No drugs, no sedation surgical abortion. The real pain was what I felt after.

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: Stormy C.

I never thought I’d ever go this route if ever falling pregnant again. I have two beautiful children and have thought about having a third at some points. What I didn’t see was being financially unstable and struggling with money after losing my job. I had not had any intimacy for almost two years before I started talking to a coworker after I lost that job. We’ve only begun really getting to know each other through calls and texts for about two weeks before a night I had one too many drinks (it was how I dealt with the recent job loss and anxiety I felt at the time) and apparently called him over to visit in the midst of being blackout drunk. We had sex that night that I do not remember at all.

A few weeks later with my financial situation being so bad, the father of my first two children moved in with me to help financially. I complained about the smell of everything and he said to me “you are acting like you did when you were pregnant.” It scared me so I drove up to the dollar store and purchased two of those one dollar pregnancy tests. They both came back positive. For some odd reason I did not believe it to be true. Earlier that month while being intimate with the former coworker I had a bunch of blood come out of me and then passed a ball/clot of tissue and believed I had a miscarriage. So I thought maybe the hcg hormones may still be in my system causing a false result.

I scheduled an appointment with an OBGYN who weeks later confirmed through ultrasound that I was 7 weeks 5 days. I remember I immediately cried and said “oh no”. It sounds horrible but at this low in my life I knew I could not raise a baby with all of the struggle I was going through. I’ve never considered abortion so for the next few weeks I went through imagining what life’s gonna be like (terrified of course) thinking of names if it’s a boy or girl to adoption to the final night I realized how hard life was going to be for the baby, my children and I. I decided on abortion. The nights leading up to my visit at the clinic I cried myself to sleep every night but really wanted to have it done so I can go back to focusing on how to get my life back together and also I felt bad having it grow another day in me. It was difficult with no money for a $800 procedure being done two hours away out of state but I called at least four different abortion funds that ended up covering the whole cost.

I drove out to the clinic alone. I had the father of my first two children stay back at home instead of him coming out to drive me because I did not have money for a hotel room for them to stay somewhere in this city. It’s cold outside and did not want them out wandering for hours and also did not want to bring them in the clinic. The only way they’d allow me to do the procedure was without any drugs or sedation since I was driving home. I figured I had two kids it couldn’t be much worse. I was very wrong. Found out I was now 11 weeks and 1 day, which makes me sad because I had one more week and I would’ve been in the second trimester.

They had me on the table legs strapped down. The speculum was inserted much like a Pap smear. I honestly did not feel the numbing shots to the cervix which was What I was most worried about. What hurt was the device they used to stretch the cervix… with every click an extremely paralyzing pain radiated. It was intense… I broke out into a full body sweat and was hurting so bad I couldn’t even scream or cry just squeeze my eyes shut and hold my breath. The nurse kept reminding me to take deep breaths and I did. It helped a tiny bit. After the clicks were the suction noises which were such a disturbing sound to hear. What was worse was with every suction there was more pain again, it was traumatic and unbearable. I still can’t get those noises and that image out of my mind! Looking back I wish I would’ve been sedated because I need therapy now.

Afterwards they had me go to a recliner with a heating pad and blanket and gave me those vanilla cream sandwich cookies and some kind of citrus soda. They asked questions about my pain level and I could barely speak. Other women were in The room on other recliners but they were all sleepy and out of it because of the sedatives and drugs. After an ibuprofen about 20m goes by and the cramping was bearable and I could leave.

The ride home I was lightheaded and nauseous. An hour into the drive they lessened up and I began to feel what I did not expect at all… regret. I felt a deep emptiness like a part of me died. I cried and was talking to the lost one and apologizing and explaining why.

When I got home the next few days, cramping and bleeding was minor. I could not really talk to anyone about it. The father of my first two supports my decision but doesn’t want to hear about it, my sister was in Las Vegas on vacation and I didn’t want to be a downer. They are the only people who know. I texted the father of the one I lost and let him know the baby was gone but did not go into how. He didn’t really ask how anyways.

I’ve been having bouts of tears and sadness. I’d look at my children and cry looking at the features they have of me and wander if the baby would have my ears, my nose… I know I made the right decision for us at the moment but can’t help but just wonder.

I never thought I’d be in this situation but when faced with the decision it becomes very different. I’m hoping that I can take this and better all of our lives through it. I’ve enrolled back into school to finish my degree and have gotten a decent job. We plan on moving back home to our home state (the father of the first two and I) to be with our families down there again. I’m hoping for a bright future and to be in a position to help others, not sure how I will… but I want to help them in which will help me heal.

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4 responses to “No drugs, no sedation surgical abortion. The real pain was what I felt after.”

  1. Nicola

    I’m sorry your hurting. Sending warmth your way <3

    These decisions are so complex. I don’t think there is ever a completely right/wrong, black/white, satisfied/regretful answer. We just do the best we can.

  2. Steall

    You did the right thing. It’s very hard but I really believe focusing on the people who are here now is a very moral choice. You will get through this. You will heal. And your thoughts on how to honour this with the best life you can live for yourself and your children will give this difficult experience meaning.

    1. Stormy C.

      You are right, it was a moral choice.
      Thank you so much for your reply. It really does mean a lot to me!!!

  3. Susan

    Stormy, you made the right decision 100%. You saved your family. All of your eggs have the potential to contain your features but we can’t fertilize and raise every single egg we carry. Sometimes, there are different plans for us.

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