Sep 052010

Before I even had the chance to put the stick down, the two lines appeared. It must have taken no more than three seconds for the pregnancy test to come up positive. There was never any other option, never any doubt in my mind. I knew from the first second that I would have an abortion. I was 18, in college, and far away from home (thus, far away from the father as well.) I was scared, and alone. I didn’t sleep at all that night. I stayed up until 9 am, when Planned Parenthood opened, and call them to schedule an appointment. I was too early along at that time (approximately 3-4 weeks), so I had to wait another 3 weeks to have the abortion.

During these three weeks I encountered dozens of pro-life sites with stories of women who’ve had abortions. Their job was done: these stories terrified me. I read stories of how painful, bloody and worst of all, dangerous abortion was. They described the experience as “torture.” I wasn’t scared as to how I would feel afterwards-I had no doubts. I was scared of the actual abortion. I already have a fear of surgery and do not tolerate any kind of pain so this just added on to my fears. On these sites I came across pictures of butchered babies. Saying I was scared would be a huge understatement. The night before I talked to a few of my best friends from home and cried on the phone to them. I was terrified something was going to go wrong. I even went so far as to saying goodbye to them in case something bad happened.

I went into my appointment at 9 am. I didn;t get much sleep the night before, so I was extremely tired. I got to the clinic and had to fill out papers. After that was finished I was in the waiting room and was called in for the first time. The doctor just said she had to give me a finger prick to see if I was Rh negative. She pricked my finger and I thought “ouch!” Then I thought, “okay, if I can’t deal with a tiny finger prick, how can I go through with an abortion!?” Back to the waiting room. It was silent. People tried not to even look at each other. I was called in again to get an ultrasound done. “7 weeks,” she said. I already knew that. I knew the exact night I got pregnant, and despite using protection, it happened. Okay back to the abortion. I was put back in the waiting room. A counselor called me in to talk to her. It was basically just routine questions like “Are you sure you want to do this?”, etc. Then we discussed birth control. I forgot to mention that I decided to get the “twilight” sedation. I was brought straight from the counseling to the recovery room, where I was to be given the IV sedation and then be brought in. I was so absolutely terrified. I had to remind myself to breathe. Myself and three other girls opted to get the sedation, so we were brought to the room together. We had to wait in there for a little while and we all started talking. I was the youngest; one of the women there was 51. All three were very nice, two had had abortions before and told me I had nothing to worry about and to calm down. A woman there stuck needles in our veins and closed it off so that once we got in the room the doctor would put in the actual anesthetic. I started to cry. I was the first to be called in. I took a deep breath, told myself that it will be okay, and walked in. The doctor was very nice. The nurse in there held my hand. He put in injection in my arm and immediately I felt it. It was a similar feeling to feeling when you’re very drunk. The doctor was asking me questions and I was so out of it but remember trying to answer. I dont remember feeling much except for a little pressure. I didn’t even know they had started. Then I remember the doctor saying “Great job, it’s over.” I thought, “What?!” I mean I remember feeling it, but my mind was in the clouds so I couldn’t focus on pain. I barely felt a thing! I couldn’t walk, still being on the sedation, so the nurse helped me into the recovery room. They gave me ginger ale but I couldn’t keep it down and went to the bathroom and threw up. After throwing up I felt much better. Left in about 40 minutes. Overall, I was there for about 4 and a half hours. I was petrified over nothing. To anyone who is considering abortion: it is not nearly as bad as you expect and are told by society. If I had to I would do it over again. I would recommend the “twilight sedation” to anyone who is really scared. Also, Planned Parenthood took very good care of me and I recommend going to one of their clinics. I immediately felt a sense of relief and am now so happy that we live in a society where women are allowed to choose.

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