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So as I'm sitting wondering should I write this will I even press post on it? Well if your reading this then I went for it. 7 years I've thought about writing this and at times felt maybe if I put pen to paper it may help. So here goes
Abortion - no I haven't had one but was offered one by Galway University Hospital. Firstly I'm going to say where I am personally on abortion; my body my choice your body your choice it's me and every other women that has to listen to their inner voice and be content with their own choice, the one that is best for them in their given situation. And until you've walked a mile in my shoes or another's don't judge nor give your "advice, views or comments."
I also felt that I needed to tell my story because I've being shouted at and ran after by pro life campaigners and I feel their nativity to what is already going on in our hospitals need to be highlighted.
So as I mentioned seven years ago this was my story and my partner at the time who has since gone on to be my husband. This time in our life will never leave us. My period was late so I did a test - two lines, it was mixed emotions as it wasn't planned but we'd always wanted children and sooner rather than later and for me I don't think there's any perfect time for kids.
So fast forward to GP visit all good early stages and all that jazz, but all looking good. A few days later the GP called looking for details and I happened to mention I was feeling some pains but sure isn't that normal? The GP seemed concerned and asked me to come into the surgery, a few hours later I was in Galway University Hospital for bloods and a scan, after hours there as it was late in the evening we arrived so things took even longer, but we were sent home and asked to come back in for more scans and bloods over the next few days. When your pregnant your blood normally doubles evenly so for example 20 goes to 40 then to 80 and so on but mine where always missing a few counts but I was told numerous times that this isn't always the case and that they could even out properly and all would go fine. Also my scans which had to be internal scans were showing a sac that looked good. So we were told I was OK and to go ahead with my pregnancy and come back if I had any pain or bleeding. A week or so later I still had niggling pain but the books said settling pain was normal and having gone through two more pregnancy sense, I can say hands down the pain was the same at the beginning of my following pregnancy and I also bleed with both my following pregnancy and went on to have two healthy children. But Galway University Hospital decided when I was referred back with the pains that they were keeping me in and I may be having an Ectopic pregnancy. Please note here I had no other symptoms was feeling well, the pain was not sore at all just like very mild camps, like at the start of many pregnancies.
I spent a week in hospital then just sitting in bed being asked was I feeling pain every time my answer was the same "no, no pain". I felt fine and hated sitting in the bed I'd have scans, internal ones every time there was a sac but they still insisted I may be having an Ectopic pregnancy, so they suggested surgery a laparoscopy. I hands down said no way I didn't want this and the Doctors themselves differed in opinion. At one stage two doctors, female stood at the end of my bed and argued about who was the correct. My parents arrived and the doctors told them that they could decide for me I was discussed at 27 years of age I was able to make my own choice but they scared my parents and partner into convincing me to go ahead with the surgery. I didn't want to I knew I was not having an Ectopic pregnancy they just wouldn't listen to me I wasn't in pain I just wanted to be left alone to grow the baby inside me. And guess what ? following the surgery they told me no Ectopic the baby was where it should be. I felt so shit i'd being poked and dissected, the tiny cells in my womb had being through so much to I just wanted to be left alone.
The following day after the surgery I'd another scan and the two ladies where so nice and they showed me the little heart beat the feeling of relief was amazing, there was no mention of my bloods doctors seemed to not be bothered at all with this. But before we left we had to go speak to a doctor who handed me a prescription I was puzzled I though it was pain medication, no it was for the two pills you take for an abortion to occur. I said I didn't understand the Doctor said look yes their is a heartbeat but how things have gone so far with your bloods, cramping and the suspected Ectopic, the pregnancy wasn't going to last, but I said it could there is a heartbeat, she looked blankly at me saying the prescription is there. Neither me nor my baby where being thought of here we were specimens faceless emotionless things, I just said no please leave me and my baby to go home let me rest take things in let the baby settle and grow itself without the outside world interfering.
I was heart broken that they just wanted me to swallow a pill and puff gone there was still a heartbeat a chance, growing a baby is an amazing thing and we as humans are amazing why couldn't my baby be one of those who at the beginning went through so much but came out the other side of things happy and healthy. I wasn't told 100% it couldn't happen so did I not owe it to myself, my partner the baby my family to try and let things be . . .
Three weeks later I started to bleed, it wasn't to be. It could have being but not this time, why? That I don't know the hospital didn't help at all for the week I was kept in put under surgery internally scanned so many times and then handed pills before anything had stopped. I believe the baby tried so hard but with it's unfortunate treatment of both it and me it just couldn't. My womb is mine and should have being left alone for me to decide not for doctors to argue over like I didn't exist.
I had to return to the Galway University Hospital the day I started bleeding to confirm I was beginning to miscarry. It was horrible but at one stage me and my partner were ushered to what I can only describe as a broom cupboard and a senior nurse with my file in her hand and she said to us - do you want to bring a case against the hospital?- she continued to say she had read my file and felt that I wasn't look after properly at all and that things that went on shouldn't have. The nurse said she would leave us to think about it but for now they'd ensure I was looked after and asked if we'd any request my only one was that their was a certain doctor I didn't want near me. That was sorted and although I didn't ask for it the following day I returned for the DNC I was given a private room and was cared for so well. That day, the day before Christmas Eve a little piece of me broke I wasn't listened to I was divided. it was my womb patient number one then me just patient number two supposed to do what the doctors said.
This is My Story, My Life, My Body - Repeal the 8th
This story is written from my point of view of what happened and in no way a slur on the hospital the staff or others involved.