I was severely ill with postnatal depression which required hospital treatment as an inpatient.

I wanted to tell women my story about termination as it has been mixed experience for me. I wanted to start off with the reasoning for my decision to terminate my pregnancy. I have three young children already and am a single mum. I work full time in London too but don't think I've done too bad a job bringing my children up! After I had my daughter (my youngest) I was severely ill with postnatal depression which required hospital treatment as an inpatient. It had taken me almost 4 years to recover and of course after each pregnancy the depression can get worse. I was not in a stable relationship when I fell pregnant for a fourth time, but we all have accidents and we aren't all perfect! It's life and it's something I have now had to deal with in my mind. I had mixed feelings initially after discovering that I was pregnant. I had felt for some time that I wanted another baby, but with the right person, someone whom I could partner in bringing up our children. So, when I found out I was expecting (I had suspected for a few weeks but had not been brave enough to do a test) I felt smug and had a feeling of 'YES!!!!' My relationship subsequently broke down, for reasons of self preservation and gut instinct yelling out to me that this was not a good thing to be involved in. Then the reality of what I was doing hit me. All of a sudden. It just slammed into my head, Jees, what am I doing???? I was AGAIN going to be bringing a baby up on my own (my first three all have the same dad) and I was already having the feelings and symptoms of depression back. There was no way I could even risk being admitted into hospital again after having this baby. Who would look after my children, what damage would I be doing them, emotionally psychologically??? I had not only my own health to consider, but also that of my existing children. I cried and cried, eventually having to admit to myself that I would have to seriously consider whether I carry on or not with this pregnancy. After a few weeks of torturing myself, telling myself that I am a bad person for even considering a termination, I realised 'no I'm not a bad person'. I have three wonderful children who need me to be well and healthy to look after them, three little people who rely on me and only me. Not only would it be harmful to me, and my children if I carried on, but also this new life I would be bringing into the world. For me, a termination was the right decision. I went to see my GP, who was rude, sarcastic and unsympathetic to my needs. She did refer me to a hospital, but made the experience initially very very upsetting and I was again riddled with guilt. I had an appointment at the hospital for 3 weeks time, a wednesday. I am pleased to say that once I was at the hospital, the doctors and nurse couldn't have been nicer. They were calm, they did not judge me for my decision and made it clear they were there to help me. I felt a huge wave of relief, a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I cried, through relief. The doctor scanned me, he turned the screen away from me. He was deadly silent. And I was nervous as to how long I would have to wait for the proceedure. When I was getting dressed, he said from behind the curtain, I can have you in this Friday. I thanked him and thanked him and thanked him. To think that this was all going to be over soon. In hind sight, I should have seen why he wanted to get me in so soon. I had lost my pregnancy symptoms a few weeks previous, no sickness, no sore boobs, no tiredness and was having niggley period pains but no bleeding. I just thought I was being lucky as I had awful symptoms with my first three children!! I was given my first tablet by the nurse and sent home. I had to be back at the hospital in 48 hours for the final part of my termination. I almost immediately started to get period like cramps and light bleeding. On the Friday morning I turned up at the ward and was greeted by a student midwife and sister. I was shown into my own private room with bathroom and bed. The student midwife booked me in, took my blood pressure, temperature and asked how I had been. She then let the cat out of the bag. 'So, was this a suprise?' she says to me. 'Was what a suprise?' I asked her. 'Having a missed miscarriage?'she said. 'A what?' I asked her. After the initial shock had sunk in, she explained that the doctor had written on my notes that my baby had died at 10 weeks gestation. I should have been just over 12 weeks. I can not explain why, but I felt really really sad that my baby had died inside me without my knowing it. Was it something I did or didn't do?? This sounds irrational I know, I was going in for a termination, I was going into hospital to abort my baby and it upset me that it had already passed away. Once I had gathered my thoughts, the sister came and inserted 4 pessary hormone tablets behind my cervix. There was no pain, there was no discomfort. I was then monitored hourly, level of pain, how heavily I was bleeding and blood pressure. I had nothing. No pain. No bleeding. Nothing. Three hours later, I was given a second dose orally. This dose gave me an upset stomach for about 20 minutes, but that was it. I had no pain, and no bleeding. I walked around the ward, down to the cafe, up and down the stairs, the lot. I started to get mild period like cramps and mild bleeding. I had a third dose 4 hours later, and took some pain relief tablets as I had moderate period pains. It was bearable and controlable. All of a sudden I had an urge to go to the toilet, I put a bowl in the toilet and beared down. There was my baby, perfectly formed, not bloody, about 2 1/2 inches long, arms and legs not in proportion to its body and head, but it was a baby. I felt nothing but a feeling that this poor wee thing wasn't wanted. It wasn't wanted by me, nor it's dad. That has been the hardest feeling to deal with. That I didn't want this little person I'd just given birth to. I had no feelings of guilt or regret, I had made the right decision, and in fact the decision was eventually taken out of my hands by mother nature. I just felt sad. Really sad. I then had a lot of bleeding, passed the placenta about 15 minutes later, and my bleeding slowed down to virtually nothing. I was allowed home an hour and a half after passing the foetus. All was going swimmingly well, my bleeding was that of a mild period, I had no pains, I was feeling better in myself once the 'baby blues' had passed a few days after. I did cry, a lot, but I was tired and emotional. One week after my medical management of a missed miscarriage, I was admitted to hospital with extremely heavy bleeding, passing 10cm clots and very bad period pain. Scans showed that there were retained products of conception, with some of the placenta left behind. I now have to go for a D&C in 5 days time. They will scan me before hand to check I havn't passed the products, but right now, I have no bleeding again. It appears my cervix has dilated and has been blocked by massive clots, although I was still bleeding into my uterus. My stomach was slightly distended and I didnt feel quite right, but not having been through a medical termination before, I thought it was normal!! I am not in pain, and like I said, I have no bleeding. I guess unless the products are expelled by my body, I just need a bit of help. I'm not scared, and am looking forward to drawing a close to this. I hope this has helped reassure some of you that not all medical terminations are horrendously painful and all heavy bleeding. If my products had all come away I would have sailed through. Guess that's the luck of the draw! That's life ladies. Please don't beat yourselves up for the decision you have made. You have your reasons and I bet you have thought and thought and thought about it!! good luck everyone, bring on Friday!! Editor's Comment:- Thanks for your very honest account of what happened to you. I agree that for most women this is a difficult decision and one that they think through a lot beforehand. Maybe it was comforting for you to know that the decision was taken out of your hands, and I'm glad that you found out the truth before the proceedure. I think it is always worth speaking to a pregnancy advisor before you have an abortion so that you can get all the information, think it through to be sure and then make an informed choice. I hope your D&C goes OK and you can start to get over this experience.

This story was sent in on 01/12/2009

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