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The date I got my abortion. I was 7 weeks and 5 days when I had my procedure. Two days before I had my ultrasound. I heard the heartbeat and looked at the screen but neither made me doubt my decision.
I got to the Planned Parenthood in Austin, TX at 8 am. I filled out paperwork in the waiting room and then waited about an hour. Then I was taken to get blood work and such done which never bothers me any. Then we went over even more paperwork about the procedure, the risks (which do not include breast cancer or infertility because those are myths pro lifers came up with) and they covered info on birth control (I settled for the pill because it’s free and the procedure cost $420). Then they took me to the recovery room where I visited with the doctor who would perform the abortion (same doc that did my ultrasound). She was extremely sweet and understanding and really made me feel less nervous. We decided to go with moderate sedation which included an anti-anxiety med and pain med.
After visiting with her I was given a bag of socks, a gown and a blanket, and put into the patient waiting room where I watched a shitty soap for about another hour. Then I was called back into the recovery room where I changed into my gown and socks and they put in my IV.
Finally, my doctor came in and escorted me to the back of the building into the surgical suit. The nurse I had seen my first day there gave me my medications through my IV and I instantly stopped shaking and my nervousness was gone. I barely felt anything when my cervix was being dialated. Mostly just pressure and then a weird suction sensation. After about 5 minutes I was done and back in the recovery room. I sat there for a bit while they took out my IV and got all my things together. They checked my bleeding twice and then I was told I can go.
It was seriously that simple and that short of a procedure. I never really felt pregnant to begin with so I didn’t feel any different afterwards. Even when I think about it now I don’t feel any different than before. I don’t feel any regret or remorse. I feel very relieved and stress free and now my family and I can get back on track.
My abortion was a good decision and I am not ashamed of it. I would also like to thank Planned Parenthood for being so amazingly informative, understanding, and supportive. I have never in my life felt at ease in any clinic or hospital except for at a Planned Parenthood clinic. Thank you for being awesome(:
Thank you for sharing your story and being so open about your experience!
I originally posted this on natural-bedlam. I’ve edited it - minor things, since I wrote it the day of my abortion - and decided to repost it here for anyone who needs it.
I had an abortion in the summer of 2013. I thought I was nine weeks, but I was twelve. I originally intended to get the pill, but instead had to opt for the in-clinic suction abortion. (Later, I realized this was good; the pill basically induces miscarriage and is pretty darn painful from what I’ve read.)
I was frightened. I didn’t like the thought of such invasive techniques. However, I knew I had to get it done.
Now, to the abortion. After finding out I was too far for the pill, I decided to stay for the in-clinic procedure. I had no one to drive me home, so I wasn’t allowed pain medication that made me drowsy. They still gave me a shot in the hip, that would help with cramps from dilation, and an antibiotic, as a precaution.
Once in the procedure room, I had a nurse by my side the whole time. She was marvelous. She told me what was going to happen and confirmed that there would be intense cramping during dilation, but she had a hand to offer if I needed it. As soon as the doctor came in, he shook my hand and smiled and told me he’d try to make it quick and as painless as possible.
After that, he began to prepare. He did a pelvic exam on me then injected a shot into my cervix to numb it. Then he used dilators - which are metal rods of varying thickness - to open my cervix. This part caused the most discomfort, but it wasn’t unbearable; I clung to my nurse’s hand and she wiped my tears away. It felt like severe menstrual cramps. I focused on breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. When he inserted the suction to clean out my uterus, it was again uncomfortable, in the sense it felt weird, but not unbearable. I knew it’d be over soon, so I just focused on breathing while my nurse spoke reassuringly to me.
Now, I’ve gone through labor without an epidural - though I was given a relaxant - and I didn’t scream out. The dilation did make me cry out, because it is uncomfortable; they’re more intense than period cramps, but they are only a couple minutes out of a five minute procedure. It didn’t hurt and I’m not dead.
Again, I wasn’t able to get any pain medication that could make me drowsy since I was alone and driving myself home. If you are considering abortion and you’re afraid of pain, I urge you to make plans to have someone go with you. It’s good moral support and you’ll be allowed better pain medication, since you’ll have someone to drive you home.
Afterward, my nurse helped me put my underwear and pants on and took me to the recovery area. She gave me a heating pad and placed a blanket over me. I was given crackers to eat, my pain medication to take home, and the contraception I asked for. I was in recovery for thirty minutes, after which I reported how much bleeding I had and had one last blood pressure test, before being told that I could go home.
They gave me a 24/7 number, in case of complications, along with a paper on what is normal and what would be worrisome.
The entire time, everyone smiled and was friendly. They genuinely made me feel cared for.
I didn’t realize how much they helped until I got out to my car and began crying. I wasn’t sad or feeling regret. I was and am stunned. I was shocked. Everyone in that Planned Parenthood had so much compassion, so much kindness. None of them needed to know why I was there, just that I was there and they were going to help, whatever way I needed.
You never realize how badly you need a hand, sometimes, until a stranger offers theirs for your comfort.
Now that I’m seven months later, I’d like to add that I’ve never felt regret for my abortion. I have felt sad, but that’s not the same as regret. It was a sad choice for me to make, but it was necessary and it was the best option.
That said, if you have any questions, have comments, or if you need some support, my inbox is always open. (Anon is on, too.)
Thank you for writing this! I hope it can help someone else feel a little less scared.
"I’m pro-choice, but I would never have an abortion" is not a supportive or even realistic statement. Nearly one in three women and people who can get pregnant will have an abortion in their lifetime. Think about why you are distancing yourself from them, and what effect that has on the culture of silence and stigma.
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