My Experience

Note: The Exhale Pro-Voice After-Abortion Stories Hub includes people’s stories of their experiences and emotions, exactly as they have written them in. We do not edit these stories at all, and the content that follows this message is exactly as we received it. We know that people’s experiences are complex, and these stories reflect the many emotions they may be feeling after their abortions. From relief to grief, and everything in between, and all at the same time, we’re here for you.

Submitted by: Sarah

Just yesterday, I found out that I was pregnant for the first time ever. My body had been feeling extremely off for weeks and I just kept ignoring the symptoms because I didn’t want to face the fact if I was. I couldn’t even look at a pregnancy test by myself because I was so nervous.

I finally reached out to a close friend and she read the results of the test to me. I was completely devastated, disappointed and disgusted with myself. I called a local abortion clinic immediately and they took me in the very next morning. It wasn’t that I came to this decision immediately, but I had been thinking the over the past few weeks what I would do if I were pregnant and in my case, abortion was the only option.

I am 23, I live paycheck to paycheck, and still have a lot of things I want to do before I start a family. I was more nervous about the ultrasound than the procedure at first to be honest, because I didn’t want to see it, and I truly didn’t know exactly how far along I was. It turns out I was 8 weeks. I had an aspiration abortion and was given nitrous oxide for relaxation/pain management.

The procedure itself was quick, but I felt lots of discomfort. At a few points I felt pressure, followed by some extreme cramping towards the end. After about a minute of inhaling the tube of nitrous oxide, I felt as though everything going on around me wasn’t real. It was a very scary and odd feeling for me actually. I felt like I was tripping/hallucinating. I don’t know if anyone else had that experience too? Once the nitrous oxide was released from my mouth it only took about another minute for me to feel normal again, but still it was such a strange feeling for that short amount of time.

I feel relieved but still ashamed of being in that position in the first place. I never imagined myself getting an abortion ever. My partner and I are actually in a very good space. We have a healthy relationship, and I know he would support me regardless of my decision, but I still never told him I was pregnant. It’s not because I don’t trust him, but because I’ve always had a fear of getting judged by people. I don’t want this to change anyone’s perception of me. I don’t have any regret, but I’m struggling with hiding such a big secret from him. I don’t want to tell him, but I feel guilty for not telling him.

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