You can do this

Note: The Exhale Pro-Voice After-Abortion Stories Hub includes people’s stories of their experiences and emotions, exactly as they have written them in. We do not edit these stories at all, and the content that follows this message is exactly as we received it. We know that people’s experiences are complex, and these stories reflect the many emotions they may be feeling after their abortions. From relief to grief, and everything in between, and all at the same time, we’re here for you.

Submitted by: Sharon

I never thought in a million years I would have an abortion — especially not on my first pregnancy, before I had children and at the age of 30. But here I am to tell you that it doesn’t matter the circumstances if it is the right thing for you at this time.

I still plan on having children in a year or two, but right now wasn’t at all the right time.

My boyfriend was understanding since it was his idea. Yes, at first I was not for it, but having the child would have made us both unhappy at this moment. Yes, some people said just leave him, but I understood that he had a lot of personal stress besides this, and so do I.

I am taking college courses, he works long hours in construction, and he was going through a divorce. I wasn’t about to make both of us unhappy, which would make for an unhappy baby too. I don’t regret it, I know that my future children will be better planned for, and will be my world.

I searched several online posts for how the procedure would go, and I was afraid of the pain but also afraid of having any sedation. How would it make me feel being sedated? Would I feel more sick, would I remember? Let me tell you, do not worry like I did. At the last moment I opted to have the nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and the IV sedation. To my surprise I was fully aware of everything and did not feel awful. I remember everything but I only felt a sense of calm. I will mention though that I hated the nose mask for the nitrous oxide and only used to for a few seconds since you have full control over taking it off.

The first thing they did was place the clamp, I’m assuming, which just felt like cold metal so it wasn’t uncomfortable. Then the doctor announced he was using the suction. On a pain scale of 1-10 it was about a 7. Mostly from the vibration. It felt like severe period cramps. Yes, I let out sounds from the pain which is totally normal, so don’t try to be quiet. But it’s not the pain you scream over at all either. The entire procedure was over in 2 mins. My only disappointment was my boyfriend wanted to be there for me during the procedure but they would not let him.

I had even called prior to ask if he could come with me, but I was not specific on asking what their policy is on having a support person in the procedure room. So, if you do want someone with you call ahead and specifically ask if they allow someone with you during the actual procedure. Otherwise they will be waiting hours in the waiting room, with you and left alone to wonder while you are in having the procedure.

After the procedure, the severe cramps lasted for maybe a minute but they gave me a heating pad placed over my stomach and a tower fan pointed at me which felt nice. Then they offered animal crackers and juice. By the way, I did not hesitate to say yes please when asked, because the night before the procedure they said not to eat anything after midnight. I was starving. The good thing though is after a minute under the heating pad I was well enough to clean up and put my lower half of my garments back on.

I walked to the doctors office, got the aftercare procedures and headed to the nearest fast food drive thru with my boyfriend. Yes, you can eat right afterwards and the medications and sedation have no effect. If anything, it makes you feel better to eat. I’m here to say that even though I worried during the entire drive there and the 3 hours I waited in the waiting room for my name to be called, it’s quick and very tolerable. You go home lay on your couch or bed and watch tv or movies, have some snacks until you fall asleep. The next day I’m sure I will feel fine, maybe a little sore, but I took off work and won’t be doing anything too strenuous. Just plan on enjoying a little outdoor time and taking it easy. Do not beat yourself up for this decision if you plan on having an abortion.

There is a future. If you are worried about your age or whether you can have more children, do not worry either. Even if you have a friend or family member that tells you it might hurt your chances. It does not. You are fully capable of having children even soon afterwards. Good luck on your journey. You can do this, and you are never alone.

You deserve nonjudgmental
after-abortion support.

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3 responses to “You can do this”

  1. Betty

    Thank you for this. I have been reading so many stories of sadness and regret after the procedure. I kept reading thinking I am heartless or something because I haven’t really second guessed our decision on it. I know my mind will be on over drive the night before and the entire time leading up to it (this Friday) but I haven’t had any feelings of sadness. But what does get me
    Is the fact that we are in a wonderful relationship, in our thirties, successful and just bought a house together, but it’s just not the right time. I guess in a weird way I’d feel justified if I were 16? Hell I dk. But I hope I continue to have this outlook and pray that when the time comes
    That is right for us, we are blessed and if not, then we have decided to adopt (our original plan the whole time) Anyways, thank you for sharing your story from a different perspective, as it spoke directly to me. Best of luck with your future. God bless.

    1. Alex

      Hi. I hope we could talk. I’m going trough a really hard situation and have no one to talk about it 🙁

      1. Exhale

        Hi Alex, our counselors are available on the phone or on text if you need someone to talk to. Sending you love!

        Call: 866-4-EXHALE
        Text: 617-749-2948

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