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 objects thrust into me. I think the first was to test my uterus or something and the second was to dilate it. It was only mildly uncomfortable. The suction tube that went in twice afterwards was the most painful part. Again, it was cold, and then the cramping started. During an abortion, it's common to feel cramping similar to a period and that's exactly what it felt like, if a bit sharper. I do have to admit, I cried out a little a couple of times - not screamed in agony but a few short "Ah!" sounds escaped. The nurse told me I could hold her hand if I wanted to, but I wasn't in that much pain. They kept telling me to concentrate on my breathing - in through the nose, out through the mouth. I had to keep doing that and focus on breathing instead of the cramping. It was a bit difficult but not undo able and it did help. The whole time they were telling me I was doing great and that helped a lot.

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 prescription room. The woman gave me two - one that I had to take every 6 hours to prevent infection, and one to alleviate pain (the pain killer was optional). She said I could go to the local pharmacy and get the infection medication free of charge.

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 prescriptions, and I came home and immediately slept off the pills.

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."
SpilledSecrets SpilledSecrets
26-30, F
24 Responses Sep 27, 2011

I do not want to judge you, I am in no position to do so. But I do want to tell my story, so that women who read this also know the other side. I had an unplanned pregnancy and decided against abortion because I strongly felt it was already a child, my child, growing inside my belly and i should protect it. During my pregnancy I fell more and more in love with my child and when he was born I felt I never loved someone so much in my whole life. Things weren't easy, but he is a very happy 4 year old, who enjoys life fully, and I still believe I had no right to take his life. Chosing "pro-life" was the right choice to make, even if it was not always easy. I did use, several times, emergency anticonception, because I was forgetful with other anticonception. First I did not think much of it. I saw it as the prevention of pregnancy. But in the last weeks I have come to see this as very hypocritical. Emergency anticonception prevents a fertilized egg from implantation and growing into a human being. It's just like a very early abortion. Before I thought lightly of it, right now I have huge regrets. I feel guilt, fear, shame. I feel like a "serial killer". I can't live with myself. Abortion is not about a couple of cells. It is about a human-being-in-development. Not seeing this as a human life is in my view pure denial. I believe in God and believe I should have taken better care of my own body (being capable of saying no to sex) and the life possibly growing inside me.There are a lot of woman that realise only afterwards what they have done and have grave regrets when its too late to change their decision.

Abortion is a grave evil. Many of you women experienced profound grief and sadness relating to your abortion. Many of you were traumatized by the horrible experience of being raped. I am sorry for all of the pain such an act put you through. However, it is never ok to murder an innocent human. Fetuses, from the moment of conception, are humans. Your individual cells are different from your child, your child is distinct from your body and has their own set of Dna and is growing like all life does. Spilling egg cells or amputating a limb are different things entirely from abortion. They do not end the life of an individual human being. Abortion is murder and it is never okay, no matter how tragic the circumstances, to murder a human being, which the unborn are, to resolve a problem. All of you who had an abortion should stop denying what you have done, and accept the evil you have done. You should then forgive yourself for what you have done, and move on. It is never okay to murder an innocent human being. Especially the most vulnerable and innocent human beings among us, the unborn.

Thank you for sharing your story. I never thought I'd be in a situation where I had to choose to end or continue a pregnancy. I thought as long as I took the right precautions when it came to sex I wouldn't have to make this decision. That's why they say practice safe sex if you don't want a baby, right?

It turns out you can practice safe sex and still get pregnant. I've never considered myself pro-life or pro-choice. I've always felt it's none of my business what other people do in their lives and I believe that even more now as I feel alone and scared (when it comes to telling my closest friends and relatives) because I'm making a decision I know most of them would criticize me for and that's not right. I don't think women should ever feel alone or put down.

However I'm grateful to have a supportive boyfriend who, even though would not care if we had a child right now, wants me to make the right decision for me. We agreed that although this pregnancy is the right thing (we would love to have children together just at a time when we are stable financially and could give a child the life it deserves) this is the wrong time for us as a couple.

That being said, his support and this article has made me feel a lot better. I know this is the right decision for me and I appreciate all of you who have shared your stories through the comments.

I just wanted to thank you for submitting this post. My procedure was about 2 weeks ago; I was 8 weeks along, and my experience was almost identical to what you've shared here. I don't feel an ounce of regret or shame, but all the same, it's still pretty hard right now. Seeing that there are people out there like you, who are OK years down the line-- that helps more than you know (except, you probably do know).

Take care & best of luck.

Im getting an abortion tomorrow. And this helped me out alot. I am 7 weeks in just like you were. I see this was 3 years ago and I just wonder if it still crosses your mind every so often. And im wondering how long it took from the time you left the waiting room and got into your car. But this helped alot with making me feel more comfortable with what's going to happen.

I still have no regrets. I think about it sometimes in passing because with this story on EP, it gets the most attention so it's hard to avoid, but I never look back on it with any sadness. But like I've told others, I was really sure that this was what I wanted. I think if a woman has any doubt, she really needs to reconsider an abortion cause she can't take it back once it happens.

Also, I don't remember quite how long the whole thing took from waiting room to being in the car - maybe an hour? It really didn't take very long but the total recovery took maybe half a day cause i had to sleep off the pain killers.

This was more comforting than you can ever imagine. Just know that you made a difference and helped someone through a difficult time. Thank you.

I'm sad after reading your story...
A child is your responsibility because you made the choice to have sex, which creates a new life. When you make such choices, you should face the repercussions. But you ran...

I personally feel that it's unreasonable to expect people who don't want children to abstain from sex their entire lives to avoid a pregnancy risk. But i do understand where you're coming from and respect your point of view.

It's not about abstaining from sex for the rest of your life. It's about taking responsibility for the choices you make.
When you choose to smoke, you choose to accept the risk of getting cancer. When you choose to get into a car, you accept that if you cause an accident, you pay for the damages. When you choose to have sex, you accept the risk of having a child.
I'm just really sad.

I think an abortion was taking responsibility. I happen to think that parenthood or adoption is not always the most responsible choice, depending on the parents' circumstances, and certainly considering the way our foster care system is.

I'm sorry you feel that way. Let's agree to disagree. Taking the right to be alive before they take their first breath...to delete something that you created...Is just too cruel. I'm sure you thought it was the best decision at the time. But this is just my opinion. Parenthood, even adoption, is better than throwing it away like rotten trash.

I'm sorry, but this doesn't make sense.
If you have sex, you have the responsibility to deal with the pregnancy if it happens, yes.
If you smoke, you have the responsibility to deal with the cancer if it happens, yes.
Does that mean that a smoker has no right to get chemo if he or she develops cancer? Are you insinuating that if I was to get cancer, that I have to accept responsibility, roll onto my back, and wait to die? Sure, chemo might be just as awful, but I have the right to choose.
I see abortion the same way. It does not matter what your or anyone else's beliefs or morality or ethics lie.
Imagine for a moment there is a hypothetical religion that opposes smoking. They believe, for better or worse, that tobacco plants have souls, and to burn them is a terrible sin, and that cancer is god's punishment to the smoker. Should this religion, regardless of how many members there are in this country, be able to dictate whether or not a cancerous smoker has a right to fight against his condition?
Certainly not.
I'm sorry if you feel sad, but I cannot help you, and I must say my personal thought on the matter is that anyone who can't keep their religion from infringing upon other people's uterine-goings-on, is a monster to me.

I made the choice to have sex, but I was also having safe sex. It can happen to anyone.

This is a support group. Figure it out. It doesn't help to make these woman feel worse than they already do.

4 More Responses

Although I may not agree with the decision that you made, I wont judge you as far as what kind of a person you are deep inside.

Firstly, your a man and would never have an idea on how to deal with a pregnancy, let alone a decision like this, so it's good to know that you didn't judge her or anyone.

Thank you soooo much for your experience, I was about to have an abortion but I was too far along for the place I went to (I'm 15 wks 3 days). I'm not anticipating the pain because I'm way farther along but that made me feel more comfortable.

I can not tell you how much your story has helped me just now. I have recently found out that I am pregnant and am going to have an abortion and I am scared witless. I have a supporting boyfriend and he is being just amazing about this but I am still scared. I just made my first appointment at a women's clinic for the ultrasound and counseling. I'm just so scared. I just want it to be over. What was it like after the first day? Were you in pain the week afterwards and did you bleed a lot?

no. I had what seemed like a prolonged period during healing but no pain whatsoever. Honestly, it was like the whole thing never happened.

Again, I always have to stress that make sure this is something you want to do. Of course I would never want you to carry a child that you don't want, but neither do I want you to abort and feel regret and pain afterwards because you DID want to keep it.

Stay strong. Like I said, my procedure was really fast with minimal pain and maximum support, so I hope that eases your mind somewhat. It's been a couple of years since I had my abortion and honestly, I still think it was one of my best decisions, though of course I wish it wasn't a decision I had to make in the first place. I don't regret doing it and I hope you don't, either. Feel free to message me anytime.

I just gave birth 8 weeks ago and recently started having sex again, but we aren't using contraception and I'm scared to get pregnant and can't handle another pregnancy and baby right now, so I know if I do get pregnant again I need to have an abortion and its scary to think about. I am pro-choice but I dont know how I would handle an abortion.

I would suggest to hold off having sex if you don't want to get pregnant and don't have contraceptive available. Accidents happen (I got pregnant because my bf and I both assumed the other was using precautions), but if you know you're taking a risk and could get pregnant, please try to prevent it. my abortion went relatively smoothly, but it's still not something that I would consider an easy way out, by any means, and definitely not a decision I would ever want to be faced with again (though I'm thankful to have been ABLE to make a choice when the time came). Especially when you are unsure how you would handle an abortion. I just don't want you to find yourself in a situation you regret, knowing you could have prevented it. Please protect yourself and your body, and if you do have an unwanted pregnancy, think long and hard about your options. Make sure you are absolutely certain you're doing the right thing for you.

You're courageous, thanks for sharing your story.

Thank you so much for sharing your story, you do have a real man that will support his lady no matter what. My man also stood by my side and supported me. Please do not listen to all the hate speech. Its so ironic that the folks that supposedly preach love, acceptance and forgiveness are the first ones to turn to hate and judgement.

Thank you for your comment, it means a lot to me. I'd also like to say congratulations on having a great man by your side because they aren't easy to come by. I hope things are going well and that you're thriving.

And I totally agree with you about the irony. I don't have a problem with people being pro-life but I think if you're going to advocate pro-life, you should BE pro-life - none of this "it's murder unless the mother was raped" business - it's either murder or it's not. And if you're going to preach "sanctity of life" you should apply it to all life, not just human life, and not just *healthy* human life. Sometimes it's amazing how hypocritical people can be, yet they can't admit it because to do so would be to admit that the issue they're so staunchly opinionated about isn't so black and white that they can still rationally condemn people who don't agree.

Real men don't abort their babies. This life may not have been valuable in your eyes, but it was to God. A baby's entire DNA is present upon conception, and abortion ends a child's life...

Good work! Thanks for writing this so other girls can learn from your experience. My experience at the clinic was almost identical to yours,only, my abortion didn't even hurt a tiny bit! In fact, I've had pap tests that were more painful. It's five years later, and I'm still pleased with my choice. Now I've met a man I'm in love with, and we are planning for a child the proper way -folic acid and all!

Congratulations on your pregnancy and I hope all goes well for you. Although I'm not happy you were in a position where you felt abortion was necessary, I'm also thankful your procedure was totally pain-free

This is so sad its clear your not old enough to feel remorse for what you have done. You do understand you killed your baby, right?

I would like to know how you consider a 7 week old embryonic cell a 'baby'. They are medically described as 'Embryo' at this stage of development, not a child. People would take your opinions seriously if you were educated enough to provide a factual argument.

Also, I'd love your advice on a matter. Every month when I have my period, I'm emitting a large quantity of eggs that could be children. Am I committing mass murder?

I'd love to hear back from you, thanks.

Evil non caring *****...I tried to be supporti e no concern for human life what soever and you said you where lucky to have found a good man... No real father would be ok with the murder of their child such a shame from beginning to end

Thank you for sharing your story, my experience with abortion was nearly identical. It is so stigmatized in society that few women ever talk about it. I typed a nearly identical description for a friend who was facing an unplanned pregnancy and asked, but it never went past her. I have dealt with more negative emotion since my procedure (my hormones have gone crazy), but the actual doctor visit was much the same.

People will try to shame you and tell you you're wrong for your decision, but it's your life and quite honestly you seem above their opinionated judgements. Again, thank you for your candor and I wish you nothing but the best!

Everything will be ok for you...but, it's sad what the baby goes through because of the choice of getting pregnant and not wanting the baby. Let someone do to you what they did to your baby and million others. Ask a doctor do to you what they did to your baby...see if you wouldn't call it torture. But, no...you think about you being ok...what about the torture that your baby went through... And you want me to respond with support and respect. Did you support and respect your baby?

If I had been an aborted embryo, I wouldn't be around to care. You can't even compare an embryo to a born baby, who's body formation is closer to an octogenarian than to a fetus.

Perhaps you should brush up on your science. An embryo has no nerve endings, meaning it cannot feel pain, nor does it have a brain, meaning it has no clue WTF is happening.

I am so utterly sick of people (conservatives in particular). They are the first to judge women for getting abortions, yet constantly ***** about the number of people receiving government assistance and welfare. Hellllooo....anyone else notice a correlation here??

Yep, you totally got us! We're purposely going out and killing these 'babies' (They're medically referred to as embryos and are about 4 months off being 'human', but that's okay, let's go ahead and personify a cell structure.). It makes us feel great and we're 100% having wild, unprotected sex to create them just to kill them off again! We all have abortions for fun, not because we absolutely have to.

PS, if you're as stupid as your comment makes you look, this is called SARCASM. Sit on a knife and swivel, idiot.

It is the night before I go in for my operation, and I was scared to death reading about the abortions that had gone wrong and other things like that, but your story has really calmed my nerves, you are very brave and I know that you have made me feel a lot more comfortable with my decision and my nerves have been put to rest.

Thankyou for sharing your story, I'm sure it will help many more women and girls with their nerves as the day approaches. :)

You are really amazing. I can't believe how brave you were through all of that, and you came out just fine! I'm proud of you!<br />
I'm still in the process of making a decision on what to do with my pregnancy. I'm scared to death, to say the least. If I do end up having an abortion, which I am leaning toward, I hope that I come out just as well as you did. Thank you for sharing your story!

thank you for sharing your story . you are a very brave and strong woman . i had my surgical abortion on wednesday and im doing ok . if you ever want to talk im here if not good luck and take care

Thank you for sharing your story. I almost opted for surgical abortion but after reading horroor stories opted for the non surgical option. Your story will help a lot of women.<br />
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I'm also here if anyone needs to talk.

I'm still really nervous. I read what looked to be a horror story but I'm sure that girl was traumatized because she wanted to keep it but was underage and was talked out of it. I really hope I have the same experience you did. I'd like to remember the least about possibly from my experience. Luckily I also have a supportive boyfriend but I don't think he understands how stressful this is for me.