Overall, A Good Choice!

I have always known I did NOT ever want children. Even as a kid, I knew. By my mid twenties I was surer than ever and I married a man who was infertile (and that suited me just fine). After we divorced, I got on Depo Provera and also started a new relationship. I used it completely according to schedule but somehow, I became pregnant after about 4 months. I was extremely shocked. My boyfriend and I are both college graduates in our thirties, not teenagers, and we both knew we didn't want to have a child ever. I was not prepared for feeling a bit unsure the day I found out about the pregnancy. I'm agnostic and militantly pro-choice; so is my boyfriend. But it was still a difficult decision to make, even for us.

I had heard of the "French abortion pill" but was completely ignorant about its common use in the USA. We did some research and I made a trip to Planned Parenthood but they didn't offer the pills in my area so we had to travel 2 hours into a different state. That really made it feel like the dark ages to me! Fortunately, the clinic was pretty comfortable and they seemed knowledgeable. The cost was around $550 (not including travel costs). I had to have a blood test, urine test, ultrasound, and basic physical examination. They also counseled each of us briefly about the decision we had made. I was 5 weeks and 4 days pregnant on the day of my abortion.

The first pill was taken at the clinic. I felt a little weird about 2 hours afterward, just really spacey and had chills a few times. It wasn't until many hours later, at home, that I inserted the second round, a set of (4) pills. They informed us we could hold the pills in our cheek which would be uncomfortable, taste bad, and was more likely to cause nausea and vomiting. To me the option they described of vaginally inserting the pills seemed so much better, and it was.

Like a lot of women, I prepared myself for the absolute worst. After the talk they gave at the clinic to prepare us, I thought I might bleed so much and have such huge clots that I'd need buckets and have to get my carpets cleaned. Nothing like that happened at all. In fact, I barely even needed the huge maxi pads I purchased for the occasion. Regular maxi pads were fine (although being a longtime tampon fan I hated having to abstain from tampon use for 2-3 weeks of spotting that followed).  They also told me not to bathe during the 2 weeks after the abortion but I am a bath fanatic so I only waited 3 days before bathing.  However I did use caution by submerging my lower body in the water for only about 5 minutes each time, and making sure my bath tub was immaculately clean.  That probably was not a great idea, but fortunately I didn't suffer from an infection.

Within 45 min of the second round of pills, my boyfriend said that very suddenly my body smelled different, like period blood. That kind of freaked me out but sure enough I began to bleed slightly, and then passed a few smaller clots. They told us to practice fundal massage - basically, to rub in a circular motion and press very hard on our lower abdomen. I did that a little but it did not seem to help. I started having the feeling that I needed to have a bowel movement, and I did. Still small to medium sized (rarely more than would fill 1 tablespoon), more clots came out at the same time including a stringy long piece of greyish material which the nurse had informed me to watch for and it most likely would be my pregnancy. I felt really victorious seeing the grey material in the clotting, and felt very relieved.

However, I laid in bed and tried to sleep and then I started having the WORST cramps ever. They were pretty terrible and I definitely had a fever. I was moaning and in and out of full consciousness. I never passed out, but I felt totally out of it and weird. I was able to make it into the bathroom and passed a few small clots and had another bowel movement. I remember lying on my bed all sweaty from fever and cramping so hard I could do nothing but moan and sob. That only lasted for about 40 minutes, though. Then I managed to fall asleep and slept like a baby. The next morning, I felt perfectly normal except for some very light spotting. I had energy and no soreness.

Two to three days after, I started having some minor cramps and back pain. That continued for almost 3 full weeks along with very sporadic spotting (and no actual bleeding).  I stayed doped up on Midol the entire time because it was not quite as severe as typical menstrual cramps, but it lasted much longer...like 5-6 hours per day at least.  Some days I had no cramping.  I had to make a return trip to the clinic (routine) where they did another ultrasound and confirmed the pregnancy had passed and I was no longer pregnant.  It was awesome seeing my empty uterus on the screen!  Returning home, I felt a little bit depressed. I did not have thoughts about babies or regret, and no suicidal ideations or anything like that. But I just felt down and lethargic most of the time. I was just not my normal self. It took almost a full month for me to feel really good and normal again. When I started feeling good, I took another pregnancy test and it said that I no longer had hcg in my body. I was so pleased!

My boyfriend and I are closer than ever due to this experience and we have no regrets.  He had a vasectomy just a couple of weeks after my abortion. I think it's wonderful that we live in a time and place where we can take charge of our reproductive health. I wish it were even safer, more accessible and affordable. The abortion pill is not a perfect thing - it affects women differently, and my experience was not all positive - but I would encourage other women in my position to consider it. It definitely helped me to carry out the decision I wanted for my life, my body, and my future.  As well as my boyfriend's life and future. That's a good thing in my book.
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3 Responses Nov 28, 2012

It's sad to read all this 😠

Well written. It was quite a journey itself reading it.

-thanks for sharing. And enlightening.

Thank you for sharing. Your post made me feel better.