"Not what I imagined at all"

About: Marie Stopes International Essex Centre

I was referred here by my GP, after my much wanted unborn son was diagnosed with severe disabilities. It wasn't a decision we took lightly but felt it was the right decision for us as a family.

I had a consultation over the phone, and an appointment was made to suit me. On arrival I was met by a very friendly receptionist, and told to sit in the waiting room. There were 4 other ladies waiting, and it was obvious we were all in for the same thing. I was shortly called and taken for a scan, again the radiologist was friendly and very understanding, made me feel at ease.

It was then time to go up to the ward, my husband wasn't allowed to accompany me, so had to either wait or walk around the town until I was ready to be collected.

The ward was just a big room full of chairs, again there were lots of others in the ward. I was given various medication, due to how many weeks I was, my cervix needed softening, I also had lots of pain relief.

I was told to get undressed and given a paper towel/sarong to wear and waited until it was my turn.

The whole experience was very strange seeing everyone, come to the ward, have their medication, get undressed, go to theatre and return, wait to recover then leave. In total I must have seen 30 people come and go.

The actual procedure was pain free, and the staff couldn't be faulted, they were friendly and took great care of me.

I know I'm no better than anyone else but due to the fact I wanted my baby, and my reasons were different to most, I thought I may have had a private room and be seen away from others who just didn't want their baby.

The clinic and staff were great, it's just that you feel like you are on a conveyor belt, no privacy or dignity at all.

Story from NHS Choices

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