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A medical abortion at 8 weeks

I have read a few other people's experiences of abortions before I had mine and found them informative and helpful so now I would like to share my story....

Medical Termination @ 8 weeks:

I found out I was pregnant almost 5 weeks ago, a result of a one night stand with an ex. I took the morning after pill but obviously it is not 100% effective. After the doctor confirmed my positive test I was neither happy nor sad, more in shock. I didn't request a termination that day, I told a couple of close friends and thought carefully about my decision for the next 7 days. I knew the time or situation wasn't right for a baby and told my doctor. To my relief there was no questions, just an "ok I'll get the paperwork". He rang the hospital and my appointment was made for 8 days later (which I feel is far too long but it is the NHS).

My first appointment was running late which did not help my nerves but I needn't have worried. The nurse that saw me was very nice and sympathetic, even gave me a hug when I later had a cry. She went through the paperwork, took blood, gave me a chlamydia test to do in the bathroom, discussed future contraception and then the doctor came in to give me my dating scan. I was surprised how low down my tummy she pressed the thing as i'd never had a scan before. The screen was directed away from me. This was when it all became real for me, until then it was just two lines on two pregnancy tests but now I knew the doctor had seen a heartbeat/ fetus and I cried for the first time. Despite knowing it was what I wanted it was still not easy. I was 7+3 weeks and was told I would be having a medical termination. My next appointment for the first pill was booked for 3 days later and I was to be admitted another 3 days after that.

My second appointment (7+6 weeks) at the hospital was straightforward. I was in and out in 10 minutes. A different nurse asked me if I was sure of my choice, I said yes and she gave me the pill. I was told to stay in the local area for the next 2 hours incase I was sick as I'd need another one but I was fine. Over these 3 days I felt fine, I was told I may start bleeding which I did (2 days after the pill and the night before I was getting admitted).

My third appointment (8+2 weeks) I was admitted for 6 hours. I was shown to my room and given a gown to change in to. Around 9am my friend was asked to leave the room and a nurse came into insert 4 tablets vaginally and 2 anally (antibiotics and painkillers) I was told to lie in bed for half an hour and not move. After the first half hour I was told to walk about for 20 minutes. I felt nothing for the first couple of hours until I got diarrhoea. I had to buzz the nurses after every toilet visit so they could inspect the bed pan and this first time I was very embarrassed since it was all poo but the nurse assured me it was a normal side effect of the tablets. After that the pain got worse and worse....definitely not the "period type pains" they tell you. I was given 2 codine painkillers orally and after half hour/ an hour they kicked in. I was now passing clots more regularly but no "concepts of pregnancy". This went on until around 2pm when I was told to get dressed as I could go home. I had my contraceptive injection (arranged on my first visit) and was given a date for a scan 2 weeks later.

I live around 30 miles from the hospital and was in pain the whole way home. I went to the toilet as soon as I arrived home and definitely felt something passing. I was too scared to look but I knew it was the fetus. This upset me as although I was not keeping it I did not want it to end up that way :(

Over the next few days I was still working, the bleeding was heavy for 3-4 days with a few large then smaller clots. I didn't need any painkillers although I felt discomfort a few times but nothing sore. I've not had my last scan yet but I know I'm not pregnant anymore. I had a very sore back & sciatica, larger very sore boobs, swollen tummy, tiredness & nausea when I was pregnant but now all of those symptoms have gone. 9 days later I'm only wearing panty liners instead of pads as I have vitually no bleeding anymore.

Now I'm a mixed bag of emotions....sad, angry, relieved, jealous, upset etc. I know deep down I made the right choice, despite my age (29) I am not ready for a baby financially or emotionally. I would like my first baby to be planned, wanted and born to two parents rather than one and for it to be a happy occasion. However I'm now experiencing the "what if's", working out how pregnant I would be by now, getting emotional at the way my pregnancy ended then being angry I got in this situation. I know it's early days and my hormones are probably still settling but it's not easy.

Anyone who makes this decision must be sure it's what they want and despite everyone saying "it will be ok" and "we'll be here for you" only you can make the choice. My friends who have children are all settled in happy relationships and that's what I would like eventually, although I will never forget my first pregnancy. Like many others have written on here I have said my own goodbyes and I know this was for the best.

All in all my medical termination was not as bad as I was expecting. The only thing I wish I could have changed is the waiting times. I looked online at fetus development - bad idea! - and was desperate for mine not to look like a baby when it was terminated. Thankfully from what I saw online it didn't but was very close to it and having to wait 8 days for my first appointment meant it had over a week more developing to do. I would have preferred to be under 7 weeks but I can't help hospital waiting times. From telling my doctor my choice to the day of the termination was 14 days (21 days from getting my pregnancy confirmed but I had to be sure it's what I wanted). The earlier you make your decision the better, I'm not sure I could have gone through with it at 10+ weeks but that's just me. *The Dad as I said was an ex who already has one child & is on/ off with that child's mother. I knew he would not want me to continue with the pregnancy so only told him the day of my second appointment at hospital, so the choice was fully mine but he supported that choice. He has done what he can for me although I've yet to see him since the termination, but I will after my final scan just to talk and get some closure.

Editor's Comment

Thanks for describing your experience of a medical abortion at 8 weeks. It was helpful to hear your emotional response and many of those feelings are very common and probably gradually resolve over a period of weeks. A few women find that they continue to feel sad and angry, and if that does happen it is wiorth seeking some post abortion aftercare to help you to work through difficult emotions.You can call the national helpline 0300 4000 999, log on to Online advisor, or follow the link to find a centre for post abortion support in your area.

We are not able to refer directly for termination. We offer clients information on all the options and are well resourced to provide both immediate and long term support as necessary, directing to other agencies as appropriate.
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