Grace’s Story

Here is my story. I’m in my late 20s and was married six months ago to a man I’ve been with for nearly a decade, living with de facto for more than half that time. It’s become clear to me that the marriage was a mistake – the tail end of a long and loving relationship that broke down because some bad things happened. My partner and I went on a break about 7 weeks before I realised I was pregnant, which must have occurred the final time we had sex, as we’d been basically celibate for months before that, as things had been really, really bad.

It never occurred to me that I was going to be able to have a child in these circumstances. Actually, I was completely shocked that I’d been able to get pregnant at all; for some reason I had never thought it would actually happen. Within 15 minutes of taking the home pregnancy test, I’d booked myself an abortion for the following Saturday. This was an extremely emotional experience, but not a decision, really; there was no other possible choice. I live in Australia, where abortions are funded by the medicare scheme; I chose a provider which cost a little more than the funded amount, because of their low complication rate. How did I find the provider? I googled.

Reading this site really helped me in the leadup to the operation, particularly the blow-by-blow descriptions of the procedure. I was very scared of the pain in particular. Here is my experience: I was terrified going in to the clinic, but my fear about what would happen was completely unjustified. I stripped down to a gown and socks (to keep my feet warm), gave the nurse my spare pair of underpants and the two sanitary napkins I’d been asked to bring, and a urine sample. I was taken to the theatre, lay on the bench, and the anaesthetist gave me intravenous sedation. The last thing I remember was the doctor patting my belly; then I woke up, 30 minutes later, in the next room, with no memory – feeling fine, and wearing my spare undies with no memory of having had them put on me. They gave me tea and biscuits; my friend was waiting for me outside and we went out to brunch, then I went home and watched movies on the couch for several hours and drank lots of tea as the sedation wore off completely. I was nervous that when it wore off I might remember parts of the procedure; but I didn’t and still can’t.

That is it. It is now four days later and abruptly yesterday I suddenly felt normal again, and realised that I hadn’t felt ‘normal’ for about 7 weeks; I have a feeling it had something to do with pregnancy hormones. I think this is important to include, because I want to reassure anyone reading this that my terror about getting an abortion was potentially hormonally influenced; that I wasn’t thinking straight. It turned out to be like any other day surgery in experience, although of course there are alot of feelings associated with it that aren’t associated with other surgical procedures. I am very sad that I had to have an abortion and wish I never had had to go through it, but in the same situation I would certainly do it again without hesitation, particularly knowing what I now know.