“I decided to write this because I wanted to share the incredibly positive experience I had with MSI Reproductive Choices. ”
Vicky’s story of choosing abortion pills with MSI.
“Two lines appeared. The overwhelming feeling I had was confusion as to how it had happened as we had used contraception.”
I’m 38, in a 10 year relationship and in a stable job, but having a child was not and is not a part of the plan. When my period didn’t come by day 34, I decided to take a test just to rule it out. My periods are irregular and have been up to 44 days, so I fully expected it to be negative and that the symptoms I was experiencing were PMS – sore breasts, mild short cramp feelings and lower back pain.
But two lines appeared. The overwhelming feeling I had was confusion as to how it had happened as we had used contraception. Straight away I knew that I wanted to have an abortion and called MSI Reproductive Choices.
“I had an initial consultation booked in at the earliest availability.”
There was no judgement, no awkwardness in the conversation. The question I was dreading was the one about ‘the reason for the treatment’.
I felt as though my answer – I simply don’t want a child – would somehow make me feel unfeminine, unmaternal and cold-hearted, but there was no judgement at all. My reason was just as valid as any other persons.
“Many abortion stories on the internet tell of a woman’s choice being difficult. I wanted to share my experience for any women who feel like I do, where the decision was not difficult or emotional.”
“I then had my appointment at the clinic two days after the consultation. I was given a range of choices and could select the date and time best for me.”
Arriving at the clinic, I did feel nervous. I’d read horror stories of protestors outside clinics. Had that happened, it absolutely would not have changed my mind but the thought of judgements from others was not pleasant. However, I arrived at the clinic with ample parking, no long walks, a quiet location, and a buzzer so that the clinic wasn’t an ‘open door’.
I was buzzed in and greeted by the receptionist who was so welcoming and friendly. She walked me to the waiting room to see the nurse and although she was giving me information about the first part of the appointment, it felt through her tone, manners and expression like I was speaking to a friend. The waiting room was empty, so I was there by myself for around five minutes as I’d got there early. There was a whiteboard up in the room with messages from clients saying how fantastic the staff had been – which I loved reading.
I got called in by the nurse. We had a quick chat and she checked for any safeguarding issues. I know this is a legal requirement, but I’d really urge anyone who may be at a clinic because of any safeguarding issue – control, domestic violence, drugs, alcohol – to speak up at that point. I feel certain from my experience that the staff at the clinic would help!
However, as I don’t have any safeguarding concerns, the nurse then told me she wanted to take a scan to check my dates I’d given her were correct. This took a while as I was so early, the embryo was hard to see but the nurse spoke to me naturally and kept me informed. Once it was found, she asked if I wanted to know how far along I was. I decided to know as 1) I had done my own calculations and wanted to check and 2) I’d read that the earlier the abortion the easier the process. I was five weeks and one day pregnant.
“As I left the office, the nurse made sure I had everything I needed, gave me a big smile and said to call the 24/7 helpline if there was ANYTHING that I needed answered at all.”
Following this, she gave me my notes in a sealed pack and told me to go to reception and they’d direct me from there. Again, the receptionist, a different one, was so lovely and friendly when taking me to a new, smaller waiting room. The waiting room was calming. Music was being played, some decorative pieces and again felt homely, not sterile and scary.
I then went in with another nurse who talked me through the medical abortion kit. Although talking about a serious procedure, she was light in her tone, humorous and warm. She explained what would likely happen with reassurance. She asked if I would like to take the first pill with her or at home and I elected to have it then. She got me some water, said I could take my time if I wanted (although I didn’t) and that was it – done – easy, calm, relaxing. I then drove myself home and got on with my day.
“The whole thing felt straightforward, as simple as getting treatment for any other medical conditions.”
The following day around 5.30, I took pain relief as advised (Medical Abortion Aftercare Booklet) and around 15 minutes later inserted the next four pills vaginally and then waited. I experienced some really mild cramping but nothing much happened. A very light bleed but that was it. So 3 hours later I inserted another two tablets vaginally. The cramping became a little stronger around an hour later but absolutely nothing more than a bit of a rough day with period pain. I was able to comfortably watch a film, eat the snacks prepared by my partner and relax.
I went to the toilet before bed and felt a bit of a clot – larger than my period ones but nowhere near the size of a lemon. I then went to bed. I woke up around 2am and could feel I was cramping so popped to the toilet and again I felt a bit if a clot but nothing much worse than a period. I definitely had some pain but it can’t have been that bad as I fell asleep again without pain relief and slept until 8am the following day.
From this point, I had mild cramps and bleeding for a few days but this just felt like my regular period. I didn’t need any pain relief, was able to go for a gentle walk, visited my parents for lunch – life as normal.
And that was it. Done. The whole thing felt straightforward, as simple as getting treatment for any other medical conditions. The services offered – counselling, safeguarding, helpline – weren’t needed but had I wanted to make use of any of these they were there. But, for me, this wasn’t a difficult decision, it wasn’t emotionally wrenching. It was the right and proper thing for me and MSI were brilliant!
I know for others, the decision won’t be as straightforward and there are a huge amount of considerations, but many of the stories I read online were about how hard and troubling the process is. No judgement here! But for people, like me, who see this situation as a pragmatic, simple decision. An abortion can be just that – it doesn’t have to be the emotional stuff you read on the internet.
Thank you MSI Reproductive Choices.
Read more abortion stories
Sharing stories is at the heart of ending the stigma that too many women and pregnant people still feel when it comes to abortion.
“But, for me, this wasn’t a difficult decision, it wasn’t emotionally wrenching. It was the right and proper thing for me and MSI Reproductive Choices were brilliant!”
VICKY, A MEDICAL ABORTION CLIENT