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A surgical abortion experience

In Aug 2012 - me and my boyfriend moved in together. Although we had been together for 10 months, we were in a good relationship and I needed to be around so that I could complete my final year of University so we took the plunge.

Moving in together seemed like a whole new chapter in my life. I was so excited. We had been through a lot in our 10 months, obstacles being thrown at every angle but we overcame each of them and were as strong as anything. I wasn't at all worried. The first few weeks were a bit of a struggle as we were both young and starting from scratch, me being a student and him only being in his current job for a few weeks. Although we were getting there and everything was going brilliantly.

The following month I started back in University and I was desperate and eager to do well as this was my final year. The first problem being that my course requires you to work in groups for your assignments and I was unlucky in the fact that I was in a group with other people who did not seem to care that this was their final year. They would not show up, would not do work and I ended up doing my own work and picking up the slack for 4 other people. I was already beginning to feel very miserable and stressed.

Three weeks after starting at University I was feeling "off". I spoke to my boyfriend about getting a pregnancy test (we weren't terribly worried as I had done pregnancy tests before whilst feeling the same and the results had been negative) yet we still agreed that we would do the test together. He then went to work and I went to the shop to get the pregnancy test.

I was so sure that the test would be negative that I thought that I may as well take the test once I got home, so..I did.

When I saw the results, my heart and my stomach dropped.

I cried. I had to tell my boyfriend so I rang him at work and told him. His response? "Get rid of it" and although I had only known for about 10 seconds I straight away thought no, I couldn't do that. I had always been so against abortion and had always argued my case against it.

Over the next week my pregnancy was ignored - only the abortion being argued over. I didn't want to. I already had that connection and I had given him/her a nickname. We started to argue a lot and I completely broke down, I explained that I couldn't do it and finally he understood. He told me how he'd only been worrying about money and all of the other normal worries and that deep down he couldn't do it either. It was our baby and he couldn't let me get rid of it. So then, we decided that we were going to keep our little baby, our little "Nugget".

He was so excited and rang his whole family to tell them the good news, all of them were surprised yet wished as all a congratulations. It was then my turn to tell my parents. This was what I was afraid of. I'm very close to my family and they are very supportive yet I knew how they'd react. I remember calling my mum and telling her "I've got something to tell you..." at first she laughed. I could hear my step dad in the background shouting "she's a stupid girl!", my little sister was crying at the prospect of being an auntie.

My mum told me the pros and cons of having the baby - we didn't have much money, it would be difficult - I wouldn't be able to finish University. The University bit had the greatest effect. I had worked so hard over the previous two years and I desperately wanted to complete my 3rd year. My mum told me that she would support me in whatever decision I chose yet told me to think about it carefully. I didn't speak to my dad, I knew that he was disappointed in me.

The next few weeks that followed were probably the most difficult weeks that I've ever experienced.

Whilst trying to do mine and my group members work I was trying to make my decision whilst my boyfriend's mum was talking to me about her grandchild and making future plans. I felt so alone, I was ringing all around for doctors, trying to get help from my university tutor if I decided to carry on with the pregnancy. I just didn't know where to go or who to turn to. At that point I just wanted the baby out of me - yet at the same time I just wanted to run away and save myself and my baby. **When me and my boyfriend finally made the decision that an abortion was best, it broke me yet at the same time I felt a pang of relief**. So I went ahead to go to the doctors and find out where to go from there. I was told I needed to go to an abortion clinic that was 2 hours away by train. I had never been there before and my boyfriend couldn't get the time off work to come with me so I had to face this by myself. I remember the train journey - I had told my university group members that I had a doctors appointment and couldn't be in university that day - I was alone, doubting my decision and scared as I didn't know what to expect or even where I was going. I eventually reached the clinic and there I waited. I was called in by a counsellor first - to discuss my reasons for the termination and that they would offer after abortion support. Once I was in the waiting room there were other couples around me -

everyone else had support and I was sat there, alone and afraid.

Finally my name was called and I had to have a scan to determine how far along I was - 7 weeks and 6 days - I was shocked as I didn't think I'd be that far gone. The doctor I was talking to printed out a copy of my scan and placed it on the desk although forgot to move it once I sat down, when I saw the photo my heart dropped as I saw my baby. But I was all on my own and I couldn't change my mind without my boyfriend being there so I just had to keep going along with it. My termination was booked for a week later - I had opted for surgical as I didn't like the sound of a medical and I liked the idea of being asleep and "unaware" of what was happening.

Over the next week my body changed, I was craving lots of milk and I was starting to show. I knew that the date was getting closer yet I couldn't bring myself to talk to my boyfriend again and change my mind and risk everyone getting angry at me. Whilst his family were still talking about my future child - we had decided that we would tell them that I had lost it. Knowing that I had a termination would result in my boyfriend's family hating me so we thought that it would be better to tell them a white lie.

The morning of the termination my boyfriend and I went to the hospital, he couldn't be there with me for the whole thing as his work wouldn't let him have the time off. Again I had to go through this whole thing all alone. I was told to get changed into the hospital gown and wait until the nurses came along to get me ready. My boyfriend sat in with me while I was waiting and I told him how scared I was, and begged him to stay. What happened that day has now become a total blur, trying to forget it as a whole I now just remember it bit by bit. The nurses gave me tablets to insert into myself and I again had to wait. I was happier now as my boyfriend told me that he'd go into work and say that he couldn't be in as I was in hospital. He told me he'd only be a couple of hours and I felt so much better supported than I had done.

An hour after he had left a nurse came to get me saying that it was "my turn". I wanted to say no. I wanted to wait at least until my boyfriend was there was I couldn't. If I didn't go now I'd be refused for a termination on the NHS next time and I'd have to go private, so I went by myself to the surgery room.

The table was in the middle of the room, and there were nurses all around. I remember laying on the table and the doctor put me to sleep.

In that moment I wanted to say no and make them stop but it was too late..

I woke up, I don't know how long after, and I cried. I was bleeding very heavily so the nurse had to change the pad before she wheeled me into recovery. Once in recovery my boyfriend appeared. He held my hand and told me it was OK. I felt confused - was I relieved? I didn't know how to feel at that moment. I remember getting changed and seeing that my little bump had completely gone. Straight away my stomach was back flat and there was nothing there. Nugget was gone.

Once I got home things there were complications. I was bleeding very heavily and after ringing the number I was given I was told to go back to the hospital. I then had to stay in overnight, and was put on a drip. My boyfriend stayed with me the whole night, sleeping in the chair next to my bed. The next day I was told that I could finally go home although they were reluctant to let me leave as they'd rather I stayed another night. I just wanted to get out of that hospital and go back home.

Since then my moods have been very up and down.

Regret, anger and despair.

Sometimes I don't feel as though I deserve to be upset as I killed my own child. My boyfriend doesn't like to talk about it and is closed up and this has resulted in a lot of arguments. The only time I've seen him be affected was when my scan picture arrived. I had rang the surgery and asked if I could be sent the picture as I wanted something, I thought that having the picture could help me. My boyfriend opened the letter when it arrived and he cried. I was so relieved that he felt the same as I did. But now....it's June and my baby should have been born in May. I wanted to buy a plant on a day that could have been the due date but things didn't work out and we couldn't get one and I feel angry that I couldn't even respect my child enough to do this one thing. My boyfriend and I are now like strangers. We argue all the time and have currently broken up - yet still living together. We're trying to work things out. I now have two counsellors. One to help me with my mental health as the whole experience has given me anxiety/depression and the other is at the Beresford Centre.

I'm trying to get myself better as I can't seem to live with the guilt that this whole experience has given me. I have now finished uni but at what cost? It cost me my child and now my relationship. I don't know what to do anymore.

Editor's Comment

You had such a difficult time trying to decide what option to take and so many pressures to cope with. Often when your feelings have been so mixed it is only afterwards that some of those suppressed emotions come to the surface. Your circumstances and family created so much pressure that perhaps you could not hear your heart response and instincts.
You are clearly feeling intense emotional pain now and I am glad that you have support to help you through this. I do believe there will be light for you at the end of this dark tunnel, and that you will be able to rebuild your life and your confidence again.

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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