Disclaimer: I live in a major city in Canada, where abortion is covered by health care, and clinics are just a transit ride away, so mine is a story of privilege.
I got accidentally pregnant on my 30s due to a condom mishap. I couldn’t believe something like that would happen when I was so old! I don’t ever intend to have children, and the guy I was seeing at the time was a loser, so having an abortion was an automatic response; it literally never even crossed my mind that there was another option.
I figured out I might be pregnant pretty quickly, so when I did the test in the bathroom at work, the line that appeared on the stick was so faint I thought I might be imagining it. I went to a walk-in clinic to get tested and their pee test result was also barely there, so they did a blood test that confirmed it a couple days later. But I didn’t wait for the blood test results to book an appointment for an abortion.
A good friend came with me to the clinic on Monday morning and told me that on the tv show “You’re The Worst” they call an abortion an abobo. I liked that a lot, but shortened it more to just bobo. In the lead up to the procedure I learned that there is such a thing as too early to have a bobo, and that might be the case for me. I hadn’t heard of that before and they told me about the risks – that the procedure might not work or they might not be able to confirm it worked – but I was there and I wanted my bobo right away, so I went for it.
They gave me a little bit of fentanyl and I think also something for anxiety, but it didn’t help. It only took a couple minutes, but it hurt a lot and I cried from the pain. Turns out it was too early for me; they couldn’t confirm that it worked. So they told me to go to a clinic for blood tests for the next three days to monitor my hormone levels. My veins are tiny and I hate giving blood, so that week really sucked. And the hormone levels kept climbing, so I was still pregnant. Great. At the end of the week they sent me for an ultrasound. I forgot to say, the tech couldn’t see anything when they did an ultrasound right before the bobo, again because too early, which meant the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy was on the table. So I left work early on Friday afternoon and went for another ultrasound, then I went home and cried. A couple hours later they called me and said they still couldn’t see anything in my uterus, so I should go to emerg because it was likely that I was having an ectopic pregnancy. Great.
I called another good friend and she met me at the emergency room on Friday night. I got in reasonably quickly but ended up being there for many hours. They needed to take more blood but it took multiple people sticking me in multiple places before they could get any. Yup, still pregnant. Then another ultrasound, a really long one with extra poking and digging around because someone was determined to figure out once and for all where this fucking tiny fetus was. Finally an answer: it’s not ectopic. They could finally find a little something in my uterus. They told me it wouldn’t be sustainable, but they weren’t sure if it was just because or because of the bobo. It didn’t matter to me since I didn’t want to sustain it, I was just relieved to have an answer. If it had been ectopic, I would have had to have a medical abortion that night. Since it wasn’t, I was gonna have to go for another surgical one, but the nurse told me to wait for at least another week so that I’d be out of the too early time period.
Ten days later I took myself back to the clinic. I felt like an old pro and didn’t need to drag anyone along with me this time. I think the other people in the waiting room probably felt sorry for me because they all had people with them, but I was fine to be alone. I felt nervous, but only because I knew what to expect this time. Despite the pain and anxiety meds, it hurt a lot again, but they were able to confirm that it worked. After three weeks, 3 or 4 ultrasounds, a million blood tests, and 2 bobos I finally wasn’t pregnant anymore! I got dressed over the thick pad and mesh underpants, took a cab home, and spent the evening watching Veep and eating snacks with my bobo friend.
I don’t feel bad or sad about my bobos, except for the physical and emotional costs of having to have 2 for 1 and all the stuff that went along with that. Mostly I feel thankful that I had access to free health care at every turn throughout the process. And I feel proud for making a reasonable and responsible choice for myself and my life.