Friday, June 19th
After a few days of tossing and turning about what to do with my unexpected pregnancy and discussing it with a couple friends and my boyfriend, I scheduled an abortion for last Friday and went through with it. I have to admit Thursday night I was a complete wreck - filled with so many mixed emotions - I was unsure of my decision, but ultimately knew that it was the better decision considering I went through with it.
The following was my experience:
I arrived at the clinic at 8:20am. When I got to the clinic doors I had to push a buzzer and look into a camera to announce myself and my boyfriend. We were let through a first door where we stood in a narrow room between two locked doors. The administrator asked me to remove my sweater and to provide her with my health card. I looked at my boyfriend and rolled my eyes (I felt like I was in a prison). I told the administrator that I was cold and would like to keep my sweatshirt on and she said "it's policy that I had to remove it". I hesitated to take it off, this rule was complete BS, but I did. After the whole process we were "granted" access to the COLD waiting room where we waited for the "counselor". We waited a half an hour, during that half hour I was uncomfortable (cold), angry, depressed, worried and anxious. My boyfriend tried to comfort me and make me feel safe and secure, but it just didn't work (I ended up upsetting him) - so I told him that I was going to my car to get another sweatshirt (without zippers - which seemed to be the problem) and have a cigarette. He came with me and I asked him for reassurance about what we were doing and asked him how he was feeling. Although I could tell that he was being strong for me, he still reassured me that he thought we were doing the right thing. Going back through the process (the administrator saw my new sweater, but didn't say anything and let us through both sets of doors). We sat for about another 30 minutes when a counselor called my name. Only I was allowed to go with her so I followed her into a room where she explained everything that was going to happen, we went over the risks, my questions, future birth control methods and there is where I had to sign a consent form. When I was finished with the counselor I joined my boyfriend back in the waiting room. We were sitting in a waiting room with young girls and older women who all looked like they were 100% sure of their decision or that they already went through the procedure once before (like this clinic was their form of birth control).. I knew I wasn't ready for this decision as the whole time I was 50/50 - my boyfriend just kept reassuring me that we were making the best decision. He reassured me that everything was going to be okay, that we are going to have kids when we are ready and that he was going to be with me through it all (even coming into the procedure room with me as you are allowed to bring in one support person with you for the procedure).
After waiting for about 15 minutes in the waiting room for the counselling session I got called to the "prep" room to get dressed in a gown, have a finger ***** blood test, ultrasound, blood pressure and pulse taken. When all of this was done, I was guided to another waiting room where I had to wait to be escorted to the procedure room. This was agony because I was alone with my thoughts and I really just needed my boyfriend's support.
After about 10 minutes of waiting here I was then called and escorted to the Procedure room - I was happy that I would get to see my boyfriend and have him with me. I was told that the nurse would insert an IV, the doctor would prep me for the procedure and administor a drug into the IV and them my boyfriend would be called into the room to support me for the procedure. The drug made me light headed and dizzy (yet alert). It's ultimate purpose was for me to feel no pain during the procedure. When I was prepped and ready the counselor left to get my boyfriend from the waiting room. She came back alone and said that he wasn't there and that I had to go it alone. My boyfriend, sick of waiting, left the building to have a smoke. He missed out on being my support person and while he was finding out that everything went well, I was pissed.
After the procedure I was escorted to the recovery room where I had to sit alone in anger, resentment and regret. I couldn't help but cry when I saw the girls who went in before me laughing and talking with one another as if nothing had happened. While they were all feeling relieved - I felt sick about what I had done and pissed that my support person had let me down.
When it was time to go, I had my IV removed and then asked a series of questions about how I was feeling, birth control method I had chosen (IUD) and went through a list of how I can expect to feel and what symptoms I should expect to have following the procedure. The cramping and bleeding were supposed to reach a peak at 3-5 days after the procedure and then become lighter to even spotting. (FYI, I feel the cramps but I haven't bled since right after the procedure). It is normal that I still am experiencing pregnancy symptoms (tender breasts, nausea, tiredness and emotional highs and lows), these symptoms should stop a week following the procedure.
It has been two full days since I had the procedure - I went through with it because despite me being 50/50 - my boyfriend provided me with support while making the decision, sticking to our decision and following the procedure. My only issue with abortion clinics is that they are insenstive and money based. They don't give you an option to have private discussions with your support person... In the waiting room, counselling room, prep room and procedure room you are are constantly surrounded by someone and not given the privacy needed to discuss with your partner what is going to happen and what you are feeling. In places like these, privacy is definately needed.
Despite not knowing if what I did was right or wrong, I am lucky to have my friends and a comitted boyfriend who all provides me with a constant support system. Talking it out and finding reassurance makes all the difference in the world.
If you are a woman who is about to have an abortion I would suggest that you are 100% sure in your decision and that you have a steady network of friends or family members that can support you after your procedure is complete.
For those of you who have had an abortion and are having a hard time dealing with it, find someone who understands what you have gone through and talk it out. Bottling it up and drowning in your emotions will just eat away at your soul.
God Bless all of you women who have gone (or are about to go) through this heart wrenching procedure.
On Friday June 19th, 2009 - I had an Abortion.