I had an abortion almost two years ago, it completely changed my view of the world.
Until this point, I’d always thought I was against abortion, for myself at least. Although I never thought I would judge anyone for having one, I thought abortions were something I would never need myself, I thought they stemmed from carelessness, and sleeping about.
Prior to my unwanted pregnancy, I’d been with my boyfriend for 5 years, he was funny, kind, gentle and would have made an amazing dad. We had a nice house together, a nice car, we both had good jobs, we hadn’t used any contraception for over two years. We weren’t actively trying for babies, but when we hadn’t conceived in a year, he went for tests and they came back clear. His sperm count and mobility was normal. The doctor said they couldn’t do any tests on me until we’d been actively trying for a prolonged period of time without success. We didn’t want that, so carried on as we were, and I assumed I was the problem.
Then, on a night out a close friend told me that my partner had been cheating on me with one of my male best friends for over a year. There was too much detail there for any of it to be false. Understandably, I drank a lot to cope that night, I slept with someone else. I didn’t use contraception, but my drunk self thought it was fine because I couldn’t fall pregnant anyway… There was no chemist’s open within the 24 hour time frame, as it was a Sunday, but I took the morning after pill first thing Monday morning, about 30 hours after I’d slept with this friend, I thought I was taking a belt and braces approach, after all, I’d gone a very long time without falling pregnant before.
As you might have guessed, I was wrong.
To make things worse, because of what I’d found out, I’d left my partner moved back into my mum’s. I’d taken a bin bag of clothing, Id told him to keep the house and keep the car, I was sleeping on a sofa bed in my mum’s dressing room when I found out I was pregnant.
Over the last two weeks without knowing I was pregnant, I’d drank more than I’d ever drank. I’d screamed and cried until I’d burst all the blood vessels in my eyes, I’d gone 5 days at a time without sleep.
Me finding out I was pregnant was, to me, the biggest medical emergency I’d ever had. I was at the walk in clinic within 20min tests of doing the test, insisting they refer me for an abortion immediately. I’d of gone to A&E if I’d of thought they’d of taken me seriously.
I didn’t get the service through the abortion I would hope other women would get. My GP tried to discourage me from going ahead with it, he also gave me a lot of out of date information about the procedure, I had to wait longer than I would have liked, so had to deal with some pretty extreme morning sickness and hormones unnecessarily. At the hospital, I was sent in a waiting room covered in pictures of cute babies when I was waiting for scans. The procedure itself was pretty gruesome and extremely painful, I genuinely thought I was going to die at one point… My dignity was left at the hospital door every time I went.
However, at least I got a service, at a NHS hospital within walking distance of my house, which is more than a lot of people can say.
People talk about abortion as a choice, to me, there was only one right thing to do. It sounds very dramatic, but it was very real at the time, the way I saw it, my only choices were to have an abortion or commit suicide. I had it planned, if the abortion didn’t work, I was going to stab myself in the stomach until I was dead. Every moment I was pregnant, I grew to hate this baby more and more – I’ve never felt as intense hate in my life. I hated it for existing. I hated it for stopping me from being able to move on with my life. I hated it for how ill it was making me.
This was not how my first child deserved to come into the world, my child would have been loved from the moment it existed, it would have been nourished with whole foods from conception, it would have been bathed in endorphins from my positive mindset, Alcohol and nicotine would have gone nowhere near its bloodstream, nevermind the morning after pill, there would be no doubts over paternity.
Even if I could move past the fact that id probably done irreversible physical harm to this child by how much I’d drank, smoked and my extreme emotional state, I could not move past the unsuitability of the likely father. Or the fact I was on a fixed term contract at work, and currently sleeping on a sofa-bed in mum’s dressing room.
Some people can’t have children for medical reasons, I see myself as someone who could not have a child for social reasons.
I don’t regret my abortion, I never have, but I have regretted falling pregnant every day since it happened. I’m in a different place to where I was, I’m back on my feet now, emotionally and financially. I am literally a walking talking definition of a strong independent woman. This wouldn’t of been possible if I’d of been forced to continue with the pregnancy. I’d either be dead or sectioned, it really is that simple.
I’m quite open about what happened, I don’t feel like I’ve got anything to be ashamed of here, the annoying thing for me, is that I am not the exception to the rule, I’ve been told in the past that my abortion was OK, because I had a genuine reason to have one, but most people don’t, that they have theirs for the wrong reasons. Who gets to decide that? I can promise anyone reading this, that this is not a decision it’s possible to take lightly.