"I recently had a medical abortion at a few weeks pregnant. For me, the most difficult aspect was the psychological part, not because I was unsure of my choice, but because of the stigma and the taboo surrounding abortion, the lack of conversation around it, and stepping into the unknown, making me feel like I should feel overwhelmed and scared of what was coming.
Having been through it now, I feel an injustice at the way that society - albeit unintentionally - can make someone feel like this. Also, because of the lack of talk, I read quite a few experiences online, which were several years old and didn't then mirror what happened to me, I was wrongly informed and needlessly scared.
I took a test on a Tuesday which came up positive, and called Marie Stopes immediately, making an appointment for the Friday. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I was at work but emotional and overwhelmed - not much use in the office. My friends were very supportive but my head was everywhere, for reasons mentioned above. 3 days is not very long to wait but I was so nervous it was tough.
On Friday, I met with nurses, had a scan, (booked an appointment to get a coil fitted a few weeks later) and was asked all the standard medical questions affecting my suitability to the treatment. They made everything seem so much more normal and I felt so much better about everything from then on. The only question I wasn't prepared for was 'why do you want this abortion' which I couldn't really put into words. The nurse helped me word it, and explained it was a legal requirement to answer it.
What? Must I justify what I want to do with my body?
After a 45 minute wait for the application to be signed off by 2 doctors, I took the first tablet (with an anti sickness tablet) and was good to go. I made the follow up appointment for the Sunday. On Friday I had some mildish cramps, so I holed up on the sofa with a hot water bottle. nothing I couldn't handle. No painkillers needed.
On Saturday I actually went to work for 12 hours. This was a bad idea because I was aware of possible side effects. But because I couldn't get my shift covered, I felt pressured to go in. Luckily, other than the cramps on Friday, I didn't experience any other side effects. No bleeding, nausea, anything.
I went back to the clinic on Sunday, where I had not even a ten minute wait. took an anti sickness tablet and was given some antibiotics to take after dinner. then I was given 4 tablets to keep against my gums for half an hour. as soon as the tablets were in my mouth I was free to go, and given a 24 hour number to call with any concerns. Having read other reviews online, I thought that i would have to stay there while I passed the pregnancy. I'm much happier I was able to go straight home!
To sum the sunday up - I had mild to moderate cramps for about 6 hours. I started bleeding an hour after taking the tablets, clots coming out while I was in the bathroom. I had about half an hour of very bad cramps, and after that passed I was convinced it would get worse, I kept thinking 'that can't be it'- it was. I saw the 'sack' come out in one of my clots shortly after. I understand everyone reacts differently, some worse than others. I think I was lucky to have fairly mild symptoms with few side effects, and I wonder if that's due to how early I found out I was pregnant, and how quickly i managed to get treatment.
The next morning I woke up, and I was surprised. I thought I'd feel guilty, and that it would affect me mentally for a long time. I felt relieved as I know I did the right thing for me. All of that mental anguish for the week seemed almost unnecessary. I didn't feel like a horrible person. I felt normal.
I just think it's such a shame that there isn't enough talk around abortion, and that other people out there are going through what I went through, feeling as though they are doing something which is such an unspeakable rarity. I read in one article that 1 in 3 women in the UK have abortions. I'm not sure whether this is correct, but I think it's time women shared their experiences more openly with one another, to help women in the future to make their decision without having to deal with the emotional baggage of stigmas and taboos.' —Laurie