A medical abortion at 40

I am a 40yr old woman with 3 children. I had stopped contraception with the view to being sterilised. I knew there was risk of pregnancy and took the morning after pill. However it became obvious that it had not worked as I developed pregnancy symptoms.

We decided we could not have baby number 4

On finding out I was pregnant and discussing with my long term partner we decided we could not have baby number 4. I could not do it to myself, my other children or the little unborn child. I was already struggling in a full time job with 3 children. The house was already stressful and trying to balance time with all 3 was proving a struggle. We also had financial issue to consider. I was also really worried about whether the baby would be okay.
I had a missed miscarriage before at 20 weeks before my last child and my sister had a baby number 4 at the same age and her baby has Down Syndrome. As it was unplanned I had not looked after myself and had been drinking and not taking Folic acid. I went for a dating scan which was distressing as the little one was there at 7 weeks 3 days and a nice healthy heartbeat. However I knew I could not have another baby.

A little thing with arms, legs, and eyes

So I was booked in at Marie stopes for a medical abortion. I was sure that I had made the right decision. The tablets took there effect this afternoon. The procss was not as bad as I expected and I did not need any pain relief. It was also very quick. However I was really distressed when I saw the little baby on my pad. A little thing with arms,legs and eyes. Both my partner and I are very distressed and that image is one we will never forget. I will grieve for this little one. I have placed the little one in a box and I will bury it in a family grave. I would advise anyone who has a medical abortion to be prepared for this. I know we have made the right decision and if we had not seen the little one my emotional state would be very different at the moment.

Editor's Comment

An unplanned pregnancy is difficult at 40 when you already have a family, and I can understand your anxiety about having something wrong with the baby. Medical abortion can be very traumatic and seeing what you pass and realising that it is more than a clump of cells is hard to come to terms with. If you would like post abortion support there are a number of trained advisors who can offer this, and it is often helpful to give yourself time and space to grieve for the baby you have lost. Please ring the national helpline 0300 4000 999 or follow the link to find a centre for post abortion support in your area.

This story was sent in on 25/04/2010

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