Early Medical Abortion at 7 weeks
The relationship with my ex boyfriend is so complicated so I guess all you need to know is that we weren't in a relationship but we were still spending time together and had clearly had sex on numerous occasions in the past few months.
I dropped the bombshell and showed him the testHe was away on holiday when I took the test and came back the following day, we went out for a drive and I dropped the bombshell and showed him the test. He was shocked and upset and asked what I wanted to do.
I thought about how it made me feel, I was scared and upset but a part of me was kind of amazed of what my body could achieve and how the changes had already started. My ex told me he would be there for me no matter what, that he didn't feel ready to be a dad yet but that ultimately it was my decision.which as you can imagine felt like even more pressure on me! I realised that I had to make a really difficult decision. I guess that is the hard part, if you decide to not face up to the situation then a baby is going to arrive in a few months times whether you like it or not!
I went to my local family planning clinicI spoke to a counsellor. This really helped. She was non-judgemental and allowed me to say out loud all the things bubbling around in my head. She asked me questions like what would I tell my friend to do in this situation? and what did I consider the positives of having a baby? I explained to her that this was the worst timing for me to have a child; I'm 22 and in the middle of a teacher training course, still living at home with little money and obviously not in a relationship with the father. The counsellor suggested that I have to make a decision based on what is right for me right now, that it is no good wondering about the 'what ifs' because you just cant predict your future. I then went to see a nurse who referred me for an abortion and gave me information about the procedure.
Medical abortion procedureI attended my first abortion appointment in Liverpool women's hospital 2 days later. Here they checked my blood pressure, took my height and weight, gave me an ultrasound scan to confirm I was just under 6 weeks and took a blood sample. They advised I had an early medical abortion.
The staff were friendly and I didn't feel any prejudice from them at all. The only strange part was sitting in the waiting room with 6 other girls, no one spoke but you could tell there was a strange atmosphere, almost like we all knew each others secret.
A week later I went back to hospital and took the first tablet Mifepristone, they made me wait for half an hour afterwards in case I was sick, but I felt fine and was allowed home. I had a few mild cramps but nothing unmanageable and didn't start bleeding. Two days later I was told to be at the hospital for 8 o'clock and my ex got the day off work and came with me. I had my own private room and bathroom and the nurse gave me 4 Misoprostol tablets to insert inside myself and then to lie down for 45 mins to allow them to absorb.
Immediately after taking the tablets I felt hot and started cramping about 10 minutes later. After ½ an hour I felt rubbish and was clock watching as to when I could stand up because I really needed the toilet. 5 minutes earlier than I was suppose to get up I ran to the bathroom and had diarrhoea and started to vomit. I felt immediately better for doing so and returned to my bed. The cramps eased off. The nurse suggested moving around to get things going so I paced the room. I went the toilet and was bleeding minimally. I found I could only pass blood if I tried to open my bowels (too much info sorry!!).
I was asked to use a bed pan and after ever toiler visit cover it over and a nurse would come and take it away and I presume check to see what had come out. At first I was horrified to ask the nurse to come and do this but they obviously do it all day and didn't seem phased at all. The pain steadily increased through the morning and I took some paracetamol. I continued to throw up but that is a usual symptom for me during my period, my body seems to reject pain! I passed a bit of blood ever ½ hour but the nurse said it wasn't enough. I had to have an anti-d injection as I have negative blood. It was put in the top of my bum cheek and hardly hurt, just a small scratch. I was unable to keep any food down by lunchtime and the pain was unbearable. The nurse gave me a codeine tablet which did help and suggested I had one last go at passing blood. I was finally discharged at 3, and went back to my ex boyfriends where I got into bed with a hot water bottle. I still couldn't eat, I felt so tired and the cramps just remained dull and achy.
I was emotional but didn't feel regret just sadness for the situation. I was sure of my decision and know it was the right thing for me based on right now. It's been a week now, and I am still bleeding. I passed clots for the first day or two and now it is just when I go the toilet that I lose a lot of blood. It has made me realise that one day I do want children but I want it to be when I am in a committed loving relationship, when I have the financial backing and when I feel mature and ready enough to devote myself to a child forever. I am glad that I didn't tell my friends and family, I guess everyone's different but for me it has helped that I haven't had any judgement or opinions from them, and their normality has helped take my mind off it and adjust to being me again. The experience isn't pleasant and obviously not something I would ever want to do again but I don't remember anyone ever enjoying child birth either. Being sure of your decision is really important; i know it was the right thing to do for me so i have been able to deal with this quite well so far.
Editor's CommentThank you for writing in with your story. I am glad you were able to talk your decision through with a counsellor and that it helped you to explore your options. The actual procedure sounded difficult for you and something that will probably stay with you for some time but your certainty that it was right for you will help you as you come to terms with what you have been through. If you ever feel that you need post abortion support there are advisors who can help you on the national helpline 0300 4000 999, and a programme called 'The Journey' that has helped many women following abortion.
This story was sent in on 05/05/2010