I had to have two abortions to end one pregnancy.

by Si

October 9, 2020

I’m Si. I’m 24. I am financially able, I work full time and go to school full time. I was deeply in love with my partner, his true colors came out when life happened. When I tell my story I say ‘life happened.’

I grew up very catholic, very much latina. Abortions were a definite no and so was sex. My mom had me out of wedlock at 23 and to say sex was the biggest taboo in my adolescence would be explaining it briefly.

I met my partner at 21 going on 22 he was 28 going on 29 He flipped my world upside down, my safe haven, I expressed myself freely with him. I’ve been on birth control since I was 17, partly due to my pcos but the other part? Because my parents were frightened I’d end up another statistic. Let’s call him *Cherry*, Cherry made me feel comfortable and safe in my sexuality, I lost my virginity to him. He promised me the world…or so I thought.

Our relationship was rocky but we managed through all of our growing pains. So imagine my surprise when I find out I’m 2 months pregnant 6 months into my 23rd year. Cherry and I were on a break and I called him whilst still shaking in the cold clinical target stall bathroom trying to not drop my third positive pregnancy test.

As I sat there and wondered how could this possibly be, we were safe, I’ve been taking birth control since I was 17 i was a pro at popping pills, he wore a condom, I had pcos. Wasn’t It suppose to be harder than this to conceive ?? I called Cherry and he screamed through the phone, as I was crying gasping for air, I made out that he was trying to accuse me of keeping him in our rocky relationship, accused me of taking advantage of him, accused me of skipping pills in order to trap him in (I guess) our relationship that he labeled “has been over since 2019”. I had just spent New Years with his family, made a speech that made his grandmother cry over the holidays? Where In the midst of it all had he decided we were over? As I sat there trembling, I decided right then and there that Cherry was stuck in his own version of Peter Pan’s Fantasy and that he would not be the support system that would selflessly be there for me during this difficult time.

I contemplated keeping the pregnancy but decided against it largely due to my own childhood experiences of having young parents and that I was in my senior year of college. Did part of me think of keeping it? A million times yes. Was this the most soul crushing decision ? For me yes, and I understand for most it isn’t as hard, but for me it is. By validating those opinions I think I was able to give myself some sort of peace. I do see myself eventually being a mother and to think that my almost 30 year old boyfriend couldn’t see himself being a father or being a supportive responsible partner in whatever path I’d choose was horrendously heart-breaking.

I went into my local planned parenthood,I walked into a medical building in Southern California, It looked just like my dermatologist office and after I checked in I met with the nurse, I did some STD testing, peed in a cup and in 10 minutes she came back and she didn’t even need to confirm a thing, I was pregnant three tests told me so in a target bathroom stall. She told me what my options were I made an appointment for the next day and she advised I wait a couple of days to think about my decision. I was happy she had suggested that, and I think she only did so because she could see it in my eyes that I was unsure which I was.

A few days later I saw Cherry at a gas station, I told him I had thought about keeping it but didn’t want to force him into fatherhood and that It would be very difficult for me to finish on and focus on school if I went through with this pregnancy . I decided after reading many many articles that, I was going to do a medical abortion, or the abortion pill. there isn’t much out there to read about personal experiences with the abortion pill, so the morning of my appointment I was to say in short very nervous. I walked into planned parenthood watched a small monitor that explained what the process would be like. I took my first pill which would stop the pregnancy, I got a little woozy on the drive home but went straight to sleep when I got back to my house. approximately 24 hours later I was supposed to take the other four pills and shove them in my cheeks to let them absorb for thirty minutes then swallow the remainder, these pills would induce then pregnancy and would help me pass it. I barely had cramps and my bleeding was no more extreme than a bad period. I did however feel very nauseous and flu like. 5 hours later I woke up and passed two very large clots which I though might be the pregnancy.

After the process you are suppose to check back in with the clinic about a week later to make sure the pregnancy has passed. I was unable to make my appointment so approximately 12 days later I called and the clinics had been closed due to COVID so they screened me over the phone asked me a few questions and asked me to pee on a pregnancy test in a few days. I peed on the test and it was negative.

Three weeks after this procedure I was producing a lot of grey brown pink discharge and I was sick every morning, I wrote it off due to the fact my test was negative. A few days later I took another I was positive. At this point I am 3 months pregnant, I can I longer do the the medical abortion (pill) I have to get an in-clinic abortion.

I was devastated to say the least, I believe the pill has a pretty good success rate so imagine how I felt the day I found out it wasn’t successful. I contemplated keeping the pregnancy, there was still a heartbeat but the clinic warned me that there might be birth defects or complications going through with the pregnancy. I was also very very ill, i was not able to keep food down, I woke up and was in a perpetual state of dizziness. I was miserable and I was bleeding everyday with major discharge.

I scheduled an in-clinic abortion, I was almost 5 months pregnant when I made the appointment. I went in my ex drove me, at the time I was too embarrassed and ashamed to tell anyone else that the first abortion was not successful. He was at this point supportive of me keeping it or going through with the in clinic abortion.

I went through with the in-clinic abortion, I couldn’t eat or drink I believe like 9-11 hours before the operation due to me being sedated for the operation, i went in at 7:30 i was admitted at 8, had an ultrasound to check if i was indeed still pregnant, given a pill to soften my cervix and locked all of my belongings in a locker. I sat in a warm recliner watching the price is right with a girl who I befriended next to me who was throwing up. My name was called and she gave me a thumbs up and threw some encouraging words my way, I went pee put on a hospital gown and could not stop shaking. The anesthesiologist asked if I was cold, have me a blanket and told me in a few minutes I would be comfortable. I chuckled and thanked god that this experience wasn’t the nightmare I had been imagining, the doctor introduced herself, laid out the procedure (but asked first  if I wanted details) I put my legs in the stirups and within an hour I was waking up, one of the nurses tied my hair back, I was transferred to a warm recliner in which I woke up off of the sedation and came to. I had no symptoms following but was starving. I went to get a smoothie and then I went home.

If I had to choose between the abortion pill or the in-clinic abortion. I’d choose the in-clinic. It was easier for me and it was less painful than the pill. The pill was more discreet, obviously due in part to I couldn’t drive myself or walk up stairs after my in clinic, but the agony of finding out the pill wasn’t successful in my book was worse than finding out I was pregnant.

Both procedures I believe cost around $450 I didn’t use insurance I was on my parents’ and did not want them to find out. They also had a program in California that you could apply for and if you made under a certain income you could qualify for state assistance with the medical bill.

I learned to not be ashamed of my story, the more you talk about It the easier it will become. I do advise to also think about you decision. I wish I wasn’t so impulsive in the first place with choosing the pill, due in part to me thinking it was the easy way out. It has been about 4 months since my abortion and I do not regret it, the situation does make me a little sad and I do think about what could be. But in the end I know my decision was right for me and how lucky am I to be able to decide.

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