I had a medical abortion almost 4 weeks ago.
On reading a couple of the stories on this site, I thought I should share my experience. I had a medical abortion almost 4 weeks ago. I found out I was pregnant 2 weeks before and asked for a termination. At this stage, my boyfriend and I were united in the fact that it was too much for us to deal with at the moment and the time just wasn't right for us. It will be one day, but just not now. I found the whole experience distressing and quite undignifying. When I arrived at the hospital for the final part of the termination, I was shocked to find that I would be spending the whole day with 3 other women, the one toilet and just curtains to separate us. Throughout the day, one woman who was across from me, cried all day and we could hear her breaking her heart. I wanted to go over to her, but I guess it is a private thing. Conversely, in the next bed, there was a young girl laughing and joking with her boyfriend, seemingly oblivous to the whole awfulness of being there that day. But I guess we all deal with things differently. Passing the pregnancy was the most awful thing I have ever had to deal with - for some bizarre reason I thought that since I was 8-9 weeks gone, I wouldn't pass much. However, to my horror I passed a small bag about the size of an apple or orange with another smaller white part. I immediately began to panic and shake when I felt it leave me and hit the bedpan. I was scared to look or even touch myself to clean up. After a few minutes, I gathered myself and had to look at it. That has got to be the singular most low point in my whole life so far. I was thinking - my baby is in there...my baby...in that bedpan...and i've gotta leave it on the floor for the nurse next to everyone else's. When I came out and told my Mum that I thought I had passed everything, the nurse told me shortly afterwards that it was complete but she still needed to see another few bedpans. That day, and for a week or so afterwards, I held it together, feeling glad and relieved it was finally over and done with. The past couple of weeks, I feel it is now beginning to dawn on me what I have done and how awful I now feel about it. Anything on tv with babies, or even looking at my friend's pictures of her baby girl, or even a girl in my work who is pregnant due in Feb, is just so hard to even look at. I now find myself constantly in tears and I cannot think about anything else. What have I done? what have I done to my baby? This is constantly going through my mind. I just keep remembering how I felt whilst I was pregnant...and seeing the scan. I feel nothing but complete and utter sadness for my poor little baby and what I did to it. The guilt is awful and I dont know when I will get over this. I think at the beginning of this saga, I was telling myself 'I'm ok, I'm fine, this was my decision and I'm going through it'. I didnt expect at any point to feel this way. My uncle also died at the same time...and I feel like I've lost 2 people. The loss and sadness is overwhelming. My act of "I'm ok honest" is beginning to wear thin if not completely disappear already. Even talking to friends and my Mum frustrates me, as they say...'oh well, you made the decision and you weren't far gone...it's practically nothing'. That was certainly my way of thinking before this and how I rationalized everything. Thank goodness for my boyfriend; I feel much better talking to him about it and he can talk to me as he was extermely upset over it also. However, I don't think I will ever forgive myself for this and miss my baby. I know, I wasn't far gone etc...but whether I wanted to admit it at the time or not, I felt a connection and in the 2 weeks in the run up to the termination, I was saying sorry/talking to it and patting/rubbing my tummy then telling myself off as this was making it all too real. Since the termination, I feel empty and alone. I didn't expect to feel anything like this at all as I wouldn't have called myself a maternal person. Do I wish I hadn't gone through with it? I'd be lying if I said I didn't, but the rational part of my brain knows fully why I couldn't go through with the pregnancy and throws my thinking back into place. All of these feelings are normal so I've been reading and I know things will get better. I guess I would like a quick fix like an amnesia tablet to forget all this hurt and pain. I hope my experience does help to show that all these feelings are normal and for other women to make sure they know all the facts and exactly what will happen on going through with a medical abortion physically AND emotionally. Think every avenue through, talk it through with friends/family/partners and go with your gut instinct on things. It's your decision at the end of the day, and never forget that. Go with what you think is right for youself, and potentially your baby.
There have been a number of stories written in about early medical abortion, and often the shock of seeing what you pass is overwhelming. Like you, many women are not aware of what they are likely to see. I think it is really important to have this information before you make your decision about termination. I am surprised that the procedure is not fully explained beforehand by the health professionals. I know for any other medical procedure, it is all talked through in minute detail. You sounded as though your head was telling you one thing but your heart and instincts were saying something different, and this is where the pain and regret come from.
I hope you will receive some post abortion counselling to help you through this experience. Please call the helpline on 0300 4000 999 if we can help you.