Ava’s Story


‘m 23 years old, and I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost 3 years. I’m a typical college student with no money and little time. I had my abortion a little over 2 weeks ago. My story is a lot like the other women who have posted their stories, but I wanted to share mine particularly with anyone who is very nervous, anxious or scared about the actual procedure.

I found out I was pregnant like many other women do; I missed my period and started to feel… not so myself. So, I had my boyfriend buy me a home pregnancy test and just 30 seconds after taking it, watched those dreaded lines start to appear. I burst into tears. I knew I wasn’t emotionally, financially or even physically ready to be responsible for a child. Not now, not anytime soon… and neither was he.

I was in denial and convinced myself the test must have been false, so the very next day my boyfriend and I went to Planned Parenthood to take another test. We sat in a room waiting for the results. When the girl walked in, she sat down and told me what deep down I already knew, it was positive. I was approximately 4 weeks, 5 days pregnant… and again, I burst into tears. I can’t express how terrified I was knowing something was growing inside of me and now, the decision I had to make. She told me, “You’re very early, so you have time to decide”. I hoped that I would never be in the position to have to make the decision, but it happened.

We left the clinic with all kinds of handouts and fact sheets on both the medication and surgical abortion procedures. It was hard to focus on much of anything else from that point on. I can’t express how scared I was of what I had to do. I started waking up in the middle of the night with panic attacks. Then the morning sickness kicked in, and I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy! I finally felt like my feelings were getting WAY out of control (which obviously can often happen in pregnancy…), so I made an appointment with a counselor to talk about the situation. It was a big step, because at this point only my boyfriend knew, and I really felt like if I told anyone I would be judged and criticized. I wasn’t… I was commended for deciding to make such a responsible decision and knowing myself enough to recognize that it was the best choice for myself. I would recommend a counselor to anyone going through this — it REALLY helps. Afterwards, I finally told my parents, and they were very, very supportive of whatever decision I wanted to make.

So like I said, I knew what I needed to do. That didn’t make it any easier to make the appointment. I have a very low pain tolerance, so I was terrified of the procedure itself and how bad it would hurt. I read everything I could find on how abortions are performed, including this site reading other women’s’ stories, which was a HUGE help. After 3 weeks, and reading everything I could find, I finally decided on the surgical procedure. I just personally felt more comfortable being in a clinic with a doctor. Luckily, my insurance covered the abortion and gave me a referral to a local women’s clinic. I decided to talk to a decision counselor at the clinic and make sure I was comfortable with the facility before I actually made the appointment. My boyfriend took the next week off work so he could go with me to this appointment, and also be there for the procedure.

When we got there, it wasn’t like any clinic I’d ever been to, it was warm and comfortable. All the employees there were women, and they were all so compassionate, supportive and non-judgmental. A majority of the women who worked there had abortions themselves at this same facility and were very open to talk about their experiences. While talking with a counselor, she explained the procedure to me in detail… since I was so early in my pregnancy, I was told the doctor would do a MVA, which is a Manual Vacuum Aspiration. While it was still such a scary thought, I was 7 weeks pregnant by then and knew I had to do it. So I went to make my appointment, and they had one for 10:00 am the very next day. So I took it.

I barely slept at all that night, and I must have woke my boyfriend up at least 10 times. We got up around 8:30, got ready, and left. I opted for the IV sedation, so I wasn’t allowed to eat 7 hours prior to my appointment, or drink anything 1 hour prior. It was hell because of the morning sickness, but I was less nervous than I thought I would be considering the last few weeks I’d had, but relieved it would be over soon. We got in the car around 9:30 and got about 3 miles when the car died.. which it has never done before! By the time we got to a phone, I was 15 minutes late for my appointment. They asked if I could come back at 3:00, and I said yes. Thank God we had another car. I still couldn’t eat anything… but they let me drink peppermint tea, which helped the nausea a little.

So we left in another car around 2:15, got there at 2:45, checked in and sat down. I was told there could be protesters, but there weren’t any that day. The waiting room was packed full of women and a few men. Most of the women looked very at ease, like it was just an every day thing. I was terrified, but being around the other women helped me stay calm, in a way. I watched girls come out of the recovery room looking fine and smiling, walking out of the clinic like nothing happened. That put me at ease, too. If they were so calm afterwards, I thought ok, it’s going to be fine. I just tried not to think about it for as long as I could.

An hour passed, and then they called my name. My boyfriend was allowed to come with me through a pelvic exam, a sonogram (the vaginal ultrasound that confirmed I was 7 weeks), to get my blood taken, and finally to speak again with a decision counselor to talk about any concerns, sign some consent and release forms authorizing the doctor to perform the procedure and signing a waiver that I knew the risks. I burst into tears because I couldn’t ignore being so scared and anxious anymore. I was scared to death and didn’t know if I could go through with it.

When we left the counselor’s office, they told me it wouldn’t be too long until I was called back for the procedure, but there were still other women waiting.

We waited 3 hours after that watching all the girls go in one by one and eventually it was just my boyfriend and I in the waiting room alone. The waiting is what was so hard, it just gave me too much time to think about how scared I was. We went to walk outside for a little bit, came back in, went back outside. It was a miserable 3 hours of waiting and thinking and panicking. By this time, it was past 6:00. I was hungry, I was thirsty, I was nauseous, I was having a breakdown and didn’t think I could do it. I kept telling my boyfriend I just wanted it to go away and I wanted to go home, but I knew I had to stay. A counselor came out and saw I was crying and tried to talk to me a little bit. She told me it was ok to cry, that it helps and that I would be ok. I was crying because I didn’t know what to expect. I was terrified. She calmed me down, but about 2 minutes later, she came back out and told me they wanted me to go in… at which point I burst into tears again. I felt hysterical and my poor boyfriend was doing everything he could to try to help calm me down. He hugged me and finally went back.

When we got into the procedure room, I was asked to take everything off from the waist down and that’s when I got really hysterical. I told the nurse I didn’t know if I could go through with it and that I was really scared. She told me the procedure is very quick, and that since I was having the IV sedation it would take the edge off and help minimize any cramping I might have. She made sure it was just the procedure I was upset about and not the actual decision. I told her I was completely sure it was the right decision. It WAS the right decision, and re-affirming that in my head calmed me down immensely. I just knew it would be over soon and I could go back to normal.

So I laid back on the table, and the doctor came in. She put my mind at ease a little bit more by telling me that it didn’t last long at all, and that most people are finished and don’t realize that’s all there was to it. All together, there were 3 women in the room with me. The doctor, the doctor’s assistant and the IV nurse who was holding my hand. The nurse put my IV in, I closed my eyes and tried to be as calm and relaxed as I could. The rest is very blurry because the IV sedation kicked it and it really worked THAT well. it was great and I highly recommend it!! But here’s what I do remember. The doctor gave me 3 shots in my cervix and I only felt one of them.. and I barely felt it at all. Then she dilated my cervix, which was a little bit painful but nothing more than what I would compare to a VERY mild period cramp. After that was the suction.. and at the very end I remember them saying “You may feel cramping..” and I did. It was painful, it felt like bad period cramping, but the whole procedure literally felt like it only lasted seconds and it was over. I couldn’t believe that I had been agonizing for 3 weeks over something that was so quick and relatively easy. As soon as they took my IV out, I felt a little loopy, and the nurse helped me in to the recovery room which was a cozy little room with big comfy reclining chairs and heating pads. They gave me saltine crackers and some water. Immediately after sitting in the recovery room, I felt completely fine and I was so happy it was over… my nausea was even gone!

After they made sure I was ok, they gave me after care instructions, antibiotics, a prescription for Vicodin and they let me go home. My poor boyfriend looked so happy to see me when I came out and I think surprised I was smiling. We left right afterwards to fill the prescriptions, and we had dinner at Subway. I did have some cramping that night, but nothing bad at all.. I just laid in bed and took it easy. Heating pads help a lot! By the next day, I felt fine and only had some occasional cramping.. just like a normal period. The bleeding was very minimal for me and stopped within the first week.

I am definitely NOT SORRY! I’m so relieved and so happy it’s over. All women should be allowed to choose what is best for THEM and I feel so fortunate to live in a country where we can make those decisions. To all you anti-choice people out there, you have no say in what I choose for my life or my body. Butt out.