For three weeks in a row I had visited my doctor for nausea and vomiting, each week he asked ‘could you be pregnant?,’ each time my answer was ‘no way.’ He pressed for me to take a test to be sure, or to ‘prove him wrong’ as he put it. When I left, I was feeling confident that I wasn’t, however the next morning I had the test left in my drawer. I use to take one quarterly when I was with my ex, so I thought I could at least tell my doctor I had taken a test and was not pregnant. Except I was. I went back and immediately asked where I could get a refund on the morning after pill, the doctor laughed it off and told me congratulations.

Congratulations. It was the first word anyone I told said to me. All I could feel was an overwhelming sense of anxiety and fear. I asked to terminate at that appointment. I called the specialist clinic in my area, they told me the next available date was in a month! A whole month! I immediately called my local hospital: three weeks. It was better than a month. At this point I had decided that I wasn’t going to tell the father, he was a good friend that I had been having casual sex with but I also felt that I didn’t want his opinion forced on me. The three weeks were torture. I ended up telling him due to anxiety that the abortion wasn’t going to work. I’m glad I did; he was completely supportive of any option.

I had two scans during my pregnancy, both of which I saw the fetus but didn’t hear the heart beat. I went through with the abortion, but what the hospital lacked to tell me was that the recovery area was also shared with caesarians. As I came out of the anesthetic I could hear a baby crying, I shouted at the nurses ‘this isn’t right, I didn’t come here for this, my baby shouldn’t be crying’. I was overcome with immense relief when the nurse reassured me it wasn’t mine.

Through my work as an interpreter, I once followed a client through her pregnancy, the week after my abortion I had a job at one the delivery suites. I heard women give birth naturally, I genuinely feared that they were going to die. Further down the corridor I could also hear a heartbeat, a beautifully rhythmic, strong heartbeat. Listening to it I could feel an ache in my heart and my ovaries and I knew in that moment, that if I had heard my baby’s heartbeat I would be 22 weeks pregnant now. I don’t regret my decision, at least I’m 98% sure I don’t.