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This topic is for sharing experiences of pregnancy choices; to debate the ethics of termination, visit our Politics or Chat forums.

Pregnancy choices

What happens after a termination?

78 replies

Springheeled · 18/09/2014 18:45

Apologies, I don't want to upset anyone with this thread but I would really appreciate some info.

I wondered what happens in the immediate aftermath of a surgical termination very early in pregnancy? For example, with bleeding and with the hormones leaving? And with getting home from the clinic?

I know it will just unfold as it unfolds and what will be will be but I want to have some concept of it. Also will I need things like brick sanitary pads?

I know what an mc is like and that left me wiped out for a couple of months, but I lost masses of blood with that which I think was the reason.

The emotional side, I just have NO idea how I will feel so again that is a bridge to cross and I'm sure it's different for everyone, but I'm imagining the physical side is similar.

And with work- I can't really take time off, or tell anyone there. Am I going to end up needing to? Work require documentation for appointments and time off.

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CatKisser · 18/09/2014 18:53

Hello Spring.
I found I had bleeding on and off for a few weeks after, plus one occasion where I passed a large solid clot about 2 weeks post. I think I should have gone back to doc then, but I didn't. (Sorry.)
In terms of hormones, apologies if this sounds insensitive, but the next day I was almost giddy with lightness and relief. I have pondered this reaction at length since as it sounds awful, but all can assume is it was a combination of changing hormones and a weight off my mind.
I took one day off work (didn't tell them reason) and felt ok to go back the next day. Not sure what to suggest re: work. Why do you feel you can't tell them? Not judging - I couldn't have told mine either!
Hoping you're ok.

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Springheeled · 18/09/2014 18:57

Thank you so much Catkisser and I think your feelings were completely normal. I am really grateful to you for replying.

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sheilatakeabow · 18/09/2014 19:03

Hi. Sorry you're going through this. With regards bleeding, I bled heavily for a few days, heavier than a period but IIRC not as heavily as after giving birth. Hormones - I was a mess. Despite the relief and being confident we'd made the right decision, I cried uncontrollably for about three days, it was a massive crash. The nurse had explicitly said this wouldn't happen, that the hormones would just kind of gently seep away (?!?) so I was totally unprepared.
Re. work, I'd told them, as I'd already taken a week off when we first got the bad news (TFMR). I think pregnancy-related time off is classed differently to normal illness time off.
All the best Flowers

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ElizabethMedora · 18/09/2014 19:03

I think it must vary a lot actually. I had a medical abortion (the pills) at about 7 weeks pregnant & felt quite unwell with it but passed little blood, & was absolutely fine within 48hrs, back at work etc. Felt emotionally fine tbh but it was a crisis pregnancy in a completely impossible situation so no conflict about doing the right thing. Had a miscarriage recently of a wanted pregnancy at about the same gestation & felt physically less well, much more blood though, & much much sadder...

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Springheeled · 18/09/2014 19:12

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and Thanks

I'm very sorry for your losses.

Elizabeth the situation for me is the same as yours was in that this is impossible- financially, emotionally and on all practical levels.

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Standinginline · 18/09/2014 19:29

I had a surgical termination at 14 weeks after a failed medical (the pill one you take before 9 weeks). I can honestly say I had no indication of ever having one after the procedure, I even remember wondering whether they'd even done it as there was no tenderness, no bleeding, nothing. I left about an hour after waking up from the general as they like you to eat and drink before you go (you starve yourself before the surgery so probably like to make sure you get something down you as it's probably not the first thing you think of). They like you to go home with someone just in case anything unexpected happens.

Emotionally, I was relieved. I'd wanted a termination because I had a 3 year old and one under one ; mentally, I was just recovering from PND. Partner booked himself in for a vasectomy and would've gone through with it but I found out I was still pregnant which made me re evaluate the situation ; I did want more but not at that moment, so had the coil put in instead, and partner cancelled his appointment. I would've actually have kept the baby as I was a lot further along than I would like to have had a termination but was advised not to as there was a strong possibility of fetal abnormalities. As I said, I was relieved as it seems pointless having all these pregnancy symptoms and getting nothing from it.

However, a few months on I do think I shouldve kept the the baby as I do want one and feel ready for one now which is slightly gutting. In a weird way I'm glad the medical did fail as otherwise I would've let partner go along with a vasectomy and that would've been that on the kid front.

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Thurlow · 18/09/2014 19:50

I had a medical, not surgical, abortion so I can't advice on the bleeding too much. I do agree with the others that I felt relief afterwards. I'd made the decision a week earlier, so I didn't feel as though I had to deal with that so much. I do remember crying a lot a few days afterwards, I just had a bad hour or so - hormones and probably a bit of delayed shock, it all seemed to happen so quickly.

I don't know if they do it for surgical procedures but I was given a very strong antibiotic dose to take a day or so after the tablets and I swear, that made me iller than anything else, they messed my stomach and bowels up for about a week.

If you can take time of work, please do. Can you self certify with a pretend tummy bug or something for a few days?

Take care. I hope it all goes as ok as it can do x

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Springheeled · 18/09/2014 19:58

I am really overwhelmed with your generosity in sharing your stories.

standing I hope that things work out and I'm glad you still have options.

Thank you too Thurlow- I can envisage some serious crying as I have been carried through by sheer, total shock these last two weeks and I am sure the shock is insulating me.

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minipie · 18/09/2014 20:02

I had a surgical abortion at about 8 weeks. Like standing I don't remember any aftermath other than feeling woozy from the general anaesthetic. No bleeding, cramping etc at all. Getting home, ideally someone would collect you due to the wooziness but a minicab would probably be ok if that's not possible.

I took a day off work - told them I needed a "minor surgical procedure" - I wouldn't have wanted to go into work that afternoon as I did feel quite spaced after the GA. Your work should NOT require you to tell them what medical process you are having, "it's a medical appointment" should be sufficient, the rest is confidential to you.

Emotionally I was simply relieved, but then I have always been sure it was the right decision. It has never upset me. I think it's a lot harder if you're conflicted about the choice.

Best wishes.

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Springheeled · 18/09/2014 20:13

Thanks so much minipie

Work require 'evidence' of appts but I'm hoping they'll give me some bland document if I ask at the clinic?

It's so good to have this thread as irl there is no one.

I'm not conflicted about the decision, it is the only possible one. The only conflict is that it is resurfacing old memories of previous pgs- the two that went gloriously right and the two that went wrong (mc) and it's those memories that are churning me up: past scans, especially the one where I saw my mc- an image I'll never forget, and then the one where I next saw the heartbeat of my dd at 7 weeks and was filled with utter joy and relief. It's all that, plus that all my pgs before were with exh and we were trying to build a little family. So I think the conflict is around the whole thing of pregnancy and loss and me as a mum and how I'd put all those things away in the past till they were brought back to mind.

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Thurlow · 18/09/2014 20:22

Oh, sweetheart Sad

It does bring up some long buried memories and, if I am being honest, things for the rest of your life will remind you of this.

It can be the 'rightest' decision of your life but that doesn't mean it won't still upset you.

Be kind to yourself. We all keep saying it but it's true. Remember why you decided this was the right thing to do. And go and give your DC another quick kiss and a cuddle in bed.

But keep talking on here. It's so therapeutic and I promise you we are listening.

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Springheeled · 18/09/2014 20:43

Thanks Thurlow I just rang to double check appt details and I'm glad I did but really freaked out as I didn't realise I had to fast and have no idea how I am going to get through tomorrow from early not eating or even drinking water! Apparently there is the option of no sedation but I ought to keep the option of having it open by fasting. Argh!

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Thurlow · 18/09/2014 21:05

That was one of the reasons I went for a medical termination Blush Not good reasons, really, but it was definitely a reason that was there!

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TheWanderingUterus · 18/09/2014 21:06

Surgical termination at 5+6, no sedation.

I was told to bring a pad into the surgical room with me, already attached to pants, procedure done, pants on, walked to recovery room where I sat with three other women and was offered heat packs, painkillers and tea/biscuits. I had to use the toilet before I was allowed to leave.

It was very achy for that hour, borderline painful. I had a medium amount of loss, but one of the other women had more, they had to close one of the toilets to clean it after her.

I had period cramps for the next three days, blood loss for a couple of weeks. Emotionally I was a mess, floods of tears, lots of guilt and upset, worst bit was remembering the scan before the procedure, I already have two children so that bit had really bitter memories attached. Took me a while to get right again emotionally but I should add that I had some mental health problems, untreated PND, maternal OCD and I went home to look after my eight month old baby which was particularly hard. But once it lifted, the relief was amazing, I had a sense of doom that just lifted. Never regretted it.

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Springheeled · 18/09/2014 21:21

Crikey wandering you had so much on your plate.Flowers Thanks for that- I wonder if no sedation is a good way to go? I could still be compos mentis tomorrow eve, which would help around the dcs and with a lot of work to do this wkd. Also, with sedation don't I need someone with me? I mean after for the eve? I just want to be alone really

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AllYouNeedIsTea · 18/09/2014 21:39

I had a surgical following a medical because i had retained products. I was so worried about the GA and the procedure itself beforehand but it seemed to go very smoothly. I didn't have any pain afterwards and not much bleeding (but i'd already passed a lot of blood and the sac following the medical). I felt 'better' afterwards because it was finally over after about 3 weeks of constant bleeding.

The staff were lovely at the hospital. After the procedure i stayed in hospital for about an hour with my dh and was sent home with strict instructions to rest and be waited on. I was told to not even make a cup of tea! Will you have someone with you?

In terms of how i felt personally, it was mainly sadness and regret for me but i'd already regretted my decision to terminate after taking the pill so that wasn't unexpected. I was never 100% and you sound a lot more confident in your decision. My body got back to normal very quickly. I think i got my first period about 5 weeks after.

In terms of your work, i think a minor medical procedure should cover it but i don't know what you'll get in terms of evidence that you can provide. I was given a discharge letter but of course it detailed the procedure which you don't want. My abortion was on a Friday and i was back to work on the Monday.

I hope it all goes well for you Thanks

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AllYouNeedIsTea · 18/09/2014 21:43

Just seen you've said you might be alone. I think they prefer for you to have someone with you for the evening after a general. Sedition may be the way to go for you then. It's not an option i was offered.

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AllYouNeedIsTea · 18/09/2014 21:47

no sedation.

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Springheeled · 18/09/2014 21:56

I've had sedation for tooth operations before and I felt mighty strange afterwards. But also, it would mean exh and dcs around and it would be confusing for the dcs. And embarrassing with exh, although he does know as I had to tell him. Argh.
So maybe I could have it done awake, the nurse said it was painful though. I think my pain threshold is low, but I can be quite stoic.

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Springheeled · 18/09/2014 21:59

Sorry allyouneedistea I meant to thank you for sharing your experience Flowers I really appreciate it.

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LucyBabs · 18/09/2014 22:00

Best of luck to you op Flowers

I had an abortion at 7 weeks and choose conscious sedation I felt nothing and the procedure was over in 5 minutes. I enjoyed the woozie feeling it gave me. I sat back in the recliner in the recovery room and felt relief. I had no bleeding whatsoever, no pain, cramps or any after effects really. My morning sickness was gone immediately.

Like you said you won't know how it is for you until it happens.

Thinking of you x

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Agrestic · 18/09/2014 22:10

I would really reccomended sedation if possible.

I had a surgical abortion at 9 weeks, it was fine. The evening after and the next day all I did was sleep though, I'm guessing that was because of the sedation.

I can't imagine being awake during the procedure but obviously you need someone with you for travelling home. I felt okay physically afterwards so if you'd prefer to be alone in the evening I expect that would be okay (not sure on the rules for that one!)

I bled for around two weeks after anddid feel some pain but it just felt like a heavy period. I passed some material in the first week that look like tissue rather than period type blood clots

Emotionally I was a bit sad but very relieved. Don't regret it one bit.

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Springheeled · 18/09/2014 22:50

Thank you lucy and agrestic.
It's obvious that I am going to have to do it without sedation as whichever way I think about it it's impossible to have someone with me afterwards. I have really steep stairs too so would be a but worried about being groggy and going up and down. I am just going to have to be really, really tough and grit my teeth. People have been through much worse, I am sure I am up to it.

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PicardyThird · 18/09/2014 22:58

I haven't had a termination, but I have had surgical management of (variously missed and incomplete) miscarriage - which is essentially the same procedure physically - four times under GA and medical management once.

I was allowed to go home mid-afternoon after the surgery - was fine walking home although they did insist I be collected by someone. I have to say I would not have wanted to go through it awake - the hardest bit for me was always being got ready for it just before being put under, and I think it would be ever so hard to be conscious during.

The medical management was not as painful or as heavy bleeding-wise as I had feared, although I had partially miscarried by this time. Might that be an option for you?

I'm very sorry you have had mcs too and that you find yourself in this situation Flowers

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PicardyThird · 18/09/2014 23:01

I see you also asked about bleeding - there was only a little bleeding after the surgeries, whereas after the medical management I bled for a while after and then had bouts of fairly heavy bleeding for the best part of a month. My first proper period would have been 7 weeks or so after the start of the mc. That was a definite downside to it for me, but I was relieved not to have gone through another ERPC with the attendant increased risk of scarring.

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