upstairs so I felt more nervous, but speak to any staff they are all so kind and it'll help to calm you down!
Leaving whoever you came with is scary
If you do go with a partner or friend/family leaving them is probably the scariest part as it made me feel more alone but don't worry you can do it! I also was on the phone with my boyfriend most of the time whilst he was in the waiting room. He was only downstairs but just speaking to him made me more relaxed.
I had my surgical abortion under general anaesthetic
So I eventually got called in and hopped onto a bed, got wheeled in and met the anaesthetist etc. I chose to have a general anaesthetic which I liked because I don't remember anything so felt no pain and also when I came around I felt AMAZING.
The procedure only lasts 10 min and sedation or anaesthetic is definitely the best because you don't feel or remember a thing. The anaesthetic injection did scare me but I just looked away and talked to the cleaner haha and before I knew it I was being wheeled into the recovery room!
The first thing I remember was coming around and saying to the girl next to me "holy sh*t this feels so good". I don't know what anaesthetic they gave me but I was as high as anything and felt amazing!
I then was given water and biscuits and chilled for 10 min then told to have a wee and see how much bleeding there was and it was fine to go!
There literally was no pain
The surgical procedure was definitely my preferred option as there literally was no pain involved plus the antibiotics/contraception they give you is all done whilst your asleep so I had no recollection of the contraceptive injection or someone shoving antibiotics up my bum haha.
The next few days I had mild cramps and I never get period pains so they really were mild, anyone could handle them! However I did have diarrhoea which was pretty gross, it didn't last long though!
Medical abortion at 14 weeks
The medical one today was the worse of the 2, probably because it was at 14 weeks but also because everything is so real. But even so, please don't be scared! I cried almost every day since I found out how far along I was and that I'd have to have a medical but I can honestly say it wasn't as bad as I was expecting!
So I'm not going to sugar coat it because I'm so glad I read people's experiences and knew exactly what I was in for as I could come to terms with everything. If this is the first experience you've read it will definitely come as a shock but try and absorb everything and know that you can do it and everything will be okay!!
I went in 2 days ago and took a mifepristone tablet which terminated the pregnancy. Nothing at all happened and its rare that anything will happen between taking it and having the abortion. I did find it emotional though as if I had had enough money and wasn't in university at the moment I would've loved to have kept my baby, so knowing that it was dead inside me was devastating.
Once you've taken this pill you can't reverse it
Make sure you know it's the right decision as once you've taken this pill you can't reverse it!
I then went in today (2 days later) and was shown to my room. I can't even put into words how scared I was but I've never been so scared about something in my life!
After this, I knew it would get painful
I and my boyfriend played board games for a good hour before the nurse came in and gave me four tablets to insert vaginally with a pessary. I knew after this it would get painful!
Nothing happened for 30 min then I had mild pains, felt a weird pop, which didn't hurt and then 5 min later I was on the toilet, my waters had broken and I was being sick into a bowl. It wasn't great but it only lasted 2 minutes. My boyfriend was definitely more scared than me!
I then felt fine, but cold, so we had a cuddle and about 10 min later I had a bit more pain, it was literally like period pains. I never get them so I'm sure anyone would handle it better than me but to be honest I was fine, we continued to play board games and I wasn't phased.
This is when to take paracetamol
But at this stage is when you should get some paracetamol as it will get gradually worse and the paracetamol won't start to take effect for a while.
Things will then get more painful but focus on your breathing and it should help.
As soon as things gradually pick up in pain ask for more painkillers. I had a tablet painkiller inserted rectally it was quick and pain-free and then the contractions eased off amazingly in about 5 minutes.
I also got very sleepy and felt really good and cuddled my boyfriend on the bed. I could still feel contractions but they were a lot milder and I could handle them well.
Before the second painkiller, I felt about 10-12 contractions before I had about a 10-second break.
Afterwards, I had 3 contraction pains, much milder with about 45 seconds between. I almost fell asleep between contractions and it felt good :)
In about 10/15 minutes the pain really eased and I could barely feel anything, suddenly felt more awake and then needed the toilet.
I wanted some time before they took my baby away
I knew something big was coming and then it ended up being my baby. He was still attached really strongly by the umbilical cord but I pinched the cord myself as I wanted some time with him before I called the nurses in case they took him away straight away.
I couldn't believe how formed he was, he had the cutest little fingers and toes, only the size of the palm of my hand, but I did feel so bad. He was just so cute and had little veins and everything was perfect, it just made me sad I couldn't have had a good life for him.
I took it step-by-step and it wasn't as traumatic
I won't bore you with my emotions but I think the only way I handled seeing him was because I had come to terms with what was going to happen and what I'd see.
No nurses tell you what your baby will look like. They make out that you swallow a few pills, have period pains for a tiny bit, have a big period and it goes. It's seriously not like that.
You are basically giving birth. It sounds horrendous but the pains are fine with even mild painkillers. You can have strong meds like pethidine if you're really struggling as well so don't worry about the pain!
I'd have had a breakdown if I hadn't researched it
If I hadn't done some research I think I'd have had a breakdown today but I knew what to expect so I took it step-by-step and it wasn't as traumatic.
I then had like 3 more waves of super mild contractions then the placenta came out which felt weird but not painful and then everything stopped. From then on there was no pain apart from when they had to take my blood to find out which blood group I was.
The whole process lasted 2 hours
Overall the whole process lasted 2 hours. I only really had about 30/45 minutes of contractions and only had to have the one set of 4 tablets.
It sounds bad thinking about that length of pain now but I barely remember it and the painkillers seriously calm it down. Just make sure you get them earlier than me just so you can get the least pain possible!
The main thing is to remember to breathe, remember it'll be over and make sure you ask for painkillers!! They won't come to you.
Also, the contractions are literally labour pains, I think I must've got a seriously bad idea in my head of childbirth because it seriously wasn't that bad. I didn't need gas or pethidine and everything was done so quickly. I think it's because I pushed as I was contracting because it soothed the contractions.
Also, close your eyes and fully relax on the breaks between contractions, it feels so good, calms you down and helps you to breathe and focus on the next wave. Without fully relaxing into the pain-free gap between contractions it would've been so much harder!
You may be scared but honestly, it will be okay
You may have been scared reading this but honestly it will be okay, I can't tell you enough how much of a wimp I am with everything, even being in a hospital creeps me out and a pinch really hurts me but the worst part was having my blood taken!!!
The best way to get through the psychological part (as it can be traumatic seeing your baby) is to absorb all of this information over about 3/4 days.
Cry as much as you need and stay strong. It doesn't matter if you're crying your eyes out in the room after inserting the tablets, it doesn't matter being afraid of the pain and it won't be as bad as you think!
But I just want you to know you seriously can do it! Go kick ass, it's upsetting but you'll get through it and you can move on from this and hopefully have happy, healthy children in the future ❤️ :)
Tara sent this story in on 13/09/2015