“I was 8 weeks and 4 days when I had a surgical abortion under general anesthetic. I am happily married with 2 children, ages 11 and 6, and was complete with my 2 children. I ended up accidentally falling pregnant using condoms—this was never an issue for us before—but this time it didn’t work.
I was horrified, and really not happy when I took the test after feeling ‘different’. I just had a feeling that I was pregnant, as I was feeling tired and sick. My husband agreed this was for the best as we discussed we didn’t want any more children. I rang a local British Pregnancy Advisory Service clinic in despair, and made a consultation appointment for Wednesday, the nearest one was an hour drive away!
When I went I was 6 weeks pregnant, and I booked a surgical appointment for the following week on Monday. I was so scared and unsure of my decision and couldn’t sleep all week on Monday. I started doubting myself and everything I was booked in for. I felt guilty, confused, stressed, and it was all so consuming. The day before my surgical I was feeling so much anxiety and stress I felt I couldn’t do it so I rescheduled the appointment for the following week, as I felt I needed more time to think.
The following week came round and I just knew it was the right thing to do. Financially we couldn’t have done it, we already had so much to pay out and our house is tiny already. I had one of each sex of children and we had just got to a stage where we felt we had our lives back a bit with work, money and social events. My husband agreed. I know this sounds ridiculous to some people, but this was going to affect our lives forever.
Monday came round and the drive there was awful. I was so scared and having to face the reality of what was going to happen. I checked in at reception and took a seat. After 10 minutes a nurse took my blood pressure and temperature in a separate room. I then had to take a seat again and wait to be called for the operating theatre. They didn’t re scan me which I was actually grateful for. She told me exactly what was going to happen and I was feeling a little bit better. I opted for general as I didn’t want to be awake and aware of what was going on. I really recommend this way.
I then waited just over 90 minutes to be called through which I thought was really long and a bit cruel to let you sit and worry for that long but these things happen. At this point I was still with my husband. I then got called and went up to the room off to the side of the operating theatre with a nurse, my husband was told to wait and contact reception in 45 minutes. By this point I was really panicking and crying. The nurse gave me some slippers and a gown and told me to remove all clothing in a cubicle and leave my gown undone at the back. She told me to not to worry and to relax as I was shaking and breathing so hard. This point was the hardest for me as I could see the operating theatre staff getting ready. I just remember doing deep breathing exercises at this point as I thought I was going to run. I then got introduced to the prep staff who told me to lay down on the bed with my legs off the edge.
They checked my name and date of birth and made sure I was ok. They inserted a canula, gave me some oxygen through a mask, and taped my wedding ring. I was laid on the bed for roughly 5 minutes and when everything was ready they wheeled me through to the actual operating theatre room. In here was 4-5 staff and they all seemed to be busy doing jobs.
The surgeon who was performing this for me seemed very cold and straight forward. One of the prep doctors then confirmed with the surgeon who I was, gestation in weeks (this wasn’t nice to hear again) and how my procedure was going to be carried out (vacuum abortion). I also opted to have an IUD fitted immediately after so they confirmed this. I then remember waking up in recovery. It felt so quick.
Literally 20 minutes later I was awake and feeling fine. I had a few observations done and was wheeled through to the recovery ward. They gave me some sugary tea and a muffin. I appreciated this as I was so thirsty and hungry by this point due to be being nil by mouth. I was with 3 other girls on the ward but we had our own curtains dividing us. I noticed I had some paper knickers on and a thick pad which they must have put on me after surgery. I was cramping quite a lot but this wasn’t unbearable. It was quite sad to think we all had the same thing done.
My husband then arrived at the door and I was so relieved to see him. We had a cuddle and relaxed for 10 minutes. One of the nurses came in and checked my observations again and asked if I could go to the toilet to change my pad to check on bleeding. I had a very light amount so I wasn’t too bad. She then told me I could get changed and go through to the post operation room where I spoke to a nurse about my IUD and to go over any after care. I was given some antibiotic tablets before being discharged 20 minutes later. It was all very professional but sometimes a bit cold. I think where these staff are doing it day in day out they become desensitized and can often lack in some reassurance and smiles.
When we left I felt a weight had been lifted although I felt sad and my husband then gave me a blanket and a pillow for the car ride home. He was amazing and I am very lucky. I am now feeling a bit of cramping and general tiredness but I’m sure this will settle in a few days time. I hope this helps some of you who are going through this tough time and decision, I totally understand what you are all going through when you are trying to seek as much information as you can before you go through this as this is what I done. I found comfort in people’s stories and used them to reassure my self when I was at my lowest. You will be fine. Your strong. You have to decide what’s best for YOU.” —Anonymous