Positive Surgical Abortion 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: Danae

When I found out I was pregnant at 27 years old I had so many mixed emotions. Up until that moment I was always pro-choice, but told myself and others that if I got pregnant abortion wouldn’t be right for me. That all changed when my preconceived expectations of what it would be like to fall pregnant started to crumble.

I always imagined I would have a supportive partner, the excitement of collecting baby items and nesting, and just generally becoming a better person through the fact that I’d be preparing to raise a new human. However, my partner was much less supportive of the idea of keeping this child than I had expected, and suddenly I found myself more depressed than anything thinking of the financial burden and the sacrifices my partner and I would have to make in order to keep this child.

Everything would have had to change — our jobs, our living situation, and possibly even the town we lived in. The coming days and weeks resulted in arguments and anxiety attacks between my partner and I. Finally, after a couple weeks of going back and forth trying to decide what to do, sometimes daily, sometimes hourly, something clicked and I realized many of the reasons I wanted to become a mother were quite selfish and not focused on whether or not I could give my child the best life possible right now.

Once I had this realization I knew what I needed to do and finally my decision felt right. So I made my appointment at a clinic an hour and a half away and we scraped up $800 to get the procedure done. Originally, I had expected to have a medicated abortion, commonly known as the abortion pill, but once at the clinic we discovered I was too far along to go that route. Although surgical abortion seemed much scarier I was already there and knew I needed to just get through it. I kept my mind focused on each passing moment, letting go of thoughts about the near future and what I would be going through. What really helped ease my anxiety was the wonderful staff at the clinic I went to. The women were so friendly, compassionate and reassuring in every step.

After the ultra sound and blood tests, I met with a counselor who explained the procedure I would be having, and answered any questions I had. This part was what I feared most — thinking I would be required to explain why I made this decision or be talked into adoption. However, it was not the case. After a few intro questions to determine I was there under my own free will, we quickly went into talking about the procedure itself. She was amazing at easing my anxiety and telling me how it would not be nearly as bad as I had imagined. I was also given the option for sedation or an anti anxiety medication at no extra charge.

I have never been sedated, and due to it being given intravenously and possibly having to stay in recovery longer, I opted for the anti anxiety medication. Before the procedure I was given cervix-softening medication, anti anxiety medication, and 800mg of Ibuprophen. I waited 30 minutes for the medicine to take effect before I was called into “the surgical suite.”

The nurse who took me back was enthusiastic, nonjudgmental, and had a wonderful bedside manner. Although my doctor was male, the presence of 4 women in the room keeping track of my vitals, running the ultra sound and coaching me through made the experience an overall positive one. They were so encouraging, told me to keep breathing and when to expect different sensations.

Yes, there was a bit of pain but it was quick, less than 5 minutes of the actual pain from the procedure. The pain was like strong menstrual cramps combined with the discomfort of having a speculum in. When they told me it was over I was quite surprised because of how quick the whole procedure was. I was then helped into gauze shorts with a pad inside and walked by one of the nurses back to recovery. At this point I was given a heating pad, a drink and a snack.

I felt a bit more cramping for about 10 minutes. After about 20 minutes my pain had decreased to a level 2, and I was told I could get dressed and prepare for discharge. I was ready to leave so I almost immediately got up and went to change. The hour and a half drive home I did feel sore, but it wasn’t unbearable in any way. Once home I was very hungry, ate a meal and a bowl of cereal, then laid around watching TV with my heating pad.

The cramping and soreness returned when my ibuprofen began to ware off but after taking another does I felt almost completely normal. The next day I could still feel tenderness in my uterus so I just continued to take it easy, although if I had been required to work, I would have been able to do so. In hindsight, I am glad I ended up having the surgical abortion performed because it was much quicker and less painful and traumatic than I ever could have imagined. I’m also happy I never had to see the blood clots that would have resulted from the pill. I am very sensitive to the sight of blood, and knew that would have been a difficult thing for me to endure.

Overall, my experience was made very positive by the staff and it was far less traumatic for me than I had expected. I hope my story can help to ease the anxiety of some woman out there who are terrified because of all the propaganda that is meant to scare women out of abortion. I know this was the right decision for me and I am glad I went through with it. I only wish I had come across this website sooner and had the ability to understand my options through the eyes of someone who has experienced it so I wouldn’t have felt so alone and scared before entering the clinic.

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4 responses to “Positive Surgical Abortion Experience”

  1. Maia

    I’m so frightened, I haven’t had the confidence to even go to the clinic. I’m very worried about how things will work during the pandemic, and especially in my small town. Thank you for sharing, now I think I’ll be able to sleep tonight and hopefully do some figuring out tomorrow 🙂

  2. A

    Hi I just wanted to write my experience on this website because it helped me get through my abortion okay so here I go I was 17 now I’m 18 anyways I was on the pill but I missed and I got pregnant I was scared as hell and my boyfriend which I’m still with wanted to keep it but i knew we couldn’t raise a kid yet and he grew up without a dad so I felt so bad making the decision to get an abortion he didn’t force me to keep it but he wasn’t really able to be emotionally there for me so I only really had the support of my friends since I knew my parents would’ve kicked me out of the house if I was pregnant ,anyways I went to planned parenthood and I planned on doing the abortion pill but then I got the bad news that I couldn’t take it cause in the ultrasound I was to far along to do that I had to do the in clinic abortion which I was deadly afraid of but it was my only option next the did some tests like poke my finger and ask simple stuff , so the next week I went for the real deal, my friend drove me and I went in alone there was only one protester too which I was glad but just wanna remind the girl who is reading this F*** those protesters it your body no one else and you’ll never see them ever again so do what I ignore they aren’t stopping you just annoying you. Anyways after enter the clinic the ladies in the front desks welcome me they gave me a packet to see the details of the procedure then they called me in and I talked with on of the nurse she was super nice and asked simple questions and didn’t judge me at all she then told me that I should do the procedure with sleeping medicine because if I did it with ibuprofen it really wouldn’t help me with the pain and I was scared that the sleeping medicine would mess me next the put a Female doctor Gave me ibuprofen and an antibiotic and two lollipops she was so nice with me and gentle and calming which was great because sent put a needle in my arm so when I started the procedure they could put the sleeping medicine in so next they put me in a waiting room with of 5 other girls of all ages and races btw anyways I was so scared but in the waiting room I calmed down a bit more since they put on guardians of the galaxy for us to watch I was like omg really this is a little funny but really relaxing finally I was called in for the really thing a nurse took me in and told me she would be helping during the procedure she told to undress and put a pad in my underwear so when I was done she could help me get dressed then another nurse came in the hooked me up to the heart rate machine which is not at all painful then then she started put in the sleeping medicine in me meanwhile the actually doctor came in and she introduced herself very nice woman then the nurse who was put in the sleeping medicine said that the medicine wouldn’t take long to kick in which was correct because I felt dizzy immediately after but then i felt a little sleepy and super light then the doctor started I felt an uncomfortable pressure in my Vagina like if someone was leaning on it to be honest then then it felt like heavy cramp I did start to cry and kept saying sorry but the nurses were like “no it’s okay sweetie you’re doing great , almost done “ one of the nurses held my hand the whole time and I just listed there looking up which really helps btw and they stopped the sound of the vacuum machine stopped and it wasn’t not really loud either btw I was like “ are we done ?” It had only been like 3 or 4 minutes the doctor was like “ yup all done you did great sweetheart “ I was surprised I thought it take longer and I would have been screaming in pain but no I just cry or not really more teared up without the sobbing on a scale rate the pain is a 6/10 next one of the nurses helped me up and put on my clothes and walked me to the recover room where they sat me in a comfy big recliner and then then asked how much I was bleeding I bleed just a little like less then me on a light period day I sat back down and in like 15 minutes the loopiness of The medicine was gone my best friend came a picked me up and we went to subway because I was really hungry I was able to walk fine my lower back was a little sore my vagina a little too but not like when I get my period next I ate and came home took a quick shower and rested the next day I went to work like nothing there . I hope this helps you remember it’s your body queen I feel stress free now and hope the best for you, you are stronger than you believe and I promise you it’s wayyyyyyyyyyy more scary in your head doing the procedure and it’s safe and less painful then the pill and almost no blood really seen with the procedure . Stay strong if I can do it you can too girl I wish you the best.

  3. Gabrielle

    Your story has really helped me with my anxiety and fear of having my abortion. I am getting a surgical abortion is a couple days and i was so terrified but reading this has eased my mind a little. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Mia

    I am sitting in the waiting room getting ready to get my surgical abortion done, while reading your story and it has made me feel 100% better and my anxiety is decreasing thanks for sharing.

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