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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 22-25, F 20 Responses Sep 27, 2011

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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.

When I was pro life, I used to judge any woman that had an abortion. I never thought about medical reasons. And in the cases of rape, I didn't care if she was raped, that baby needed to be born. You never can say never. I was one that said I would never have an abortion. I was one that saw the pro life pictures and thought how could anyone do that to her unborn baby. Wow! All I can say is, you never know the real truth until you have experienced it for yourself. A pro life person who has never had an abortion can talk about "truth" but they don't know the truth. A person living it knows the truth. I never thought at age 24 I would ever have an abortion. Well I was raped and anorexic. I felt I had no choice but to abort.

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...

Also ignore these negative comments. They don't have a clue what an abortion really is. It's called ignoring the ignorance. You have a right to post your story. You have the right to feel what you are feeling. Like you said, the experience is totally different than what you tead on the internet and that is so true. I have lived it as well.

Your story is somewhat similar to mine. Well the feelings and the experience at the clinic. I just wanted to get it over with. I didn't want any connection to it. I was 24 when I had my abortion. 5 yrs later I'm doing fine. At 24 I felt the relief and no regrets. I was glad to get it over with. Later started feeling the guilt and shame. It was painful. But it never was a thought in my mind that I murdered my baby. I did not murder my baby. I killed a fetus. Very different.

I am glad that they made your experience at the clinic comfortable. What you read on the internet is nothing compared to the actual event of being in that situation. My experience was comforting as well. I would tell anyone my story. I have told people my story. The procedure was an easy one. They told me 5 minutes too. But I woke up and was in the recovery room. It was nice to see there were women like me in the same situation. That was mostly comforting.

As a pro lofe person, I also saw the aborted babies online and thought same as you did. But when I was faced in that situation to abort my own baby, I did what I felt was best. Now I am neither pro life or pro choice. I am neutral. Thank you for sharing your story

I would count you as pro-choice, personally. I feel that if you support a woman's right to choose, even if you don't agree with abortion itself, you're pro-choice. To me pro-choice isn't the same as pro-abortion, it's just saying that an adult woman has the right to make choices regarding her own body, and that includes an unviable fetus. The negative comments here are disheartening but I leave them on the page because I see where they're coming from, even if I don't agree with them. And ultimately they're not important because I didn't write this story for them. I'm not trying to convince them of anything. I just want other scared girls to know that it's ok.

I'm sorry you went through shame and guilt. A girl in my health class did a presentation on abortion and said that women who abort usually don't feel negative thoughts til around the 6-month mark and it lasts for up to 5 years. I'm at that stage now but thankfully I'm still emotionally ok. But I think it's normal. Nobody wants to face having to make a choice between becoming a parent and aborting and it's definitely a burdened, difficult period.

Thank you! Yes, I am neither for it or against it. I do believe that abortion is a sin. I mean to kill is a sin. But who am I to determine if that sin is right or wrong. That is between that woman and God. My abortion was between me and God. I used to be pro life up until my abortion. I thought that at the time, it was the worse thing I could ever do. Actually, abortion was not the worse thing I could ever do. It was not the biggest mistake I ever made. My abortion was the best decision for me. So if I feel thar I made the right choice to commit this sin, it is between me and my higher power what was right or wrong. I do not agree with some of the reasons why a woman would have an abortion. I feel that every fetus should be given the right to live and be born a baby. That is if that fetus and mother are able to proceed. It is none of my business or anybody's business what that woman does to her body. That is all between her, God and in some cases her doctor. I do not judge a woman's reason for abortion. Who am I to judge? I kept my abortion and rape a secret because I was afraid of being judged. But telling my story had made me stronger. After my abortion and telling my story, I was pro choice. But for 6 months into recovery, I am neutral. It's just easier for me based on my beliefs. I feel that I am neither pro life or prochoice. As a christian and as one who lived and experienced abortion. Searching one's beliefs takes a long time and a lot of work. Lol

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 was her age when I had mine. Would you say that all women her age feel no remorse for having an abortion?

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

I wish that I had a good man around to support me during my rough time. But that didn't happen. She was lucky to not be alone during her procedure

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.

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.