Sunday, 24 March 2019

TW: I had a late-term abortion

Diamond Flap 17 Colours Square Sizes | Pitshanger Ltd


As of the 22nd March, it marked two years since I found out I was pregnant. I remember the day so clearly. My period was a week late and I was telling myself I was just stressed, my period is always a week late when I’m stressed. 

I remember seeing the two pink lines and being overwhelmed with emotion. I was not mentally or financially ready to have a child, I can barely look after myself. How is this real life?! How is this my life?! Why was I so stupid to let this happen?! I remember being at Oli’s house whilst he was at work and just crying. How was I going to tell him? 

I knew I was going to have an abortion, and to this day I stand by it was the best decision, one that Oli also supported. I was not in a good place to raise a child. However it was one of the most difficult things I’ve had to go through. 

With my initial call with Marie Stopes, they estimated I was around 10 weeks and they booked me in for a termination with no pain relief (what I wanted as I initially didn’t intend on telling mine or Oli’s family, so wanted the quickest recovery time). When my appointment time came around, I went through all the checks and then had an ultrasound. Throughout the ultrasound the nurse wasn’t talking to me much, and then she called in her senior to look at my ultrasound. I have anxiety as it is, and I felt so scared and sick to my stomach that something was really wrong. The nurse turned to me and told me I was 18 weeks. It was such a surreal moment in my life. I was so upset, scared, my heart felt so broken. The realisation that I’d had 4 and a half months with no morning sickness, 3 months of on time periods, no bump, no nothing. This was my worst fear. Never did I think this would happen to me.

I then had to be booked for a late-term termination under general anaesthetic. I had to wait a month for an available appointment. That month was the hardest month of my life. I started to show, I felt movement, I was emotional, Oli and I would talk about who’s features it would get, I started having serious doubts about whether I wanted to go through with it or not. I’ve always been adamant that I don’t want children, but it’s indescribable how you feel when you’re actually pregnant. 

When the appointment day came around, we arrived at 7am and checked into the clinic. They told me that partners have to stay in the waiting room and weren’t allowed upstairs during the time I was there. Having to go through it alone was so difficult and I can still carry that pain of feeling alone today, especially this time of year. 

I had all of my initial tests done and then was told to change and shown to my bed. They weren’t really beds they were more of reclining sun loungers set up in a row of 7, neither me nor the 6 other women had any privacy to grieve alone. I was called to have a canula inserted in my hand and then sticks put in my cervix (they assist with dilation). This was the most unbearable part. Whilst the doctor was inserting the canula into my hand, the nurses put my legs in stirrups and the doctor attempted to insert a speculum. It was so painful and I burst out crying and couldn’t stop, both nurses were holding my hands and one was telling me “you don’t have to go through this if you don’t want to” the absolute last thing I wanted to hear. 

The doctor spoke to the nurses like I wasn’t there, saying “I can’t do this unless she relaxes”, how am I supposed to relax when I’m in pain? They took me to the recovery room as I was hyperventilating and they couldn’t insert the sticks. All I wanted was to be held and to be told it was going to be okay. They reluctantly let me go downstairs to see Oli for 5 minutes. Oli told me it was now or never and hugged me. I was able to go back in and relax enough for them to administer what they needed too. I was then taken back to my lounger and given a handful of medication to take and wait for me to dilate. As the hours passed by, the cramps got more intense and I got more and more drowsy.

It was 3:30pm by the time I was called in for my procedure. It felt so surreal and still does thinking about it. I remember going in, giving my name and the number on my medical bracelet, laying in the bed and being told that they were about to inject something that would help me sleep through the canula and that’s the last thing I remember. 

As I came around, the nurse approached me and told me I’d lost a lot of blood. I genuinely thought that was it for me, I genuinely thought in that moment I was going to die. I was so scared I wouldn’t wake up from the anaesthetic or that I’d haemorrhage and bleed out. And then I woke up to that news. She pressed on my stomach and called the doctor in. They gave me some kind of blood thickener and then I was wheel-chaired into the recovery room. I was kept for monitoring as they needed to check my bleeding and it was horrific. Everything I was wearing was soaked in blood, it was leaking whilst I was walked to the toilet to change the pad and I couldn’t stop crying. That memory will haunt me forever. 

Eventually my bleeding became manageable and they let me go. When I saw Oli I just cried, it was about 5:30 by the time they let me go. 10 and a half hours of going through that. Not being able to eat or drink, or see a loved one was so difficult. 

As far as physical recovery, I recovered well. Due to the blood thickeners, my bleeding stopped within 2 weeks. But the effect it had left on my body was awful. My boobs tripled in size as I didn’t breast feed, which left me with stretch marks and sagged boobs. I had put on a stone and a half. The most I’d ever weighed in my life. As a 20 year old who was body confident that was all taken away. Mentally it ruined me, I cried everyday for a good few months after and it really hits me this time of year. There is not one day I don’t think about what could’ve been, and there’s an emptiness I carry with me every single day. It also broke down my relationship. It got to the point I wouldn’t even let Oli touch me. It gave my flashbacks of the whole experience. I couldn’t do it. 

People assume that when you have an abortion it means nothing. But when you’re thinking about having one you’re putting the child’s best interest first, I could not have given it a good quality of life at that point in time and I don’t regret my decision, but people that chose to have terminations still grieve. There’s still the bond of something physically growing inside of you and you really feel it once it’s no longer there. I genuinely lost a part of myself that day. I thought it might of gotten easier by now but it hasn’t, I still struggle hearing people talking about pregnancy or having babies especially seeing images that are at the stage I was. But I know when the time comes that I do have my own kid, I can give it the best life it deserves. 

I’ve written this today as I feel like abortions need to be discussed more. It’s something I’ve only shared with close friends over the past two years, but I know speaking to others who have had terminations that I’m not alone in feeling like this. Those that decide to have abortions need support, not to be made to feel like they should repress that it ever happened. I also wanted to urge the use of birth control. Do not think for a minute that pulling out is an effective method of birth control. Please use protection or find the most appropriate thing for you. It’s not worth the pain that you might go through. 

If ANYONE has gone through this and you feel like you need support or you want to talk about it openly, you can message me on any of my socials or email me at beckyryan2011@gmail.com













1 comment

  1. Your such a strong person, to go through this and come out the other side.
    Whilst I don't really agree with abortion, at the same time I understand why.
    Your an amazing person, never stop being you <3

    ReplyDelete

© Becky Jane Ryan | All rights reserved.
BLOG TEMPLATE HANDCRAFTED BY pipdig