“I found out I was pregnant at 18 and my instant decision was to get an abortion, but the process with Marie Stopes UK was lengthy and I had to wait a week before I was first seen for a consultation. Within this time I had changed my mind hundreds of times, and then when I finally got there I was told I was 9 weeks and 3 days. 3 days over the limit for the medical abortion. This changed a lot of things for me as I was worried about the morality of the surgical abortion and about the pregnancy being more than 6 weeks.
After another painful wait for the surgical abortion, it was cancelled, and the time the day of my surgery finally arrived I was over 11 weeks. During my three painful weeks of waiting for my appointment I was so emotional and upset that I believe I 'grieved' the pregnancy whilst I was still pregnant, something I was worried would take months to pass after.
After spending every day crying leading up to it, now it's been two days after my surgical abortion and I feel positive that it was the right decision. The scariest part of a first abortion is not knowing how it's going to be which was definitely what made me so nervous.
The day of the abortion entailed leaving my boyfriend and his Mum in the visitor waiting room and a whole day of waiting in different waiting rooms. I wanted it to be my turn so badly but once it was my turn to take everything off except my dress I was starting to panic. A dress is definitely a good idea to wear because it gives you a bit more coverage than anything else.
The surgery room took me off guard a bit as I'd never seen anything like it and I quickly burst into tears and felt really young and vulnerable but the nurses helped me to calm down. I think the biggest thing I hated was putting my vagina in the air as I had to put my legs in stirrups as I'd never done anything like this before, but it was very discreet and handled professionally. I was then sedated and I'm really glad I went with this option as I wasn't aware that meant you fell asleep, but I was grateful I did. When I woke up the doctors were no longer in the room and a nurse helped me to a recliner and gave me a hot water bottle, cup of coffee and pack of biscuits. This was really comforting and the support after was really nice as the sedation made me quite emotional even though physically and mentally I felt fine, but apparently some people react this way to it.
I was pretty out of it for the next hour and I went home pretty soon after. I know there are lots of horror stories on the internet, and I read most of them regretfully, but I think it's important to remember the hundreds of women that have abortions and DON'T write about their experience because nothing really noteworthy happened. This is how I feel looking back now, but I wished I had read something that says it's not going to be extremely painful or horrible.
As for after care, I have just been having co-codomal that you can buy from Boots pharmacy (UK) and using a hot water bottle. I had it on Tuesday and it's now Thursday and I am having very light 'period' type pain and light bleeding, yesterday was a bit stronger but nothing unmanageable, and Tuesday's pain was worse but I was on more medication so it didn't feel bad at the time.” —Emilie