I had a surgical abortion at 9 weeks two days gestation. The process was very straightforward and simple. I called Planned Parenthood on a Wednesday and they had my “first appointment” scheduled the following Tuesday. When I showed up for the first appointment the wait was 45 minutes, they did some standard questionnaire paperwork, similar to any other Doctor’s appointment. After checking in and paying $115, they did a short pelvic exam which was a vaginal ultrasound. I live in Texas, the laws for abortion are rather strict here. Texas law demanded that during my first appointment the Doctor show me the ultrasound, a diagram of fetal development at the stage in pregnancy I am at, as well as it’s mandatory that I had to listen to a small sample of my embryo’s heart beat. The Doctor was very friendly, straightforward, helpful, gentle and informative. After this they schedule my “second appointment,” for the actual D&C surgical abortion procedure on the following Friday. In Texas there’s a mandatory 24 hour waiting period between the first and second appointment.
The procedure itself was not that bad. I read several stories on the internet that said it’d take a minimum of 10-15 minutes for the procedure. I paid $285, I received a discount for my financial hardship and testing Rh positive. I had to wait In waiting room about 1 hour, then they checked my Rh type, gave me an antibiotic and a pill for anti nausea. I then waited 1 more hour to be checked into the surgical ward, where they de-robed me and discussed my sedation options. I waited about 30 minutes, then they lead me into the operation room, took my blood pressure, gave me an IV injection to make me sleepy. I was not entirety asleep, but I was very loopy and slightly incapacitated. The nurses and the Doctor were all very gentle and caring. The nurse observing my heart rate and sedatives was very careful to comfort me as they all noted my nervousness and anxiety. I’m not a tough girl, I faint at the sight of blood and needles. I have a very low pain threshold. The sedative made me not really care about the pain. It didn’t really numb me at all. The only pain relief I received was a shot or two to my cervix to numb it so that the dialation wouldn’t hurt. The only pains I felt were the shots and a sort of tearing or ripping sensation as he swiped the curette around my womb through the opening of my vagina. This was not even very painful, it wasn’t even as bad as my menstrual cramps. After the dialation and scraping, the Doctor softly informed me everything was alright, And then I felt another slight movement and heard two “whooshing” noises, which was the suction. I was staring at a clock on the wall through the entire procedure. The dialation, scraping and vacuum lasted under 5 minutes. To my suprise I experienced minimal amounts of pain and it was over quickly. Recovery lasted for barely an hour. I would’ve left sooner if I hadn’t been so loopy from the sedative shots.
In the hours following the procedure, The day after and today I had barely any pink discharge on my pad. I have not bled much, passed barely any bright red blood. Its mainly just pink spotting. The Saturday following my Friday procedure I returned to work. Mind you, my work is light. I had a few twinges of pain and soreness after, and nothing yet (as I am typing this it’s been two days since.) I’ve just kept up with my 600mg of Ibuprofen every 8-10 hours. Planned Parenthood scheduled me for a third follow-up appointment which will be $15 and they also included a packet of birth control for a small charge of $10 to me.
I have a very low pain threshold, I have an anxiety disorder, I was sad about being financially unable to begin my family. I assure you that it’s not as bad as all the internet horror stories make it out to be. Of course it’s healthy to feel a bit of guilt or experience grief, but just make sure it is your own decision and it is the right one for you. Planned Parenthood’s staff were all understanding, helpful, friendly and informative. They actually made me feel cared for and valued as a human being having to make some tough choices in life. If you are making this decision, dood luck! Don’t worry about pain, it’s not too bad.