I’ve been with my boyfriend for 5 years, and honestly we had never really used birth control. We’ve tried condoms and the patch, but mostly we relied on withdrawal. Something was bound to happen eventually, and I ended up pregnant at 22.
I kept switching back between keeping the baby or getting an abortion, but in the end I felt that we were too young to provide the best for our baby. My boyfriend said that he supported whatever decision I made, but it still makes me feel like some kind of monster.
I actually had the abortion yesterday at a Planned Parenthood, and the staff were very supportive and non-judgmental about my decision. The best part was that my boyfriend was allowed to be with me the whole time.
The ultrasound technician was very respectful of my choice not to hear the heartbeat or see the ultrasound, although now I wonder if I’ll regret not looking at all.
Next was a round of nurses who took my vitals, blood work, and went over tons of information regarding the actual abortion, drug/painkiller options, and taking care of myself afterwards. I also took 800mg of Ibuprofen and an antibiotic. I had wanted the iv conscious sedation, but the doctor didn’t recommend it as it would make it harder for me to recover.
I had expecting an intense counseling session on whether I really wanted to do this, but the nurses just asked how I was feeling about my decision after getting all this information. In a way, I kind of liked that because I didn’t want to keep talking about my feelings and getting emotional in front of strangers.
I was given an anxiety pill, then they left me alone for 30 minutes. Although the pill was supposed to kick in after only 15 minutes, I really appreciated having the extra time to relax and think about my decision. I was almost asleep when the actual doctor came in.
When it was time for my abortion, two other ladies came in with the doctor. One lady was there just to be by my side and comfort me throughout the procedure, and I cannot express how touching and soothing that was.
They laid a heat pad over my stomach before dilating my cervix, and I honestly barely even felt the numbing shots. However the next few minutes consisted of terrible cramps that seemed never ending. The lady next to me kept reminding me to breathe and told me to squeeze her hand, and she told me to hold on because I was almost done. I really hadn’t known how my body would react, but I rarely get cramps so it felt terrible for me. I also felt a lot of pressure. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say the cramps were a 6 or 7 (with 10 being most painful). Of course, every person reacts differently and I have a low pain threshold. Near the end, I also began feeling nauseous.
I made the mistake of glancing at the tubes leading back to the machine, and let’s just say I don’t recommend doing that.
The cramps got a little more intense near the end, but the doctor told me she was just checking to make sure she got everything . . .
Afterwards, the doctor came to the bed to tell me I was okay before she left. The lady next to me asked me to describe the pain during the procedure on a scale of 1-10, then my current pain. The cramps definitely improved a lot once it was over, but it still took about 5-10 minutes for them to settle down.
Throughout everything, I had stayed in the same room and they told me to rest a little before trying to get up and leave. A nurse who had talked to me earlier came in to monitor me, while I just laid there with the heating pad. After 5 minutes I started getting up with the help of my boyfriend, but I noticed the nurse stayed by my side and offered a hand with getting my clothes and shoes on. I was dizzy afterwards, so my boyfriend held onto me to make sure I didn’t fall.
I was really thankful Planned Parenthood gave me the choice of having my boyfriend being with me, and that I didn’t have to keep switching rooms. They estimated that it would take 2 – 4 hours, but it only took about 2.5 hours.
The only thing I didn’t like was how I was told I had the choice of paying the $455 upfront or bringing my insurance card. The receptionist pretty much said I needed to pay right then because it would be cheaper than if they just billed insurance. For example, if they only billed insurance, the claim could be $2000 and my insurance pays 80% of that. I wanted to just bill my insurance, but she was adamant. So I felt like I was lied to about my choices, but I was too damn nervous and anxious to argue with her.
I went to eat something with my boyfriend, then we went home and I passed out for a few hours. When I woke up, I just started crying really hard and I couldn’t stop.
It’s the second day now, and I’m not quite sure how to feel. I’m okay sometimes, but other times I get really sad. I tell myself this just means I need to work harder in school and get a good job, so that I’ll never have to worry about taking care of a baby if I get pregnant again. Also, I’ll never be without birth control again.
My boyfriend admits that he doesn’t know what I’m feeling, he just feels bad that I had to go through emotional and physical pain. He told me he almost wanted to say he changed his mind right before the abortion, but he didn’t want to influence my choice.
It’s frustrating sometimes because I feel like no one understands me, but I’m not ready to talk to a stranger about this yet. I guess I just want to say that abortion isn’t the most painful thing in the world, but I would recommend bringing someone you love and trust with you. I was pretty scared, but I knew I couldn’t give my baby the life it deserved as a broke college student.