I have had two abortions, one at 24 and the other at 26. Both times I was using contraception, the first time condoms, the second the contraceptive patch. Both times I fell pregnant with the same man who was my long term boyfriend and who also could've probably provided for me and a baby financially. So, why did I have an abortion not just once, but twice? Well I just didn't feel ready. Mentally or emotionally I wasn't prepared to give a child what I thought it needed, and I suspected my partner wasn't either. I felt certain of my decision the first time. The second time, not knowing if perhaps this would be my last chance to have a child, some doubt did creep in, but after about two days of serious consideration I knew that those factors did not override my feelings of not being mentally ready to take on such a massive commitment.
The first time I opted for what is called a 'medical' abortion, believing it was a less invasive procedure. Living in the UK, abortions are actually free but there is a waiting list and it can take up to a few weeks. If you want the termination done as soon as possible then you have to pay for it, so that's what I did the first time. On arriving at the clinic I wasn't particularly nervous as I thought the whole process would be easy, just popping a pill and feeling some discomfort and perhaps experience some bleeding. How wrong I was! There were some protesters outside with quite graphic posters chanting nasty messages at us as we went in. It really pissed me off to think that people could be so judgmental and self-righteous.
I took the pill, was advised to take some paracetamol, go home and let things take their course. After a few hours, a sudden crashing wave of cramps rushed through me and I felt what I can honestly only describe as the worst pain I've ever experienced. Then followed hours on the loo feeling like I'd pass out from how cold I felt and intense vomiting and diarrhea, screaming at my partner that I thought I might be dying. After a call to the clinic and being assured that I was just having a strong reaction to the pill but that I would be ok, I had no choice but to just ride out the excruciating pain until I was so exhausted I fell asleep. The experience traumatized me due to the physical pain I went through, but other than that I have no regrets.
With my second abortion, I chose to have the surgical option. All I remember is lying down in the theatre room one second and the next waking up in a wheelchair being pushed to a recovery room. Apart from feeling a little groggy I felt absolutely fine. I was taken to sit in a room of about 8 other girls until the anesthetic wore off. Some were crying which was disconcerting but I personally knew I'd made the right decision. Fast forward 5 years and I'm pregnant for the third time with the same man, but this time it was planned and we are both happy. I can honestly say neither me nor my partner ever felt moments of regret since the terminations. In fact there have been quite a few moments that have proved to me we made the right decision both times.
Now that I'm nearly 9 months gone I believe that in my twenties, neither I nor my relationship with my now fiancé was strong enough to withstand the emotional toll that pregnancy brings with it, let alone the responsibility of what having a child involves. I also think having those abortions has made this experience all the more special this time round and something I know we are both now completely ready to undertake.