I really was so unsure about what to do and although I know no one could have made the decision for me, I wanted someone to talk to, to discuss both options and get some advice.By anonymous on 10/10/2009
I am 28 and for as long as I remember, I have wanted children, lots of them. I've been with my boyfriend for around a year and things could not have been more perfect. We hadn't discussed having a family so when the test showed positive, I didn't believe it. Later that night, I was starting to get excited about the baby but he was honest and said he wasn't ready. We spent a week arguing our corners, me for having the baby and him against. We didn't live together, and we weren't together this time last year. We had nowhere to live with the baby, money was a huge issue, all the practicalities that I could easily wave away and say "It'll be ok". It's only when he said he could see how sad the idea of terminating the pregnancy was making me and that we'd have the baby that I filled with panic, fear,and every negative emotion going. I knew at that moment I was not ready to be a mother but at the same time, the idea of an abortion just did not seem right for me. I didn't want to go through with either option. I was so confused because I had wanted this for so long and I didn't feel the joy I expected I would feel. I booked the consultation at a clinic because I wanted to talk to a professional; the internet said there would be a trained "counsellor". I spoke with a young girl who just asked if I wanted the pill option or the surgical option. Again, the internet said I would need to convince two doctors this was the right decision for mine and/or the baby's well-being. I was given a quick health check, no questions asked. I really was so unsure about what to do and although I know no one could have made the decision for me, I wanted someone to talk to, to discuss both options and get some advice. Instead, my whole experience was rather like a conveyor belt. The treatment was booked for the next day. I arrived at the clinic and cried the whole time. I told the nurse I wasn't sure I was doing the right thing. She told me to think about it until I was called into the changing room. As I got changed into my nightie, I really didn't know what to do. I stood crying, hesitating about leaving the cubicle. It's a cliché but my body was saying "don't do it" and my head was saying "you've got no choice, you can't support a baby, you've got nowhere to live, no money, you will make it miserable". I made a vow that if one of the nurses asked if I was sure I was doing the right thing I'd say "no" and leave. They didn't ask, despite how clearly distressed I was. I can only blame myself for my actions, not hospital staff or my boyfriend, I did this. But I just want anyone who is unsure of whether to go ahead with a termination or not to speak to their GP, friends, a qualified counsellor, anyone; do not leave it to the people at the clinic if you really are unsure what to do, they will not discuss your individual situation with you, just give you the bare facts you will no doubt have read on the internet before going. It is an important decision and one that I deeply regret. It has now been two weeks and one day since I terminated my 8 weeks and 2 day old pregnancy. I hope I can come to live with my actions but I just wish there had been some proper assistance in place beforehand. It is the hardest decision any person will ever make, but put raging pregnancy hormones on top of that and it isn't right that the places and people who are meant to support and advise you in a vulnerable time have failed to do so in my experience.
I do feel that the abortion clinic failed you in this situation.
The guidelines state clearly that each woman should have counselling before making their final decision about an unplanned pregnancy. This should involve exploring all the options and how you feel about each one emotionally and psychologically, as well as the physical facts about methods of abortion. A trained counsellor would have picked up your uncertainty and suggested you had more time and counselling before making your decision.
It sounds as though your mind was telling you certain rational and logical facts, but your heart and instincts were saying that you had serious doubts about abortion for you in your situation.
I also hope that anyone who reads your story will seek help from an independent pregnancy advisor.
Help can always be accessed through the national Careconfidential helpline, where a trained advisor will help any caller to think through her decision without pressure or bias. Please think about accessing the help of post abortion support through the helpline as well.