Abortion paved the way

by Joceyln (Maryland)

I was a 20-year old junior in college when I had my abortion.  The condom broke.  Let me repeat that.  The condom broke.  I had stopped the pill about 6 months prior because I was convinced it was making me depressed and fat.

Anyway, I took so many negative pregnancy tests that by the time I had missed my period I had almost convinced myself that “it just happens sometimes.”  Whoops.  When the inevitable positive result came through, I died a little, told my roommate, and called my boyfriend.  He immediately drove 45 minutes to come and talk.

I knew that I wanted an abortion, but I was terrified he’d want us to keep the baby.  I pictured a very different, very hard life for ourselves.  But, he was so composed and supportive while I cried and railed, and we made the decision.

I am so grateful for the kind staff at the clinic.  I recall they had the same juice and cookies that the Red Cross does at Blood Drives.  I didn’t have to suffer through any protesters or last minute worries or trans-vaginal ultrasounds or whatever laws men are trying to pass today.

There were three girls in there with me that morning:  a tiny Asian girl in a white, knit hat that wouldn’t stop crying, a stoic black chick, and a white girl about my age on her 2nd abortion.  We smoked a few cigarettes together.  I remember that I was the only person dressed in actual clothes; everyone else was in sweats or PJs. They played the movie “Ghost” on a small television in one of the waiting rooms.  I’ll never forget that…I still can’t watch that movie.

I am so thankful that I had the ability to make the choice and despite what some would like to speculate, I do think about it.  All the time.  But, that doesn’t mean that it ruined my  life.  Instead, it had the opposite effect…I graduated college and was able to spend another 10 years being alive and free and spontaneous and stupid before having my own kids.

The boyfriend?  Has been “the husband” for almost 12 years.  We have two children, girls.  The “abortion” became a line item for my reproductive history when I was pregnant with my first.

Thank you, abortion.

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Misoprostol abortion

by 2ndchance (RSA)

Whew! I’m so glad I did it with Misoprostol. I’m 28 yrs old and have a 14 month old son. I had abdominal pains soon after weaning my 1 year old boy. I thought I was gonna get my period, but nothing came until I started being nauseous in the mornings and very sleepy all day long. I took a home pregnancy test and it was positive… I went to my doctor for a sonar and there it was– 6 weeks embryo! My doctor gave me Misoprostol but I was so scared to use it in case I had severe pains or died… the thought of another baby so soon pushed me to try this Misoprostol because my doctor assured me it wasn’t gonna be that bad… guess what… I’m done with it now and there are no pains… just had a very light pain and couldn’t even notice if it was from stomach or womb because I had diarrhea– probably Misoprostol effect on me. Otherwise I’m glad I’m back to my plans and life again, no stress no pain!!

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Just arrived back home from abortion

by Thankfulforchoice (California)

Just wanted to post my story to ease the minds of those who are about to get an abortion and are uncertain of what to expect. I just arrived back home from mine.

First of all, I am 38 years old and married with 3 children-all almost adults. My husband and I found out I was pregnant about 1 month ago and recently decided that we were not going to keep this baby because I am working on my Master’s and he is finishing school as well. Both of us love to travel and enjoy that our kids are at an age where we can come and go freely.

Coverage in Cali, food for thought: My husband recently retired from the military and I am not working but we are covered by Tricare, which does not cover the cost of abortion services. I completed the paperwork for Medi-cal at the Family Planning Assoc. center in just to see if I would be eligible to have the abortion covered instead of having the out of pocket cost. Indeed, because of our income, the abortion service was 100% covered. I mention this to those who fear they cannot afford an abortion, it does not hurt to complete the paperwork for Medi-cal. I will not be continuing the coverage because we already today, the cost was covered.

Anyhow, after the paperwork was completed, I was taken back into a room to have an ultra-sound which confirmed I was 11.5 weeks. I had an ultrasound two days prior because I wanted to know for certain. The ultrasound tech did give me an option to see the image if I choose. I did not because I had already seen it.

After the ultrasound I was sent back out into the lobby for a few minutes, where my husband was waiting then shortly called back in to go over paperwork with the nurse and give a urine sample. I was then taken to a room where weight and blood pressure was taken and told to change into the gown and place my belongings in a locker where I could lock it and keep the key for the time I was there.

From that room, I was called back into another room with a nurse who took a small amount of blood from my finger (a finger prick… no pain) then placed back into the room where I had my blood pressure and weight taken. I waited there for about 10 minutes (alone, not a group setting). From here, the nurse came and explained she was ready to take me back for surgery.

I was taken into the surgical room, asked to get on the table and IMMEDIATELY the IV was placed in my hand, no waiting. Trust me, I HATE needles and IV’s BUT this needle is TINY and DOES NOT hurt at all…NO FEAR, I worried most about this part, but really, no pain.

About 2 minutes later the doctor arrived and as soon as he stepped into the room, the anesthesia started to be administered into the IV. This was the worst part of it all… not the actual IV insertion. The medicine DOES burn, I will not lie but I had just enough time to ask the doctor how long will this burn and then I was OUT, I remember NOTHING until I was in the recovery room being awakened by a nurse, I asked how long I had been out and she explained 1/2 hour.

I was in recovery about 15 minutes with VERY SLIGHT cramping, nothing worse than a regular menstrual cramp. They checked my blood pressure twice, asked how I was doing, removed the IV and then led me back to the changing room. After I got dressed, I sat with the nurse a minute as she explained when to take the anti-biotics they provided, one week. She checked my blood pressure again and offered me some Ibuprofin for the cramping (mild). After that, I was led to my husband who was in the waiting room. I felt good enough to have breakfast. I was there from 9AM until 11:15.

WARNING: Be careful for the church crazies in the parking lot. They WILL approach your car and ask if you are going to Women’s Clinic. I asked them “why” and she said they had some brochures to give me. I told them I was not religiious and did not wish to adopt for free as I am not a baby mill…told the woman I would sell it just like the adoption agencies and lawyers usually get the money…as if I adopted, that money should go to me…that shut her up 🙂 Don’t worry, there is a guard out there who keeps them somewhat at bay! Give them some shock value and tell them you will sell the baby for $100,000…and say it with a straight face!

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It’s a shame we’re expected to keep quiet about it

by Anonymous (California)

I’m 25 and I’ve had three abortions. One at 18, one at 20, and one at 22. The first two were the result of a very abusive relationship. The first gave me the courage to realize the situation I was in; sadly it wasn’t until the 2nd that I realized just how bad it was. I left, cleaned up my life, went to college and got a lot done in my life. Then I met a guy who had a daughter the same age my first child would have been. We started doing drugs together (mostly, he would do drugs and I would go over there to take care of his daughter because he wasn’t able to). We hooked up a few times, it was always safe except for one time. I thought I’d already ovulated so I didn’t take the morning after pill. Two weeks later I found out I was pregnant.

I immediately scheduled an abortion for the following week. I went over to his house and laid down on the couch to cry. He got upset and told me it wasn’t worth crying over. He told me he could hardly take care of the kid he had, much less one I would be having. I told him I’d already scheduled the appointment.

He went with me but waited in the car. This time I just got the pills from an abortion clinic and took them at home. Two days later I was back to school and work. Not a huge deal.

I’ve since graduated from college and finally found myself in a healthy, respectful, sober relationship with somebody I would love to have children with eventually. The abortions were the right choices at the right times, and while I don’t think I will ever do it again, I certainly don’t regret any of them. The only thing that makes me sad is that it doesn’t feel socially acceptable to discuss them in public. I look forward to the day when when asked how she’s doing, a woman in line at the grocery store can be accepted for saying “I’m ok, its the anniversary of my abortion, but you know, I’m doing alright”. Abortion is very common, and it’s a shame we’re expected to keep quiet about it.

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Great advice from a friend

by BL (New Zealand)

My partner and I have been together for 5 years, I have a job, I studied part time while working, and it has taken me 10 years and a lot of sweat and hard work to get fully qualified and slowly move my way up the ladder to a senior position. I am 30 years old, yet both my partner and I have decided that we did not want children and at the very least not for a few years yet.

It would be an understatement to say I was shocked to find out I was pregnant, I had been taking the mini pill for 8 years with no problem and my periods were fairly irregular and sometimes non-existent. I had been feeling “off” and really tired for a few weeks, but put that down to stress at work, the house renovation we are doing and the Atkins diet I had started. A stomach bug went round my office at the same time which was consistent and fitted in perfectly as an explanation for my morning sickness. It wasn’t until I was watching a TV programme one night where the actress was describing her symptoms of early pregnancy – tender breasts (I thought I was pre-menstrual) sickness and tiredness. The penny dropped for me and I took a pregnancy test that night. We were both stunned. I was definitely pregnant. A trip to the doctor the next day confirmed it and by that stage I was in the full swing of morning sickness- which is also misnamed as I was felt sick most of every day and even sometimes when I woke up in the middle of the night.

The doctor was very good about it all considering he would have been talking to me as I sat like I had been stunned. He asked what I was going to do and I said I was undecided. He wrote a script for folic acid and told me to take it anyway and said I should come back to see him if I did not want to proceed with the pregnancy or else contact a midwife.

I phoned a really good friend of mine who I knew had had a termination a few years back. She was totally supportive and gave me the best piece of advice ever- start the paperwork and process for the termination anyway. It can take a few weeks and you can always change your mind without any pressure at any time. That way you are keeping your options open and within safe time frames. The other piece of advice was to be very limited and choose carefully who I told in the meantime. She stressed the importance of people I told had to be supportive and not push their views onto me while I was making up my mind.

My partner and I spent the weekend deliberating what we were going to do and came to the conclusion that we were not ready to have a baby. I felt guilty that that was my main reason. I had no drama attached to it, I am not too young, I am not single or in an unstable relationship, financially we could stretch to afford it… but ultimately neither of us wanted to give up our jobs or make the sacrifices needed to bring a child into this world. Adoption was briefly considered, but my partner did not like the idea of a 15 year old approaching him one day asking why we did not want him or her. I did not like the idea and the medical risks of going through a whole pregnancy, holding down my job to then give the baby up.
I went back to the doctor the following week and stated that I did not wish to continue with the pregnancy and the paperwork began. I needed blood tests, a scan to confirm my dates and some swabs. An appointment was also set up with a social worker. I spent the next week juggling work, sickness and appointments. Being a really open person, it was extremely hard not to tell anyone especially at work when I kept disappearing for appointments. My scan showed I was 6 weeks pregnant.

I told 2 of my closest friends, my sister and my mother what was going on. It helped to talk and they were all (apart from my mother) very supportive. The support surprised me as one of my friends is pregnant herself, one is undergoing fertility treatment and my sister has a baby who is 13 months old from an unplanned pregnancy. It was touching that they could be so empathetic when their situations were so different from mine. Mum was a different story, she projected all the doubts I had already had by voicing that I was not a young teenager, that I had a stable job and had “no excuse” for not going through with the pregnancy. She is firmly of the belief that all things happen for a reason. It was hard to deal with, and I am glad I waited until I had made up my mind before telling her. Throughout all of this, my partner has been amazing and I think if anything this has drawn us closer that we have really had to have long involved discussions about thoughts and feelings. Something that usually gets lost in the rush of daily life.

I did a lot of research and stumbled across this website which was really helpful (although I am not sure about the name) I read a lot of pro-life information too- but found most of it really overly emotional, rarely fact based and not rational. No person would actively seek out a termination for fun, but faced with the decision, this is the one my partner and I made and I do not feel like I need to justify this to the world. If you do not believe in abortion- that is fine, don’t have one. But I truly believe it is every woman’s right to choose. I always have believed this, and so has my partner. It was a HUGE help for us both to be able to agree to this decision and be on the same page.

The social work appointment went really well. The social worker was non-judgemental, factual and even managed to fit in some mild humour. I felt totally supported as we discussed options and feelings and she described the process for me over a few hours. I left the appointment with a huge weight off my shoulders that I had decided what I was doing and what was going to happen. I think for the most part the biggest fear I had was for the unknown. Another strange thing that reassured me was that I could take the foetal tissue home with me if I wanted (which I didn’t) otherwise it was cremated and the ashes were scattered on a local public rose garden by a chaplain and a Maori elder with a blessing. I am not sure why but this made me feel a whole lot better.

Being from a rural town in NZ, the only facility for termination is in Wellington – which was quite a drive away. The social worker left a message to say that the appointment had been set up, which was 2 weeks from when I had initially consulted the doctor.

I had my termination yesterday afternoon. My partner and I drove to Wellington and I can say the worst part of the whole thing was arriving in the city early and sitting in a café opposite the hospital and waiting. The unit itself is dedicated specifically for providing terminations; the staff were professional, caring and friendly. I had to take pills to soften my cervix an hour before the procedure. At this point there is no turning back as the medication caused foetal abnormalities. I felt calmer once I had taken it. Knowing I could have backed out at any stage up to that point was reassuring, but taking those pills was actively making the decision. The procedure itself took 10 minutes. I was given opiate based medication which took away all the nerves and anxiety, a local anaesthetic in my cervix and I was awake the whole procedure. A really lovely nurse sat with me and held my hand the whole time and we chatted about everyday things and concentrated on my breathing to ease some of the strong cramps that happened for a few minutes.

I got up off the bed after the procedure and was wheel chaired back to my room where a hot water bottle was waiting. I rested for half an hour and had a hot drink and some paracetomol. I had mild cramping not nearly as bad as usual period pain. Then once the nurse was satisfied that I was not bleeding heavily I was discharged to go home. I kept up the panadol that evening and am spending the day today resting. I feel tired and a little emotional, mostly from the large hormonal swing happening in my body.

I feel a little sad that this has had to happen, but in no way do I regret it. I have learned a lot about myself, my relationship and my values as a person from this and am thankful that I had the opportunity to dictate what happens to my body and access to a safe and legal process.

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