I had an abortion almost 4 years ago

I had an abortion almost four years ago. I have never really talked about it. Finding out I was pregnant was a bit of a blur at the time. I had an amazing boyfriend and was about to take my A levels. I remember not wanting to eat and feeling ill. I went to the doctors with stomach ache and he told me I probably had IBS, which I now know was not true.
A couple of weeks later I realised I was a few weeks late. I had been taking the mini pill for over a year and didn't think anything of it. However, I did a test and it was positive. I was distraught. I didn't understand how anything like that could ever happen to me. I was always so careful.

I knew I couldn't keep it

I was petrified at what my mum would say, I was so scared of her response. I waited one day until she had left for work and called the doctors a week or two after I found out. I needed that time to get my head around things. I spoke to the doctor on the phone who arranged for me to go to a clinic.
In the meantime I went to the other side of the country and stayed with my cousin. I needed space to think about things, although I knew I couldn't keep it. My boyfriend wanted me to keep it but said he would support me whatever I decided. I returned home two weeks later and had a scan at the nearest clinic.

I was horrified to find I was 12 weeks pregnant

Even more horrified that I saw the picture on the screen for a fleeting moment until the lady realised and turned it away from me. I was so angry that I wasn't allowed to see what was in my own body. I wanted to scream at her. She told me everything was fine and that I was 12 weeks pregnant. I then had to wait for a few minutes to see a nurse who took blood from me. I confided in her that I was upset with the other woman and thought she was cruel (she really was). I asked her why I wasn't allowed to see, and she explained that it was because I had chosen not to keep the child. I asked if they could tell what sex it was and she explained that even if they could, she wasn't allowed to tell me.
A few weeks later I received a letter in the post with my date.

Telling my Mum was the hard part

I can't remember what the date was, but I do remember it was afew weeks after I told my mum. Telling her was the hard part.
My nan had had my mum when she was 17. My mum had me when she was 21. I knew she was really going to disappointed in me. I turned to her in the car randomly and said "Mum, Im pregnant". She looked at me and the first thing that came out of her mouth was "you're not keeping it". At the time it seemed harsh, but looking back she had my interests at heart. Before my appointment to have a surgical abortion I contracted mumps. I ended up in hospital for two weeks and kept passing out. I couldn't keep any food down either, which was originally why I went to A&E.
My mum turned up five hours later, and until she arrived, because I was only just 18 they decided to consider me as a minor and because I was far from 'with it'. The doctors wouldn't treat me until my mum arrived, and without my knowledge (even though I had informed them I was pregnant) my mum said it was fine for them to issue me antibiotics, anti-sickness drugs and morphine based painkillers to ease the pain (at this point I couldn't talk and my neck was starting to swell).
When I woke up I was so angry with her. The doctors informed me that although I was ill, the drugs they had given me could possible seriously injure by baby. I really don't understand why my mum did this. Maybe it was to make sure I wouldn't keep it, that I wouldn't chicken out. She said the most important thing was making sure I was well enough to sit my A levels.

I was 16 weeks pregnant when I had my abortion

When I got out of hospital my appointment for an abortion had to be re-arranged as they wouldn't put me to sleep whilst I was still ill. I was approximately 16 weeks pregnant when I had my abortion. Although I'm not certain, for a long time I tried to blank it out. It was horrible. I cried myself to sleep for weeks, had nightmares, kept dreaming about the baby I wasn't pregnant with and couldn't go anywhere near children. It was horrible feeling like there should still be a child in my body, that I needed to replace it and love it. All those maternal instincts still exist for a period of time even if the child doesn't. I was so angry at the world. I didn't leave the house until I actually had to sit my A levels at the end of June. My mum forced me against my will to go to uni in the september and now I'm glad she did.
Looking back it still upsets me. However, now I have a degree in law and a career looming, an amazing (new boyfriend of 3years) and a home and mortgage in a different part of the country. My boyfriend knows I had an abortion, and it was really hard for me to tell him. He doesn't really understand, but I can't expect him too. He wants children in his late twenties and I don't. I fear that I will be faced with all the upset and hurt I experienced the first time I was pregnant.
I hated the smell of my ex boyfriend, the way he slept and the smell of most food. I was constantly throwing up and falling asleep. I'm scared I would turn into that person again. He thinks I'm just vane. I'll let him think that for now. Maybe we will both have to compromise. My ex boyfriend never really forgave me for having an abortion, and due to it we grew apart. Things where never the same. He always wanted a family, and having come from a broken family myself..it was the last thing I wanted to start. He now plays step dad to his wife-to-be's three year old, and has a child due any minute. Its odd how life turns out in the end.

It's mentally painful having an abortion

One thing I would like to say to those thinking about having an abortion or have had one when they are more than a few months into pregnancy is that its hard. Its mentally painful because you know that thing inside you is growing, the further you are into pregnancy the harder it is.

What would the child have been like

But in many ways its the most un-selfish thing you can do. Your accepting that you couldn't at the time provide a child with what it needs. I was brought up religiously and it harrowed me for a long time. But at the end of the day, the decisions you make in life define who you are. They make you stronger. You don't feel that mental pain forever, and you will feel like it was the worst thing you did for a long time. It took me over a year to realise I had done the right thing. I no longer wrestle with my thoughts anymore or have sleepless nights. Time is a healer. But not a day goes by where I don't give it a thought, or wonder what the child would have been like. What life would have been like. However, those thoughts are no longer met with anger, pain and hurt or regret. They're almost numb, because I know I will never know the answer. But what I do know is that now I am happy, and life would have been very different.

Editor's Comment

Thank you for telling us how things worked out for you. It was obviously a painful time for you and the fear of not completing your education loomed very large. I'm glad that the pain of your abortion has gone and you feel that your life is happy and fulfilled. I guess at some point you will have to face your feelings about not wanting children if your partner wants a family.
There is always someone at the end of a phone line if you need help 0300 4000 999.
This story was sent in on 23/04/2010 and it's been viewed 1,160 times.

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