Yesterday I had a surgical abortion with IV sedation at 7 weeks pregnant. I want to share my experience. I’m a mid 30’s mother of two. I found out I was pregnant and struggled with what decision to make. My two boys (fraternal twins) were both diagnosed with autism, one severe who doesn’t speak, around age 4 & 5. I went in to talk with my gynecologist and was given some harsh numbers when it came to the probability that the next baby would have a neurological disorder and autism, 50% due to just siblings having it and then the chances went up with my age.
My doctor also informed me that due to my age the chances of some other problem occurring would be higher. I left heart broken as I knew I could not take on the responsibility of another severely autistic child or severely intellectual disabled (the new word for mental retardation) child. I already had a commitment to my two boys and I knew if I took on more that it wouldn’t be fair to them or possibly even ethical since the doctor told me it’s genetic and most likely would affect any children I ever had. So I began my search to find a doctor to help me terminate my pregnancy since my doctor is an army doctor and they simply do not offer such a thing at any of the military treatment facilities that I’m forced to use. I have never had a termination and my previous pregnancy was well planned.
Firstly I was shocked to find out that the surgical abortion procedure couldn’t be performed by any local gynecologist in my area and that the only option was the dreaded planned parenthood. In my mind, until now, I’d always imagined planned parenthood to be some kind of liberal house of horrors where menacing doctors laughed as they hailed Satan and took babies from the womb. I was scared to say the least. So I called and made my appointment, it would be a few days before they could get me in. I agonized over what to expect thinking it would be painful and that I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.
Finally the day came and my unwaiving, unbelievably supportive husband took me out to my appointment. I saw some protesters who shouted at me saying they could help, I thought to myself if they only knew that they couldn’t help and this wasn’t a selfish decision but rather one based on science. I went in and immediately felt at ease. It was just like any other medical facility! It was clean! The nurses and staff were nice and normal people with no ill intent. I waited patiently to go through each step, speaking with a counselor that understood my choice and was supportive then onto signing paperwork and doing some blood tests. I went back to the waiting room till I was called. I met with a nice female doctor and nurse.
The doctor went over the procedure and my information and asked if I had any questions, I didn’t and was as ready as I guess I could be. The nurse started an iv and gave me IV sedation, I was awake but felt a bit loopy. The doctor began and the nurse instructed me to squeeze her hand and told me about what was happening i.e. Now we will give you some lidocaine to numb your cervix it’s going to feel like a prick. It did feel like a prick and then within what I would say was less than a minute it was all over. There was almost no pain, I would say a level 2 or 3 at the most. After they instructed me to get dressed and took me to another room to monitor my bleeding & vital signs. The nurses were sweet and talked with me the whole time. I had some cramping but nothing even remotely close to my period. I threw up a bit from the sedation but that’s normal for me, the nurses offered me some zofran and went over all the information about signs to watch for when I got home.
I got home late yesterday evening and went straight to sleep with an electric heating pad on low and woke up the next day feeling pretty alright. I’m not yet ready to run a marathon but I don’t have much cramping or bleeding at all. 400 mg of Motrin is about all I’ve had to take. I was worried I’d be very sad and hormonal but so far so good. I feel confident in my decision and I have a totally new view of planned parenthood and surgical abortion.
I hope my story helps others not feel so scared about the procedure and I hope that one day others will realize that abortions aren’t always done for the sake of just being irresponsible. Women absolutely need to be able to make the best choice for their body and their unborn child. Thank you for this community of acceptance and understanding.