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I had an abortion I thought I was going to regret

by MacKenna

March 13, 2019

I had an abortion yesterday. I was 7 weeks and 3 days, emotional, plagued with morning sickness, and most of all I was terrified. This story is for anyone who is scared to get an abortion- or who may be second guessing it, this is for the people who are afraid that they may regret it, and most importantly this is a story to inform you about what happens during an in-clinic abortion, and how I felt after an experience that I thought I would regret. (This is going to be long)

 

Some background: I am 22 years old and in an incredibly happy and healthy relationship of over four years. When I found out I was pregnant on Christmas Eve, I sobbed. I sobbed for myself, the tiny embryo inside of me, and for fear of what my future would hold. What was I going to do? What was my mom, my brother, my fiancé going to think? After all, I’m unemployed, just finished my first year of college, and still live with my fiancé in my moms tiny 3 bedroom home with 3 cats and 2 dogs. How were we going to afford to move out and raise a child in one of the most expensive counties in the United States? We weighed our every option, and ultimately decided that it would be parenting or abortion. We did not consider adoption as we knew that if I were to carry my pregnancy to term that we would find it exceptionally hard to part with the child.

 

We started making a plan for parenting, starting by looking at apartments (for a 1 bedroom 1 bathroom apartment in San Diego, CA you’re looking at at least $1500 a month), lists for things you need to prepare for a baby, health insurance for me as I currently am uninsured, jobs that I could potentially work to help save up money, and in the end we realized that we could not afford to bring a child into our world, not to mention that I would be giving birth right in the middle of the semester before I graduated with my associates degree. We knew we couldn’t afford to raise a baby, at least not the way that we wanted to. Before I met my fiancé I never even thought I wanted children, and once we decided that we would eventually like to have a family we always said we would only want one child. We were stupid and not using any form of protection, after 4 years of unprotected sex we were pretty certain we had perfected the withdrawal method, as well as planning around my fertile days. This pregnancy was not entirely  un-wanted, we want to have a child some day, but we want to do it right. We do not want to struggle to get our baby basic necessities, and we definitely do not want our child to ever feel like we are struggling BECAUSE of them. We knew what we need to do, but we still struggled to call planned parenthood and make that appointment.

 

I put off calling planned parenthood for a while, afraid that once I made that call everything would be final. I struggled every day with feeling like I didn’t really have a choice- and cursed myself for not being farther forward in my life. I was beating myself up so badly, and was resentful of all of the other young mothers who I saw that seemed to be able to handle having a child in less than ideal circumstances. I gave myself time to mourn, and time to come to term with my decision to abort. And ultimately I knew I was making the right decision for myself, my partner, and the embryo inside of me. I called planned parenthood and made my appointment for the following Friday. I allowed myself to cry the night before my abortion, and to come to peace with choosing what I believed to be the right path for my life.

 

On the morning of my abortion I was very scared. I suffer from an anxiety disorder and couldn’t help the worst thoughts from running through my mind. Would it hurt? Would I bleed a lot? And most of all- would I be sad and would I regret it? All I can speak for in this post is my experience- but I hope this brings comfort to whoever reads it.

 

When I arrived at planned parenthood I checked in and went to the waiting room with my fiancé (he had been so incredibly supportive of me during this whole process and I cannot thank him enough for that). When we stepped into the waiting room I was shocked to see just how packed it was- there were barely any seats for us to sit in. Since this planned parenthood is the only one in San Diego County that offers in-clinic abortion it was pretty clear as to what all of the couples were there for.

 

The wait was quite long- 2 hours to be exact- and my nerves and tension continued to build as I leaned on my fiancé for support. Finally they called my name. I went back and my nurse sat me down in a chair and went over the procedure with me. She explained to me that they would need to do a vaginal ultrasound to see how far along I was (I believed I was 8 weeks but this turned out to be wrong) and then they would get me prepped for the procedure by inserting an IV, taking my blood, giving me some pills for pain and antibiotics, and then give me my conscious sedation through my IV. She told me the procedure itself would take no more than 10 minutes and that I may experience some cramping. After that I would be brought to recovery to monitor my vitals, check for any abnormal bleeding, and let the sedation wear off, and then I could be on my way. I was terrified of getting sedation, I’d never had it before and was afraid of being out of it in such a vulnerable position, she assured me that I would be awake during the entire procedure and that it would just feel as if I had had a couple of strong drinks. I agreed to the sedation and also to get a depo shot after the procedure to prevent this from happening again. I signed all of my waivers and filled out my medical history and then headed back to the waiting room for my ultrasound.

 

The ultrasound was very easy, they were playing some jazzy music in the background that I was able to focus on so that helped. There was a bit of pressure that was slightly uncomfortable but it was over in about 2 minutes. My nurse informed me that I was 7 weeks and 3 days, earlier than I expected. She asked if I would like to see the ultrasound, and I declined. After this I got dressed and headed back to the waiting room, the next time I would be called back would be for the procedure.

 

A different nurse called me back this time. We went into the operating room which I was surprised to see was very comfortable, it just looked like a regular doctors office, no cold metal table and scary surgical tools, just a nice comfy reclining table with a big heating pad. The nurse began asking me questions to make sure that I was confident about my decision and that no one was forcing me into this. After that another nurse came in to put in my IV and take my blood, she was super nice and got my vein on the first try! Once this was done I took my ibuprofen and an antibiotic, I was instructed to get undressed from the waist down and to cover myself with the drape and to sit waiting on the table for the doctor. This was unfortunately another long wait- about 30 minutes. I was scared, but also at peace. I knew I was doing the right thing.

 

The doctor came in, and I was surprised to see that she was an older lady with a super kind face. She assured me that the procedure would be quick and that I would just feel a bit of pressure and some cramping and that if it hurt at all to let her know. The nurse in the room put the large heating pad on my stomach while the doctor told me she was going to give me my sedation through my IV and then she began talking to me about how she liked my name, how she liked my engagement ring, what my plans were for the weekend, etc. She made me feel incredibly comfortable and for that I am hugely grateful. I kept waiting for the sedation to hit me- again I didn’t know what to expect- but really I just became super calm, like I knew that everything was going to be okay. She told me she was going to begin the procedure and to my surprise I felt nothing! I was awake but all I could feel was some pressure as she dilated my cervix. The most uncomfortable part was the vacuum as at the end of it I did have some pretty bad cramping, very comparable to heavy period cramps. Suddenly she said “we’re all done” and I couldn’t believe it, I looked at the clock on the wall and it had only been 5 minutes. She checked my cervix to make sure my bleeding was normal and then told me to have a good day.

 

The nurse that was assisting with the procedure then helped me to get dressed and put on my pad and then walked me to the recovery room where I was put in a super comfy recliner and given a heating pad, some sprite, water, and cheese-itz. My recovery nurse was awesome. She talked to me about her favorite shows on Netflix and told me that my plans for the evening should be to make some Mac and cheese and binge watch my favorite shows- she had the right idea. As I came off of the sedation I was surprised that I felt fine, more than that, I actually felt a bit relieved. I was so scared that I was going to feel instant regret, and that I would be overwhelmed with sadness. But the experience was so non-traumatizing that I actually felt incredibly at peace. I got my depo shot and was in the recovery room for about 20 minutes until I was discharged to go home. I came home, ate some Mac and cheese, and then slept until this morning.

Today I am still feel relieved. I feel perfectly fine. My bleeding is minimal and so is my cramping, but it’s not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. I feel incredibly at peace with my decision, and I am confident that I made the right choice for my family, as well as for the embryo that was inside of me. Some people may call me selfish for getting an abortion, but if the one thing I choose to be selfish about is my body and my future, then I’m okay with that. I hope this story helps to bring some clarity to you, and helps give you more strength and confidence in whatever you decide for yourself. No matter what, it is our body and our right to make our own decisions for it, don’t ever let anybody shame you for that. Everything will be okay.

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