A distant, not so distant winter memory

by Anonymous

August 17, 2022

I was in my second year of medical school, 20 years old, feeling lost in the world, alone in a big city. Somehow, I got caught up in a whirlwind romance with a man who was nearly 10 years older than me, which was uncharacteristic for me. I didn’t know him well, but he felt so familiar. It doesn’t really matter who he was, I wasn’t ready to bring a child into the world.

I don’t regret the abortion, But I do feel ashamed to say I didn’t realise the morning after pill wasn’t effective if you had already ovulated. Why didn’t I know an IUD was a much more suitable form of emergency contraception at that point? Lesson learnt the hard way, I guess.

On a cold Wednesday in early January, I sat my final exam for that assessment period and then headed straight to a sexual health clinic. I chose to take my pregnancy test there, so I could deal with the situation straight away if I was pregnant, which I was… and then, in a matter of weeks, I wasn’t anymore. It was the definitely the right decision for me, but it was still sad. I’m very thankful that the process was smooth, and the healthcare staff were kind.

I had some time between that first consultation and the next appointment to decide if I wanted to do it medically or surgically. After weighing it up, I decided to have a surgical termination as soon as I could – which happened to be my mum’s birthday. I called her from the hospital bed after I woke up from the procedure. She didn’t know about the pregnancy or my abortion at the time, nor did I ever think I would tell her – but I revealed it during a rather dramatic manic episode a few years later. We never spoke about it again though, and maybe never will – and that’s okay.

I attended post-abortion counseling a few months later, in order to process the mixture of feelings with a professional. She was really wonderful, and I think that was a healing experience for me. That was over four years ago now.

My heart goes out to the women who face difficulties when trying to make a decision about their own body.

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