A woman named Natalia told her story of taking the abortion pill in a video released by March for Life UK
This is her story:
“My name is Natalia. I’m 20, and it was in March last year that I found out I was pregnant, just at the start of lockdown. I can remember the day. It was really, really sunny and I’m driving to my friends house. We were just sitting in her garden and stuff. And it was actually like two days – I should’ve had my period two days prior. So I was a little bit late. So she was just [saying], “Why don’t you just take a test?” And there’s a test kit across the road…
I’ve come outside now with the test, and I’ve given it to her, like, “Will you look for me?” And it comes up with the two lines.… I felt so sick. I felt so sick. I started throwing up, I think. It’s a bit of a blur.…She rang my baby’s father and told him…
My initial reaction was, I just wanted it to go away… I couldn’t comprehend what was happening. I think that night, I must’ve – because he was a couple hours away – must’ve driven all the way to where he was living, and I don’t think we said much, to be honest, at that time. But I think the initial, kind of, thoughts of both of us were that we weren’t going to keep the child.
But then as time went on, I was talking to different people, different friends, and stuff like that. I think as time went on I kind of accepted the idea… In a weird way, I kind of felt this kind of attachment, this kind of love for my child that I didn’t even know. But at the same time, I didn’t want to get comfortable with the idea, because I knew the baby’s father was so against me having it and all of that. It was almost like I was scared to talk, and stick up for what I thought. Every time I brought it up, I was always shut down. Everyone would tell me I can’t do it; I’m stupid. That this is going to ruin my life. All of my friends, I think, but one, were so against it. So I think I reached out to the wrong people.
I had people in my life that I could’ve gone to, like my mom. I chose not to. I was just scared. You have all this fear inside you that – it’s just so scary…
It’s all kind of a blur. You can’t remember dates and times… I was making these appointments to go into the clinic and get this abortion. I can’t really remember it that well, but the first time I went, I remember I went to the door and I just burst into tears. And I actually had my baby’s father with me, but he wasn’t allowed to come in because of COVID.… That set me off. I just started crying. And they didn’t give me the abortion pills that time. So I left.
They said, come back when you want to do another appointment. So obviously, I rang back.
[The] same thing happened, but he didn’t come with me. So I missed another appointment.… And then on the third time I went in. I can’t really remember the consultation… All I can remember [was that] it was quite cold. There weren’t any emotions, really, from the nurses. I remember them all being masked up and stuff, and it was quite scary. So in the end, because I was – I was in a state the whole time. They said, okay, well if you want to have this abortion, and you’d feel more comfortable at home, we’ll give you the pill to take home. So then they gave me the pills to take home…
They gave me in a massive – because it’s quite a few pills you have to take, it’s not just one – this massive envelope thing. It just sat like – I would carry them with me. It was really weird.… The nurse said to take them that night. Obviously, I didn’t. They just stayed with me. And there were quite a few attempts… I was going to take them, but it never sat right with me. I never wanted to take them.
By my last consultation, I was about seven weeks pregnant. In those three consultations, I was never told about the risks that there are emotionally and physically. I wasn’t aware of them. I was never offered a scan, so it was never like they actually knew how far along I was. It’s just crazy now that I look back on it, and I just think how I was even able to take those tablets home. I mean, for all they know I could’ve been so far gone [that] it could’ve caused some serious damage.
When I brought the tablets first home with me, I was about seven weeks. I didn’t actually know that at the time. I was just kind of lost – I lost track of time so I didn’t actually know how many weeks I was. But those tablets sat with me for about three weeks, and there were countless occasions when I look at them and say, well today’s going to be the day that I take them. And then I would just put it off and off and off… It was almost like I was prolonging it. I wanted my baby’s father to be like, “No, it’s all right, we can keep it.”
[At this point, she breaks down in tears]
It’s so sad to say it now. I was doing anything to please him. I never thought about my child… It was countless occasions where he’d be like, well, “if you keep it, I’m not going to stay with you.” It was stupid. Why didn’t I just leave him? But it’s fear. You’re scared. And not only that. You have so many other views of people… giving their opinion. I never asked for their opinion… I’m too young. I’m going to ruin this, I’m going to ruin that, you know what I mean? It’s ruined me now, so it’s like, what was it really for?
So, I was in my friend’s garden. I remember the day. At that point, my baby’s father wasn’t speaking to me. I remember, almost like a state of panic, that he was going to leave. It sounds so stupid. And I was with my friends in the garden. They were just saying, you’re an idiot, just take them. Just take them.
It took me like three hours to even take those tablets with a water bottle. And there was a water bottle, the lid of the water bottle. And they put water in the lid, and the tablet in the lid, just to dissolve it for me because I couldn’t physically take it.
My friends were telling me that I just needed to take it. Looking back on it, it’s like, I can’t believe I listened to them. It’s almost like I was manipulated into it. I don’t know why they didn’t stop me. Why they couldn’t see that I was hurting. I remember saying so many times, “don’t make me do it. I don’t want to do it.” Not to just them, but [to] other people as well.
[Drank the dissolved tablet]
After I got home, and I was just in my room – you have to wait until the next day, and then you have four other tablets, that you actually have to stick up, one by one, like, right up there. I went back to that same girl’s house – I went back to that house – and did one by one, in her garden, because it was locked.
And it was that night that the physical aspect of it all started. So I’ve gone back home, I’ve taken five tablets now, one orally, four up, and I remember, I had to wait and then take another tablet later on that night. I had to wait till 1 AM… I was just so scared.
I felt so alone during that whole pregnancy, but that was hard. That night was so hard. I remember just saying, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I remember, I had my laptop on my bed, and I was watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians the first season, because I was just trying to get my mind off everything that was happening. I think the pill that I took at 1 AM – I remember throwing that up at the side of my bed. And I was worried it wasn’t working – I didn’t sleep.
I remember the time. It was about 5 AM when it first started happening. Really, in the grand scheme of things, the physical pain is nothing. It’s nothing to do with that – but I know people are going to want to know whether it’s painful. Of course it’s painful… It feels like you’re being stabbed in the stomach. I had to be quiet because my mom was in the house, with my sister. I didn’t want to wake anyone up. I remember somehow getting to the toilet. It was unbearable, the pain.
That’s when I passed my baby. And I looked down, and I saw him. It was like a heavy period. It was like a baby. I looked down, and I looked up, and I can’t look anymore… It’s a child. It’s not like a bit of blood.
I must have flushed the toilet. I passed my baby into the toilet. [I] flushed it. I didn’t know what I was doing. I remember just falling to my knees. Everything get so blurry. I got into my bedroom. I [was] throwing up again. I’m taking all of these Codeines, but they’re just coming up. And then I just lay in my bed. And I was just bleeding through the mattress. And I just lay there for about three days on my own, not wanting to speak to anyone. Just all alone. On my own. Just trying my hardest not to think about what was happening.
After I threw up the pill, the one I took at 1 AM, I must’ve rang the clinic. I left a voicemail and said, I’ve taken this last pill, but I don’t know if it’s going to work because I threw it straight back up.… And then I switched my phone off for a few days. And when I switched it back on, there were so many voicemails and stuff. So I rang them back and the nurse, or whoever picked up the phone, was like, “we were just ringing to check on you because you were over the 10 weeks when you’re allowed to take these tablets. And you over the 10 weeks, and we were worried that you would’ve lost a lot more blood and it would’ve been a lot more, kind of, painful. But at that point it was already done. I already done it; been through it all, and she – that was it.
I remember asking her on the phone, like, I wasn’t going to be able to have more children, because I thought I would ruin the chances of that because I was – I didn’t know – I didn’t know what I was doing. I’d taken it too late, or whatever. And she was like, no, no, everything’s going to be fine, don’t worry. And that’s where the phone call ended.
After that phone call to the nurse, I didn’t have any contact. No one rang me or anything, to see if I was all right. That was it. I just had to deal with it on my own from then.
So, during my whole pregnancy I was – I kept it so quiet in the house, when I was feeling sick, or I would go to throw up. No one knew. I don’t know how I got away with it. I just did a really good job of hiding it. And that was the same with those three days. My mom’s a nurse, so she was, obviously, working. I think she just thought I was having a couple of off days. And just not wanting to come out of my room and stuff. Me and my sister aren’t close anyway, so it’s not like she even noticed. She’s in her room and I’m in mine. But it was on the third day – or I can’t remember how many days that
I come out of my room and I’ve gone to the shop and I’ve come back, and I went to sit on the sofa with my mom. And she looked me in the eyes, and she was, like, she started crying. She’s like, “You’ve had an abortion, haven’t you?” And all that time, I just wanted to tell her. But it was almost like, I was waiting for her to say, this is what you’re going through – because she’s so good at reading my mind. She’s so good. I was just kind of waiting for her to [say] “you’re pregnant.” Or say something like that. …
I just burst into tears, and she was really really amazing. She obviously had gotten into my room and just seen the pools of blood and stuff, so that’s how she found out. She was just so mortified in herself that she hadn’t come to me and asked if I was all right… She knew I was going through something, but she thought it was relationship stuff. That’s why I’d been up and down.… She kind of kicks herself about it… But it wasn’t her fault. How would she have known?
So I got to October time that same year, and I was just scrolling through the Internet the way you do. I was searching about abortions and people’s experiences and stuff like that. I’d never been given any kind of support or aftercare kind of thing…
Most of my friends had had abortions. They kind of bounced back to their normal lives. So I felt very alone. I was having all of these emotions, and I felt like I shouldn’t be having them… I felt a lot of guilt and shame. But I found Rachel’s Vineyard. And I remember the first phone call when I phoned Rachel, who is the organizer – it just felt like the right thing to do. It felt like God was calling me to do it… I just felt this massive relief, although the pain doesn’t go away. It was just – it was nice to know that there were others who felt the same, who’d gone through the same traumatic experiences…
I just wish I knew everything that I know now back then. I would tell that poor girl to leave that guy straightaway. I wouldn’t question if I was going to keep the child or not. It’s not a natural thing. Every woman’s got that motherly instinct to look after and care for what’s theirs. So if there was any woman or man who was going through similar – or who is pro-choice, just to really think about it. It’s not just a group of cells. It is actually a baby, because I’ve seen it. It’s not what they tell you it is. It is a life.”
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