I’ve never felt so supported.

by Kendahl

November 4, 2019

I’m about 30 hours post op and am at home in bed with a heating pad on my belly and feeling really good. Emotionally and physically.

I’m 29 years old and am in a really happy and healthy relationship. We’re the best of friends and I genuinely feel like we will spend the rest of our lives together.

In June 2019 I found out I was pregnant by taking an at home test on a Tuesday night. My period was a day late, and it was positive. I’ve taken so many tests that seeing two lines came as a complete shock to me and I almost couldn’t do anything but laugh. I called my boyfriend to look and he saw the result and was immediately supportive. After a few minutes the shock and laughter turned to tears. I called to make an appointment with the abortion clinic in Calgary because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but I knew if I was going to have an abortion I’d want to have it soon.


A few days later I started cramping and bleeding heavily. We went to the hospital and had a few visits over the course of the week which ruled out ectopic pregnancy and confirmed a miscarriage. It was a mixture of emotions, some concern for my fertility in the future, but one of the prominent feelings was relief, I didn’t have to have to make a hard decision or have a baby when I wasn’t ready.


I was on oral birth control that failed for that pregnancy so I went to the doctor and received a referral to a gynecologist to have an IUD placed in me while I went under general anesthesia to do so, so that I wouldn’t have the painful insertion experience so many other women have had. This decision was made after my boyfriend and I had many open conversations about the relief felt during a sad situation, and wanted to wait for kids for a variety of reasons.


We booked a date at a hospital on October 23rd to have this inserted. We had sex twice in September. On October 5 I realized my period was late. I also had one intense cramp about 6 days before which left a tiny bit of blood in my underwear. I realized this was implantation so I knew I was pregnant again. I took a test on a Sunday but it was negative. But Tuesday I still hadn’t gotten my period so I took another and it was positive. I went to a clinic to confirm and I was definitely pregnant. That was two weeks ago today.

Having gone through this so recently, and having so many open conversations with my partner about when we want kids we both knew that in the course of 3 months nothing had changed enough for us to feel ready, and we both acknowledged the reasons we chose to get an IUD were to ensure we have the opportunity to grow into the people we want to be emotionally, financially and as partners together when we choose to have a child in the future.


It was a mix of emotion for these past two weeks, but I never felt as though I was making the wrong decision. We talked about how we could try again for a baby in the future but we couldn’t take back having a baby we weren’t prepared for. Most of the guilt I felt was some internalized stigma that I never wanted to be in this position or be the girl who had an abortion. I also worked through the feelings that I really loved this fetus and all they could have been, but loved them enough to accept that I’m not in the best place to be an exceptional parent and give them the life they deserve.


I decided to be somewhat open about it and I told 3 friends who I knew had abortions and they all were supportive and helped me to understand what would happen at the clinic. They eased my anxiety big time.


When I got to the clinic I was anxious about what the procedure would be like. The waiting and visiting with the counselor, and the medical history check in with the nurse were two of the most supportive experiences I have ever had. During the ultrasound the tech I had was equally incredible and when I asked to see the screen she explained everything that I was seeing. My hope is that the image is one that never fades because I do care about that little fetus that looked like a tiny little kidney bean, and I don’t want to forget about it or pretend that it wasn’t a big part of my life. It was and it is going to be a piece that shapes me into a better person.


I talked to all the staff I made contact with about how long they’d worked there and their reasons for deciding to work there. All the answers were that they believed in women’s reproductive rights and knew that they had the ability to be a positive piece of an experience that can be filled with complicated emotions. They were all literal angels and I wish I could hug them and thank them all personally.


The procedure itself is what I was most anxious about. When I was called in I was really nervous. I expressed to my nurse that I was hoping to be asleep during the procedure, and that I’m a little bit phobic of needles. She was again extraordinarily supportive, I met the doctor and she was amazing too and this helped me to relax. She inserted the IV, told me the medications a mixture of pain medication and sedation and it would take about 20 seconds to kick in.


The next thing I remember is being woken up in a chair by a different nurse who wanted to take my vitals. I was comfy under a blanket and had a heating pad on my tummy. I asked how I did and how it went and she told me from what the chart said everything went great with both the abortion and the IUD insertion. They gave me cookies – which were actually gluten free as I am celiac! – and some juice and let me wake up. I eventually went to the washroom and was a bit dizzy and felt a bit off but okay enough to have my IV removed and get changed and get ready to go.


I don’t recall anything from the procedure and there was a bit of cramping but overall no actual pain involved. I also have zero bruising or discomfort in the area where the IV was.


Before I went to the clinic I spent hours upon hours reading this website and was so comforted by all the stories from others who were facing the same unwanted pregnancy and making the choice of an abortion as I was. I don’t have any shame in the decision that we made. During the time at the clinic the emotions I felt were overwhelming but they were mostly overwhelming because I was so floored by how comforted and supported I felt throughout. I just want others to know that it’s okay to put yourself first. Sometimes abortions can be made out to me a big traumatizing awful event, but that wasn’t my experience. I am not a bad person for making a decision that was out of pure love for myself and what was in my belly. I hope the stigma gets less and less so more people realize that it’s okay to walk away from this experience without guilt or shame.

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