Now Reading
I Had An Abortion And All I Feel Is Relieved

I Had An Abortion And All I Feel Is Relieved

at home abortion

Ever since I can remember, I panic a few days before my period is due. This panic seeps into my chest and sets up a cozy campfire there until those first few drops of blood finally arrive, and I can breathe again. At least for the next three weeks.

Ever since I can remember. Even when I wasn’t having sex. Because if it happened to Mary, then it could happen to me.

How would I explain it to my parents? Would they believe me? Would anyone believe me?

Those were the thoughts that used to circle my mind. Then I started having sex, and the panic escalated.

I have a regular 30-ish day cycle that I track meticulously, so anything past 32 days fills me with fear. On two occasions, my bleed has been a week late.

The first time, I was at a yoga teacher training, exercising a lot more and eating a different diet. The second time, my partner and I were in the middle of buying a house. The third time, I was having overwhelming uncertainty in my relationship of six years, and I wasn’t late.

I was pregnant.

We’d welcomed in 2023 days ago, and instead of soaking up this fresh start and embodying my new intentions for the year, I was all-consumed by this thing growing inside me.

Panic. Fear. Dread. Disgust.

It had happened. And at 32, I knew I was lucky it hadn’t happened earlier.

Meanwhile, my body was off doing its own thing, sapping my energy, and hardening my nipples, leaving them insanely sensitive that even the slightest touch made me scream.

“Whatever you want to do, I support you,” he said, in true boyfriend of the year fashion. I don’t know if that was his truth or if he was just saying what he thought he should say. But we had talked about it countless times already, and he knew I didn’t want to be a mother right now, maybe not ever.

I used to.

The 25-year-old me had small-town dreams of finding her Prince Charming, eloping on a beach somewhere at sunset, popping out four kids, and living happily ever after. My career was merely a backup plan in case that didn’t quite pan out. I was brainwashed to believe I was here to do no more than be some man’s wifey and birth babies, just like the evangelists wanted.

I don’t know if it was quitting my job in fashion to be a writer, living in Bali for a year, unlearning society’s beliefs about what a woman’s life is meant to look like, my fragile relationship with my own mother, or the countless soul initiations and growth I put myself through on what seems like a daily basis, but somewhere in the past seven years, I did a complete 180.

I no longer believe I am here in this lifetime to be a mother to a child. Maybe I will want that in my future someday; who knows. But my true mission is to be of service to other women. That is why I am here, and I feel that in the depths of my soul.

So when I found out I was pregnant at the start of this year, I didn’t need to make a difficult choice. There was no difficulty in choosing me first over the cells that had started to grow inside me and the potential of a baby nine months later. I knew what I would do before I even had to do it.

Part of me felt cold for being this way and finding the decision so simple. But that was the echo of the “pro-life” narrative lingering in the air. The misplaced belief that women are here to be mothers, so why would I, with every fiber of my being, not want that?

It turns out I’m not alone. In a recent study, a staggering 99% of women said five years later that having an abortion was the right choice. Of the rainbow spectrum of emotions that could possibly show up post-abortion, relief was the most common emotion.

I didn’t know what I was meant to do, so I called the doctor. It took about an hour for me to finally get through and speak to someone.

“If you’re happy with the pregnancy, all you need to do is come in and sign a midwife form,” the receptionist told me.

I quickly replied, “No, I’d like a termination.”

“Okayyyy,” she said, her tone turning, “bare with me for a minute…”

She gave me the phone number for BPAS and told me that I’d need to call them.

I immediately called. After 15 minutes of anxiously waiting in a queue, the lady who answered was very kind and patient with me. She took my details, and I was given the earliest available scan appointment, which was more than two weeks away. This would be followed by a telephone consultation the next day, and the abortion pills would then, and only then, be posted out to me and arrive within 1-3 days after that.

I don’t know the procedure where you live if you’re lucky enough to have access to abortion care. But here in the UK, one of the most developed countries in the world, that means about a three-week wait between the time you realize you’re pregnant and the time you can start the actual abortion process.

Let me briefly explain the importance of this waiting time. In the eyes of medicine, a woman’s pregnancy term begins from the first day of her last period. I don’t know why we still do this now that science can pinpoint the exact date of conception, but for whatever reason (science?), we do.

I realized I was pregnant very early on, about four or five days after my period was due. This is because I track my cycle, so I knew I was late, and my temperature was not showing any sign of going down (and it needs to for you to bleed), which rang alarm bells in my brain. At this point, technically, I was just under three weeks pregnant, but in the medical world, I would be considered to be just under five weeks pregnant. I didn’t take the first abortion pill—purely because I couldn’t get my hands on it faster—until I was a day short of eight weeks.

This is hugely significant when considering the various new state laws on abortion in the US, following the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. For example, in Georgia, where abortion is now banned after six weeks, any woman who is technically more than four weeks pregnant will be unable to legally seek an abortion. Meanwhile, multiple states have enforced a total abortion ban, with no exceptions for rape and incest.

You are a 14-year-old girl who has been raped by your father, but that baby inside you is nothing short of a blessing.

Abort this baby? Christ, no. This baby is a child of God, a divine miracle, a wonder. Let no harm come to this child.

Fourteen years ago, they would have said the same about the girl. At what point did her life and basic human rights cease to matter?

I was all too aware of how fortunate I was to even get to say, “I want an abortion,” and be able to follow through with it in a safe way. I didn’t have to concoct an at-home treatment that might kill me. I didn’t have to seek out some back-alley “doctor” who could make this all disappear in exchange for something else. I didn’t have to come to terms with the fact that I would have to carry this pregnancy full-term and learn to live with being a mother to a child I didn’t want.

But still, it was three grueling weeks of knowing I was pregnant and wishing I wasn’t, wanting to hit fast-forward so that this could all be over and I could go back to living my normal life and working on my new year’s intentions.

Frustration, followed by perspective, followed by anxiety, followed by perspective, doused with tidal waves of stress.

I tried to carry on living my life, but it was always there, lingering like a storm cloud overhead. My body continued to beat to its own drum, setting up a cozy cocoon in my uterus. Write. Eat. Think about pending abortion. Sleep. Repeat.

The days slipped by in a fog, and scan day eventually came. The practitioner inserted a large, phallic-looking object into my vagina and up to my cervix. She confirmed that everything looked normal (no ectopic pregnancy or areas of bleeding) and that my dates were correct. I was, according to science, seven weeks and one day pregnant. I conceived on a fertile day when we used a condom.

The following day came the phone call from someone who worked at BPAS. It lasted around 45 minutes and consisted of some invasive but routine questions.

I’m paraphrasing, but it went something like this:

“Have you ever had an allergic reaction to any medication?”


“Have you ever been pregnant before?”


“Have you ever injected drugs?”


“Why do you feel unable to continue with the pregnancy? Is it financial, emotional…”

“It’s all of the things,” I said.

But afterward, I realized I had answered wrong. I could emotionally figure my shit out if a child suddenly appeared in my life and depended on me. I could also figure out the financial side of things because I trust that I would make it work, and I know I would never be without. The real reason was, “I don’t want to be a mother right now, and I don’t know if I ever will.”

Lots more questions, followed by more answers.

She explains the abortion process in a lot of detail and all the potential side effects, including hemorrhaging. I’ve always been paranoid about possible yet extremely unlikely opportunities for disaster and/or death, and I can’t help but worry I’ll be one of the unlucky ones.

What’s funny is, despite all the potential things that could go wrong, home abortions within the first trimester (12 weeks) are 98% effective and safer than childbirth, acetaminophen (Tylenol), or Viagra.

Finally, the call ends, with the promise of the pills arriving via Royal Mail in 1-3 days’ time. She makes sure to add that the parcel will fit through the letterbox, so I don’t need to worry if I’m not there. But I work from home anyway; I’m always there.

The postman turns up at my door two days later and rings the bell. I opened the door to find him with my private abortion box opened and one of the packets of pills in his hand, with him saying, “I didn’t think you were in, so I was going to post all of this through the letterbox for you.”

“Thank you,” I replied, stunned.

See Also
I was never meant to be soft

It’s a letterbox-sized parcel. He has committed a crime and should immediately be sacked. I file a complaint but expect, in true criminal justice form, nothing will be done. That’s another story for another day.

More than anything, I was relieved that the pills to alter my future were now in my hands but terrified of what came next.

Day 1: Swallow the first pill. Wait 24 hours.

You may start bleeding after taking this pill, but I didn’t.

Day 2: Insert the next four pills into your vagina or between the gums in your mouth.

Wait a few hours, and you will probably start cramping and bleeding. I did start bleeding, which was a relief because I knew the process was working.

Then I repeated the process with two more of the same pills.

I’d always heard of the abortion pill termed as exactly that, the abortion pill. Naively, I assumed it was just one pill, and then everything was over.

There was a lot of blood, clots, and tissue over the next few days. Brief stints of painful cramps, where I felt like I couldn’t breathe, came and went a few times. I spent all my time in bed, and luckily, I had no employer to answer to. Sam lay next to me for much of the time. Again, I was fortunate to not go through this alone and spared many a thought for all the women who do.

Emotionally, I was fine. I made the right choice for me, and I’d do it again. The process was painful and unpleasant, but better than signing up to a forever that I don’t want. A small part of me is thankful for the experience because I can now write and speak about it from actual lived experience.

The instruction booklet I was given said that most women stop bleeding within a week but can have occasional clots and passing of tissue for several weeks after. But a few women—that’s me—will bleed right through until their next period. That was five weeks of bleeding, followed by a longer-than-usual period of about 10 days.

I haven’t had sex since I found out I was pregnant over three months ago. Even the thought of having sex again is terrifying. It feels like the walls have closed in a little further on me, and I can see my options and possibilities narrowing.

Do I want kids in the distant future? Because if I do, I’d better hurry up and decide because it won’t be long before I’m out of time. Do I definitely not want kids? Because if I don’t, am I prepared to go through another abortion? How about two more? Is sex worth the risk? Bad sex certainly isn’t. Maybe I can learn to live without it? Or how about I only have sex on the days that I’m not fertile?

Sex was already loaded for me pre-abortion. But now? The weight feels off the charts.

My only hope in writing this is that it reaches a woman who is pregnant and considering abortion but feels overcome with fear and guilt about whether she’s doing the right thing. All I want to say is the right thing is what’s right for you. Nothing else, and no one else, matters.

And if you have been through an abortion but are still holding onto guilt and shame around your choice, all I want to say is, let it go. Do not allow other people’s opinions to guilt or shame you into thinking that making a choice that concerns your body is ever something to warrant guilt or shame.

They can dress it up with any label they want, but “pro-life” is just another term for “misogynist.” They value something yet to be over the living, breathing heartbeat of a woman with her feet planted on this earth.

While we’re on the subject, what about the millions of living, breathing men, women, and children who continue to be murdered in the name of war? I don’t see any political anti-war campaigns a fraction as vicious or emotionally-charged as the one that targets women’s bodies.

The misogynists find it very difficult to live with the fact that we, as women, create life. It is women who are inextricably connected to the divine, source, the universe—call it what you want. It is women who are the bridge between the two worlds. Our yonis are literally a portal to the divine.

The misogynists interfere in any way they can. They create barbaric laws. They invent and coat the word “abortion” with sticky layers of fear, guilt, shame, and even cries of “murder.” They try to oppress women into thinking that we are no more than reproducers and take control of our bodies any way they can. The overturning of Roe vs. Wade coupled with restrictions on access to birth control in the US, the “greatest” country in the world, has been heartbreaking for women everywhere.

In ancient times, women were completely in control of their menses. It had nothing to do with men. “Abortion” was not even a word. If your period was late, and you did not want to bring a child into the world (for whatever reason, no reason needed), herbs were brewed and consumed to “bring on” that woman’s period.

This is just one of many reasons the witches were tortured and burned at the stake—they were the original healers and medicine women and knew too much. But their knowledge went underground and has continued to be passed on from one woman to the next. There are still women versed in ancient herbal medicine who know how to safely carry out abortions using natural methods.

If the past couple of years in politics has taught me anything, it’s that while society tries to trick you into thinking women’s rights are moving in the right direction, and aren’t we all empowered #girlbossess who can fuck for a living and cut and sew our bodies to satisfy the male gaze, it is no more than a distraction.

Women are not truly equal. Women are not truly empowered. Women are not truly free in this world. But we’re given just enough rope to trick us into thinking we are.

There is real work to be done.

If you need an abortion but cannot access safe abortion care where you live, you can contact MSI or Women On Web.

View Comments (2)
  • I’m not sure if you read the comments, but if you do I wanted to say that I thought you were amazingly brave with both your experience and telling your story to others. You have every right to your feelings behind all of this, it is your body and your life, and therefore your choice.
    I’m 17 and have had many heated arguments with my controlling mother about having sex and she has always made me feel very shameful for that. But reading your writings and articles for a while now has been a really empowering thing and helped me in many ways. So I wanted to say a massive thank you to you 🙂

    • Hi Lauren!

      Yes – I always read the comments 🙂

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write this and post it here, and for your sweet words, they do mean a lot to me ❤

      We live in a time where there is a lot of shame around sex, particularly within the feminine template, which is why your experience with your mother is so common. A large part of the work I do as a writer and mentor is to re-write the timeline and template of the feminine. But we can each play our part by letting go of other people’s opinions and beliefs, and consciously choosing for ourselves. This is challenging when the people we live with/our primary caregivers have such conflicting views.

      I am very much still on my own journey with sex and healing a lot of conditioning and trauma (this work is never done). So trust that whenever you are right now on your own journey with sex is okay. Keep trusting and following your intuition and let it guide you to people and ideas that empower and serve you and your highest growth ❤✨

      Shani x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.