What It's Like To Have An Abortion - My Story.I used to be on the fence of abortion but leaned more towards pro-life. I'd visited tons of pro-life sites where I read horror stories of abortions gone wrong, read about the pain, read about the cold nurses, and the doctors who couldn't take it. I saw the pictures of partial birth abortions. I thought "How could anyone do that?"
Then I got pregnant. I had always told myself that if I were to get pregnant, I would probably have an abortion. -That was the main reason I stayed on the fence. How can I be a hypocrite and call myself pro-life when in the back of my mind, I mostly knew I could never carry a pregnancy?
I'm not here to have a pro-choice/pro-life debate. I'm just saying what changes went through me, personally. And to be honest, the experience was not nearly as bad as I had heard. For women who are wondering what an abortion is like and if it's right for you, here is my story and I hope it helps you to make your own decision, whether you choose to abort or keep your pregnancy.
I am lucky, first and foremost. My boyfriend does not support abortion. He feels it's murder, as many do. However, he loves me and supported me 100%. I knew how he felt and yet that didn't stop him from giving me hugs and telling me everything would be alright and saying, "I'm here for you no matter what you choose to do." He took time from work to drive me to both appointments. I can never thank him enough for that kind of empathy. When I sat in the waiting room, I noticed how few male companions there were. I realize I managed to get a one-of-a-kind guy.
Another thing about the waiting room - there were all sorts of different women there. I don't know what their stories are, but I imagine they're all different. There is no set type of woman who gets an abortion and that made me feel relieved.
The first meeting was my consultation. I had my ultrasound and a mandatory counseling session to go over my options, make sure I was making the right choice for myself, and to discuss financial aid and birth control. The staff was anything but cold. In fact, they were really gentle and reassured me, "You won't get any judgment from us." In my ultrasound, I was 7 weeks pregnant, which surprised me. I had taken a pregnancy test just one or two weeks prior for birth control and the results said I was negative for pregnancy. Obviously, it was wrong. The woman who performed my ultrasound gave me the option to see the screen and get a photo of the embryo, if I wanted. I opted not to, not for myself, but because of my boyfriend. I don't think he would have had an easy time being able to actually see what was developing in my belly. Afterwards, I talked with a doctor, who went over the procedure with me. He told me what to expect, and asked me if I had any questions. I learned that because I was so early, my uterus would only have to be dilated the smallest amount and therefore, I would receive minimal pain and discomfort, and in fact, should be able to return to daily activities (with the exception of intercourse and tampon use) the next day. I could start my birth control the Sunday after the procedure.
That was last week. Today I had the abortion. I couldn't eat for two hours prior, which was the most painful part of the ordeal, because I'd had constant nausea from pregnancy and eating was the only way to stop it. While waiting for the doctor, I came closer to throwing up than I ever had in the previous 2 months. In the chair I kept thinking to myself "Oh God, PLEASE just call my name! Let's get this over with!" because of the nausea. The whole time my boyfriend kept his arm around me and I noticed that next to him, he had picked up a pamphlet made for the husbands, boyfriends, friends, and parents of an abortion patient. Leafing through it, the entire thing was about how to support the patient and how to deal with the vast array of emotions for everyone present. I was comforted that it was there.
Finally, my name was called. The first thing they did was take my blood pressure, stick my middle finger with a small needle, and take some blood samples. Then I was brought into a relaxation room with a long, plush couch, a stack of magazines, a blanket, a t.v., and a small changing room where I undressed from the waist down and wrapped up in a linen sheet set aside for me.
I waited for a little while longer and then was called into another office where a woman took my blood pressure again and went over my anesthesia options. I could choose to take 3 pills (Valium, Ibuprofen, and one other to alleviate nausea, the name of which escapes me), or I could take two pills (two of the other three; again, I can't remember which) plus an injection which would be a more potent version of the third pill. I asked how out of it I would be if I chose the injection and she calmly explained that I wouldn't be knocked out but I would probably move a little slower and my reaction times would be delayed temporarily. I explained that I wasn't sure because I didn't know how much pain to expect. She laughed softly and said, "If I knew that, I could make a fortune." Apparently every woman is different so you have to make your own call. As the woman said, "Some women decide that they want no pain whatsoever and some decide that it's not that bad and they can handle it...that it's no big deal" Upon hearing that, I really thought over my pain thresh hold. I decided that because I was so early in pregnancy, the pain couldn't be that bad. And during consultation, I was told the abortion process is only five minutes and feels like a hard, fast period; I decided that since I've gone through some pretty bad cramps before, I could handle it. So I chose the 3 pills. "I think I can take it," I said.
I was sent back to the relaxation room, where the pills began to kick in. I tried to read the book I brought with me but I had trouble concentrating and I felt drowsy. I let my head drift back onto the couch and when I heard my name, it was a little bit of a struggle to get up and walk to the assistant - about the same as when you're forced to get up really early in the morning and haven't quite adjusted yet.
In the abortion room, I can't actually tell you what happened. The doctor was very sweet and she walked me through the process but I'll be honest - I was a bit too nervous and looped on the pills to remember everything she said. I felt a few cold ob
I'm sure the procedure took about five minutes but it really felt like even less than that. When they removed the stirrups and told me to sit up, they began telling me I was about to go to the recovery room and astonished, I asked "That's it???" They smiled. "Yep! That's it!" I couldn't believe it. It was so fast and I didn't feel pain at all afterwards - no cramping, no muscle aches, no nausea, nothing. All I felt was a little out of it from the medications.
They brought me into a room with elevated beds with tables next to them. I was allowed to lie down and the nurse brought me some hot tea - dark, sweet, delicious - and pointed to the plate of cookies next to me, saying I could eat as many as I wanted. That was my favorite part The plate was stacked with Chips Ahoy, Nutter Butter, and Oreo cookies. I could have eaten the entire plate and indeed, surprised myself at how many cookies I shoveled into my mouth. As I lay there, two other women after me joined the room. Neither of them looked like they were in pain, just drowsy like me.
The lady who gave me the pain medicine earlier came in and told us that during the abortions, we all had tampons inserted into us. She gave us each a towel and a box with a pad inside. She instructed us to go into the bathroom , put our clothes on, put the pad on, and to remove the tampon and place it in the box our pads came in - they needed the tampons back to monitor how much we bled. I found that there wasn't much blood on mine. I had no discomfort whatsoever. I could walk just fine (at least as far as I was aware) and I felt as if nothing had happened. I handed back the box with the tampon inside and was escorted to the presc
I walked back into the waiting room, smiled at my boyfriend, and told him I was ready. I think he was mildly surprised at how normal I seemed. I told him I felt a lot better and he smiled and said "I'm glad." He expected me to get knocked out and be practically unconscious. He held onto me to make sure I walked steadily to the car, we picked up my presc
And now, I'm here, typing my story, and I feel great. I have no more pregnancy symptoms, I'm lucid, and I'm no longer scared about having to bear a child. I know many people want those who get abortions to feel guilt and pain but the truth is I don't. I feel relieved. I feel like I have my sense of self back. I have my control back. I have my freedom. I think that's how most women feel.
I hope and will make every effort to not ever have to be in that situation ever again. It's harrowing and emotionally and physically difficult. But for those who do find themselves in such a predicament, I can say, out of my own experience "Everything will be ok."