"I felt stupid and wretched for having a second abortion, but I never once felt judged by the nurses who treated me."

This story is published at Women on Web.

I had two abortions. After both abortions I felt sad. Just because you have an abortion doesn't make you a heartless baby hater. I have had to work hard to justify to myself the decisions I made. I think it's important not to look back over your abortion experience too much, but to accept the choice you made at the time and to be move forward being grateful for the things you have.

My first abortion was a surgical abortion. I didn't realize I was pregnant until I was 10 weeks and so I was only given the choice of a surgical abortion. I was very nervous about the procedure. I scared myself by reading lots of horror stories on the internet, but actually the process was very straightforward.

I was sedated and so I don't remember anything. I had cramps afterwards but they were manageable with painkillers. The bleeding I had afterwards was heavy, but no different to a heavy period. I feel that I recovered physically very quickly, but I did feel very sad about my experience.

My second abortion was an early medical abortion. Again, I was very scared of the process and (again) I read horror stories on the internet. However... again!... the process was straightforward and not frightening.

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The nurses were so kind. I felt stupid and wretched for having a second abortion, but I never once felt judged by the nurses who treated me, and I'm especially grateful for that.

The tablets were more painful than the surgical procedure, but this is to be expected as you're awake throughout the process. I found the medical abortion passed quickly. I was in severe pain for about 40 mins. I didn't take ibuprofen before the cramps started, as was recommended to me, and so that probably made my experience worse, and I was sick.

Once the cramps started I took the strong painkillers that the clinic gave me and then the pain was manageable. I passed the pregnancy in the toilet, as I felt like I need the loo when the cramps started. I didn't see anything horrific, it just looked like period blood, and I only had light bleeding for five days afterwards.

In both cases my partner (the father for both my pregnancies) and I didn't feel financially stable enough to have a child. We want children, but struggle with our day to day finances. We both work full time, and I also have a part-time evening job to help save towards a deposit for a house.

I had a very unstable upbringing — absent father, constantly moving, in foster care whilst my Mum was depressed and suicidal for long periods — and for me I do not want to bring a child into the world without the security of having a stable, permanent home. I need security for myself, and I want to be able to provide my child with security.

I told my Mum about my first abortion, and I wish now that I hadn't. As I was in my late twenties when I had my first abortion my Mum will often say to me that I've 'missed my chance' if I ever want to have children, and I find that statement hurtful.

I try to put my Mum's words in context. She struggles with serious depression and thinks that a grandchild would make her happy, which it may, but that isn't a reason for me to have a child.

I also spoke to my close friends after my first abortion, and they were helpful and supportive. When I had my second abortion at age 30 I didn't tell anyone, other than the baby's father. I felt a lot more stigmatized the second time, and so I kept it secret. My religion is Christianity.

~Rachel


"I have felt confident in both of my abortions that I made the right decision."

"I was in a very destructive situation and did not need to bring a child in to the mess that was my life."