Elizabeth’s Story

I started having sex when I was 16. I was one of the unlucky ones and maybe the tenth time I had sex, the condom broke, and I got pregnant. I was so terrified at what was going to happen to me (I wasn’t living at home at the time) and I’d been with my boyfriend for a grand total of maybe two months, so I was between a rock and a hard place. I couldn’t afford an abortion at all, I couldn’t even pay my rent sometimes. I ended up hitting the bottle pretty hard and miscarried at 10 weeks. For some reason my boyfriend broke up with me before that so I had to tell him after we had split. He cried, I didn’t. I was just grateful. When I was 17 I met a nice boy. I was on the pill at the time but had been sick the previous week so it was affected (I was just unwell in bed, no antibiotics, but my doctor said it could have caused it). I got pregnant again and I cried for two days because I couldn’t believe I was pregnant again. I booked in to see a doctor to get a referral to an abortion clinic but the day before the appointment, I actually fell down the stairs at my school very heavily and miscarried. I was 8 weeks that time.

Each time I miscarried I was just so relieved.

At the start of this year I broke up with that boy and I got back onto the dating scene. I ended up seeing one of my old school friends for a couple of months and for some reason we had very drunk, very unprotected sex twice over the course of a night. Three weeks later he went home to the UK (I am in Australia) and a week after that I found out I was pregnant.

This time I was sick. I had morning sickness constantly, I dropped five kilos in a week. I couldn’t stand the sight of food or water and I spent most of my time moping around. I couldn’t function at work or with friends because I felt so ill. That’s the only reason why I thought I was pregnant, because I had still had a little light period a few weeks prior which I thought was a bit weird but because it was at the right time I just assumed it was my period.

I rang my friend and he cried, but I didn’t. He sent me the money for it but I sent it back because my private health insurance covered it. He knew it was the right thing to do, a dual-citizen passport was the least of those kids’ worries if we raised it. I rang the clinic when I found out I was 8 weeks pregnant. I couldn’t get an appointment for weeks because they only operate on certain days of the week and I couldn’t get time off work without saying what I needed it for, my boss was a total hardass about sick days. I finally got an appointment the day after ‘stocktake’ which would put me at 12 weeks.

The next three weeks went so slowly. In total I lost 13 kilos and I felt so sick I would be constantly vomiting in the toilets at work. The day of stocktake came and I was in my feet for 14 hours, and then my boss told me I would have to come in the day after-the day of my appointment. I finally just admitted to him what I was having done and to his credit he was very supportive.

I told a lot of people, mostly men. They were all supportive. Not one of them voiced any concern over the abortion except for the fact that my recovery might take a few days- and they even offered to drive me to and from the clinic. I told three or four women and two were very judgmental for some reason. I made a promise to myself to be careful about who I was telling in the future- because I didn’t want them to judge me for such a personal decision.

The next morning my best friend took me to the clinic. I had to fill out a consent form and a medical history form and then was whisked through to another waiting room very quickly. The next room was for the counselling session, where a nice stout little nurse told me it was my decision and that they would offer me post-abortion counselling if I ever needed it, 24/7. She said as long as it was 100% my choice to have the abortion I would probably have no regrets.

After that little session she took me through to a room with a bed, there were six beds in the room with curtains around them. I chose a general anesthesia as I was 12wks so it may have taken a little longer. I don’t remember anything about the procedure, even afterwards, but I woke up an hour or so later and felt immediately better. A nurse brought me some little biscuits with some apricot jam on them and a bottle of orange juice but I asked for a coke and she went and got me one. Once I got some sugar into me I got up and got dressed. I didn’t bleed very much at all, it was definitely lighter than my period is normally.

My friend drove me home and I was a bit groggy for the rest of the day, I slept most of that afternoon. I woke up the next morning feeling fantastic, I was so happy to be feeling okay again.

Yesterday was calculated to be my ‘due date’ and I don’t regret it at all. I am so happy I was able to access an abortion and have my health insurance cover everything except the usual excess and the staff was wonderful.

I woke up and immediately thought “I’m not sorry” and I threw those words into Google and this website popped up. It is a wonderful resource to remind women we don’t have to feel guilty for wanting control over our own bodies. One day I would like a child, but today is not that day and a mistake does not mean I should be burdened with a child too early.