During covid me and my boyfriend had been locked down for 6 months when I found out I was pregnant. My gut instinct was that I just wasn’t ready and my partner and I weren’t in the place for it, but because we’re a little bit older and in our 30s in some ways we felt like we should do it anyway. We both have good jobs and a good income and a stable loving relationship. We talked for a very long time and even though we knew that it wasn’t the right time it doesn’t stop it from being incredibly painful yes to think about and to talk about. But in the end of the day I feel you need to choose when to become a parent. It’s not so easy having an abortion in Northern Ireland and until I needed one I’d never really seen it as an option for me because of my cultural upbringing. I was helped by Alliance for Choice, and then providers by phone. Everyone I spoke to was incredibly kind and very empathetic and made me feel very cared for, which was really wonderful because I really wasn’t having any other conversations with anyone else. We were both really relieved when we discovered that we wouldn’t have to travel, that was good and we just got it all set up, we knew the date that I would have to go to the clinic to take the first pill. I took the first pill there and because of Covid had to walk all the way home and I just cried the whole way. My partner looked after me and fed me and brought me tea and kept saying exactly what I knew, was that I didn’t need to feel ashamed because it’s absolutely my rights that it was my body and I am the person who chooses what I want for myself, for my body. The following day is when I took the remaining pills. I took pain killers but nothing really prepared me for how painful it was physically. Looking back that’s one of the things that I think about most that I’m really angry about, is that we’re not really told what in practice how, what it can be, it’s all the instructions everywhere saying, oh you might feel a bit of cramping, this wasn’t a bit of cramping, it was excruciating. I don’t really know what other women’s experience of it is like, it’s all really mysterious to me. Maybe I’m just different. It was definitely the right thing to do and now I think every day since then I’ve been able to feel more comfortable with that and feel more certain about that and maybe every day less and less I’m thinking about the shame aspect of it. And I’m able to more clearly see how much it was my body and that decisions about my body are just for me to take, for no one else and that I was just really glad that I was able to do it. It was just the right decision.

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