I really didn't want an abortion and have never stopped regretting it

By anonymous on 13/07/2009
medical abortion marie stopes

In September 2007, I found out I was pregnant. I was so scared, yet happy and kind of excited, although I was terrified of telling my boyfriend, as we had only been together for about six months (I was 16 and he was 23 at the time).

When I eventually told him, his reaction was pretty much what I expected. He didn't want to have a baby and me having an abortion was considered. I really didn't want to have one, as I have always said I never would and I used to think they were wrong and a selfish thing to do, but I was also really scared that if I kept the baby I would lose my boyfriend, so I felt I had to choose...

They didn't tell me how many weeks pregnant I was

In the end, I had an abortion on the 10th October 2007.

I'm not sure how many weeks I was as the lady and Marie Stopes didn't tell me, but I know I was under nine weeks as I had the abortion pill. That day was the worse day of my life; I remember every minute.

I really didn't want to go through with it, but at the time I just told myself over and over again that it was for the best, for everyone, but since that day I haven't stopped regretting it - I wish I could turn back time.

My boyfriend came with me; we had to go to Reading as it was the closest clinic. When we arrived there, we were shown into the waiting room until my name was called. It felt like I was sat there for hours, shaking constantly.

It would've given me the courage to not go through with it

When my name was called, I went into the nurse's room, on my own (my boyfriend wasn't allowed in with me). The nurse asked some questions, pricked my finger for a blood sample and did an ultrasound scan. She turned the screen away so I couldn't see. I really wanted to ask to see but was too scared, and to this day I wish I did because I believe it would have given me the courage to have not gone through with it.

I chose the abortion pill

She gave me two methods I could choose from, either the medical abortion (abortion pill) or surgical abortion (suction). I chose to have the abortion pill. I was told to go have some lunch and come back at 2:00pm.

We left the clinic, got some lunch and read through the leaflets that I was given. When we went back, I was shown to a different waiting room, and my boyfriend couldn’t wait there with me there either and was shown to the other waiting room.

The nurse called me in, explained what I was to do and what would happen. I had to take two sets of tablets.

The first pills stop the pregnancy; the second pass the pregnancy

The first set I took that day (orally), which stopped the pregnancy, and I was to come back after 24 hours but within 48 hours to take the second set of tablets which would make you 'pass' the pregnancy (like a miscarriage).

That night I hardly slept; I couldn't stop crying over what I had done.

Period-like cramps and heavy bleeding with clotting

The next day, we had to go through the same routine, and when I got called by the nurse, she gave me the second set of tablets (which again was orally) and gave me some sanitary towels. She told me to wear one as soon as I have taken the tablets. She told me that it would be about an hour before the tablets take effect and that I would get period-like cramps and heavy bleeding with clotting...

Crouched in a ball on the platform

It was about a half hour walk from the clinic to the train station and about twenty minutes after taking the tablets I started to feel the effects, by the time we got to the train station, I was is so much pain and could barely walk let alone stand up. I ended up crouched up in a ball on the platform.

All the way home I had to sit with my legs bent up into my stomach, which only slightly helped. It took double strength pain killers but it didn't seem to help... I could feel everything, it was horrific.

Like a very heavy and painful period with clots that I could feel

By the time we got home, (my boyfriend's place, who also lives with his parents), I had to change my sanitary towel and was changing them every half hour; it was just like a very heavy and painful period, but with clots that I could feel as they passed through me.

I was nearly sick, the embryo had passed through

The worst bit was as I was changing my towel, I still kept gushing; it was like I had diarrhoea. The worst part of all this was when I changed my towel again, I was nearly sick, the embryo had passed through. I just burst into tears and locked myself in the bathroom for as long as I could, until my boyfriend came to see if I was okay.

I felt I had to hide the emotions from him, I didn't want him to see me really upset over it, so I just told him I was sat on the toilet until I had stopped gushing excessively.

I went from light to extremely heavy and felt sharp stabbing pains

For the next two to three days I had really heavy bleeding, and it got slightly lighter everyday, but then all of a sudden, I started to bleed clots again, I went from light to extremely heavy, with the same pains again, but also felt a sharp stabbing like pain and was really faint and dizzy, with hot and cold flushes.

The clinic said to go to A&E

I was in agony, but I thought this was normal. I was screaming about it; it was early hours of the morning as it woke me up. The only way I could get comfortable was to kneel on my hands and knees. This went on for two days, we phoned the clinic and they said if it gets any worse to go to A&E, so an hour later, when things hadn't got any better, my mum took me to the hospital.

I was seen within ten minutes, put in a room surrounded by nurses.

My mum called my boyfriend and told him what was happening and he came up straight away (to add to this, the day I went into hospital, was his birthday).

The nurses put me on a drip, took blood tests and hooked me up to loads of machines. I wasn't allowed out of that room, not even to go to the toilet... I had to go in a wheelchair toilet. I then got taken upstairs for more tests. I had swabs taken and had to have an internal scan.

A tiny bit of tissue left in my womb was causing an infection

The doctor that did the internal scan had said that there was a tiny bit of tissue left in my womb and that was causing the bleeding and had caused an infection.

I was told I had to stay in overnight, and no one was allowed to stay with me, I was terrified and felt so lonely. I remember asking the nurse for a big jug of water because I always get thirsty of a night but she only brought me a small glass and said I couldn't have any more (my boyfriend had told me later the next morning that they were worried I might have had to go into theatre, that's why I couldn't have much to drink).

In the morning, I was given three different types of tablets.

I had to have a course of antibiotics for two weeks, three in the morning, two at lunch and another three in the evening, it worked up to about 900mg of antibiotics per day.

I had to have more blood tests that day, and eventually the consultant came round to see me to explain everything properly and said I could go home that day.

For the next few months, I cried myself to sleep

For the next few months, that's all I could think about, crying myself to sleep, but that did stop, although I still thought about it, but the crying and getting run down by it stopped.

Then in June/July 2008, I started to think about it a lot more again, it would have been roughly when I was due, and couldn’t stop thinking 'what if'. I never told anyone how I was feeling, I just tried to hide it as I thought it was just a rough patch I was going through and I'd soon forget about it.

I've stopped eating and drink myself to sleep

Now, all of a sudden, for no reason that I can think of that may have triggered it, but I can't stop thinking about what I did, there hasn't been a day that I haven't thought about it, but it's never been like this... I can't stop crying over it, I get really emotional and find it hard to be near pregnant women or babies.

I've stopped eating properly. Drinking myself to sleep most nights. I wake up from horrific and graphical nightmares about it all. I really and honestly feel like I'll never be able to forgive myself for what I've done, I feel so selfish.

If you're considering abortion get support from either loved ones or counsellors

Although at the age of 16, I probably wouldn't have been able to look after a baby, I still wish I had kept my baby. I would also like to add that if anyone is considering an abortion, please please please think it through properly, and get unbiased support from either loved ones or counsellors.

Don't just rush into it, it's a very big decision and will be stuck with you all your life. Don't just do what I did - have one because your partner doesn't want children and that you're trying to please him because you don't want to lose him.

It's been 2½ years - maybe one day I'll have children

I am still with my boyfriend now. It’s nearly two and a half years, and I love him dearly. He means the world to me and I would have loved/would love to have children with him, but he strongly doesn't want children. Maybe one day when we are both financially secure, got our own place and hopefully married, his opinions may change but I guess only time will tell...

Editor's comment

Thanks for sharing your story with us… Perhaps you haven’t realised that it’s now June/July 2009 and that represents the anniversary time of the due date again for you, I think. It’s not difficult to see why you feel all these feelings again now. Your subconscious is telling you that you have unresolved issues around the abortion. It was clearly something you didn’t want to do – your heart had strong feelings in favour of the pregnancy, but your circumstances, and in particular your boyfriend’s wishes, were a pressure on you to choose abortion. Your heart is in pain with loss, grief, anger, regret and guilt and you’ve not had the opportunity to find healing in these areas, keeping it to yourself, maintaining the life you had as best you can (after all, it cost you a lot) and looking forward to a time when your boyfriend might allow you to have a child. I guess you’re about 18 now, and your boyfriend, 25. If you are thinking that he is your life partner, then you need to talk about the children issue, as you may find that he has not changed his mind, and you will have to decide if he is still the man you want to be with. You don’t say how much you have both talked about the effect of this experience on you both, and I wonder how you feel about a relationship where these things are not talked about and resolved between you. It may help you to contact your nearest centre and find some post-abortion support, where you will find sensitive and caring help, as well as the opportunity to talk through how you have been affected. We’ll be thinking of you.

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