Dear Becky, I have never done this sort of thing before, but sometimes I am desperate to talk to someone. I’ll start off with the basics. I am 20, and I found out I was pregnant around last October (I came off the pill earlier in the year because I was worried about not having any periods – so we were careful, but obviously not careful enough). I’ve always wanted children, especially since I come from a big family, so in a way I was happy but still scared as this was still an unplanned pregnancy. My boyfriend, who I am still together with, never lost his cool with me or shouted at me and to this day I love him unconditionally for it. However, this didn’t change the fact that I knew he was scared and worried about it. He never told me to have an abortion or adoption, and I also knew he wouldn’t leave me no matter my choice. So far my decision was to have my baby…….so the time finally came when I told my mother (my parents have just divorced) and my younger sister. This was when, to me, all hell broke lose. My mother was so angry and upset and all she could say was “You’ll have to get rid of it” and “Well it’s probably still early, so hopefully you’ll have a miscarriage”. I never expected my own mum to say this to me, and I was so frightened of what she was going to say next or how she was going to react, and she even phoned up my father who I hadn’t seen in months, my older sister who lived away and my grandmother. She also told people at work. I felt unsafe with my mum, she felt like a stranger to me, I hated being around her. The next few weeks were one of the worst experiences of my life. Every week she’d say something awful to me and pressurize me into having an abortion, she even said she’d call social services. I felt dead inside, utterly powerless, like my choice didn’t even exist. My boyfriend lived 25 minutes away in the car at his parents house, but I don’t drive and I couldn’t get there by bus, so the only support I could get was a phone call or the weekend when I could see him.

Despite the lack of support and the verbal abuse I had from my own mother, I still wanted my baby. However a day came when I had had enough. It was the day when my mum said that I was being selfish, that the child was unwanted, that it wasn’t her grandchild and she didn’t want anything to do with it. So i gave up, completely and utterly powerless, I booked an appointment to have a medical abortion. First I had to go to the hospital to have a scan to find out how far along I was and I was 8 weeks and 4 days at the time. My friends told me not to look at the screen, but I couldn’t help myself, I was desperate to see my little ’embryo’. Although I was only 8 and a half weeks, the scan was amazing, you could see the shape of the body, and my little baby looked so comfortable and tucked up nice and sweetly inside my womb and of course the heartbeat was healthy and strong, but inside my little bubble I heard the nurse say ‘Are you keeping the pregnancy‘ then reality crushed my heart and everything that had happened over the past few weeks came crushing down, and I lay there crying silently while my boyfriend stroked my hair and all i could do was shake my head. Even the nurse looked slightly disappointed in me. So as my boyfriend took me back, quietly sobbing, into the waiting room where my mother was, all I could think about was my little baby in the scan and how much I wanted a picture of the scan. I don’t even remember if my mum said or did anything, I don’t even think I looked at her.

Afterwards the appointment was made for me to come in the following week for the first tablet (which kills of the progesterone hormone, which keeps the uterus stable and the baby alive). However the night before was November 5th – fireworks night- and all I could say to my friend as I looked up to the pretty fireworks was “I can’t do it, I don’t want to do it”, and of course my younger sister heard and told my mother when we got home. Of course this ended up in an awful argument, with her once again calling me selfish and stupid, telling me I can’t do it and me screaming back at her, trying to get her to say something miraculous like “fine, do what you want, keep the baby then”, but I got nothing. So the next day I went to the hospital on the bus with my best friend, as my mother didn’t want anything to do with the abortion process that she so dearly wanted, and I arrived at the hospital. I felt surrounded by death and I felt scared, sick to my stomach and there was so much adrenaline pumping around my body.

After ages of waiting, I was called into a room, where the nurse was waiting and as expected, the nurse went through the procedure, possible side effects, what to do next and all that, not that I was listening or anything. I remember I had to wait for a while as the nurse didn’t have the tablet yet, so for some reason, I told the nurse what had happened between me and my mother, which quite frankly, shocked the nurse. So basically, I said I couldn’t go through with it, and the nurse advised me “not to do anything I am uncertain of so me and my friend went back home on the bus.

When my mum came back home from work, she came in and said “So, did everything go okay? Did you take the tablet?”, and all I said was “I was so upset that the nurse didn’t think I was in any state to take the tablet”, and I don’t remember what happened next, but my boyfriend was upset when I told him I couldn’t do it, as he didn’t know where I was with my decision and he kept saying “How are we going to do this? We don’t have money or our own place”. I always understood his feelings, but I still felt that I wasn’t allowed to keep my baby.

The next two weeks, my mum was careful around me, not to stress me out and she would say “You don’t want to wait too long to do this, it’ll just get harder, you need to get it done soon”, so she was egging me on and was still relentless with it. I don’t remember parts of what happened next, but I remember feeling so stressed and distraught again that I rang up the hospital again for another appointment for a medical abortion at the end of November, this time I would be 12 weeks and one day when I went through with the procedure. I just remember sobbing my heart out in the bathroom knowing that I would be killing my baby when it’s just hit the safety barrier for miscarriages. So I won’t tell you exactly what happened when I got to the hospital, but I will tell you that I went through with the medical abortion, and it was the most horrifying thing I have ever done, especially when the nurse comes in and says “Right, you’ve passed the fetus and the placenta”. All I could think during it was, at least my mum would be off my back and I wouldn’t have to suffer from her. My mother did come to the hospital after the worst part of it had passed to ‘check on me’. Which she still likes to advertise, in which she thinks it was the best thing any mum could have done.

The hardest part of this is what comes after, and the utterly painful guilt that completely overwhelms you, let alone the crushing sadness that you have lost your baby. Now, my mother denies saying most of the things that she said to me before the abortion and she even denies saying that “I killed my baby” just a few days after Christmas. So now, I have moved out (my mother assumes I have just ‘left the nest’) and I am living with my boyfriend and I now have to live with the guilt and the sadness of having an abortion and even my boyfriend who only recently told me how he truly felt about it has to live with his own version of guilt. The relationship between me and my mother seems normal because it’s almost like it never happened to her, so she’s nice to me and acts like a proper mother and is completely oblivious to the pain that I am struggling to cope with. So Becky, that is MY story and my pain and regret, I would like to share it with other girls and women as they should know what an abortion involves and to really understand that an abortion is NEVER short-term and that it haunts you for the rest of your life.