This was a decision that I’d known I would make for a long time. I have been with my boyfriend for 10+ years and we have had at length discussions about our feelings and how we would like to handle a potential pregnancy. Despite being cautious, we knew there was always a risk and wanted to be prepared. We both take the idea of bringing new life into this world very seriously and recognize the huge responsibility that it brings. We both were not willing to bring a life into this world if we were not prepared to give it the best chance possible and did not feel our current foster systems could provide that either.

I have had periods run late in the past because of stress, so I was not initially concerned. I have anxiety that is difficult to manage at times, so I thought it was just running late. But when an extra week passed, my reassurances started to feel empty. I decided to take a pregnancy test for my peace of mind… but it came back positive. We sat down that night to talk and found that we were still on the same page. He is finishing school. I am struggling to get my finances together, and neither of us is ready for a child. So I started researching. I initially looked at Planned Parenthood and bulked at the prices… I could make it work, but it felt like so much money. And I would not qualify for their financial assistance programs.

I looked at other locations around me, but was beginning to feel overwhelmed. When trying to look up locations online, I was met with pictures of protestors. Most places could not get me in for several weeks and that was just for the initial appointment. I would then have to come back another day for the procedure. As I learned more about the different types of abortions procedures, and learned that I would most likely be a candidate for a medication abortion, I was becoming very frustrated. I understand why clinics want to talk to you and make sure you are certain you want an abortion. But for me, who has known what my decision would be for years, it felt silly. It made me feel guilty, like I should have to think about it more. But I reminded myself that that was my anxiety talking. I also hated how long it would take to get an appointment. Each week I had to wait was another week added to the pregnancy, and I was worried it would make the process more difficult.

As I did more researching, trying to familiarize myself with medication abortions and my options, I found this website. I cannot express how grateful I was to read these stories. I felt understood. While I knew what my decision would be, and logically I knew it was best, I felt such a mix of emotions at the thought of my abortion. I blame some of it on pregnancy hormones. But there was excitment at the thought of the attention and changes of pregnancy. Some fear at the thought that if I had a baby, my whole identity changes and I’m “supposed” to accept that excitedly, while it tends to make me feel grief. Adoration at the thought of my partner holding a tiny baby to his large chest. I felt shame at the thought of how my parents would react if they knew I wanted an abortion. I felt that I should be brave and declare it, as it’s my body and my decision. I felt fear at the backlash that might turn on me.

While reading these stories, I came across one that mentioned This website took so much weight off my shoulders. This website could help me find legitimate abortion clinics near me (hadn’t even realized it was a concern that they might not be legitimate), as well as help me connect with online services that would mail me the medications. I was relieved. There are some benefits to in-clinic abortions. The ultrasound will confirm the pregnancy and the loss of the pregnancy, but the ultrasound also adds a lot of cost. Being able to talk to a person face to face is also a big plus. But that was not as important to me. Urine pregancy tests are very effective, I would just have to wait longer after the procedure to confirm pregnancy loss. The decreased price and being able to do this in the comfort of my home was worth it for me.

The place I chose to work with, ABuzz Health, had a messaging service I could use if I had any questions or concerns. A doctor reviewed my case to confirm I was a good candidate for medication abortion. And the instructions and resources they send with the medication were easy to digest and helpful.

I was five weeks along when the pills arrived and I wrote down the whole process so I’d have a record. I took the mifepristone at 7pm on Friday. On Saturday at 6pm, I took 800mg of Ibuprofen. At 6:30pm, I took 1000mg of Tylenol (these were per the doctors pain management recommendations). I tucked the misoprostol tabs in my cheeks at 7pm. The instructions said to hold them in your cheeks for 30mins, then you could swallow the rest of the pills. They tasted chalky by the end and it wasn’t the best taste to swallow. But I followed it with my favorite beverage and that helped. By 7:30pm, I was already getting some cramping and back aches (I always get back aches on my period). The worst of the pain was worse then my usual period cramps (my periods are pretty mild), but I could breath through them with a tight hand hold on my boyfriend. Certainly not as bad as the pain I had when I got my IUD placed when I had one. That gave me stars in my vision with black creeping in. This just made me want to squeeze his arm and pant for a few moments. The pain settled down a bit at 8pm with some flare ups. But they were milder and more spread out.

At 8:30, the cramping became more intense again. At 9pm, they were more intensive, but not as bad as at the start. The pain had crept into more of my belly then my uterus. I was still on only one heavy pad for bleeding and I passed the pregnancy tissue around this time. I’m a nurse, so for me, I wanted to look more closely at it. It was an inch-sh in size, white, speckly tissue. Similar to granulation tissue for those who know.

After this, I was mostly tired. At 10:15pm, I was exhausted, having gas pain and back aches. One of the side effects of this medication is diarrhea. And I go hit with that hard several hours later. It started at 1:30 in the morning with another wave at 2am. I took another dose of Ibuprofen for the achiness, but was able to go back to sleep. After that, I had bleeding like a heavy period for about a week. But things were basically back to normal. I never had many pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness. So other then the heavy period, it was like nothing ever happened. I did notice over a few weeks that my nipples would leak some fluid when my breasts were manipulated. I talked with the doctor and they said that this was normal. I was informed that I could take another pregnancy test five weeks after the medications were taken, and that it was unlikely the medications didn’t work unless I’d had no bleeding. About week four after the medications, my period returned like normal. On week five, the pregnancy test was negative.

I can say in earnest that this was the right decision for me. But I still feel emotional at times. But on stressful days, I think “I’m so glad I don’t have to worry about a baby on top of everything else right now.” I hope this helps other people feel more prepared for the abortion process. I know I was so grateful to the resources I’d found for taking some of the fear out of it.