My abortion made me who I am

My choice.

My abortion made me who I am.

My decision 5 years ago has lead me to the strong 24-year-old I am today and I would never change that.

So – let’s introduce myself. I am an LPC student aspiring to be a solicitor one day, I also work full time to put myself through University.

I have a very small circle of friends and I like it that way, I would rather have 3 people I could trust with my life as opposed to a large group of friends who fake pleasantries.

I have had amazing relationships and toxic ones but I wouldn’t change any of them. I am currently single and I prefer myself that way.

There is very few people that know my story and so this will be a shock to some but it’s time to share the details of my choice.

So – let’s start at the beginning….

As a first-year university student finding out you’re pregnant is the last thing you expect.

In February 2014, I found out I was 5 weeks pregnant with my on/off boyfriend of 4 years (this was during our “off” period). It was my Mum who implied that I could be pregnant and encouraged me to take a test, who would’ve known that peeing on that stick would change everything.

Upon seeing those two little lines my mind was already made up, I knew exactly what I wanted and what I should do. I was 19! I wasn’t prepared for this, things weren’t great with my boyfriend and I could barely afford my rent, there was no way I could do this. I called the doctors and before I knew it I had been referred to my local hospital to begin the process, this all happened before I had even told my boyfriend (I know this may look extremely selfish) but I had tunnel vision I knew what I wanted and I was not ashamed to get there. When I finally told him, I could tell he was shocked, scared and upset, I knew he had always wanted children and this would be difficult for him, but he knew deep down neither of us were ready for this.

A week later we were sat at the hospital waiting for my appointment, the atmosphere in that waiting room was awful, it was dark and dreary and it was like their main aim was to get you to walk out and change your mind, but this was not happening, this was my choice. When we entered the room, they had to do an ultrasound to confirm, this was torture, because I was so early they had to prod very deep into the bottom of my stomach to get the reading they needed. The worst thing was that the doctor kept the screen of the ultrasound facing me so I could see everything, I couldn’t look, my boyfriend however was staring straight at it, I was squeezing his hand so tight pulling it towards me trying to make him look away, but he couldn’t.

I was disgusted at how this doctor treated me, it was like she was doing everything she could to change my mind, not for one second did it occur to her that I was a scared 19-year-old who had no idea what was happening or what was going to happen.

It was then I realised how little support there is for abortion and how much society does not want you to do this, even doctors!!

By this point I was 6 weeks and was told that my only option was a surgical abortion but I had to wait until I was 10 weeks for this. My mind was racing, 4 weeks? There is nothing I could do for 4 weeks? Really?

A few days later I was discussing this with a close friend from work who I knew had also been through this, she was amazing and so supportive which was refreshing from the way I had already been treated. She told me I did have options and that I should consider a medical abortion and even recommended me to the clinic she went too.

I went home that night and googled medical abortion and was shocked at the information I found, it was all very technically termed but nothing helpful to me - the person who would be going through it! I decided that I couldn’t wait a further 4 weeks and that I needed to pursue this. The next day I made an appointment at the clinic and that was the start of my journey.

The night before the appointment my boyfriend went out with his work friends and ended up getting blind drunk and I had to pick him up, he promised me he wouldn’t get like that but I guess this had got to him more than I thought and this was his outlet.

The next morning, we were up early to go the appointment and I had to drive as he was in no fit state to be behind the wheel – perfect start. We got there and we were immediately separated, I had to go upstairs and he sat downstairs – I was alone.

First, they wanted to do an ultrasound but as I had already had one and had the paperwork with me I didn’t need to do that again (thank god). I sat around for 5 hours waiting to see the doctor and had to have a finger prick test to make sure I wasn’t rhesus negative (which I luckily wasn’t as this could’ve changed everything). Finally, I went in to see the doctor, who bluntly explained what was going to happen. He gave me a tablet that I had to take there and then as well as a suppository. I was left slightly dazzled as after hours of waiting it was over in minutes, I wasn’t even sure what had happened! He explained that I may feel some stomach pain but nothing too severe and that I had to come back in two days for further tablets, and that was it, I went to collect my extremely worse for wear boyfriend downstairs and off we went.

I felt nothing in these two days, no pain – nothing. Like nothing had happened.

It was then time for the second and last appointment, I had already been advised that I couldn’t drive to this one so I ensured my boyfriend did not go out and get blind drunk so he could take me.

When we arrived, the nurse called me straight in and explained that she was going to put 4 tablets inside of me and that I would feel cramping in the next few hours - that was it.

I went straight home and got in bed and expected the worse, nobody had prepared me for this, I had no idea what to expect and just wanted to be comfortable. Around 2-3 hours later it began, the worse cramping I have ever experienced, it is nothing like period pain I felt like I was being stabbed and tortured. I would then run to the toilet every few minutes passing clots ranging in size. I was crying in pain and bless my boyfriend he couldn’t have been more supportive and caring throughout those few hours.

A few hours later, it happened. I passed a clot where there was no mistaking what it was – it was over.

Me and my boyfriend called it quits for good a few weeks later but I could never thank him enough for his support throughout the process, I couldn’t have done it without him and for that he will always have a special place in my heart.

Throughout the whole process, I had three people to support me, my boyfriend, my friend who referred me to that clinic and my Mum.

For something so drastic you would expect there to be a lot more support out there but the world is just not ready to be open and honest about abortion and to this day it is still a taboo topic, why? My friends still shudder and give me a sad look whenever I bring this up but I am not ashamed of this and I certainly won’t stop talking because it makes them uncomfortable, it is my body and my choice.

Abortion is a woman’s choice! No woman relies on this as a contraception and this is a last resort option, but no woman should go through this alone as it is already made hard enough by everyone else.

Don’t get me wrong I think of this day all the time and the most difficult part is that the only person who can comprehend what I went through is the one person I can no longer talk too, and that is heart-breaking.

This was my choice and I am proud of the decision I made 5 years ago as it has made me the person I am today.