I explained my extreme anxiety of injections in funny places but was immediately DISMISSED
Having read through many stories on here before my procedure, and seeing one lady had also attended the same hospital, I have decided to share my story. A couple of days ago I had an abortion at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, UK.
Having found out I was pregnant on Christmas Eve, the decision to terminate was made almost immediately with my partner as we are not financially able to bring up a child yet.
I was referred to the hospital following a telephone consultation with GP, and knew I was around 2 weeks pregnant at this point (4 wks technically from last period).
I immediately got sent an appointment for the hospital from the GP, which was for the 2nd Jan. I was relieved that I only had to wait around a week to have the consultation at the hospital, and had already been researching methods of termination.
Although this was a position I never wanted or expected to be in, having been on contraception, I did feel as emotionally and physically prepared as possible for the consultation.
My partner came with me, and was allowed to stay with me the whole time to which I was so grateful for. I definitely recommend taking someone with you if possible, as you never quite know how things will turn (as discussed later).
The first part of the consultation was with a sonographer, who firstly performed an abdominal ultrasound. She was a very kind lady. She couldn't see what she needed to see, and had to perform an internal ultrasound. There was no discomfort and is not anything to worry about if you are ever in this position.
I met the doctor at the second part of the consultation. He had a soothing voice, however the positive points really did end from there onwards.
I never expected to be having the procedure on the same day as the initial consultation, hence why having my partner was so beneficial (as well as needing the emotional support). I had already decided that I wanted the surgical procedure with sedation.
The doctor informed me that by dates provided, I would likely be 5 weeks pregnant. He went on to say that they could not see ANYTHING and hypothesised whether:
- I was even pregnant
- the life was too small to see (which I couldn't understand as many other women on here have had early scans)
- the pregnancy was ectopic.
Due to the unknown and risk of ectopic pregnancy, the doctor wanted to perform the surgical procedure at 2 pm on the same day. This was music to my ears. I knew about the procedure (YouTube is not for the faint hearted nowadays), but what worried me is that he gave no detail of it other than he would use local anaesthetic and remove the pregnancy.
I immediately explained my extreme anxiety of injections in funny places, questioned how many injections, and requested sedation. At this point I was immediately DISMISSED, and told if I wanted sedation I may as well have GA and WAIT 2 WEEKS for the next appointment.
At this point I was extremely upset, and began panicking. He sat there and looked at me, with his face basically saying "for god sake, I'm going to be late for the next appointment at this rate".
I knew I couldn't wait another 2 weeks, face morning sickness etc. and a build up of more anxiety about the whole situation. I pleaded with him that I just could not face the injections without sedation.
The doctor suggested gas and air as a replacement for LA and sedation. I asked if this would be effective pain relief, and was informed that people in other countries have the procedure with nothing and are OK, so it can't be that bad and is just mild discomfort. I agreed to this, walking away thinking that this was an effective pain management option.
I was asked to see a nurse shortly after, was given some leaflets on the procedure and asked to go to phlebotomy to give a blood sample to determine +ve or -ve. I returned shortly before 2pm, having taken 2 paracetamol and 2 ibuprofen at 1 pm.
I was called in, and asked to slip into a gown and undress waist down. My partner was allowed in, which really made the procedure more bearable. Having researched all of the procedures and general protocols, I was expecting to be given a pessary to help soften the cervix. This was not the case.
All was fine until it came to the "this may hurt a little bit more now" part (the tube going straight through cervix), and told it will be like bad period pain - FROM A MALE DOCTOR?? >.<
Gas and air did nothing, I can't even describe the pain. At one point I was almost off the table. I couldn't keep my legs in the stirrups, it felt like I was possessed. My whole body wanted to tense, and I was fighting against it as I knew it would not help.
At the time I thought I must have been over-dramatising the process, however after reading other peoples experiences having the pessary and LA (with the same described response), I now feel like my response was actually quite OK.
The gas and air was not helping, and I found the most strength in my own breathing... and a few labour-like groans. I really can not imagine going through this on my own in there.
It was really rough, I never envisaged how rough the vacuuming process would actually be... I almost lost consciousness, and was in cold sweats. By the time it had begun, it was over (approximately 5 min). As soon as the procedure finished, the pain reduced to what was finally mild period cramps. There was about 1 tsp of blood, and then that was that.
The doctor came back in the room with a petri dish, and showed us what had been removed and how small the life was (just short of a kidney bean). He didn't ask if this was OK, but luckily for us it was.
The mild cramps only lasted 4 hours, and I have not bled since.
Knowing what I know now, I would have waited for the GA, or researched other clinics on sooner availability.
Termination will never be a pleasant experience, however if this can help anyone else in their choice of procedure then it was worth me sharing my story. It has only been 2 days, but I am thankful that my body is not in pain, and I am emotionally OK regardless of the traumatic experience.