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You are stronger than you know.

by Chris

June 17, 2019

I was almost 26, with my life on track. I was doing a Masters in Geneva. I was moving for an internship in Paris at a good firm. My partner (who lives in Singapore) came to visit, and we had unprotected sex. It was a week before my period, and nothing had happened before, so of course nothing would happen again right? I couldn’t have been more wrong.

 

In the weeks after I realized I had missed my period (which I never do), I was in complete denial. I finally took the pregnancy test 2 weeks after and, no surprises, I was pregnant. I always knew I wanted to have children in the future. But definitely not now. I called the hospital to set up an appointment to begin the abortion process. And thus began the longest 2 weeks of my life.

 

First appointment: they couldn’t find the embryo. So I had to be run through blood tests and multiple ultrasounds to make sure it wasn’t an ectopic pregnancy. Finally, a week later, I had my appointment to take the first pill for a medical abortion. What followed was a serious bout of nausea. I couldn’t eat anything. Not even a cheeseburger from Macdonalds that I’d been craving.

Last appointment: I took the second pill at the hospital and stayed for the day. Boy, was I glad the nurses insisted that I be hospitalized. I was allergic to Ibuprofen and so they took a while to figure out my pain meds. All the while I thought I would probably expel my whole uterus in the process. I don’t like pain, and this felt like a whole 7 hour marathon of pain. I remember asking the nurse for more pain meds, but I’d hit my limit. The pain wasn’t unexpected, I’d always had painful periods. But this must have been the longest 7 hours of my life. And I did it alone. In a place where I could barely find the words in a foreign language to express how I was feeling.

 

I chose not to tell anyone, not because I thought I did something horribly wrong. But rather because I felt like this was the biggest failure of my life. (As you can tell, I’m the kind of person that needs to have everything planned and under control). I refused to give any emergency contacts (except my partner’s number, but that was useless since he was 10,000km away in Singapore). It was my secret to keep, and I know the nurses had my interests at heart in trying to persuade me to find someone in Geneva to tell. But I chose to only tell my partner. For me, that was enough. He had a right to know and to be part of the process, if he so chose.

Having gone through this, sitting at my desk, preparing for my exam tomorrow, just barely 2 hours from the hospital, I wanted to pen down my thoughts. To any woman out there thinking about an abortion, you are stronger than you know. I spent the weeks leading up to the abortion scouring the web for anything and everything I could find. It was then that I read so many inspiring stories that reminded me that everything will be ok. I know how hard it is to be on your own for an abortion. I know how the roller coaster ride of the initial few days feels like. But the human spirit is more resilient than we give credit for. It will be ok.

 

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