I'm writing an extensive account of my abortion experience because I feel it's important for women to understand what others go through and that it can happen to anyone. You're not alone.

I'll start off by saying that even before I was faced with this dilemma, I was pro choice. I was pro choice because I knew I would want the option to abort if I became pregnant and wasn't ready for a child. Well, it happened.

I was on birth control but right around the time of ovulation I took 2 or 3 pills later than the normal time I did every day. It was the middle of July and I was getting off schedule, forgetful, and careless, unlike how I am at school with my regular routine. This is no excuse for being bad about taking my pills or for getting pregnant, I'm the first to admit I was incredibly stupid. I had been trying to get skinnier and more fit all summer, I was down from 115 to 110 and not eating nearly as much as I usually did. But suddenly toward the end of July I had this huge appetite I couldn't help obliging. That was kind of weird. My stomach seemed a little bloated but firmer and I found myself holding the little bit of pudge on my belly like a pregnant person would with a baby bump. This to me, was my instincts telling me what I would soon find out.

Then there was the missed period. It's not abnormal for me to be regular for a few months and then randomly have a too late or too early period, so I wasn't concerned the first couple of days. But the more I thought about all the other things happening to me, my bigger butt and fuller breasts, the slight discharge I was experiencing, the more I realized it was time to take a test. My boyfriend bought the 3 pack of tests and I couldn't believe it when I saw the 2 lines. I went into shock. And when I finally realized it was real, I cried all night. I've always loved children, I thought I'd most likely have them with the boyfriend I have now, just way later down the line. However, there was no part of me that would consider going through with a pregnancy as a 20 year old college junior-to-be. My desire to live a life for myself, for my boyfriend to live his life the way he wants, for my parents not to experience disappointment in their child and further financial troubles because of her, made me only consider abortion. I was ashamed of myself.

Everyone, especially girls who so greatly value motherhood, wants their first pregnancy to be a happy one. And unfortunately I have deprived myself of that. I set up an appointment with Planned Parenthood to get the abortion pill. I read the information about the pill (which are actually multiple pills) on the Planned Parenthood website along with countless testimonials, some good, some horrific. I was terrified.

I found out I was pregnant on a Monday and my appointment was set for that Friday at 10. On Friday my boyfriend and I went to Planned Parenthood expecting protesters and judging eyes, but luckily there were none. It was in an office you have to buzz into in a health care building. I was relieved it was secluded. Besides my fear of enduring the signs and comments of protesters, I was afraid of what the other patients would look like. I expected them to be a skeevy bunch but to my surprise, there were people of all ages and ethnicities in the waiting room, most of which had the same look of fear and embarrassment that I did. Actually, there were quite a lot of pretty young girls, nicely dressed, either with their boyfriends or mothers. Not saying people who get abortions are ugly and trashy, but to be honest, I was expecting a scene from 16 and Pregnant. To see other girls who were my age and respectable looking, comforted me. I started to feel more like I was making an intelligent decision and a little less like a disgustingly horrid person.

We got there right at 10. I gave the receptionist my ID, filled out paperwork and read a packet. Probably an hour and a half later we were told to go to another waiting room where there were even more people than the first. In this room is where you waited to be called back by the nurses. We sat there for about 2 hours, I was then called up to the receptionist to pay for my visit. The abortion pill and all the tests at this particular clinic come to $475. I paid in cash and did not use my insurance so it would not show up on a bill my mother could see. About 2 hours later I was finally called back and asked to empty my bladder and then go for a vaginal ultrasound. While the technician was looking on the screen, which I did not want to look at, she asked me if I was sure I had a positive pregnancy test. I told her yes, I had 2 actually. She continued to probe around in me until I asked, "is nothing showing up?"She replied with a rather perplexed "no" and I became more concerned. I asked her what that could mean and she told me it could be one of three things: no pregnancy, it's too early to tell, or I had an ectopic pregnancy, which is a pregnancy outside the uterus, often in the Fallopian tubes and can be very painful and dangerous if not detected early. With the mention of an ectopic pregnancy, I became panicked, asking her if that could keep me from ever becoming pregnant again. She became agitated with me, rudely saying "I don't know. I don't. Know." I was upset that someone in the profession of women's health care and abortion services wasn't being very sensitive.

To make sure I was actually pregnant they had me pee in a cup and go back out to the waiting room. There I waited about 45 minutes until I was called back again. I was then sent to deal with a different, much nicer nurse. She confirmed that they ran 2 tests on my urine and they both came out as positive. So I was definitely pregnant. She took a blood from my finger and a large tube of blood from my arm so that my blood can be tested for hormones that may indicate one of three things: I'm having a regular pregnancy and it's not showing up on the ultrasound because it's very early, I have an ectopic pregnancy, or I will miscarry on my own. After she explained that I could not be administered the abortion pill yet until all is figured out, I was sent back to the waiting room and called back 30 minutes later to see the nurse practitioner. She was also very nice and definitely the most knowledgable person I'd dealt with yet. She did a pelvic exam on me to try to see if she felt anything unusual about my cervix, which tied in mostly with the problem of a potential ectopic pregnancy. I had no pain, which is a good sign. She then brought me back to fill out some information and schedule me for an appointment for blood work on Monday. Also, because my blood is negative, any time I become pregnant, I will need a special shot to keep white blood cells from attacking the fetus if it's blood is positive. She wrote me a doctors note for that day for work that did not disclose that I was at Planned Parenthood. She told me that it was very possible I could begin bleeding soon and miscarry, and after the results that would come after Monday, I would have some conclusive information about the next step. If I didn't miscarry or find that I had an ectopic pregnancy in the next week, I would be back at Planned Parenthood on Friday, one week from my original visit, to be given the abortion pills.

I went to Planned Parenthood again on Monday, 3 days later, and was there for a total of about 35 minutes. I got blood taken from me and was again explained that if my hormones turned out to be higher, the pregnancy is progressing and I would be administered the pills. If they came out lower, I would eventually miscarry. If they were to be abnormal levels, I would be experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. The results of the first blood test I took on Friday were low hormone levels, but that didn't mean anything. The next morning I received a call telling me that the hormone levels in my blood had risen from days before, concluding that the fetus was growing and that I could proceed with the abortion pill. I was really upset. I had hoped the levels were lower and that I would miscarry on my own, saving money, time, pain, and more emotional turmoil. However that was not the case, and honestly I didn't think it would be because my breasts were still larger and sore and my other symptoms were no less than before. So I would have to count down the days and feel the torture of time until Friday at 9 am, when I would go in once again, this time to be given the pills.

I went into Planned Parenthood for the 3rd time on Friday morning. The wait time this time was shorter, we spent about 2 and a half hours there in total. I was given another vaginal ultrasound and this time the fetus did show up on the screen, which I never saw nor wanted to see. The nurse concluded that I was 5 weeks 5 days pregnant. Next, because my blood is negative, I was given a shot that will protect my next pregnancy, hopefully a planned one years from now, if that baby is to have positive blood. Because my boyfriend has negative blood as well, I could have signed something to say I didn't need the shot, but we would've needed proof to show he also has negative blood. I got the shot because we lacked documentation and I wanted to take proper precautions, especially in regards to my next pregnancy. The shot cost $40.

After waiting a little while longer, the doctor, who I hadn't met yet, called me back, and sat me in a room to take 2 antibiotic pills and the first abortion pill. She explained things to me further, we scheduled my follow up appointment, and I left with the pills and prescriptions to take home. I decided I would wait 48 hours to take the 4 pills placed inside your cheeks. I could've taken the pills any time between 24-48 hours after the first pill.

The night before I would take the second pills, I began bleeding. The blood was reddish-brown and ended up bleeding through the Always ultra thin pad in one concentrated area in the middle, it did not fill up the whole pad. On the 48th hour I took 600 mg of ibuprofen, 2 traumadol pills, and a pill that would keep me from vomiting. 30 minutes later I put 2 of the second pills in each cheek for 30 minutes and swallowed the rest with water when the time was up.

Soon after, I began having bad cramps that were painful and worse than your average period cramps, but I would not describe them as excruciating. I consider "excruciating" pain pain that makes you cry or not be able to move. My pain was bad, but nothing you can't get through. The meds made me feel high and kind of loopy. I endured about 40 minutes of bad cramps and then they mostly subsided. I kept checking to see if I was bleeding and I wasn't. I went to the bathroom and some blood came out, but not a lot. 4 hours after taking the pills, I was still only experiencing period-like cramps and blood when I peed. No more than a drop of blood was on the pad. I became concerned because it seemed to me that I should be experiencing everything at a higher level, at least then I would see that it's actually working. The pain came back around 6 hours after taking the pills, the medication had worn off so I took the pain meds again and felt better after an hour. I never threw up.

At one point there was a clot larger than the rest, though not large in general. Perhaps that was the pregnancy? I'm still not sure but today is the day after I took the Misoprostol (the 4 pills dissolved in cheeks) and I still bleed whenever I pee and a little on the pad. The cramps have mostly subsided and I'm feeling more normal than I have in weeks. I feel relieved, though the process is not over yet and I do have the fear that the whole pregnancy did not come out or that something went wrong, but hopefully my follow up appointment in 12 days will give me full closure. I'm praying for that. The packet I was given said some women bleed a lot, and others bleed a little. Everyone is different.

For me, this process was far more emotionally painful than physically. It made me question my morality, my spirituality, and my entire life in general. To anyone who is pro life, I understand your reasons why you believe abortion is wrong, but whether or not someone is allowed to get an abortion is not up to you. There are far worse things going on in the world that deserve more attention than a woman choosing what will happen to her body and her entire life. Why don't you focus your energy on protesting the war, where innocent people, including children who are fully aware of the value of life and conscious of their existence are being murdered because of politics. I am in no way saying that abortion is something to be taken lightly, I have gone through more emotional turmoil in this experience than I have in my entire life, but it's a choice some of us make, and should be able to make.

For those who are choosing to have an abortion, tell yourself you are brave, because you are. You have to put your morals and emotions on the chopping block just to put yourself back on the right track. Know that your decision, is hopefully the right one for you at this time in your life, and that you are saving yourself, your partner, your parents, and yes even the life inside you, from further troubles.

If you're like me, a college kid whose future is so open-ended, know that one day, it'll be your time, the right time, to bring life into this world and you'll be ecstatic about it. The two little lines on that drugstore pregnancy test will not be a signifier of what feels like impending doom, but a symbol of pure happiness. No one can tell me what my divine judgment will be because of my decisions, I have my own beliefs and relationship with a higher power, so your judgment is irrelevant.

This entire experience has pushed me to fix the things that are wrong in my life. To take better care of myself, to be on my toes, to change things for the better to repent for what I have done to myself, my boyfriend, and the the life that grew inside me for 5 weeks and 5 days. "Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it." This quote is helping me shed some light on this experience. The blessing I'm finding, is the gaining of wisdom and the smack in the face I needed to be better about all aspects of my life.

My advice for anyone who is choosing to have an abortion, especially by using the abortion pill:

-go into it knowing you are making the best possible choice for yourself, your partner, and whoever else that may be effected. Be confident in your decision.

-be prepared to spend time and money. I did this without my insurance to keep my mom from finding out. Breakdown of the costs:

--$40 for 2 urine tests they conducted to verify I was pregnant (because nothing came up on the ultrasound originally)
--$40 for blood work to check fetal growth or detect ectopic pregnancy
--$40 for shot because my blood is negative
--$475 for ultrasound and abortion pills
--$23 total for ibuprofen and traumadol I was given prescription for and had filled at pharmacy
If you are not too early when you go to the clinic or have a positive blood type, you will not spend as much money.

-Prepare for the worst but hope for the best.

-Have one or two people as supporters, but know that you don't have to tell anyone else.

-Stay strong. This is a bad experience but it does not make you a bad person. Life goes on. Another favorite life motto of mine: this too shall pass. And it will.
Ecar9988 Ecar9988
3 Responses Aug 18, 2014

It has been over a year since this experience and though it makes me feel bad at times when it comes into mind, I know that it was the right choice and doesn't make me feel like I deserve to be punished. I wish it hadn't happened, but it did and life goes on and the sadness and shame goes away. I know there will be a time for me to have a child and it'll be special. I haven't and won't let this affect my self-happiness. I'm glad that I was able to reach a few people with my experience because I know how hard and traumatizing it is while it is all happening and it's nice to know that it'll be okay. I've put this behind me, learned from it, and grew from it, surprisingly. Again, I regret that it happened, but I do not regret my choice.

I'm currently going through the exact same thing. I pick my pill up tomorrow. I'm terrified and this has been the most emotional experience of my life. You're post brought me to tears but also reassured me I'm doing the right thing. Thank you so much.

Thanks for sharing this I really needed to hear this