My surgical abortion at 6 weeks has left me angry, upset and full of regret
After reading so many people's experiences which helped me through my difficult time, and gave me a better understanding of what to expect, I thought I would share my own story.
My abortion story
When reading through so many of these stories, the majority of women seemed to be in relationships, but when I found out I was pregnant it was the result of what in essence was a one night stand with an old acquaintance. We had been in contact with each other for a month or so after I went home for Christmas but after meeting up in February and spending the night together he became cold, said he just wanted to be friends.
[There are links to more stories on this page where you'll find them organised by aspects such as the type of abortion, service provider and the number of weeks pregnancy at the time of the procedure.]
In the following two weeks, I felt different, my period never came, and a pregnancy test confirmed my fear, I was pregnant. I made the decision to tell the father, although as we had spoken about our views on having children at this stage in our lives I knew he would want me to get a termination.
I've always wanted children, but also always said I would have a termination if the circumstances weren't right. I wanted to be in a loving, supportive relationship before having children but I felt differently now I was in that situation. I struggled to come to terms with the thought of getting rid of my baby and between doctor's appointments, consultations and constant arguments with the father, the next four weeks were hell.
My head was telling me one thing and my heart another, I cried almost constantly, couldn't concentrate and couldn't sleep. I wished my circumstances were different. My body was really feeling the effects of pregnancy and as much as I disliked the cramps and sore breasts, I felt special, like I had a purpose.
After weighing up my options, feeling the pressure of the father’s choice and his urgency for me to have a termination, and also knowing I would be on my own if I chose to go ahead with the pregnancy, I decided on an abortion. I was six weeks.
Check-in for surgical abortion under sedation
I turned up at the clinic for the first time, as my consultation had been over the phone. The father travelled down and met me outside. I had decided on a surgical abortion while sedated as I didn't feel I would cope well with a medical termination.
After checking in to Marie Stopes I was taken into a room with a nurse who did a scan and took my blood pressure. I was also given the option for Chlamydia screening. After this, I was taken back to the waiting area and within minutes I was being taken down for the procedure.
I had been tearful all morning but from this moment on I cried as I have never cried before. I was inconsolable; I just wanted to run away. But regardless of staff telling me I could change my mind at any point, with the father waiting upstairs, I felt I had no option but to go through with it.
As I was sedated I don't remember the first part of the procedure, I remember tears rolling down my cheeks as I lay there waiting to fall asleep and suddenly coming round in a lot of pain during the end of the procedure, although this only seemed to last for about a minute. Then it was over.
My post-abortion feelings
I was taken to a room to recover on a lounger and was given a cup of tea and a biscuit. After about twenty minutes I was ready to leave. From start to finish I was at the clinic no more than an hour and a half.
As I lay in recovery I was surprised, the tears dried up and I felt nothing. I felt numb. As I left with the father, I felt ok about the situation and he reassured me we had done the right thing. I haven’t heard from him since.
It's now been eleven days since I had the procedure and after returning home on that day I've felt a mix of emotions. I try not to think about it because I'm left angry, upset and full of regret. I can't talk about it without getting tearful and I'm unsure if I made the right decision. Although my friends tell me there will be a better time, I wonder if I will ever really learn to cope and come to terms with what I have done.
Terms mentioned in this story
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- Surgical Abortion
Surgical abortion is a medical procedure to remove the pregnancy from the womb.
There are three ways in which a woman may undergo the procedure:
Local anaesthetic (awake but things are numbed)
Conscious sedation (awake but relaxed due to having been given a sedative)
General anaesthetic (completely asleep).
There are also two methods of carrying out a surgical abortion depending on the stage of pregnancy:
Vacuum or suction aspiration where a tube is inserted through the entrance to the womb (the cervix) and on into the womb. The pregnancy is then removed through the tube using suction.
Dilation and evacuation (D&E) where special instruments called forceps are inserted through the cervix and into the womb to remove the pregnancy.
Medical termination refers to Medical Termination of Pregnancy which means the taking of medication to end a pregnancy. This usually takes place over two stages.
The first stage is where a medicine called mifepristone stops a hormone that allows the pregnancy to continue.
The second stage, usually 24-48 hours later, is where a second medicine, called misoprostol, is used to cause the lining of the womb to break down causing bleeding and the loss of the pregnancy.
Medical abortion doesn't require surgery but sometimes not all of the tissue is passed and may require a small surgical procedure to remove further remnants of pregnancy tissue.