My Story: Surgical & No Regrets (well, maybe one)

by Anonymous

September 14, 2020

Written Thursday night. It’s a long one— wanted to include details as they helped me when I was preparing.

It is 9:15pm on Thursday, September 10th, as I sit on my couch cuddled up with my boyfriend and my heating pad to write this.

I had a surgical abortion today.

I went to PP at 1pm and left at 3pm. The entire thing took way less time than I had anticipated, especially the procedure. But we’ll get to that. I’m here to share my experience with this beautiful, supportive community (without which I would’ve been much more lost).

I originally scheduled a medical termination. But after much research and reading forums such as this, I realized that surgical was much more suited to how I wanted this to go. I know my body, and I feared I would have a very bad experience with medical, even being only 5 weeks and 6 days. I also wanted this to be over and done with the day of the appointment, so surgical seemed like the best option for my mental and emotional health. I called PP two days before the appointment, switched the method, and immediately felt relief.

Alright so here we go, day of:

I get to PP. There is one elderly religious gentleman outside who kindly tries to hand me a pamphlet, no thanks! Have my ultrasound (opt not to see). I get some vitals done, review the procedure and recovery, discuss birth control options, get answers to my questions. I am very lucky to live in New York where they apparently have no protocol to “discuss options” or force a waiting period. I’m 100% sure those services would’ve been there had I asked, but I wasn’t playin around. I wanted that termination TODAY! I have my reasons and no one ever questioned them. It was fantastic.

I go into the procedure room and change into my gown. There is a doctor and two nurses, who are all extremely kind and comforting. The doctor puts on some music, Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time” starts playing (huge MJ fan here), and I almost start crying it makes me feel so good. We are all jamming out while the nurse administers the IV for mild sedation. This particular clinic doesn’t offer full sedation, which I was bummed about, and they said I could reschedule at another clinic if I wanted full. I said NOPE I’m here, let’s do this. At this point, my whole body is shaking due to anxiety. I mention I’m really nervous about the cervical injection. And let me tell y’all — I DIDN’T FEEL A THING. That sedation must’ve hit just right. Slight pressure, that was it. The doctor says, “Injection’s done.” Me: “What?!” Doc: “Yup. That’s what you were scared of.” Amazing. But, here’s where it gets hard.

The cramping. Ohhhhhhh the cramping. Doc and nurses are all coaching me with the breathing and commending me on it but damn. I’m not gonna lie, it’s bad. And the last 5-8 seconds are pretty horrendous. I’m pretty sure I’m making incoherent, animalistic sounds, and practically breaking one of the nurse’s hands. It’s shocking how painful it is. BUT THEN IT’S OVER. The whole thing is maybe…2-3 minutes?

My immediate recovery is pretty intense as I’m having a major vasovagal reaction (close to fainting, lightheaded, sweating bullets, severe nausea). The nurses pile some ice packs on me and let me lay on the table for a few minutes before transferring me to a wheelchair. I manage to thank these wonderful women with as much energy as I can muster, go into the recovery room, and patiently wait out the remaining 10 minutes or so of this vasovagal bullshit. I can barely form sentences or keep my eyes open. Once this passes, I have the graham crackers and ginger ale offered to me (so nice to eat food without nausea again!), take my antibiotic, and text my boyfriend to let him know I’m alright. I have minor cramps and minimal bleeding. After about 15 more minutes, I get dressed and head out to receive a very well-deserved hug from my love.

I feel so much relief that this terrible situation is now over. My body feels like mine again, I can smile and laugh with full gusto again, and more than anything, I am incredibly grateful to have been able to make this choice. I do not take it for granted.

I am also very happy I went with surgical. I cannot imagine having that type of pain I had for mere minutes, maybe even seconds, for hours. But that is just me and my experience…every body is different and everyone’s decisions are theirs and theirs alone.

My only regret in this entire thing is telling my older sister. She was the first person I told. The first conversation started awkwardly because she immediately got SO excited when I told her I was pregnant then completely deflated when I told her I wasn’t keeping it. She was obviously saddened but seemed supportive. Then she called the next day and proceeded to grill me for almost an hour. She “sensed” that I had told her so she could “talk me out of it,” heaven forbid I tell her purely because she’s in my trusted support system. Some of the judgements she passed were truly bizarre (“You’re vegan, you wouldn’t hurt animals so how can you do this?”). She was clearly projecting her feelings about motherhood and abortion onto me (she’s a mother of two with a fresh 6-month old) which was entirely unfair. I’m not telling my mom, and she was trying to cover her own ass in that situation— “If she ever finds out, I want it on the record that I said I don’t like it.” I was stunned at how selfish and disrespectful she was. I’ve always confided in my sister because of how nonjudgmental she is (was). But the kicker was when she said she was uncomfortable having me babysit because “how could you really care for children when you’re doing this.” I’m paraphrasing because I was so shocked that I honestly don’t remember her exact words. So in this hour, I had to jump through hoops and exhaust the english language to explain why I don’t want this child, she selfishly put herself at the center of MY narrative, and she questioned my character, morals, ethics, and ability to love and care for children. Needless to say, it’s hard to express how disappointed and upset I am. I’m so sad that this will affect our otherwise very close relationship. She has revoked her spot in my truth tribe, and it’s just…..tragic.

Anyway, that’s my long-ass story. I hope it helps anyone out there going through this…you are NOT alone. Abortion doesn’t change who you are, no matter what others may think or have the audacity to say out loud. We are strong and brave and in control of our bodies and our lives. And that is fucking beautiful.

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