I've put as much detail as possible about how I felt before & after and also what happened during the abortion
I wanted to write this to help others who were in my situation. I was never told how I would feel after the abortion, nor was I told exactly what would happen. I have put as much detail as possible about how I felt before and after the abortion, and also what happened during the abortion.
I had a feeling I was pregnant before I took the test. Before taking the test my boyfriend and I talked about what we would do if I was pregnant. At this point we agreed that neither of us were ready emotionally or financially for a child. I took a test later that night and looked at the pink lines in disbelief, I took a clear blue after and it confirmed that I was 2 weeks pregnant.
My boyfriend held me as I cried, mainly crying because I knew what would have to happen. I called NUPAS and arranged the soonest appointment I could. I would have to wait until after Christmas, my appointment was over two weeks away and that terrified me knowing I would have to go through the holidays and carry this pregnancy when all I wanted was for it to be over so I could move on.
Over the next two weeks I changed my mind so many times, I questioned if I was making the right decision, I questioned what kind of life I could give a child.
I felt that even though we discussed it before knowing for sure, that my partner was unphased by it all and I was holding all of the emotions and mental turmoil myself. He was happy to talk to me about it to a point, but he would always end the conversation by saying I shouldn't be making a big deal out of it. This made me feel like I was being stupid.
Finally the day came for my first visit, I had booked the whole week off work as I did not know how my body would react.
The visit started with an ultrasound to date the pregnancy. They couldn't see the sac externally so I needed an internal ultrasound. This was slightly uncomfortable but in no way painful. The sonographer kept calling it 'your baby' and told me in detail that I was about 5 weeks along and how big it was, how it looked like a healthy pregnancy and where it had implanted in my womb.
When I got back to the waiting room and sat in the chair next to my boyfriend I burst into tears. Up to this point I had been telling myself it was nothing but cells. Something that every other nurse in the clinic told me.
The next room I went into was to see a nurse who took my blood and asked if I had any questions, she also asked if I was there of my own accord and if I was sure of my decision. She also told me about the councillor service they provide.
When I went to a third room with another nurse I was expecting to be taking the first pill but this was not the case and I was slightly disappointed when she told me we were just going through the paperwork and the process. They also asked what type of contraceptive I would like following the procedure.
I had to go back for two further appointments that week to complete the abortion. I was also given several leaflets to take home with me.
On the second appointment I was taken to a room and I was in there for a matter of minutes. I was asked again if I was sure of my choice as there was no going back from this point. I was then given a tablet to take which would stop the pregnancy from growing further, I was also given 4 antibiotics to take before bed time. I swallowed the first tablet quickly and immediately wanted to go home.
On the drive home with my partner I was silent, I was trying to absorb what was happening, I was still in shock that I was ever pregnant in the first place. I had no side effects from the first pill at all.
The next day I went for my 3.15 pm appointment for the next set of pills. My partner was allowed into this appointment and I was so grateful for that. The nurse was kind and very compassionate. She asked how I have been the the last 24 hours and made sure I had not been sick. She then asked if I would like the pills vaginally or orally. I opted for orally.
She handed me a long pill which was an anti-inflammatory and antibiotic which I was to insert anally, she gave me a glove and a small pot of lubricant to take to the bathroom so I could insert this myself. It was not the most comfortable and I was scared that I would need to use the bathroom within the first hour. I was clenching through the rest of the appointment and all the way home in case it was going to fall out, looking back there is no way it would have, but I didn't want to risk having to go back to the clinic.
Once I was back in the room the nurse went through the abortion and what would happen to me in the following hours. She explained that as I was taking the pills orally, I would start bleeding much sooner, probably within the first hour of them dissolving. She gave me 3 months worth of my requested oral contraceptive pill. She also gave me a pregnancy test that I was to take 4 weeks after the abortion, and an envelope full of leaflets and after-care information, all if this was amazingly helpful. I was also given 1 codeine to help with pain and diarrhoea.
When the time came, I put two tablets between my gums and cheeks on the top of my mouth and two between my gums and cheeks on the bottom of my mouth. I was told that these should dissolve within 40 minutes and anything in my mouth after this point should be slowly swallowed with a warm drink. I was then discharged and allowed to go home.
I only lived about 30 minutes from the clinic and about 20 minutes later I had a strong pain in my lower back, this went on to be a constant uncomfortable feeling for the next 6 hours. After having the pills in my mouth for 40 minutes I was worried as 3 of the pills had barely dissolved.
My partner made me a cup of tea and I slowly dissolved the remainder in my mouth over the next half an hour. The taste with a cup of tea was not very pleasant!
About 10 minutes after the last of the tablets dissolved and were swallowed I had an urge to sit on the toilet. I went to the bathroom and the cramping began. They were worse than any period pain I had ever experienced, they were coming in waves like burning contractions through my lower abdomen through to my back. I had about 5 seconds between each one. I was taken aback with how quickly it was all happening.
My partner came to check on me after half an hour and he brought me a hot water bottle and a pillow. I ended up staying on the toilet for about 4 hours with my feet up on a stool and a pillow between my head and knees.
Just before the bleeding started, about 45 minutes after the last of the tablets were swallowed, I was violently sick and my bowels involuntary emptied. This was followed by a small gush of blood. After this, I would pass blood with every painful contraction and I found that leaning backwards then forwards was helping the blood pass more quickly. I had quite a few large clots.
I also had to keep checking the toilet after each loss of blood and clots, you have to ensure that the pregnancy has passed, and that you have passed something larger than a 50p.
As it was coming to an end and the contractions were becoming less painful I passed one last large clot into the toilet, at this point I wish I had not looked, I saw the sac with a tiny embryo inside. This is an image that will stay with me. It was not traumatic, but more closure.
My legs were bruised afterwards from sitting on the toilet in that position for so long and vaginally felt very sore, almost like friction burn. It felt like this until the next evening.
I was able to go to bed about 4 hrs after the pain and bleeding had started. I slept on a towel that night just in case but I did not actually pass any blood whilst I was lying down.
The next day I passed more clots and I felt very tired and teary, just emotional in general. The day following this I passed a very large fleshy clot. I assume this was part of the lining that did not break down into blood.
I am still bleeding very lightly today, 1 week and 4 days after the abortion, it is mostly light brown spotting with some pink) red blood now and again. The cramping and clotting stopped after about 4 days.
The week following the abortion I was full of regret and sadness. At the time I did not know this was because of the hormonal changes in my body. I was devastated and could not believe I had gone through with the abortion. I thought my partner was against me and I felt totally alone. I could find no help online to say that what I was feeling was normal. I cried every day and felt an aching pain and I was grieving.
After 7 days my hormones had evened out and I felt like myself again. I was still tired but understood it was because of what my body had been through.
I wish someone had told me what would happen after so I could have been prepared. I also wish that abortion was not such a secretive subject as I think it would have helped me to talk to someone about my experience. My boyfriend was helpful but did keep reminding me that he could only sympathise so far, as he had no idea what I must have felt during the abortion.
I hope this helps anyone scared or worried about the process, or anyone who just needs to know what to expect. The pain and bleeding will be different for each person. But please remember that there will always be someone to talk to at the clinic [find your nearest post-abortion support] if you are unable to talk to any family or friends. Don't bottle it up!
This story was sent in on 14/01/2019