My partner had a vasectomy
Abortion was something that I never thought I would have to face - I had always taken my pill - never taken any risks - and we thought we were safe. I had a pregnancy test 2 days after my period was due and was actually booked in at my local hospital the following week. I couldn't believe it was happening and looking back was in a state of shock. I received no counselling. I actually cancelled the first appointment but went back the following week as I felt unable to cope with the children I already had - again I received no counselling.
Initially, following the abortion, I felt relief - I hoped to forget it ever happened. About 3 weeks later I was still bleeding quite heavily and lost a very large clot. I attended A & E as we were very worried. The young doctor there referred me for a scan - but I had to pretend that I was still pregnant as the Termination Department was closed for Christmas - I was referred as though I was having a miscarriage.
The lady that scanned me was the same one who had done the scans with my other 2 children - and also attended the same Catholic church as I had. I felt ashamed and dirty. I tried to put all this behind me but gradually my health deteriorated and I started to have panic attacks and suffered from vertigo. I had a breakdown and was diagnosed with depression. I am now 2 years on from this point. I have had to go right back and face the termination and deal with all the emotion that I felt but blocked.
I cannot explain in this short story the heartache that this has caused me. I am not against abortion - I feel that everyone has the right to choose - but I beg any woman with any doubts to make sure that she accesses the professional help that she needs. Do not be fobbed off and don't, like me, think that the worst part is actually the termination itself. You will never forget - in time you just learn to live with it and accept that it is something that you had to do.
Editor’s note: Thanks for telling your story. It sounds very much as if you felt swept along towards an abortion that you didn’t really have the opportunity to think through well and paid the price for it later. I know your story will help others see the importance of having the time, space and support to pay attention to deep-down beliefs and feelings as well as the information we have about abortion and the other options. If you wanted to, or if you didn’t receive specialist post-abortion counselling, you might like to contact an advisor online or visit a centre to go through the ‘recovery checklist’ as a final step. We hope you feel fully restored following your experience.