I had a medical abortion at six weeks in December 2008...
I had a medical abortion at six weeks in December 2008. I am 20 years old. All of the stories that I have read seem to be in relationships. However I had just come out of a long term relationship and after being so upset about this, decided to turn to a friend for comfort. One thing led to another and it essentially turned into a one night stand. At first I put the soreness of the breasts just down to what normally happens but then I started feeling sick at the smell of certain foods. I started to sleep a lot more than I normally did but was still feeling very tired.
I think deep down I new that I was pregnant. I decided to tell the father that I thought I was and that I was going to do a pregnancy test that night. The positive mark came up more or less straight away. I just felt numb; I can’t remember thinking anything other than that my life had changed forever.... I told the father. He was so supportive towards me and we talked on the phone for about an hour before he came and met me. To cut a long story short, my head told me that I couldn't keep the baby due to money issues, not willing to put my career on hold and the thought of being alone with a baby even though the father was so supportive at this point. However, my heart was telling me that no matter how bad the situation was I would cope. After thinking about this decision long and hard and discussing it with the father, we decided that the best option would be an abortion.
I phoned my local BPAS and had an appointment within the week. The father was meant to meet me but at the last minute decided that he was going to switch off his phone and avoid me. I went to the clinic with a friend. I was told to go in the waiting room where there were young children in pushchairs and playing on the floor. This made me feel the same numb feeling as when I had done the test, but found that I just couldn't move even though I wanted to run out. My friend grabbed my hand and held it tight.
After what seemed like forever I went into a doctor’s office. I can't remember much about this as I couldn't focus on what she was saying. After ten minutes I was sent back into the waiting room. I was then called back into speak to a female to decide if this was the right decision. She was very uninterested in what I had to say and seemed like she was judging me for going through with this decision. After being sent back to the waiting room again, I was eventually taken for a scan. The nurse there made me feel a lot more relaxed by doing blood tests and a scan. She showed me the scan which I really shouldn't have looked at but curiosity made me want to. This made my decision that much harder. She also explained that I had two sac like balls in my womb...one being the baby and another that she didn't know. She called another nurse in to look which made me feel slightly uneasy.
I was told about the procedure and told that I had to come back for the one of two parts of the process. The first part came around quickly; my friend again came with me. I was in and out in a matter of half an hour. I had to have an injection due to my blood type and was given a tablet with water. All the precautions and side effects were explained to me. I was told to ring if I was sick at any point in the 24 hours. I felt fine and began to bleed the night before the next appointment although it was manageable. Before my next appointment I was debating whether to go back but felt so guilty that I had put my baby in danger. My friend convinced me to go through with it as I didn’t know what I had done to it. After a lot of effort in going back to the clinic, I was put in the waiting room again. I was all alone this time and the guilt was incredibly overwhelming. I was given five tablets to insert myself.
As soon as I walked out I began feeling the most awful pain. I had to walk through crowds of people to get to my car and the drive home was excruciating. I got home and remember being in such horrendous pain, going very light headed and eventually waking up not knowing how I had fallen asleep. I had a tens machine which numbed the pain slightly. This lasted for about twelve hours before going into normal period-like pain.
Everyday for a month I cried myself to sleep with the guilt. I can’t look at babies even to the point I can't look at babies’ clothes in catalogues. After nearly four months after, I still cry at the slightest thing for no reason. I feel so sad and have no motivation. To top everything else off, I told the father how I felt and his response was that we could have a family and be together. How thoughtful of him after I had been through all this in my own. I hope my story helps other people.
Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing your story with us…The emotional symptoms you are experiencing – an inability to maintain your normal routine, tearfulness, guilt feelings, being unable to look at babies, loss of motivation and energy – are all normal for many women following abortion. In fact, other women also report bad dreams, relational tensions, sense of loss, shame, wanting to hibernate, wanting another baby – there is a whole spectrum of responses to abortion that are common to many. So you are not alone. And things can get better for you.
It would help you to speak to someone who understands your thoughts and feelings at the moment. It sounds as if you are stuck and need some support to begin your journey of recovery. You can contact your nearest centre to make an appointment, or ring the helpline for an initial chat or use Online Advisor if there is no centre near you.
This story was sent in on 31/03/2009
I welcomed this man into my life and the lives of my children.