7 Hour Post-First Abortion

by Jamie

November 25, 2019

One week ago today, I went to the hospital thinking I had awful acid reflux. Much to my surprise, I was pregnant. I was immediately heartbroken and full of grief not because I was pregnant, but because I knew I could not keep it. I am 22, graduate college in 2 weeks, am moving to a new state next month for a job, and my boyfriend is deployed over seas until next year.

I immediately found comfort in my mother, I would not be here right now if not for her support and constant reassurance. I made an appointment with my local abortion clinic for today, November 22nd, and was told to be prepared for the office for a minimum of 6 hours.

At my ultrasound today, I found out I was 7 weeks and 6 days. I chose to see the heartbeat and keep the photo, because although I couldn’t keep the pregnancy, I loved this baby and wanted to give myself closure. I was surprisingly calm, even as I got duped by the pro-life protester in the parking lot pretending to be a parking attendant. Everyone in this clinic was kind, welcoming, and supportive. I saw a counselor, never felt judged or alone, and was reminded that I was doing what was best for me. It felt a lot better seeing other girls of all ages and races sitting in the clinic for the same reason as me. To speed this up, I was very strong and mentally and physically ok until I was called back for the procedure. As I waited, I heard the girl in the room next to me screaming and crying something fierce, a sound stamped in my brain forever. It was every horror story I read online come true. I think about her often and hope she is ok.

As I was called into this same room once it was cleaned up, emotion took over and I lost it. I was crying so hard as I laid on a table, vulnerable with nothing but a thin hospital gown on in a room full of strangers who quickly became an indescribable support system (the doctor, 2 nurses, and a practicing student were in the room). My sobs were uncontrollable. I was sad I was losing my to-be baby, and I was scared it would hurt. I opted for the conscious sedation, which I paid $710 for (extra fee because my blood type is negative). I recommend this to anyone who was as scared about pain and remembering anything as I was. The performing doctor comforted me as he inserted my IV, my tears continued but steadied as I slowly but relaxingly drifted into a state of feeling really, really, really high (and I’ve never touched drugs.) I don’t remember feeling the IV go in, I don’t remember any tools being inserted, I don’t remember the sound of the vacuum (I only know what it sounded like because of the girl before me), all I remember is being slightly uncomfortable for less than 5 minutes, crying lightly from fear, and being wheeled into the healing room, where I was placed with a heating pad and blanket next to the girl who I had heard in agony before me. She seemed ok, distraught but ok. I wanted to hug her, but I was so out of it and could barely form coherent sentences. And I understood how she felt. Even though it was unspoken, we all felt the same.  We were monitored by amazing nurses until we could change back into our clothes and were never left alone. The overwhelming peace that fell over in such a foreign place during such a heartbreaking time is something I will never forget.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, you’ll be ok baby girl. I genuinely did not think I would make it out of that clinic alive, and I did. You are making an incredibly difficult choice. No one WANTS to have or ENJOYS having an abortion. You know why you’re making this decision? Because you are coming from a place of love and best interest for you and your baby. THIS IS YOUR BUSINESS! NO ONE ELSE’S! No one understands unless they have been in our shoes.  When the time is right, it will happen. Take a deep breath, breathe, meditate, cry, scream, curse the skies, do what you need to do. But ladies, be kind to yourself. This is so much more common than you think even when you feel isolated and alone. You have an entire community behind you every step of the way. I love you and am so, so proud of you. Always.

Remember that our stories are ours to tell. We’d love to hear your story too!