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.