No more what ifs. We weren’t meant to be parents right now. 

by Flora

August 24, 2017

My Doctor probably thinks I’m stupid. One day I’m in her office asking about contraception options, and less than two weeks later I’m back, sobbing and asking for a termination.


She referred me to the pregnancy advisory service at my local hospital. My appointment was a few days later. At the same time, just one floor up from me, my mother was working as a midwife. I’ve never been so tense being led down the corridor from the consultation room to the ultrasound room, terrified that she would spot me.


I opted for a medical abortion. I was leaning towards the surgical option beforehand, but my hospital performs it under general anaesthetic and would mean I would need to be admitted all day and potentially overnight. My plan then was to keep it under wraps and not tell anyone. Looking back that was pretty naive of me.

The week of my appointments was one of the more stressful weeks of my life. I had my consultation on monday, a job interview wednesday, the first appointment for the mifepristone on friday, a friend’s wedding on saturday, my 25th birthday on sunday, and the second appointment for the misoprostol on monday morning. All the while contending with morning sickness that left me so nauseous and fatigued that I could barely move.

On the night of my twenty fifth birthday, I waited at home for my mother to return from work. I made nervous small talk, before removing my appointment letters from my pocket, silently handing them to her and walking away. I stood in the garden and wept silently, waiting for her reaction. A couple of minutes later she appeared next to me and gave me a big hug. She asked if I was sure, before adding that it didn’t matter either way what I decided. I was so scared that she’d be angry with me, but I should’ve known that there’s no one more pro choice than someone who’s spent the last 30 years delivering babies. She’s seen every kind of woman and every situation, and she understands. Sometime’s it’s just not right.

She drove me and sat in the waiting room while I had the misoprostol inserted into my vagina. I was immediately allowed to leave, but we didn’t get far before I was struck my the worst nausea I’ve ever experienced. Mum drove me back and helped me into the nurses office. The nurse got me a bed in a private room where I curled up and shook and vomited for nearly 3 hours straight.


When I went to the toilet I had to use a bedpan so the nurses could check to see if I’d passed the pregnancy. I felt it go and looked down, seeing the tiny foetus briefly before more blood passed and covered it up. I felt no sadness at that time, only relief. As soon as the nausea had come, it went away. I went home to finish recovering.

I never planned to tell my boyfriend. He’s a doctor so he should understand, but still… But the following weekend I couldn’t get the image of the foetus out of my head. That was our baby. Neither of us wanted to or even should be parents at this stage, but still. I found myself crying and clutching my stomach apologising over and over again to something that wasn’t there anymore. I called him. He heard my obvious distress and told me to take my time. He apologised that he wasn’t there for me and said he wished I’d told him, reassured me that it’s normal to feel these things and I’d made the right decision. It felt like a load off my mind, and hearing that he wouldn’t have wanted it made me feel immensely better. No more what ifs. We weren’t meant to be parents right now.


I’ve been lucky. It was quick and easy for me to book an appointment. Every single person I spoke to was kind, reassuring, and respectful. I never felt judged by anyone. But I know that is not the case for a lot of women. Every woman deserves the experience I had, the respect I had. No one else knows your life, your mind, your body like you do. It’s your choice. It should always, only be your choice. I’ve got your back.

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