Sep 052010

I had a medical abortion at 25. I had just started dating a long-term friend of mine. While we used condoms, we slipped up at one point, the weekend before he deployed for four months. I used Plan B the next day, and assumed that everything would be ok. Unfortunately, a few weeks later I realized that my period was late. A pregnancy test confirmed what I was afraid of.

I have always been staunchly pro-choice, but had never expected to actually have an abortion! I looked at my situation, and decided that there was no way I could handle having a kid, or even completing a pregnancy. I work 50+ hours a week, I’m in graduate school, and couldn’t imagine dealing with all of that at once, especially when my boyfriend would be at sea for 3-6 months at a time. I think the worst part was that I couldn’t contact him about it. We could send email back and forth, but messages were censored by someone else on the boat, and I knew from other things he had said that private information made its way around the crew on a regular basis.

I called a couple different clinics, and found that I was actually a little early to have an abortion – I needed to wait two weeks. I opted for a medical abortion because blood doesn’t bother me, but the thought of surgery does, and I didn’t need to take a driver with me for a medical abortion. I kept hoping like crazy to miscarry during those two weeks.

I was very nervous as I went into the clinic alone. There were protestors outside, but I just walked quickly and didn’t make eye contact. Inside the clinic was drab, and everyone seemed really nervous and spoke in whispers. On the other hand, the staff was wonderfully kind. They gave me my first dose, and then pills to take 48 hours later. At that point, I went home and waited. I was a giant bundle of nerves. I was afraid of the abortion process, but also of how I would feel afterward. I was terrified that I would regret having an abortion, even though it was the only choice that made sense for me at the time.

I took the second dose of pills at the prescribed time, and waited. And…it wasn’t that bad. Some minor cramping, but nothing too painful. Lots of blood and clots. I went back to work the next day with no problems, though I bled for about 5 weeks. I had a follow-up appointment four weeks later and was told that everything had worked perfectly. When I walked out of the clinic after the second appointment, I felt so relieved, like I had just dodged a bullet. The only bad part left was telling my boyfriend about it when he came home, but he agreed I had made the right decision.

I’ve had no regrets, no tears, and no depression. I know I would have been angry and resentful over having a child right now, and I’m so glad that I’m able to have kids when I want and am ready for them. I’m doing well at work and in school. My relationship with my boyfriend (almost a year later) is stronger for having dealt with this. My physical health is excellent. While I plan to do everything I can to avoid having another abortion, I’m not sorry about the one I had.

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