I had an abortion nearly five weeks ago. It was the biggest mistake of my life - and it can never be undone.
I had an abortion nearly five weeks ago. It was the biggest mistake of my life - and it can never be undone. I was only with my boyfriend for a few weeks, and throughout the time we were together we were incredibly careful about using protection. After the first weekend we spent together, I even took the morning after pill as an extra precaution because I was so paranoid about becoming pregnant. After four weeks together I had a coil fitted, after six weeks we split up, and the following week I discovered I was pregnant.
I had been so determined that I didn't want to become pregnant as I had a very young daughter with severe neurological problems, probably caused by a virus I had when I was pregnant with her. Going through it all again just didn't bear thinking about. The minute I did a positive pregnancy test I was on the phone arranging an appointment with the doctor. I didn't even give myself a moment to think about it - I was adamant that I needed an abortion. I was seen at the surgery half an hour later, and I was told to wait for a call from the hospital. It was seventeen days later, on a Thursday, that I finally got an appointment at the hospital - but it was not at the hospital I had requested, and I had had to ring a helpline to get the appointment chased up.
During this time I had not allowed myself to think about the pregnancy. I knew that if I thought about it, I wouldn't be able to go through with a termination. I made myself think of it as just a medical problem that needed sorting. IT WAS NOT A BABY. At the hospital I was put in the ante-natal ward with other expectant mums. I remember a happy couple coming back from a scan - she was eleven weeks pregnant and they were marvelling at the tiny hands on the scan photo. I had my scan, saw the doctor who told me I was just over nine weeks pregnant. She asked me why I wanted the termination, took some swabs, and then passed me to a nurse to fill out the paperwork. That was it. No counselling, no nothing.
Nine weeks pregnant meant the pregnancy was conceived during the first weekend I spent with my boyfriend. It was conceived whilst using condoms (with no accidents), survived the morning after pill, a coil being inserted, and a coil being removed (by myself - in a desperate attempt to cause a miscarriage during the seventeen day wait.) This was a pregnancy that should never have been.
I returned to the hospital the following day to take the tablet to kill the pregnancy. On the Saturday I went to the ward where the second part of the medical termination would be carried out. I arrived at 9am to discover that they weren't expecting me, and there were no beds (although my notes were on the ward) I had to wait nearly two hours while a bed was sorted. At 11am, my ‘obs’ were taken and the vaginal pessaries were inserted. At 2pm I took some more tablets, I passed the pregnancy at 3pm, and was discharged at 5pm.
I was absolutely disgusted by my treatment at the hospital; the initial mess of beds, nobody once asked me how I was, nobody explained anything to me. After the initial ‘obs’ and pessaries, I didn't speak to a nurse or doctor, apart from to throw some tablets down my throat, except to say I could go home. Even when I lost the pregnancy (alone in the toilet - I had to do everything myself, and saw everything. I saw my dead baby), nobody talked to me about it or checked on me. I'm angry now. I know I probably rant on about my experience at the hospital because I need someone to blame - although I do think it was appalling.
Five weeks on, I know that I have made a terrible mistake. The chance of any other pregnancy developing the same problems as my daughter is practically non-existent. If anybody had asked me about it, or talked to me just for a minute, I would probably never have had the abortion. I would really have loved to have had another child - I was just scared. I killed my baby for no reason at all - and that kills me.
Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing your story with us…It seems there are several things going on with you right now. Firstly, you are shocked at how you ever became pregnant in the first place, especially as you did everything within your power to prevent it. Secondly, you seem to be struggling to understand how you ever ended up having an abortion. It sounds like a fear and panic response, as well as a shut down of emotions - denial. Thirdly, you seem to be having difficulty with feelings of regret, anger, possibly guilt too, and coming to terms with the fact of what has happened. To reassure you, none of these are unusual responses.
Suddenly, your heart is waking up to how it really feels about your experience and the losses involved. What might help you now is to talk your experience through with someone who understands how some women can be affected. You can visit your nearest centre; ring the helpline or use Online Advisor to receive support through our ‘Journey’ programme to help you work through all these emotions. There is a way forward – we’ll be thinking of you.
This story was sent in on 01/10/2008
I had a surgical abortion in April 2008 at 9 weeks.