I’ve wanted to tell my story since the day it happened. At 28, I found myself unexpectedly pregnant with someone I was casually seeing. He was a nice man but had no means to help me or support me properly through this. I told him I didn’t want to continue with the pregnancy. He respected my decision and left me to it.

I grew up just me and my single mother, she had me at 18. While I had a fantastic upbringing without my father, I saw first hand how tough being a single parent was. When my mother had me, she had fantastic support from her family and friends. While I feel I would not have had this as I don’t live close to my family. I was not ready to be a parent and I certainly wasn’t ready to be a single parent or could I afford it either.

As soon as I found out I was pregnant I searched my options online and booked in with a clinic in London. I was very fortunate that my best friend lived down the road from a clinic. I booked last minute flights for the Friday and a flight back on the Saturday- I just wanted to stay in my own bed that night. I left work on Friday and didn’t tell anyone my weekend plans and just hopped on a bus to the airport. Everything was fine going over, I felt I had to sort this out and I was very mechanical. I went to clinic at the assigned time (11am) but the clinic was so over booked (many Irish woman there) that I didn’t get seen to until 3pm. The staff were beyond lovely and helpful. I chose the tablet option as it seemed to be to be less invasive. I took the tablets at the clinic and then only had a hour to lie down in my friend’s house before I had to leave for the airport. I was feeling ok, just slight bleeding . I got on the plane and it just felt like a period but by the time the plane was starting it’s descent in Ireland, I felt horrendous pain. I wasn’t allowed to leave my seat as the plane was landing. I gripped the chair in front on me in agony, I tried to disguise it as being nervous for the landing. I knew I was in trouble as I felt very wet and convinced myself I was just paranoid.

I got off the plane and for some reason there was no toilet until just before the arrivals door. I walked what felt like an eternity to the toilet. I glanced down and my legs and I horrified to see I was bleeding down to my knees on the inside in my light blue jeans. I felt so ashamed as I felt anyone that saw me would know I was just after having an abortion. I whipped off my hoodie, tied it around my waist and tried to hide it until I got to the bathroom. I finally got to a bathroom and I stripped off and tried to clean myself off with wet wipes. As I took off my underwear I felt something on my inner thigh. I put my hand down and I will never forgot what happened next. It was pure shock, where you can’t move or talk. The foetus was stuck to my leg. The next couple of minutes are a blur and then my phone rang. My friend was waiting in the car to collect me outside in arrivals. I tried to talk and couldn’t, I was just gasping. He calmly told me to get my stuff together and he’s just outside the railing. Only a few steps away he reassured me. I put one foot in front on the other and managed to get outside. I was in full blown shock and hysterical. My friend my absolutely amazing and managed to calm down, I finally got home to my house, had a shower and get into my own bed. The following day I pulled myself together and went for a gentle walk, to clear my head and get fresh air. That Monday morning I went into work as normal, acted completely normal and hid what had happened. No one in work knew the horrors I had experienced and I was happy to pretend I was fine and forget it.

Artist:  Anonymous 7 illustrated her own story.

Can you think of someone to share this story with?