Today, I Woke Up Feeling Like Myself Again

by Anonymous

January 31, 2020

There were long weeks of trying to figure out why I was so ill, after a false negative in a pregnancy test. I didn’t feel like myself – I couldn’t do anything. An emergency trip to an urgent care clinic revealed that I had the flu which I took to explain my symptoms. However, hours later, I received an emergency call from the clinic, claiming they believed I had an ectopic pregnancy. I was rushed to the ER, where I sat for 2 hours in a waiting room (at night, in a rough city). I witnessed several fights, was harassed, and I really would have walked out if my partner hadn’t been there to support me.

I was called to the front desk in the ER waiting room, where they asked me loud personal questions regarding the reasons I was being seen. They drew my blood right there, at the front desk. I waited for another hour, when one of the kinder nurses told me they had test results to discuss. I requested a private room – so she took me to a maintenance closet. There, she said “Well, you know you’re pregnant, right?” My heart was beating out of my chest. I didn’t know, until then. I tried not to cry, and thanked her. Later, I was hustled through several processes to figure out the source of my pain. Everyone at the hospital was so delighted to see my partner and I, talking about how our lives are different now, but how happy they were to see us together. The hospital refused to discuss my options with me. I was told it was a Catholic facility and not to bring it up again.

I called my mom, who is a recovering alcoholic, in the middle of this. She had fallen off the wagon and was wasted on the phone. She kept telling me how much she would love the baby. I had already decided I wanted an abortion. Regardless of my decision, the hospital refused to perform a CT scan to see if I had appendicitis, because I was pregnant. I was transferred to a different branch for an MRI, but after 5 hours of waiting in their ER, I had to argue with the orderly until they took my IV out and just let me leave. I was feeling defeated, and frightened. I called the urgent care the next day and explained my terrible experience. I had an MRI the next day at the clinic, where they discovered I have an ovarian cyst roughly the size of my uterus, which was partially causing my pain. I made an appointment with Planned Parenthood, and I was still just as sick right up until the appointment. I haven’t told anyone, just my partner and my mother.  And now, this platform.

Today, I woke up feeling better than I have in months. And while the process was painful (the surgical abortion) the staff was kind, compassionate, and listened to me. I was able to tell my story, to ask for help. My true healing happened when I was able to walk into a clinic and be actually listened to. I feel at home in my own body today. It’s only been one day since the abortion, but I already feel different. I am eternally grateful to the staff I met yesterday. Their small acts of kindness changed my experience. Nothing about this was easy, but the care I received at Planned Parenthood is the only thing that has made me feel better. I am sharing this, because I know how it feels to face this, to feel powerless and alone. I now feel powerful, and ready to move forward with my big life. Your own resiliency will surprise you. This choice is yours and yours alone, but take comfort in that. If you are reading these stories, the way I was two days ago, crying for hope, I promise it is there for you. I am here for you as you read this. The pain will pass but your strength is there forever, someone no one can ever take from you.

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