my abortion could mean I’m now infertile do I regret it?

In short - no.

After spending some time with other girls who’ve had abortion I’ve learnt how truly bizarre and fucked up mine was. Definitely not the norm. I keep wanting to talk about how bad my abortion was not to scare people out of having one, but even after how atrocious mine was, I don’t regret anything, and would do it all again if I needed to.

The only thing I regret from my abortion was not pushing for myself to be looked after better by the hospital I was at. They did a lot of great work with me (NHS in general has saved my anxiety induced hypochondria multiple times) and looked after me incredibly well, but there were things they weren’t listening to me about, they thought their expertise was more valid than what I was telling them was happening to me.

I got pregnant on New Years Eve. I then went on holiday with my family for a week, when I found out I was pregnant the hospital was insistent that I got pregnant on 7/8th of January. I know the rule of sperm being able to live inside you for 5 days, but even if this had happened to me the dates were still wrong. With the hospital going by the date of 7th of January when I finally had the abortion I was only a week under the limit of being able to have a medical abortion, which meant by my record of getting pregnant I was over the limit.

In my abortion I saw a full fetus come out of me, which after speaking to other people is not normal for medical terminations. When I went home they said I should bleed for around 2 weeks, at the 2 week point I was still bleeding heavily and passing huge blood clots.

Went back to the doctors, they said leave it another week.
Went back a week after, “You have an infection, heres some antibiotics should be fine in a week”
Back the week after, still bleeding “give it another 2 weeks” and it carried on like that.
Finally in May, 3 months after my first abortion I was given an ultrasound that said the abortion hadn’t worked properly and now I would need to have a surgical abortion - double abortion lucky me! The amount of tissue that was still in my uterus meant they classified me as still pregnant. The infection they had mentioned before had been there since the beginning and was still there 3 months later. An infection they told me could lead to me not being able to carry children in the future.

“We can test to see if this has happened… but only when you’re trying for children in a few years time.”
I knew when I was bleeding that something wasn’t right, I knew I should have pushed the doctors and said they needed to examine me earlier because now it could be too late, and I won’t know until I’m trying for kids and will have to experience heartache when or if I’m told I can’t carry them.

It’s the same reason I think I got pregnant - not pushing for the pill that I wanted and saying yes to the cheaper version. Knowing something wasn’t right with my bleeding but just accepting it. Push for your body and what you want for it, trust when you think something isn’t right.

Even after the complete fuck up of my abortion[s] if my choices really were to carry my own and have it at 19 or maybe having to struggle when I’m ready for it then I’d pick the latter every time.

If anyone out there could test me to see if I can have kids lemme know, could be a great next article.

dealing with anti-abortion protesters

“The Beginning of the End of Abortion” yeah right.

40 Days for life is an anti-abortion campaign, twice a year they spend 40 days standing outside abortion clinics across the world. Last week I attended a counter presence against 40 Days, where they stood outside an abortion clinic harassing and shouting at women to try and stop them having abortions, pushing leaflets and unwanted advice to women and girls who are already having maybe the hardest day of their lives. I’m part of a counter presence group where we stand in front of this group with pro-choice and supportive messages, in general try to protect people using the clinic from the shit-bricks stood outside.

My first shift we were very fortunate as none of them turned up - they don’t seem to be able to wake up early to do “the Lord’s work.” This is something that has happened a number of days as they simply do not have the man power to have someone standing outside a clinic everyday for 40 Days. In contrast, on my 2nd shift too many of us turned up to counter their presence, we’re bursting at the seams to support choice and abortion.

During my 2nd shift 3 vigilers arrived with signs to litter in front of the clinic: the classic anti-abortion images over exaggerated fetus' mothers and babies, Jesus on the cross ect ect. During this time a man came out of the clinic to ask what the vigilers were doing by being there. Man number 1 (age around 80) replied “We’re here to stop the murder of innocent babies.” It takes an awful strong will to not reply to such a hate-filled comment from a man clinging onto his rosary beads. How they can believe shouting something like that is really going to help somebody is delusional.

From personal experience of turning up somewhere to have an abortion, once you’re at the clinic your mind is made up. If I had seen or had to deal with vigilers at my appointments it would have just made me go to another clinic, their idea of “saving lives” is a cover to hide their spite against women making their own decisions. How many of them have adopted the babies they’ve “saved”? how many of them foster children in care? Or even give money to charities that do?

My friend wished me luck as I left to go and said “I hope its not too difficult for you!” This hadn’t even crossed my mind, I didn’t feel upset or sad about myself when I was there - there was this sadness for the other girls dealing with this especially since they had these crusty old men judging them as they go in. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel going to an abortion clinic, seeing these women who are in the same position I was in a few years ago but I felt this immense sense of pride. I felt proud for the girls going in that they’d taken charge of their situation and made the choice that best suited them and proud of the group I’m involved with to counter the anti-abortion presence. I’ll keep shouting about my abortion as long as I can because of how proud I am of getting through it!

I refuse to call people pro-life, as I don’t see them as so. They’re not pro the life of the woman who’s pregnant, they don’t care about how being pregnant might effect her, they’re not interested in what she might want to do with her life or the fact that she just doesn’t want a child. Pro-life gives off this fake aura of positivity and after standing face to face with this group for a few hours I can say there was not an ounce of positivity between them.

I don’t know what got them so fucked up in life to think shouting at people or saying 10 hail Marys will make them change their minds but, their anti-abortion and anti women values are something I can’t wrap my head around. Their main belief is that you shouldn’t have sex unless you want to have a child or as to do so is a sin…Looking at this group of people I don’t believe for a second that in their 80 years of life they only ever had sex to procreate, or lets say they did, I’m supposed to believe that they have never committed another sin? A lot of religious groups have a great habit of picking and choosing which “sins” they focus their attentions on. Some examples from The Bible:

1 Corinthians 14:34 reads:

“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.”

translation: women better stay quiet in Church

Leviticus 19:19 reads:

“You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together.”

translation: don’t wear polyester (I can say for certain all of the vigilers were breaking this one)

Some other of my favourite sins:

  • no seafood Leviticus 10–11

  • no working on Saturdays Exodus 31:14–15

  • no round haircuts Leviticus 19:27

  • no beard trimming Leviticus 19:27

  • and definitely no eating cheeseburgers Leviticus 3:17 

All of these sins they could focus on, they could go picket outside McDonalds for the sinners of the big mac, but no. They focus their attention on the women choosing what to do for themselves, because that’s what they’re comfortable with - questioning a woman’s choice.

Trying to stop abortion won’t stop abortion. When it was illegal here people still had them, where it is still illegal women still get them. Trying to stop abortion will never stop abortion, it only stops safe ones.

telling my dad I'd had an abortion

Just what every Father wants to hear.

My Dad cried when I told him I’d had an abortion.

I only told my Mom in my family when I was actually pregnant. Neither of my sisters knew, not my step Mom and definitely not my Dad. It wasn’t because my Dad wouldn’t have support me or my decision I know he would have, he’s not religious but he does tend to question a lot of my choices in life (job and degree mostly).

Not telling most of my family about my pregnancy/abortion I think was because I wanted to be treated normally by people. My university life was not normal I didn’t go into lectures for months and I didn’t hang out with anybody other than my boyfriend and his friends (who all knew). I was getting a lot of looks of sympathy along with this constant fear of being judged about it, I thought everyone was always thinking about the fact that I was pregnant which of course they weren’t.

Telling my Dad was something I dreaded, we are not an emotional family. We keep things on a superficial level, if we disagree on something I don’t argue with him about it. I’ve accepted we don’t agree on a lot of important things but, I don’t push my corner as I’ve just been labelled as the black sheep of my family. If being the black sheep means not voting Tory I’ll take that label and stick it on my forehead for the rest of my life.

I told the rest of my family about a year and a half after I’d had the abortion. I visited home with the specific purpose of opening up about it. I’d made my dissertation film about it, and by this point people were asking why they weren’t allowed to watch it yet. I was sat on my sofa with my Dad and brought up the topic of my dissertation.

“So there’s a reason you haven’t seen my film yet Dad...
It’s about me getting pregnant last year and having an abortion”

I immediately went into my rehearsed speech of how its fine, I’m not really emotional about it, it was what it was and its done now. He asked about how my boyfriend had handled it and if thats why we’d broken up - I tried to attempt a joke about the fact that no it was because he slept with someone else a week later and we were “just in general shit together.”

It went silent for about 3 minuets that felt like an eternity of me trying to guess what he was thinking, then my step Mom walked in (who I’d told earlier that day - saved telling my Dad till last to extend the self-induced anxiety stomach ache as long as possible).
“Why didn’t you tell us Ab?”

Then my Dad cried, then I cried because he was crying, then my step Mom cried.
They both focused on the fact that they would have been supportive and wished I’d told them at the time. I kept trying to explain that I just needed to do it and get it done, that I wanted to go home and get treated normally by people without getting this look of pity. A few days after I’d had the medical abortion we went on walk and I was not in a state to keep up with him and my sisters. The whole walk I was getting the shit ripped out of me for being unfit and I loved it, I liked having this self-pity secret; I was proud of myself for even going on the walk and then being made to push myself further.

After that day we’ve never spoken about it. I tested the water at our Christmas dinner making a some what poor taste joke. My Dad made a comment about wanting grandkids, and I replied “well your chance from me got literally flushed down the toilet last year.” As soon as I said it I knew I shouldn’t have but I couldn’t stop this smirk from being sprawled across my face - but then looking at my Dad’s eyes bulge out of his head and my sisters awkwardly looking at each other whilst trying to carry on eating their pigs in blankets I thought I should maybe find a better audience for the niche market of abortion comedy.

That’s why I’m airing all my dirty laundry on the internet.

I got pregnant whilst on contraception

Not all contraception works, even when taking it everyday, at the same time, this is something I found out in probably the worse way possible. I had been on Cerazette for 5 months before I got pregnant, I can’t remember the specific brand but I do remember my GP changed the brand 2 months before I got pregnant to “exactly the same pill but cheaper.”

I felt at every appointment I had about the abortion I had to mention I had been on contraception, I didn’t want to appear as someone who just took a risk or didn’t think about it. I’d been on contraception since I was 16, it was a part of my daily life that I never took a chance on. The huge bit of information that me and my friend who came to the appointment with me took away from seeing the nurse is that contraception just doesn’t work on some people, taking the pill everyday doesn’t mean its doing what its meant to. Donia mentioned to the nurse that she sometimes bled during the time she was taking the pill, and this was something that had been happening to me as well. The nurse then said that this meant the pill wasn’t strong enough for us and wasn’t doing what it was meant to - meaning we’d both been having sex when we might as well have been using nothing.

The pill not being strong enough for me was something that had never been explained to me as being an option when I went to see doctors about contraception. It was always just take this and you’ll be safe. I put my ignorance down to the lack of sex education I got from going to a Catholic high school but Donia said she’d never been told that either. Two women in their 20s had never been told that the contraception you’re on just might not work for you, when I’ve told this to other people my age there hasn’t been a single person come back to me and say they knew it, my Mom in her 50s didn’t know it either. Push for your own body, I wish I had said no to the cheaper option and stood my ground for what pills I am putting into my body every day.

I got really angry about this, about the lack of education I’d been given from doctors and sex ed teachers in school. Even now I learn so much about how a women’s body works that I’m embarrassed as 22 year old I didn’t know it before. I’ve had to teach myself biologically how a woman’s body works, because my school didn’t.

We have to do better to teach girls to know their bodies - it took me 3 months to even realise I was pregnant because I was sure every woman who gets pregnant has morning sickness and I hadn’t.

I’ve now got the implant and for me it works pretty well, the not having to really think about it for 3 years is something I love. Downside I sometimes get 2 periods a month, sometimes I don’t get a period for 3 months, which can be a lovely guessing game that means I have a constant supply of pregnancy tests in the bathroom, which thank god so far have only been a waste of time and money.

My hypochondria loves to play the “are we pregnant again?” game every few weeks.

how to support someone having an abortion

Disclaimer - you gotta have a bit of common sense.

When I first found out I was pregnant I phoned 2 people, the first was my friend Amy she was at pre-drinks to go out. I didn’t let on to what was happening, didn’t want to spoil her night so just asked that she phoned me the next day. Then I phoned Ash. Ash has been one of my best friends for years, we’ve helped each other in situations that neither of us deserved to be in and I just needed to hear from someone who knew me really fucking well, who could tell what I was feeling from my tone of voice.

I can’t remember the intimate details of this phone call but I remember he never asked if I was joking, which I would have thought, both of us being 19 at the time would have been his initial response. He asked if he could tell our other friend who he was sat with and then made some stupid joke down the phone to me which is actually when I started to cry, that cry when you’ve laughed and then it dawns on you that even if you can laugh you’ve still got to cry sometimes.

Ash is one of the best people to help you with something like this and heres why. He listened to me a lot, he’d sit on the phone let me cry and bitch to him, without trying to give advice because he didn’t know anything about abortions. It sounds like such cliché advice but I really just needed someone to listen. I didn’t want someone who hadn’t dealt with it to tell me how to feel, I didn’t even want someone who had been through it to tell me how they felt, because every single person deals with it so differently. He texted asking if I was okay but didn’t pester if I didn’t reply. Having a friend that knew me better than I thought he did was a true gift during that time. I wish every person going through this could have their own Ash, and if you don’t, I want this site to be a place to feel some comfort.

Something that really made me lose faith in a friend during this period of time was her annoyance at me not responding. Not responding for the weeks surrounding the abortion and specifically on the day I had the abortion. She texted while I was still in hospital asking if I wanted to go on a night out soon, I opened and didn’t reply, about half an hour later I got an angry message about how I never want to go out and it’s “so rude” that I had left her on read. Even writing this now almost 3 years later it still hits an angry nerve in me. You know your friend is dealing with something at the moment, you know that today is the day the abortion is happening, yet her priorities still lay with the issue she had with me. I’m not saying issues between friends need to be put permanently on hold when someone is dealing with an abortion or any shitty situation, but there should be a level of understanding there.

For a few weeks I had to completely care for myself, maybe selfishly but just look after me. During anybody’s time of difficulty it should be clear (or at least it is to me) to just let them deal with it, bring up your issues with this person later, let them ignore your texts for a while, if they don’t feel like organising a night out at the moment maybe just grant them that.

It’s a hard thing to balance when your friend is retreating into themselves and you’re trying to be there for them. Finding the right mix of reaching out and checking in without being pushy or hurt if they don’t reply is a combination that isn’t easy to manage.
But neither is being pregnant and having an abortion so suck it up and be a good friend.

telling my mom I'm pregnant and having an abortion

My support system at the time of my pregnancy and abortion was my Mom and a small group of friends I’d had since high school.

Most of my uni friends who knew seemed to have other things on their minds, or simply didn’t care. At the time I wasn’t really bothered about this, I was too focused on just getting it done but thinking back to it I wish more people who knew had checked in a bit more with me. The friends who did never did more than just ask how I was doing or if everything was going okay but that meant a lot especially when you’re dealing with something that makes you feel so isolated from everything. I think some of the reason more people didn’t check in is the fear around the subject of abortion, fear of saying the wrong thing and fear of having the person whose going through it breakdown on you and you having nothing to say.

I can take the blame here for having such a small support system because I didn’t tell anyone in my family apart from my Mom, I also didn’t reach out for help. My Mom and Dad have been separated since before I was born so I didn’t really need my Dad to know. My sisters and me don’t have a very emotional relationship, we’re all very awkward around anything remotely personal (probably due to my Dad’s lack of emotional output) not like we’ve known each other our entire lives. Then my Dad and step Mom, in all honesty I don’t know why I didn’t tell them when I was pregnant. I knew I’d tell them I’d had an abortion, but when I was pregnant I just needed to deal with it, get it done and then take it all in after.

Telling my Mom wasn’t something I was particularly nervous about, I’m very lucky in knowing that my Mom supports my decisions in almost everything I do. There was no fear of her thinking I was making the wrong decision or that she was disappointed in me, and for that I’m incredibly grateful. I just knew she’d support whatever decision I’d made, like she usually does as long as I’m not being an idiot about something. I’ve spoken to other people who have had to tell their parents that they’re in similar situations to the one I was in I’m very aware it isn’t the case for a lot of women and girls to have support from anyone let alone their families.

After watching TV with my Mom for about 2 hours I plucked some confidence out my ass and said I was pregnant. I said I already had my appointments booked in to deal with it and that she was the only family member I was planning on telling.

“Oh Ab my poor darling girl” - Her voice was pure pain of having to see your kid deal with something shitty.

She was mostly frustrated for me, she knew I’d been safe with everything, she knew I wasn’t naive about those things and she knew I wasn’t in a great relationship. Her main frustration was focused on me being put onto a cheaper version of the pill a few weeks before I got pregnant. This is where he anger and emotion went because it was the only thing either of us could blame other than sheer bad luck.

She offered to come to my hospital appointments with me, but respected when I said I needed to do it by myself. Drove to Manchester a few days after the abortion and drove me back home while I cried and slept.

Writing about it now over 2 years later, we’ve spoken about it multiple times. She’s said she hoped that this would be the decision I would make when I first said I was pregnant. She wanted me to finish university, to travel, live in different countries and be really ready for a baby if/when I finally decide that I want one.

I’m really lucky to have a Mom like her, not just with the abortion but with a lot of other things she does for me. Having the abortion and all the negative side effects that came with that have strengthened our relationship to the max, which really isn’t what I expected to come from it, but I’m very fucking grateful that it did.

If can find any silver linings from the fucked up mess of an abortion I had then I’ll take them and run with them.

an abortion, a boyfriend and me

I’d only been seeing the guy who got me pregnant 3 months before it happened. The night I got pregnant was the first time seeing him since we’d made things “official.” New Years Eve going into the new year literally with a bang - incidentally I spent the countdown to midnight crying into a random girls shoulder because once again he’d gotten too drunk and turned nightmarish, should have been a sign for how the rest of that year was going to turn out.

 

Mine and my ex-boyfriends relationship before finding out about the pregnancy was rocky, then knowingly being pregnant and having an abortion made it turmoil and I think that's the same for a lot of young couples who go through something similar. All our emotions got heightened, arguments became more regular and much more heated, there’s this new level of unknown stress pressing down on both of you that neither of us knew how to deal with. He had a lot of issues, drinking, drugs and mental health that he always seemed to brush under the carpet, not wanting to accept nor willing to work on.

When I was 4 weeks pregnant (although we didn’t know this) it was his 21st birthday, a group of us went to a club and he got too drunk and aggressive, nothing too different here. Something that was different was that he thought I’d lost his house key (he hadn’t actually taken it out with him) this lead to him drinking more, and getting angrier and angrier at me as he thought I had lost his keys. It all came to blow when he got cut off from the bar and he thought I’d asked for this. Having me backed up against a wall I got the full rage of a drunk 21 year old screaming inches away from my face about “ruining [his] fucking birthday”  at this point 3 random girls and the bouncer came over pulled him away and chucked him outside. After explaining to them that he wasn’t just a drunk cunt and was actually my boyfriend, I got advice I wish I’d listened to as they all told me almost simultaneously to dump him. I went and found him slumped outside and we went back to his (not before I’d stood crying to the bouncer begging to let him back him as I knew I would get the blame for him fucking up his own birthday.) He was drifting in and out of consciousness in the taxi and I was crying in the seat next to him, happy 21st babe x.

When we get to his, we both remembered we don’t have a key and we only left the club at about 1am so none of his housemates were in either. I try to suggest we should walk to mine but he is determined to argue about me losing his key which I know is on the other side of the front door. After around 30 minutes of screaming at each other and more tears from me, he punches through the window. This (of course) helps the situation in no way because theres 2 doors to get through to get into his house, so now his hand his bleeding and we’re still stuck outside.

“You made me do that..
if you hadn’t lost my fucking key and got me kicked out of my own birthday night this wouldn’t have happened! And it’s going to cost me £100s to fix that window that you made me break”

I’m really embarrassed by the fact that I stayed with him for another 6 months after that, this should have been a big enough wake up call to see the type of person he was and if my friends boyfriends had done this to them I’d be the first to tell them to fuck him off, but I think I’ll blame staying on the pregnancy hormones turning my judgements to mush and being 19 years old.

I’m sure you can imagine that somebody with those attributes didn’t take the news of me being pregnant too well. The very initial moment he was like any other boyfriend/friend would have been, arm around me and said things would be fine, this was the one of the only decent thing he did during the next 6 months (being pregnant & the messed up abortions.)  

Just to name a few things: he told a lot of people, some specific people I’d asked him not to tell, some people we both knew would tell more people. He turned up to the abortion appointment hungover and stinking of booze, complaining that this was the first St Patrick’s day he wouldn’t be able to go out drinking, asked me multiple times on the day how much longer I was going to be there and what was taking so long, suggested more than a few times that I should discharge myself against doctors advice when we’d been at the hospital over 7 hours. Then the big one, fucking someone else 3 days after my abortion.

There’s 2 major things that stuck with me that he did. A few days after my abortion I’d gone home to be looked after by my Mom, he suggested we didn’t talk for this time and had a bit of a break away from each other, pretty shitty but I agreed. I was sick to death of arguing with someone and really didn’t have anything left in me after the abortion, I just needed to cry and sleep. During this break, about 3 days after the abortion he slept with another girl, a girl I knew, someone our friend had previously slept with, someone I knew he spoke to sometimes but told me it was nothing, someone who after they slept together before I’d figured it out came up to me asking about him. He went round to her flat, slept with her then phoned me about an hour later saying the break was a bad idea and he missed me (I found out about the other girl about 3 months later). The other moment that’s stuck with me over 2 years since it happened was during one of our arguments about who knows what he said: “you killed my son.” I don’t think I need to explain the emotional turmoil this gives someone who has had an abortion, we also couldn’t know the sex but he knew the ways to upset me the most.

I don’t tend to regret a lot in my life, there’s usually a silver lining I can find from the most awful situations - actually being pregnant gave me my documentary for my degree, and writing this blog to help other people, having a real sense of pride about such an important subject. The anxiety I suffer from now due to the abortion has given me a whole new outlook on life, and I appreciate a lot more of what’s happening around me and I feel I have a greater understanding of people’s behaviour.

Yet something I cannot find a single positive about, something that when I see pictures or old mutual friends it makes my stomach feel hollow, is being with him. Being with him for so long, after so many friends told me I could do better and deserved better. Seeing him self sabotage almost every aspect of his life. I didn’t need him with me to have my abortion, I had friends and family offer to come with me, look after me but I felt I needed it to be done with him, I should have gone through it with somebody who really cared about me, and somebody I could still talk to about it now. Or I should have gone through it alone, I hate that he saw me in such a vulnerable state. When I bump into him now he has this look of self pity for fucking up his own life consistently along with a look of guilt that I finally realised I was above dealing with his toxic lifestyle.

 

I knew how manipulative he was and how he said the most hurtful things he could think of to really get to me. Me still not leaving is something I hate about my old self, yet as I’m writing this I have found a small positive, knowing I’m never going to stand for someone being so detrimental and full of shit again. Being around people now who happily point out and really appreciate my positive attributes has honestly changed my life, knowing how much I’m worth and that I’m not just here to pick up the pieces of someones bullshit.

A big factor to why I think I’ve never regretted the abortion is because of how bad my relationship was, how much me and my boyfriend didn’t suit each other. Even before the pregnancy I knew we weren’t going to be together very long, something I’d told my friends repeatedly. I do question why I stayed, after we hated each other, after he’d cheated on me, even after so many people told me to leave.

I can look at it now happy it’s in the past, he will be the worst relationship of my life, you date rock bottom you can only go up.

anxiety 1 year on

I started suffering with anxiety after I had undergone a medical abortion in March 2016, my first symptoms of the mental illness was my constant fear of my imminent death, sometimes triggered by headaches or muscle pain, but a lot of the time it was something that was constantly on my mind: watching a film, on the bus, in a lecture, at work, eating, drinking, on holiday, it was a worry that had taken over the majority of my mind all of the time. Yet something that did surprise me about this was that I wasn’t afraid of dying, I was afraid about how it would affect the people around me, would my family be alright, who would tell them, what would my friends do, would my dog go on without me.

It wasn't only severe hypochondria that I was suffering with I then started to suffer with intense social anxieties. Friends that I’d had for years I was suddenly constantly worried I wasn't saying the right things, or that they never really liked me. The friends that got me through my abortion I felt only liked me because I was their other friend's girlfriend. I was always concerned about what I was saying rehearsing how I would walk into a room and say hello, listing off different conversation topics I could have with the different people that were going to be there.

I wasn't myself, I was a pushed down, rehearsed, nervous, over-thinker, and I was in constant fear that I wasn't liked along with the constant fear that I was about to die. When I was on holiday in Walt Disney World Florida with my Dad and 2 Sisters is when I think I hit my lowest point, nobody I was with knew about the abortion and they didn't know about my anxieties (my family would always refer to me as a hypochondriac and I wasn’t in the place to explain how bad it actually was) I couldn't go an hour in the "happiest place on earth" without feeling I was going to die in some sort of way.  

When I got home from this trip I started taking medication, these helped me incredibly with the physical panic attacks which then helped to stop the constant fear of death that came with them. After 8 months of being on the anxiety medication I took myself off them, I suffered with mild panic attacks as I had gone off them "cold turkey" (not advised) but after a month I felt more like myself, the fear of death for the most part has gone. I think I’ll always be somebody who over-reacts to something medical, but this I feel has come from being almost 3 months pregnant and not noticing, and then when I did; everything that could have gone wrong dealing with a pregnancy/abortion medically did. 

My social anxiety is something I am still struggling with on a somewhat daily basis, on one hand I have friends I have never felt more comfortable around and who I can be my true self with, but I do still have people I can't quite relax around and still maintain that fear of judgement and rehearsing what I'm going to say, I’m trying to decipher if this is my personal issues or their friendship isn’t right for me. I have become a lot more open about my experience and my illness with my friends and family members which has given us a new stronger relationship, but unfortunately it’s still something a lot of my family don’t really understand and don’t try to.

It's an issue so much in my own head that's a constant mental battle along with the battle of trying to get people to understand.

 

the process of a medical abortion at 12 weeks

I'm not a doctor, this was also over 2 years ago, I might get some medical information wrong, pls go talk to a doctor if you want real expert medical advise.

When I decided between having a medical termination or a surgical my choice took me around an hour, I went back and forth between the idea of simply going to sleep and it being done, and my hypochondria of being put under anaesthetic and not waking up.

In the end my hypochondria won, I didn't want to be put under and felt it wasn't described as too bad when discussing the option of staying awake. OoOH man was I wrong. I don’t want to scare people who might be going for this option but nobody I knew had dealt with this before and I wish I had been more prepared.

1 or 2 days before my full day appointment I went to see the nurse who gave me the initial pill, myself and my friend went I took the pill and got on a bus home. This pill begins the process of separating the foetus away from my womb. This pill made me feel sick about an hour later where I couldn’t sit on a bus without throwing up in my mouth so attempted to walk for an hour before the cramps hit me.

I arrived at the hospital with my (now ex) boyfriend at 11am and began the process at around 1pm, I had tablets inserted into my vagina (misoprostol) to make my womb contract, and then I was given tablets to take orally (mifepristone) to bring about the abortion, along with painkillers, anti sickness tablets and injections throughout the day. 

In my film Choice: My Abortion, I briefly describe the side affects these tablets the sickness and cramps, but these were the worst hours of my life; both mentally and physically. I felt nauseous the entire day, the only relief from this were the minuets after I had thrown up until the nauseous feeling returned. For me personally the cramps along the front of my stomach were not too bad, through the taking of pain killers, but the pain I had along my back was unbearable, I was writhing around in pain, hot, sweaty and bleeding through the nappy I was wearing onto the hospital plastic mattress. Passing blood clots is a feeling I could not get used to even after 5 weeks of it happening to me (this isn't normal, please watch the film to understand) so going to the toilet to pass blood clots and a foetus and then the placenta always into a cardboard bowl was an extremely uncomfortable 8 hours. 

Mentally I hit my low point 4 hours after the foetus had passed. I wasn't pregnant anymore but I still wasn't done, waiting for placenta to come out was infuriating. I could no longer walk around due to the cramps and back pain, so I was tired in bed crying, quite literally in a puddle of my blood. This was when I needed my Mom. Phoning my Mom and crying down the phone that I couldn't do it anymore is a feeling and a memory that stands out most to me from that day, even as a 19 year old who had moved almost 100 miles away for university, all I wanted was my Mom. My boyfriend tried to be supportive but he was only young too, scared and didn't know what was happening to me. If you're having a medical termination take somebody you feel completely secure around, they will see you in the worst states (I almost shit myself at one point so they've gotta be down for holding your hand even through that mess.) I wish I had taken someone who wasn’t my boyfriend, but our relationship was a mess before this and this was just the final nail in the coffin.

Once they thought everything was out I was allowed to go home, the cramps did stop almost immediately, but I just felt shit, the most shit I could possibly feel. I hadn't kept food down for hours, I'd been piled up with pills and just wanted to cry and sleep, which is exactly what I did for about a week when I got picked up the next day by my Mom to be properly cared for in a clean warm house, not the squatters excuse for a house that my boyfriend lived in.

Medical termination is physically and mentally exhausting, surgical for me wasn’t as harmful to my mental state. If I was ever unlucky enough to get pregnant when I didn’t want it I would go for the surgery. (I’m gonna hope that doesn’t happen but with my luck who knows)