Support when I was feeling confused and isolated
I was feeling confused and fairly isolated and although I knew I wanted to continue with the pregnancy (having experienced a termination in 2005), I was concerned about many things.
Visiting the centre gave me the opportunity to talk about my worriesIt helped to talk about how I was feeling without feeling I was being judged or was wasting anyone's time.
Looking back, I can see that some of my worries were quite irrational and bizzare, but the advisors at the centre were always patient and understanding.
I also spoke to advisors on the phone and in the last few months of my pregnancy the centre would phone me once a week to check I was ok and to give me opportunity to discuss anything I needed to.
A further example of how I was helped by the centre was the issue of my 5 month scan. My relationship was crumbling rapidly and as my partner wanted a daughter, I hoped that the relationship could be saved if I was found to be expecting a girl. However, I found out I was expecting a boy and was distraught.
The centre couldn't have been more supportive at this time, even arranging for one of the advisors to meet me at the centre the day after the scan (a Thursday, not one of the usual drop-in days). They, again, listened to me and were extremely reassuring and provided me with practical ideas to help me bond with the unborn baby, such as choosing a lovely toy for him from Mothercare. Other practical advice I received through the centre was information and leaflets on adoption and late termination. Although I wasn't seriously considering either, I still felt I wanted to know what my options were and the centre were able to provide this information.
After I underwent the termination in 2005, I chose not to receive any counselling or help in coming to terms with what had happened.This is mainly because the only counselling offered to me was at the hospital, and I felt unable to return to the same place where I had experienced the actual termination.
Due to a lack of support immediately after the termination, I consequently suffered awful flashbacks, nightmares and a borderline eating disorder. I therefore feel that it is extremely important that there is a service independent from the hospital that women can approach after a termination.
Although I haven't attended any formal post-abortion counselling through the centre, I have talked over some of my feelings surrounding it and this has helped me. Overall, I feel that Plymouth Pregnancy Crisis Centre provide a valuable service and I hope it continues to go from strength to strength.
Editor's CommentThank you for telling us your story. It is good to hear that you received such a supportive service from the Plymouth Pregnancy Crisis Centre. I think it is an important part of making a decision to receive accurate information about all your options so that you feel you have made an informed choice. There is less chance of regret if you know you have explored your options thoroughly.
I am glad you have been able to talk through some of your feelings about the abortion, and of course that door is always open to you should you want to receive some more indepth support.