I want to help

by Rachael

June 11, 2020

I’m 23 years old and two weeks ago I terminated my pregnancy. I was almost 17 weeks pregnant and I didn’t know (or didn’t recognise the symptoms). I had just left a 9 month relationship that felt like a dictatorship and started dating someone I would call ‘the one’.

I had to have a surgical abortion because I was so far along. I was admitted to hospital and sat for 5 hours alone (you’re not allowed to take anyone with you even before COVID) in a bed taking medication that stretched my cervix preparing me for surgery. The most traumatising 5 hours of my life. The medication brings on period like symptoms and because I was so far along I had a high dosage so I experienced serve cramping, bleeding, hallucinations, the sweats and all the above. The surgery only took 15 minutes. All of that pain for 15 minutes.

While the day of termination itself was traumatic, the worst part was feeling like having an abortion was illegal and dirty. I told only two people, my mum and my boyfriend, not even the father of the pregnancy. I didn’t tell anyone out of fear that they would judge me and try to convince me otherwise. I felt so alone for the week between finding out I was pregnant and the surgery. I cried, laughed and screamed. I felt fear, joy and loneliness. I felt every emotion. It was a rollercoaster.

It is estimated that one third of Australian women will experience an abortion in their lifetime. Crazy right. Imagine how many women in your life have terminated a pregnancy and not told you. Maybe because of fear.

I want to help other women and speak about my experience so they feel less alone. I want to, or attempt to, remove the stigma around abortions. Please let’s talk about it. Talk about it like we talk about coffee. It’s just as important.

Remember that our stories are ours to tell. We’d love to hear your story too!