Submitted by: Lauren N
My experience was both horrible and amazing at the same time. The horrible part being my pregnancy, and the amazing part was the support, and care that I experienced through my abortion. Let me start by saying I live in a state where I’m very lucky and they have extremely lax abortion laws, probably the best in the country in my opinion. This is a long story but if you truly want to know my full experience and are anything like me and you are searching for real stories before your own abortion, I’ll tell you everything and know not to be scared at all.
As I type this, I am officially 24 hrs out of my procedure. From the beginning I didn’t start seeing symptoms of pregnancy until I was 8 weeks. I maybe saw some symptoms when I was at 6 weeks but I had no idea at the time. I’m very small and hadn’t gained any weight either. When I first noticed I may have been pregnant, coffee had become revolting to me, which was very obviously odd. However, I didn’t think I could’ve been far along because I had a period the previous month on time. I later come to find out it was prolonged implementation bleeding and I got the short end of the stick to have it happen at the time I should’ve expected my period. I also went through PID and had a cyst on my right ovary, which I find out may have contributed to holding onto my egg so that it then was able to fertilize.
The person who was the father was just a two-time fling, and it was even more saddening because at the 8 week mark I had started a relationship with someone else that I truly wanted to be with. Right after I started the relationship, I went to go get standard STD testing done, it was then when my doctor suspected something and asked me if I may have been pregnant. This terrified me and I went home the same day and took 3 tests. All 3 of them were positive. The next week I saw my doctor again and was tested positive as well. This sent me down a long road of 2 weeks of seeing different doctors and gynos because they were also surprised as to how far along I was. By this point I was actually losing weight, my hair thinned out from the depression, and I was feeling worse than average pregnancy pains. I was told I was at high risk for late term miscarriage and was being told by 3 different doctors to terminate.
At this time when I hit 9 and a half weeks I was miserable physically and emotionally. I work a job where I’m the store manager, so I do a lot of work over the course of 10 hours a day, and the pregnancy symptoms and the mental weight of it all was becoming overwhelming. I officially had to ask for 2 weeks off in order to get myself back together mentally and prepare myself for the abortion. I knew from the second I tested positive I would get an abortion. The pregnancy made me very depressed, I was not financially stable for this to happen, I just turned 24, and very much wanted to embark on a healthy relationship with the person I was with.
Fast forward to getting to the abortion, I had to go through planned parenthood since I am under my parents insurance. I debated telling them multiple times because even though we haven’t been religious in years as a family, I didn’t know where they would stand on the topic and didn’t want to risk being talked into keeping it. It was also difficult not being able to tell my boyfriend, due to the fact it was a fresh relationship I knew it didn’t need to be a topic of discussion. Thankfully we both live very busy lives so I was able to get the abortion and rest all the while under the radar. I have very very supportive friends who were willing to help me from the beginning to the end.
The day of the abortion I took an Uber an hour away to a clinic that could get me in the earliest and also did surgical abortions. When I got there I immediately was greeted by such warm hearted and friendly staff. It was a very long process but each step of the way I was met by extremely comforting people who only wanted to support and take care of me. I got the ultrasound and found out I was 11 weeks and 5 days, very close to needing a D & E abortion so I got lucky getting in at the time I did. The technician was also surprised as to how far along I was due to my size. After that I waited about an hour and then went through the bloodwork and consent conversation. This process took about an hour and a half only because I had a lot of questions about the procedure and my after care. This woman was so kind to me she asked if I had eaten. I told her I hadn’t because I read online you shouldn’t eat if you’re going to get the sedation. She leaves for a minute and comes back with a couple of snacks. She tells me I’ll be waiting about another hour for my procedure so I should try eating a bit beforehand. This to me just meant so much and made my experience much less scarier.
I will say it was a little hard seeing some of the other girls there with a support system, but the entire time I had my three best friends texting me encouraging words. When I finally got called down for my procedure that was when my nerves finally set in. I was told by the consent lady and my anesthesiologist that my procedure would be a little bit more painful than others because I was farther along. I go into the recovery room where they give me the antibiotic and the ibuprofen, in the room there’s two other girls waiting and another girl recovering. They then put the IV in my arm and I start shaking, when I’m nervous I do tend to shake quite a bit and the nurse asked if I was okay. I told her I was and she comforted me and let me know it’ll be over before I know it.
I had to wait about 20 minutes before I went in. The male anesthesiologist came out and grabbed me and by far in my entire experience he was the absolute greatest. He was so sweet to me because I told him I had asthma and a cold so my oxygen levels were lower than normal when I went in. When I laid on the bed he gave me extra pillows to raise my head up so I could breathe better. The female doctor then went over everything I was going to go through but did tell me I probably wouldn’t remember most of it while I was under the twilight sedation. The male was just so sweet and so comforting, he told me that he was putting the fentanyl in, and then right after he put the sedation in. I immediately started to feel both. The female doctor didn’t talk from what I remember but the male talked me through the entire process and even rubbed my arm for me a couple times to reassure I was doing a great job. From what I do remember, I felt three initial pretty intense painful feelings, some discomfort, and then it was over. Now, I have a very low pain tolerance and remember, I was pretty far along so I was suppose to feel far more pain than most girls. So the fact that that was all that I felt I was extremely surprised. The entire process felt like 3 minutes TOPS but I was told mine actually took about 15. By the time I came to, the male was still in the room but the doctor was already out of the room and the machine was completely cleared. I must’ve been laying there for quite some time. He said I was good to start getting up slowly and get dressed and he even helped me up a little. Apparently my oxygen was still pretty low so they had me lay there for a little bit longer than they do for most girls. Out of everything, my own breathing issues was the ONLY complication I ran into. He then helped me into the recovery room, I felt what very much felt like just a sore lower abdomen.
When I first sat down in the chair I was in and out of sleeping. I woke up to the oxygen machine on my finger beeping, whereas every other girl who was recovering didn’t have one on I had to keep mine on the entire time I was recovering due to the fact that my oxygen was sitting at 91% and it needed to be at 96% before I was allowed to leave. Again, this was a complication I knew I would have to deal with because I’ve dealt with some bad breathing issues for quite some time. However, it had to be put on hold as far as treatment went so I could follow through with the abortion. The nurse I could tell was getting nervous and had asked the doctor what she should do, in my hazy state I told them I would use my inhaler real quick to see if there was an improvement. Immediately after using it my oxygen levels finally started to go back up and I was allowed to be discharged.
My best friend was the one who picked me up because our apartments are quite close to each other. He was so sweet and he took me to get some food before we made the hour long trip home. I kinda regret eating immediately afterwards, but I was starving. I regretted it because about 30 minutes after actually getting home I started to feel some extreme nausea. It was then I made the slow walk to the bathroom, I immediately started having diarrhea and started to feel faint. I got so sweaty and lightheaded I was absolutely terrified. The diarrhea lasted for about 30 minutes and was excruciating, this is when I pulled out my phone and looked up after care symptoms. Turns out that this is actually a very normal thing to experience afterwards because most people get sick from the meds they give you and from the simple fact that you just had your insides messed with. After I finally felt good enough to get up, I slowly got back to my bed, sipped on my water for a bit, and fell asleep.
I took a 4 hour nap and woke up to some intense cramping, I took time to make sure I kept drinking water and kept the heating pad on my stomach. I went through periods of time of intense pain and then almost no pain. However, towards the end of the night the pain was so intense it was hard to stand up. This did subside after about 3 hours and again I read that this was also a common symptom you can experience. I didn’t sleep the best due to the fact I slept so much earlier but I can say day 2 is far far easier than right after the procedure. So far today I have only experienced that low sore feeling, some bloating, and in and out cramping. I am able to move normally again however and almost 100% of my pregnancy symptoms are gone. I almost cried when I didn’t wake up nauseated, the last two weeks leading up to my procedure the nausea was so intense I didn’t even leave my house. I finally ate full meals that I was able to keep down and it was the best feeling in the world. Despite the initial symptoms I experienced after the procedure, I am doing great.
If you’re about to get a surgical abortion or are considering it I actually highly recommend it. The process can be long but the procedure itself felt like it took no time at all! Now, I know most people get the sedation and some people don’t, I definitely needed it due to my pain tolerance and how far along I was, if you’re considering it and can do it I highly suggest it. I’m expecting to be pretty much 100% in 2 more days, and I can say that I’m happy I went through it. I know it’s not for everyone but if you’re anything like me and need to get it done and/or want to get it done, then trust that it’ll be a far less scary experience than you think it will be.