Submitted by: Alexandria
My husband and I have been together for 12 years. We have a beautiful four-year-old child who happens to have autism. I love my family and being a mother.
We had begun discussing the possibility of having a second child. I had reservations because I know that statistically we have a higher chance of having future children with autism and I’m not sure that that’s what I want. Regardless, I got pregnant in December. Immediately, I began to panic and I had an anxiety attack. This was so different than the joy I felt when I saw that positive test for my first child. I knew that being pregnant is not what I wanted.
I went to talk to my primary care doctor about increasing my medication for anxiety and he told me that if I were to continue with the pregnancy I would have to come off of my anxiety medicine. I knew then without a doubt that having an abortion was the right choice for me. Although disappointed, my husband was supportive and never doubted me for a second.
I chose to have a surgical abortion at Planned Parenthood. In my state, you have to go in for a consultation and then schedule for a second visit for the abortion. I was very nervous leading up to these appointments, not because I doubted my choice but because I was afraid of what was going to happen. I felt nothing but ease and support at the clinic.
On the day of my surgical abortion I was six weeks along. I was given 800mg ibuprofen, 10 mg of Valium as a way to relax, and my cervix was numbed with a shot of lidocaine that felt like getting my blood drawn. The procedure itself did not hurt much. I would read it as a five or a six on a scale of 10. I was afraid that it was going to hurt worse because when giving birth to my son, I had a fourth-degree tear which resulted in significant scarring along the back of my vagina up to my cervix. The abortion hurt much less than labor pain.
The procedure was over in less than five minutes and I made small talk with the nurse and doctor throughout. The sound of the vacuum is loud and you do feel the suction during the procedure. My doctor got a smaller cannula to make sure that all of the tissue was collected because I was so early in gestation. After leaving the room, the doctor inspects and weighs the tissue to make sure they collected everything they needed to ensure the abortion is complete.
Upon sitting up and starting to walk, I did black out and have to be wheeled to the recovery area but I blame that on being nervous and not eating enough that morning before. I sat in recovery for 15 minutes, had a snack, and my pain was down to a 2 before I left. I had slight bleeding immediately after the abortion and did not bleed after that. On the third day I did have more cramping but that is totally normal. My pregnancy symptoms have all gone away. I in no way regret my decision and I am so glad that I live in a place where I decide what to do with my body.
It’s OK to choose yourself or the family you have. It is totally OK to love the child that you have and choose not to have another one now or in the future. If you’re reading this, I love you and it’s going to get better.