Relief at terminating a pregnancy at 14 weeks for Fetal abnormality

by Anonymous

April 23, 2021

I had an abortion yesterday – 22/4/21

I feel an overwhelming sense of relief and gratitude that the NHS (healthcare system which is free at the point of access in the UK) was able to support me and enable me to continue to live my life safely.

I’m 40, my husband is 44 and we hadn’t planned a family. He has always been clear he doesn’t feel the need, we’ve lived a life we’ve loved and he is everything to me – I know I’m incredibly lucky. I’ve always been in between on the decision to have children – friends would ask if I would feel like I missed out as I got older? I wondered if I would regret it after my reproductive years were over? Society pressures those who can to procreate, it’s the expectation and in my opinion it needs to change. It’s so engrained in me that I’ve questioned whether doing so will make me a ‘better’ or ‘whole’ person or give me a true sense of being fulfilled.

I’ve certainly worried that I’ll be a lesser person for not doing it if I can: after all, it’s so natural. I’ve discovered it’s not for me. The way you choose to live your life is up to you. I fervently believe it’s your body, your right to choose and it should be your decision. I would recommend that you seek counselling from an impartial source to discuss your options – I chose to opt for surgical management as a day care patient and was asleep under general anaesthetic but there are alternatives such as medical management which you can do in the privacy of your own home, if appropriate. There are many confidential services available that specifically deal with abortion rights.

We didn’t use contraception for one month and I fell pregnant immediately. I didn’t feel a wave of excitement when I saw the positive result on the test and I think I knew then it might not be for us. I suffer with generalised anxiety and I definitely felt the negatives of what could go wrong very strongly throughout my pregnancy. I bled for nearly four weeks during the first trimester and had scans to confirm viability and was told that I was experiencing threatened miscarriage. We decided what would be would be and we went with it, though not without soul searching and what ifs.

We went for our 12 week scan and discovered the baby had a series of significant abnormalities which would mean either miscarriage, the baby being stillborn or dying soon after birth. I did not want to experience those things. For me, my mental and physical health and our relationship are paramount. I knew those things would likely impact us far more significantly than the decision to terminate. It didn’t make sense to us to endanger my life, as our diagnosis included medical issues for me too as well as the pregnancy progressed.

We made the decision to terminate as I sat on the couch in the hospital looking at the scan and I didn’t blink for a minute that it was the right thing to do. The hospital supported our decision.

I’ll be forever grateful to the healthcare system in the country where I live and the professionals I saw for their care and support in managing my termination.

I hope that others in my position of choosing to end a pregnancy have similarly positive care experiences. I am so keenly aware that the healthcare system and reproductive rights around the world vary so dramatically from country to country and I send positivity and strength to those who are currently experiencing this.

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