by Guest (NY)
I found out I was pregnant during my second year of a PhD program. I was going through a lot of stress, personally and academically, and made some stupid decisions, including having unprotected sex with an ex-boyfriend.
I was almost seven weeks pregnant when I had a medical abortion. I was curious as to what I would expect in terms of cramping and bleeding, so I read stories on the internet and talked to a friend who had had a medical abortion. “You’ll want to die, the cramps are so bad.”
I didn’t. I took the misepristone at home around 9 in the morning. I was prescribed Tylenol with codeine for the pain and instructed to use it before inserting the misepristone, but opted for another form of pain management that also helped the nausea that I’d been battling for weeks (first from the pregnancy and then from the Mifeprex).
I started bleeding around 10 am. I had about 25 minutes of mind numbing cramping; I was sitting on the toilet passing huge clots and throwing up into the bathtub. I was also having diarrhea. After about half an hour I cleaned myself and the bathroom up and curled up in bed from the exhaustion. I continued to have cramps like the worst day of my period but was able to fall asleep.
I slept for several hours and woke up feeling much better. Still nauseous, still diarrhea, still heavy bleeding like the heaviest day of my cycle with some small clots (I was using 1 pad about every 2.5-3 hours), but functional. I took a Tylenol with codeine at this point, which made me drowsy and unable to concentrate on school work. Instead I called a friend to talk and hang out, which was great to be able to talk about other things and keep my mind off of the awful experience that morning.
I don’t recommend doing it alone, like I did. I had someone who knew what was happening and I was checking in with her in case of emergency, but I thought I’d want to be home alone. I definitely wanted the privacy, but having someone to get water and clean up after me would have been better. I cried when I was cleaning vomit out of the bathtub because I was so exhausted and sick feeling.
Overall, though, it was a relatively painless (the cramps were never something I didn’t think I could handle; I’ve had worse period cramps once or twice) and very private. It was over quickly and I felt normal like I hadn’t in weeks. I really want children, and at 29 had some guilt about not being “responsible” enough to have a child, but I knew this was a different form of taking responsibility for myself and for the children I would have in the future. It was the right decision for me.