Sep 032010

I had my first abortion this afternoon. I am 29, and had never been pregnant or had an abortion before. My grandmother died last month, and I was sad and drunk and had unprotected sex with my boyfriend one night. I should also mention that I’d taken a course of antibiotics for an infection, and several other prescription drugs for illnesses that month, all of which had extreme warnings not to take them if you are or might become pregnant.

I was 3 and a half weeks pregnant when I woke up nauseated. I thought for a minute I was hung over, then realized I’d had nothing to drink the night before. Uh-oh. I got a pregnancy test that day and was floored when it came up positive. How could this happen to me? I was almost 30! I felt really stupid and could not believe I had let this happen. I thought about keeping the baby, but after investigating the effects of the prescription drugs I’d taken (probable severe birth defects), I decided to have an abortion. After doing research, I decided to opt for the medical, rather than surgical, abortion. I took the first pill Friday, and had everything lined up at home for a “comfortable” day of cramping and passing tissue on Sunday: heating pad, movies, bland foods, a best friend who’s training as a doula, etc. When Sunday came and it was time to insert the second pills, however, I found I could not stop throwing up. Either my morning sickness had escalated severely, or I was having a reaction to the Mifeprex, but I could not keep even water down. I was too scared to insert the second pills that caused cramping without any pain meds, and I couldn’t keep anything down, so I called the clinic and asked for advice. They prescribed anti-nausea meds and scheduled me for a surgical abortion instead.

The first dose of the medical abortion pills basically terminates the pregnancy (the second course of pills contracts the uterus to expel it), so I don’t think that I had the emotional impact of ending the pregnancy when I went in this morning for the surgical procedure; it was like they were removing dead tissue from me instead of a viable pregnancy. I think I was lucky that way. I have more than 5 friends who had had the surgical procedure, and none of them talked about the pain. I realize now that most of them were either knocked out or had an IV drip so they were in a twilight state, while I just had ibuprofen and a local anesthetic on my cervix, so our experiences were probably very different.

I was unprepared for the pain, and, if there’s anything I wish had been different (besides not getting pregnant- duh), it would have been for someone to really brief me on how badly it was going to hurt. They just told me I’d “feel some cramping.” It felt nothing like cramping to me, and was a really severe, almost intolerable feeling. I felt like I really should have had more meds. On the up side, it was over really quickly. I did cramp a lot right afterward, but that went away within half an hour. It’s now twelve hours later, and I have no cramping, very little bleeding, and I feel fine. I think the surgical procedure was great in that it was over really quickly, and you know you’re not pregnant anymore (my nausea went away so quickly!). I would say to anyone that is going to have a surgical abortion, though, get as much pain reliever in you as the doctor will allow, and be prepared for an insane amount of pain for a short period of time. That way, if it doesn’t hurt that bad, it’ll be a pleasant surprise instead of a horrible one.

I don’t feel bad or sorry at all about my decision. I do feel wistful and sad that the timing was not right for this baby, but I’m incredibly glad that I was not forced to bring a baby with probable birth defects into the world, especially at a time in my life when I’m not very well suited to care for it.

This site was instrumental in helping me to choose the medical abortion over the surgical (even though that didn’t work out. lol), because I had no one to talk to who had experienced the medical one. It was really helpful to read women’s personal experiences with it, and know what to expect besides the really general list of things on the informational pamphlet.

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