by Jessica (Pennsylvania)
I was in Puerto Rico feeling horrible, I thought it was a local stomach flu and that the travel was the cause of my period being a few days late. However after a few more days I still wasnt better, I took a pregnancy test because the doctors office wanted to rule it out before they pumped me full of antibiotics to treat the presumed travel bug. When it came back positive I was shocked.
I had been on some form of hormonal birth control for almost 10 years without issue. But then I recalled that I had gone on antibiotics during one of my cycles 2 months earlier. The doctor said that the low dose birth control I was on are more susceptible to changes in chemistry. My boyfriend turned white when I told him and hugged me. I said I am having a termination and he squeezed me harder. I was in the middle of grad school and couldn’t imagine juggling school a new career and a pregnancy/baby.
Some might consider us selfish as we are fairly stable individuals with great career potential and we are in our late 20’s. As it is many of our friends were starting to have children willfully. Yet we weren’t there, we were living in different states as I was in grad school and he had remained at his job. He accepted the decision and committed to supporting me throughout the process. The next day I found a clinic and scheduled the appointment. My termination would be at around 7 weeks.
The clinic was great at explaining the process ensuring that I had full understanding and expectation and even warned against the possibility of protestors. Luckily, they were minimal and my large boyfriend made for a great shield. The day of the procedure I elected for a little Valium and a surgical procedure. The procedure proved to be minimally painful, it was easier than a cervical biopsy I had previously. I had a little cramping directly after a minimal bleeding. The staff was great about giving my a hot water bottle after to sooth the cramps and some cookies and juice and then sat and joked with me about the ridiculous fashion magazines. They were good about keeping my anxious boyfriend in the loop about what was happening to me. One day he will be a great father his protective instincts run very high, but he too knew he isnt ready yet.
2 days after the procedure I went skiing, I continued to have some intermittent cramping and bleeding but nothing unmanageable through some ibuprofen. All in all I thought all the panic talk that I had read online was overstated. Maybe for people not committed to their decision or who are making the decision in the face of trauma experience a larger sense of loss or hopelessness. For me its been over 6 months and I have yet to have regret or a have a sense of loss. I look forward instead to having a child on my terms when we are both ready. I have felt nothing but gratitude toward my boyfriend for his support and to the ladies at the clinic for their openness and willingness to see me as a person not just a procedure. In my state you may elect to donate the tissue to science, I choose to do so and feel like a positive aspect of the procedure is that someone may learn something from my decision.