CW: This piece features frank discussion and description of my experience of an early medical abortion. If you feel this will affect you, please feel free to use your discretion and this warning for your own wellbeing. I am hoping that telling my story makes people feel less scared, not alone in their experience or realise how important safe and legal abortion and support is- which is the rationale for our fundraiser.
I like it when somebody fucks me as if I am a nobody.
You know what I mean. Head pushed into the pillows, muffling my moans as they push down on the small of my back, or between my shoulder blades. Desperate to keep me still whilst they fuck me, delighting in the hair that remains stuck to my face after saliva is dragged from their cock over my face as I’m given a chance to regain my breath, leaving me an exhausted mess. Something I will definitely remember for a long time…
Three weeks later, I am drinking red wine with a friend as I delight in my recent experience- although sparing her many of the details. Her partner is in the final throws of his PhD, meaning their chance for sex between the long nights at the library for him and the demands of her job, remain slim. We laugh about this.
‘My period is a bit late after that last time we had sex’ she says, as she continues to laugh. ‘I’m probably pregnant, that would be less than ideal’. Her partner is due to move away for a teaching role, PhD result pending.
Now without going into too much detail, her job is one which is tricky to get time off for any appointment. She explains how her partner wouldn’t be okay with an abortion, but she wouldn’t be okay with a child. She tells me she is utterly convinced it feels like something is different, because her periods are never this late, and even if a test was negative she wouldn’t believe it. We sit and research the process of an early medical abortion, try and plan how it would fit into a work schedule and I go to Superdrug to buy her a pregnancy test, which she is too nervous to do by herself.
‘I got the expensive type, and there’s two in there so if one is negative you can try another in a week or so!’ I proudly exclaim, trying to be the supportive friend. Our friendship is a type where we laugh off anything remotely serious. Breakups, drunken renouncing of friendships, possible pregnancies. Now it is not that we don’t take these things very seriously, I can say with every confidence that we absolutely do. But perhaps this is our way of dealing with it.
Turns out the pregnancy test was negative, and a week later her period came. All was right with the world again.
Until my period didn’t arrive. I had been this late before, but that was when I was not on birth control. I was fairly worried this time, but showed up at the same friend’s door as her and a mutual friend were replanting pots on the terrace, and had jokingly asked her if she had that spare pregnancy test. They’d opened a bottle of rose cava (our staple), I peed and then called her through from the terrace.
‘Turns out I’m the pregnant one’
‘Well fucking shit’
‘At least I know what to do?’
She hugged me, totally unsure what to do. We were no longer laughing, I drank a glass of bubbles and I left her flat to return seven minutes later with three more bottles.
I didn’t tell our mutual friend who was with us. But I drank most of those bottles myself, before we opened homebrew wine, and I remember sitting on her kitchen floor very drunk, with a positive pregnancy test in my hand.
I was due to see my doctor two days later. It was a check-up after being prescribed fluoxetine. I remember her asking how I was feeling, and me explaining the depression is probably not being helped by the fact I’m pregnant. She gave me the number for the clinic (which I already knew), told me the process (already knew) and I pretended I was hearing the information for the first time. I rang the clinic, and they could accommodate me in three days.
I told my mum. She had no qualms with my decision, and I knew that was under no forced pretence. I told a close friend, who took time off work to accompany me to the initial appointment. At seven weeks they detected a foetal heartbeat during an ultrasound which threw me, but not enough to remotely change my decision. They took me into a room and quizzed me about the father. I asked politely for them to stop referring to the father as a factor in this, because they were attributing cultural and societal definitions to my relationship with this person- which did not exist and was not helpful. My birth control failed. It was not intentional.
I took the first tablet. I’d stopped the heartbeat. And I was absolutely fortunate enough to take the second one home, to administer in 48 hours. I went back to work. My first case in my inbox involved pregnancy and miscarriage. The coincidence made me laugh, then cry at the thought I could be so heartless.
Fast forward those 48 hours. I had spent two days in a daze. It was hell. It felt like something was trapped inside me, and I could do nothing about it yet.
It was Good Friday (there’s some strange irony). I had arrived at my parents for Easter weekend. I went to the shop and bought maxi pads and incontinence pants and absolutely everything else I could think of, because I was terrified. Almost like I was expecting the scene from Carrie. My stepmum is obsessed with cleanliness and if I made a stain anywhere it wouldn’t be the end of it. I brought a towel from home for my bed. I sat on my floor, lined up the anti nausea medication, painkillers, and the second tablet. I called my sister upstairs, and told her what was about to happen, in case I needed to go to A&E as per the leaflet which detailed everything. I then took them all as instructed. She hugged me.
I think about the experience a lot. Pain, a lot of pain for about forty minutes. My sister scraping me off the bathroom floor as I couldn’t move. A 2 hour nap with a hot water bottle. Bleeding. Toilet. More napping. Then 4 hours after I took the tablet I felt fine, and joined my family in a 4 player game of Mario Kart which lasted all afternoon.
That was it. It was over. Like a really bad period (which I blamed when my parents asked).
It wasn’t until a week later, when I was having a girly night with the friend who took me to my appointment and another close friend. I went to the bathroom, and noticed something not quite right happening. That was when I realised that it had truly passed. I naively thought it was over during those times on the toilet after I’d taken the second tablet. I sobbed in my friend’s kitchen, thinking I’d contaminated her house with badness as I visualised the egg sac in her toilet. I didn’t realise this would happen so long after, but after some Googling I realised that it does and it was okay. Looking back, I’ll be forever thankful that I was there at that moment, with the person who fully knew. I could have been anywhere else.
I am fortunate for so many things. My friend being able to originally confide in me for her pregnancy concerns, the NHS for having such clear information, my GP for not probing into my decision, my mum for being my mum, my sister for the hot water bottle, my hero friend for taking her morning off to accompany me to the clinic and for my home country allowing people to take the second tablet in the comfort of their own home. No one questioned my decision- a decision I felt so much ownership of. It was safe, supported and legal.
This is why I am taking part in Smutathon. Yes, it is a chance for me to write again. Yes, it allows me to bond and connect with friends and peers all over the world. But mostly because of all of those things I was fortunate for. All of those things which some people do not have the luxury of. That is why I am thrilled we have chosen to support the National Network of Abortion Funds for our transatlantic fundraiser this year.
About the Author:
Hannah lives up north, and has a weakness for rolled up sleeves, spreadsheet proficiency and adventures. Her writing is mostly inspired by her own experiences and kinks which range from submissive behaviours, bruises and collars, to Disney characters who eat five dozen eggs.
You can find her on Twitter with a monochrome nude or .gif for every occasion at @confess_hannah.