I had it three days ago. Before I had my abortion I read through quite a few stories on here which really scared me.
I am in my twenties and have a steady boyfriend. Before I found out I was pregnant, we had spoken about having children in the future, but I am due to qualify as a teacher this June and until then, and until I get a job, having a baby is not practical as we could not afford it and we both live with out parents. I was quite upset but I have been studying for years and know it would be better to wait.
My boyfriend was distraught. He really wanted it, but together we decided to do it. What happens? The day after I found out (we had suspected it and discussed it before taking the test) I went to my local family planning clinic. There I told the nurse what I wanted, she gave me a test, asked me who I'd spoken to about it and then said she would give me my referral to the hospital. She gave me a little insight into what would happen but not very much really. I found out most of the info online and if you're currently doing the same you will probably already have realised there's not that much information out there.
My referral was two weeks later. I was gutted I had to wait so long as I was so worried and, as I'd been so busy and been feeling sick in the mornings and struggling to stay awake at night for weeks, I was really worried that I might be too far gone to even have an abortion. It was all I could think about. I just wanted a scan to find out how far gone I was. I even considered paying and going private. The referral day came and as I walked up to the room I could barely breathe or speak to my boyfriend. We went into a room and I was given a smear test which scared me as I'd never had one before, but honestly it was nothing. They were so nice and it didn't feel as bad as I expected. Then they gave me the scan. I was horrified when I realised this had to be inserted up my vagina as well, I thought it would be rubbed on my belly. But only a tiny bit goes up and it isn’t bad. Then I found out it was seven and a half weeks old I felt so much better.
Everything happened really quickly after that. The doctor went through the procedure with me, not giving too much away though and she booked me in for the two days. My boyfriend and I drove to the hospital for the first appointment. Here I just had to fill in a form for my dinner for the next appointment and took a tablet. The nurse warned me I might get bad period-like pains and I might start bleeding. She gave me a number to ring if it got bad and if I wanted to speak to someone. She also told me I could only take paracetamol for the pain. I went straight to school after this and was able to teach as normal.
I felt a few pains over the next day and I woke up at night with a little pain but if I hadn't have been expecting something I wouldn't even have noticed it. The worse thing was going to the toilet for the next two days as I was scared in case it had started. I even made my boyfriend come to the loo with me on a few occasions when I thought it had. I was so scared of the second appointment. I was imagining pain I'd never felt before. We went to the hospital on the bus. I had not had any bleeding since the first appointment so was still scared of its arrival. We got there about quarter to eight in the morning. I was the second of about six girls to have the next bit done.
When I went into the room I was so scared as it just looked horrible. I had my boyfriend leave as I hadn’t realised they put something up your bum and I didn’t want him to see this. The nurse was really nice. I took my pants and knickers off and covered myself with a sheet. She put the tablets in my vagina so quickly I was amazed. I barely felt anything, then I just had to lean on my side whilst she put the painkiller in my bum. This too was done amazingly fast and didn’t hurt at all.
The nurse left whilst I got dressed and she told me to put a sanitary towel on. Then she showed me the loos. There was a box of cardboard bed pans that you just wrote your name on and slot into the loo then cover up and leave and they take away and check. You then have to sit still in a comfy chair for an hour, then you’re supposed to walk around and drink loads to make it happen faster. I sat in the chair with my boyfriend watching TV. There are other girls in the room. You can pull the curtains round if you want, but none of us did. No-one spoke to one another but it wasn’t uncomfortable or anything.
Whilst in the chair I had a few period pains but nothing too bad; none of the girls seemed in pain either. After the hour was up my boyfriend and I went for a walk for about forty-five minutes and got some breakfast. Then we went back because I was having stomach ache at one point it felt like the inside of my stomach dropped down, I don’t know if this was the baby or not. I got some paracetemol from the nurse and sat down for about half an hour. In this time I was having bad period pains when I wanted to cry. Then they stopped. I was waiting for the other girls to start but they seemed fine. Anyway the nurse had said something should have started to happen by twelve. Nothing happened for me. I still hadn't started bleeding and I could see all the other girls taking change of sanitary towels to the bathroom so I was getting really mad. I walked all round the hospital I ran up and down the three flights of stairs until my boyfriend made me stop because he was knackered. I tried squats, jumping around. The pain stopped and nothing was happening. I spoke to the nurse. She said to carry on jumping up the stairs and drinking.
I did honestly. The other girls had two ten minute walks and sipped at one can. I walked miles, and was drinking water and tea by the jug!!! Still nothing, they hadn't even had pain. The nurse told me I’d walked more than anyone on there and I was doing everything right. She told me to go to the loo and try to push it out - this didn't work either.
By three o'clock, there was only one other girl who hadn't been checked out and I overheard a nurse telling her that once she had another wee and they'd checked it she could go home. This stressed me out even more. I just stood looking out the window crying my eyes out. I thought it would never be over. Then just as the girl came out of the loo I felt something. It felt a bit like I was weeing myself. I ran to the loo and finally, I have never been so glad to see it but there was like watered down blood in my towel. I then wee'd and I felt it come out.
I was about eight and a half weeks at the time and honestly even though you worry it doesn't feel that bad. It feels different and you know it has come but it isn't painful. I didn't want to see it but I didn’t realise. It had kind of got stuck to my vagina so when I wiped myself it came off and I saw it. It was not what I imagined. It was kind of like stringy. I didn’t look properly. I mainly saw its head, but I'll never forget it. It was the strangest thing seeing it.
I think I feel better knowing what it looked like. Anyway after this I felt so much better I went and told the nurse she collected it and I needed to wee again. After I came out she took me in a room to take my blood pressure and confirm it was the baby. Just as we got in, I had to run to the loo again and then the placenta came out this wasn’t bad either; felt different, but wasn't painful. After this I had to stay for a bit longer whilst they monitored my bleeding. Then I went home. I had stomach ache but it wasn't bad.
That night I had to change my towel quite a few times. I had a shower as well and my family didn’t notice there was any difference with me. I went to bed about half eight that night because the day really knackers you out and I fell asleep almost straight away. The bleeding wasn’t too bad. If I hadn't woken up in the middle of the night and changed my towel I would have probably leaked. That night’s sleep was the most amazing night I'd had in ages. I woke up feeling great, with no morning sickness!
Since then the bleeding hasn't been too bad. I think it probably depends on what your normal periods are like. But, honestly, don't let the stories you hear worry you. No-one that was there that day at the hospital had a bad day. And ask loads of questions because they don't tell you if not and don't be afraid of asking them any weird questions they'll have heard it before.
Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing your story with us…it is true that women’s experiences of termination vary a lot, depending on things like pain thresholds, level of fear, and pain control. As a procedure, you did quite well, despite your frustration at seeming to take so long. As with many medical terminations, the experience and the memories of the procedure seem to preoccupy you. You may find in time that other feelings begin to surface with regard to the meaning of the procedure itself. If so, then do get in touch for any post-abortion support you may require. I'm sure your story will help others to appreciate what a medical termination can be like.