After a week of threats, my dad finally wore me down. I agreed to have an abortion.

2005 was a big year for me. I met my first serious boyfriend in a club a month after my 18th birthday. I was still very naive at this time and, to be honest, I felt a little pressured that I was still a virgin and all of my friends were not. It was silly because I wasn't ready but I went along and did it anyway. I remember him asking me if I was a virgin and I told him yes. Within two hours we were in his room kissing, I hardly knew him at this point and I remember saying I didn't want to go all the way but then, when he carried on, I wanted to get it over with so I did. To be honest I wasn't sure when the condom was meant to go on. At times, I thought he'd done it before I was there, and stupidly assumed. I was so shy and afraid I'd sound stupid that I never asked. Anyway, the same routine continued for about four months. By this time, I hadn't had a period for about two months but thought that was due to starting the pill - which I started at the end of the month when we first had sex. By this time it was too late. In July, I suddenly fainted and was urged to go to the doctor’s to find out why. I did. She brought up the question of whether I could be pregnant and I suppose deep down I knew that it was a big possibility but wouldn't admit it to myself. About a week later, she phoned with the test result - it was positive. My mum already had an idea what was going on and she was great with me and told me she'd support my decision. By this time, I was about 9 weeks so needed to decide sooner rather than later. I was meant to be going to university in a month and really didn't want to be one of those mums with no future and no education. But my mum said she'd take care of the baby while I went to University. My parents are divorced and we couldn't think of a way to tell my dad and so kept it from him for about a month. I went to work one day while my mum went to see my dad to tell him the news. To say he wasn't happy is an understatement. I was so scared about the end of my shift because I knew he'd be waiting for me, and he was, with my mum in the other car. During that week he pestered me and pestered me, getting me to listen to him and friends telling me I had the option of an abortion, but I just didn't think I could bring myself to hurt my unborn child. He was at me 24 hours a day and so were the rest of his family telling me how I would ruin my life if I went ahead and that no one would accept a pregnant girl at university. My boyfriend was supportive in a way. He told me it was my decision but as he was an African, he didn't actually believe in them. Great. After a week of threats, my dad finally wore me down. I agreed to have an abortion. By now I was almost 15 weeks and so we had to go privately to a place which was about 3 hours away. I had an interview at first to see if this was the right decision. My dad waited outside. I looked at all the different women, of all ages. They sat reading their magazines as if they didn't care about what they were doing. I hated it. I went for my interview and had a scan where she covered the screen so I couldn't see. She talked to me and I broke down in tears. I was then referred to a counsellor as they couldn't send me for an abortion - they could tell I wasn't sure. I knew I had to do it to keep my dad off my back and for an easier life. I told the counsellor what he wanted to hear and he accepted that I did want an abortion. My dad drove me and we stayed overnight in a hotel about 10 minutes from the abortion clinic. The next day we sat in the reception. It was full of people again. I had a few short discussions with nurses and was given tablets to swallow ready for the termination. I left my dad and went up to the ward. The nurses were nice enough. The patients just smiled uneasily. It was so quiet though. Nobody spoke apart from the nurses. I asked if I could go to the toilet and off I went. I went into the cubicle and began crying silently. I tried to hurry so that they wouldn't wonder where I'd gone but I couldn't stop. I just wanted to be alone with my baby for one last time. I stayed in the cubicle until one of the porters came in looking for me - it was time. I stopped crying and followed them to the theatre. I lay on the table and as they were about to inject me with the anaesthetic I began crying again. They told me it would be alright but couldn't they see I obviously wasn't sure about my decision?! The next thing I remember is them trying to get me back on my bed and asking the nurse for pain killers as I had a terrible cramp in my stomach. And that was it, baby gone. I ate some food which had been sent up by my dad and then the nurse took me to him telling him it was a success. We went home and I lay on the back seat silently crying and receiving texts from all my friends to see I was okay...nothing from my boyfriend. I got home and ended up phoning him as I hadn't heard from him. He didn't seem worried about me. We never actually discussed it in detail. The only time we'd spoken about it was when I told him I was pregnant and he promised he wouldn't leave me. About a month later I found out he'd been cheating on me with numerous girls the whole time we'd been together, not to mention he'd stolen money too. We broke up, he paid me back but never once apologised for what I went through. We kept in touch but never discussed it. I really wanted to but was afraid he'd hang up on me. I haven't spoken to him for just over a year but when I think about the baby I really wish I knew his thoughts on it and wish I could phone him up just to talk, but I’m too afraid of his reaction. Why would I want to talk to a person who treated me the way he did?! I’m now with a new boyfriend who actually supported me through the whole trauma a lot better than my ex. When I need to talk about it he does try to be there for me, but as it wasn't his baby, I can't expect him to have the same feelings. It's not over yet though, as my ex cheated so much everyone tells me I should get an HIV test but I'm too afraid. Even just asking for one has a stigma attached to it and I’m not sure I want to know the results. Editor’s note: Thank you for sharing your story. You have been through so much in such a short space of time – from having your first boyfriend through to having a fairly late termination under enormous pressure in less than a year! You’ve shared your story in quite a factual way and I’m wondering how you are relating to this experience emotionally, especially with regard to your father and the loss of your baby. If you want to talk with someone, please do phone the helpline, visit a centre or go on Online Advisor. You can also ask your question confidentially about an HIV test and what that would entail.
This story was sent in on 07/01/2007 and it's been viewed 8,952 times.

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