Erika’s Story

Today is Sunday and I had a surgical abortion (without sedation) on Friday at 5-weeks. Before the abortion, I was really curious about how it would feel so I’m going to briefly share my experience during and after the procedure with the girls and women out there who want to have another idea of what to expect. But first of all, I’m single, 23 years old, and a recent college graduate. I’ve been taking the pill for years, but recently I’d gotten really busy trying to find a decent job and forgot to take them for a few days at a time. I remember not thinking anything of my carelessness then because every other time I missed one or two I didn’t get pregnant; but you can only get lucky so many times. I actually found out I was pregnant early (at about 2 or 3 weeks) because I’d had some unusual spotting and ironically took a home test to rule out the possibility of a pregnancy. When it turned out to be positive, I knew in that moment (and actually for a long time before) that I wasn’t going to be able to have a child at this stage in my life. I was still looking for a job and could barely afford to support myself.

A friend and I went to an abortion clinic the next day but we found out that I was too early into the pregnancy and had to wait a few weeks before the procedure could be done. Some might think that it was the hardest two weeks of my life but, while I must admit of course I did have a few thoughts in all of those days about keeping the baby, I knew that I was not ready financially or emotionally to bring another human being into this world. I’ve known the father for years (we dated a few years ago but ended up becoming really good friends and still are), and we knew there was absolutely no way either of us would be able to support a child and knew in our hearts what was best.

As for the actual procedure, I was totally conscious and scared at first because pretty much everyone is afraid of the unknown, but I kept thinking to myself that having a baby would be much more terrifying at this time in my life on so many levels. Before they called me into the procedure room, I was given a large dose of ibuprofen to help offset the cramps that were inevitably coming. When they called me in, the doctor numbed my cervix with 3 shots, which felt similar to the ones given at the dentist, and once he began it seemed like he almost immediately told me he was more than halfway done. I felt cramping and maybe less than a minute later he was finished. The whole process took less than 2 minutes and 2 women were on either side of me before, during, and after, holding my hands and reassuring me that I would be okay. He did another ultrasound to see if everything was okay and I was wheeled into the recovery room. They asked me to eat graham crackers and drink some juice or soda while I reclined with a heating pad on my stomach for about 30 minutes and they checked me for bleeding a few times. I barely bled that day and have not at all since but I’m still cramping and it’s been pretty uncomfortable but bearable. I was given a bag of antibiotics, after-care instructions and birth control (which I will be more careful with), and I went home.

I can sit here and tell you honestly, after having gone through it just days ago, that my feeling has been utter relief that I’m not going to have to struggle to try to raise a child by myself at a time when I’m searching for a career and just barely making my rent while trying to stay afloat on my own. With that said, I don’t feel selfish at all. I feel completely unselfish because the child was not going to grow up with the great life that it deserved. When I think about it, this abortion has made me feel more optimistic about the future because I know that I have so much more living and preparing to do as a person before I can raise a child and I look forward to doing so. To those who are against abortion, I do not hate children and I would like to have some one day. But when I’m ready. I don’t regret my decision at all.