“You are intelligent and caring which is why you’re here.”

by Anonymous

February 2, 2021

At 36 I didn’t think I’d have an abortion. I’ve been with my partner for over ten years and having kids was never really part of our plan. When I decided to go off birth control I figured that if I were to get pregnant this “biological clock” I’ve heard so much about would finally kick in and I’d want kids. I’d been tracking my very predictable cycle and when my period was 9 days late I told my partner and decided to take a pregnancy test … positive. We panicked. Everything shifted into focus and my biological clock was nowhere to be found. I felt terrible, irresponsible, stupid and selfish, and I booked an appointment to have a surgical abortion the next day.

When I arrived at the clinic I was in rough shape emotionally. When it was my turn to speak to the counsellor I burst into tears explaining to her how stupid and selfish I felt and her response was “We do not see stupid people at this clinic. You are intelligent and caring which is why you’re here.” This was exactly what I needed to hear as it reminded me that I am staunchly pro-choice; I would never judge another person for having an abortion, no matter what the reason, so why was I being so hard on myself?

I went into the procedure room and when they did my ultrasound they couldn’t see a pregnancy. I was sent away for blood tests and the warning that it could be an ectopic pregnancy. The blood tests came back positive and I was told to book another procedure in two weeks as I had caught the pregnancy.

With my procedure (surgical abortion) now booked for after the Christmas holidays I sat around and waited. As the appointment date got closer I started to worry and did my best not to turn to the internet for answers. Speaking with friends who had had abortions was a lot of help and so were the stories on this website, which is why I want to explain my experience in as much detail as I can in an effort to help all my fellow over-thinkers.

Before heading to the clinic I took an Ativan to help with the waves of fear and anxiety. I sat in the waiting room before changing into a gown and moving into the procedure room. The doctor performed an internal ultrasound, not that bad at all, and told me she could now see the pregnancy on the ultrasound. I immediately start crying with relief, although I’m terrified of this procedure and how much it’s going to hurt I’m so incredibly relieved that they can perform it right now and I don’t have to wait anymore.

Laying on the table, legs in stirrups and covered with a blanket the nurse finds a vein to inject the IV sedation. The sedation is what I worried about the most, will it be enough to ensure I’m not in too much pain? With the sedation injected things start to go fuzzy, the doctor is telling me what she’s doing as she does it, it’s uncomfortable, there’s some manageable pain, some cramping, and I’m sure I was vocalizing my discomfort but the sedation made everything feel so far away. I hear the doctor say “Almost done” and the nurse tells me “We’re just putting in your IUD now” and then it’s over and the nurse is asking me to slide up the table as she helps me put on cotton underwear with a pad.

I’m led into the recovery room where the cramps have become pretty intense, but still manageable, and I’m super groggy. The nurse gets me a hot water bottle but I’m starting to feel faint and queasy. She puts a cold towel on my neck and I immediately feel better. The sedation wears off quickly. One dry heave later and I’m eating oatmeal cookies, sipping ginger ale and feeling better. Even at this point the details of the procedure I just had are murky. There are two other patients in the recovery room with me, one is laughing and joking with the nurse and the other is very upset and crying. To be in this space suddenly feels so empowering, to understand first hand that abortion is healthcare and a human right; to see just how many people are here for this procedure suddenly makes me feel the opposite of alone. Half an hour later I’m dressed and walking out the door, groggy and sleepy, but relieved and happy.

I never thought I’d have an abortion at 36 but I’m so proud of myself and refuse to feel any regret for making the best decision for me, for right now. You will make the best decision for you. I promise this procedure is not as scary as you might think it is, the pain is totally manageable, and the right people will ensure your care and wellbeing. You are absolutely not alone.

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