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Only as scary as you make it

by Anonymous

May 3, 2019

I am 39 years old.  24hrs ago I had a surgical abortion at 6 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I’m sharing my story in hopes that it will help those who are as petrified as I was.

I have two healthy, wonderful older children from my first marriage.  I didn’t want any more children, but always told myself I would have one more if I got pregnant before 40.  Then I did…..

Two weeks ago I took a pregnancy test at home on a Tuesday. It was positive. I was shocked! I showed my boyfriend who was very supportive. Then I freaked out and started pondering.  We already have four kids between us. I didn’t think I could get pregnant due to some other health issues I’d been battling. .  I knew we were having layoffs at work that week and felt that I was at risk. I told myself the following day that if I got laid off I would not keep the baby and if I kept my job I would try to have the baby.

 

Thursday came, the day I knew we were having lay offs at work and I was fired.  I cried, not because I lost my job but because I knew I wasn’t going to pursue my pregnancy.   What a double whammy! I was unemployed and pregnant.  The week that followed was mental and emotional torture.

I went to a pregnancy center where they counseled me on “all of my options” Complete with a fleshy model of a 12 week developed fetus and a copy of the Bible. Do not do this to yourself if you’ve already made a choice.

 

I scheduled an appointment online for planned parenthood for the following Thursday for the abortion pill. I knew I was very early along and after reading a ton of horror stories I still thought I could handle this at home with my partner.

Thursday we drove to planned parenthood. Waited in the waiting room for what felt like forever. There were protestors outside but they weren’t that aggressive and the planned parenthood volunteers were amazingly helpful at escorting and supporting anyone coming to the clinic.

First, they called me back to pay. My abortion whether pill or surgical would cost $565 dollars.  This included a sonogram, blood tests and for me sedation (which I’ll get to). They then called me back for the sonogram. The tech was very nice. Made me comfortable. Was fast, offered to show me the screen or provide a photo which I declined. There was not sound and I never saw anything. She confirmed how far along I was and I went back to wait to be called for the doctor.

Once called back again I met with a nurse who had the pills ready for me and began explaining everything. I asked many questions (urge you to ask questions all along the way! The staff is there to help you with your choice) The nurse advised that the pill is a varied experience and no one can truly predict how you will feel, how long it will last, how much you will hurt or bleed.  She gave me the option at that time to opt for a surgical procedure instead. She explained that the surgical could be sedated. It only takes minutes. Most people do not remember the procedure and it is light bleeding, cramping for a few days.

I scheduled the surgical procedure for two days later.  During this entire week leading up to both appointments I was a nervous wreck! Anxiety attacks, very high blood pressure. Lots of tears and fights with my partner. I was a complete mess!! Afraid of everything I read. Afraid of everything that could go wrong. Afraid of the procedure it’s self. Afraid of lasting guilt, pain and memories.

Saturday came and I didn’t think I could do it. It wasn’t an easy morning! Once we got to the clinic I was shaking and teary and just terrified.  Again, they called me to pay. Then they called me to do some paperwork and blood work. The waiting was the worst.  I did not have to re- do a sonogram.

 

Then I was finally called into the room. My appointment was at 10:30am and it was now 11:30am.  It was very much like a gyno doctors office.  I was told to undress from the waist down. I could keep my socks on. My nurse was incredible. She talked me through everything.  I started to cry out of fear and finality once in the room and she and another nurse consoled me and told me how supported I was.  She assured me that the doctor was great and they would make me as comfortable as possible and it would be very fast.  I calmed down. Reminded my self why I made this choice. Told myself that women have gone through much greater trials and survived.

The nurse put an IV in my arm. I took Advil and an antibiotic orally.  The nurse then gave me an anti nausea drug in my IV.  She

She called the doctor in. He asked me a few questions. Then asked me if I had any questions.  The nurse then said ok we’re going to get your sedation started. I recall her telling me as each drug was going into the IV. I did hear the tool the doctor pick up a metal speculum.  After that I was out for most of it. At one point I must have felt something because my body flinched, to which the nurse responded by saying..”he’s doing the aspiration now” and the next thing I knew it was over. The doctor was gone and I was putting my pants back on to walk to the recovery area.  I felt no pain and have no other memories of the procedure.

 

My nurse stayed with me for my fifteen minutes in recovery. I was very alert and coherent.  I had zero pain or cramping. Very little bleeding. Ate some crackers and drank some gingerale. Chatted with the nurses and was on my way. My partner and I went out to lunch directly after. I came home and took a long nap.  It’s now 24hours later. I have light bleeding, no cramping, no pain or side effects.  The very worst part of this entire experience was my own anxiety. No one tells positive stories about abortion, because it is not positive.  But I feel fortunate to have had a choice! It was the right choice for me. If this is the right choice for you I hope my story comforts you to know that you’re supported, not alone and not in danger. This can be a completely bearable procedure.

 

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