Kayla’s Story

Today is September 30th, 2006, the first day of the rest of my life. My name is Kayla, and the knowledge of freedom and the relief flowing through me opens so many doorways I thought would be closed all thanks to the Hope Clinic For Women in Granite City, IL.

I received the news of my second pregnancy this June, 5 months after my miscarriage. I instantly felt trapped, depressed, and disappointed by my decision to gamble with unsafe sex. I didn’t think there would ever be a way out, and I didn’t even consider abortion because of the father’s joyous attitude towards the pregnancy. He already had two daughters he was rarely home to see between work and school, and the responsibility of their care was largely mine. I was shocked when he agreed to support me in my decision to get an abortion.

After having many conversations with him to assure he would be okay, and much research on the Hope Clinic, I made my appointment for a 2-day D and E. It was the most responsible and loving choice I believe I’ve ever made. I wouldn’t have been able to support that child nearly enough emotionally or financially. I was so young, just barely 18, and I knew I couldn’t let my life be thrown away this quickly. Everyone made mistakes, and this was my second chance at life.

The moment I walked through the doors of the clinic, I felt relieved. The protestors’ signs didn’t bother me as much as I thought they would, and the lies and contradiction they spat out in the name of their lord didn’t convince me they knew more about what was right for me than I did. I filled out some paperwork, got an ultrasound got to sit and smoke a cigarette with my boyfriend and two friends, and then was called back by a counselor. We went alone at first and she made sure this decision was thought out and was purely my own. She gave me a free packet of birth control and prescription for two more months worth, and pamphlets on aftercare. Then she called the friend who would be staying with me that night and my boyfriend and explained of it over to them again.

From there I went to the lab where my finger was pricked for blood work, and paid my payment. About 10 minutes later they called me back to the dressing rooms where I sat with another woman who had gotten one done many years ago and was in for her second. She assured me it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was gong to be. There I sat, unsure of what I was about to endure, and of how I would feel afterwards. I was so afraid the confidence in my decision would start to fade, but it didn’t.

I was called back first to get my dilators inserted. It hurt quite a bit, about as much as a Pap smear did for me, and was out in the next 5 minutes. I felt a bit sick to my stomach and lightheaded, so I rested in the recovery room for a minutes before I got dressed to leave. They gave me a cup of Sprite and my Vicodin and Antibiotic and told me not to eat or drink after midnight. I had mild pain for the rest of the day which was relieved by Tylenol to an uncomfortable feeling that was tolerable. I didn’t spot at all that night, and had no complications.

I was worried my emotions that night would be mixed. That I would feel guilt about being so irresponsible and selfish, but that night I only felt relief. I felt as though I’d made the most loving decision of my life, because I’d taken away all the pain and hurt I may have passed onto that child had I delivered it. Why bring a child into a world that you couldn’t provide for properly? I had spared an innocent being a possibly awful life, and I felt good about myself for that. I was completely confident it was the right decision for me and the unborn child.

The second day I was immediately changed when I arrived. We sat in the recovery room for about half an hour where they gave us Vicodin to help relax .I waited with another girl who was at 23 weeks for the doctor. She was crying, and I tried my best to make her feel a little better. The nurse and all the others in the recovery room were very friendly and talked to us about what we should expect. The other girl was already in tears before they took her back. About 5 minutes later she returned in a wheelchair crying a little about the pain, and they helped sit her in a reclining chair. Her reaction made me a little nervous, but she was farther along than me so I figured it wouldn’t hurt me quite as bad. My body had coped with the dilators better than hers. With all that considered I figured I’d be in less pain.

The casual behavior of the staff made me wonder if it wasn’t less of a big deal than I believed. I figured it couldn’t be that bad of a procedure, as a few were there for the second time and there were so many people in general. I no longer felt alone. My mind was racing with comforting thoughts, and my nervousness had now nearly gone away because of the Valium.

I followed the nurse back into the operating room and the doctor made sure I was dilated enough for the procedure. They gave me an IV and seconds after they put the medicine into me I felt lightheaded. I don’t remember much after that. I heard the clanking of the tools but I don’t remember the sound of the vacuum or how much pain I was in during this. I do remember saying the pain wasn’t as bad as the pain on the first day had been.

The next thing I DO remember is lying in the recliner and being asked to take the tampon the doctor had inserted into me out in the bathroom and lay it on a napkin. I replaced it with a pad and noticed the amount of bleeding was very small. I felt like I was in the recovery room for only a few minutes when they told me I could get dressed and leave. They gave me prescriptions for pain, antibiotics, and a medicine to control my bleeding and contract my uterus and everything else. The contraction medication hurt, but for the rest of that day I was in very little pain. It felt like I was on my period, but with half the pain I usually experienced. Keep in mind my periods are pretty severe. That night I felt so good I went out and partied!

Today I only feel pain when the contractions hit the first 2 hours after I take the medication. The Vicodin and Tylenol don’t really help them, but the pain is not unbearable. It’s nowhere near as bad as I expected, and it’s almost like it never really happened. My temperament has been much better since the procedure began on Thursday, and I’M NOT SORRY I did this.