Kell’s Story

I had my abortion yesterday, at 32 years old. This was my first pregnancy, and was very unexpected. I had decided some years ago that I really didn’t want any kids. I love them, but I like being able to send them back to their parents after a while.

I had met a guy back in December, and we’d gone out on a couple dinner and a movie dates. The very first time we had sex, sure enough, I got pregnant. I’ve always been very cautious, I was on the pill for many years. However, about two years ago I decided to stop taking it, since I was getting older, and I really wasn’t sexually active as I had been in the past. Even when I was on the pill, there was only one time I didn’t insist that my partner wear a condom. This first time with this new guy, I don’t know what my problem was, but I didn’t even suggest he put one on.

We had dinner one time after that night, before I knew I was pregnant. My next cycle time showed up…and I felt like I was going to start at any day, cramps, sore breasts, etc. The only thing that made me even take the test was that I was a week late. I had also been under both family and work stress over the couple of weeks before this, so I attributed that to being late. I thought that I would take a home test, so I could put my mind at ease that it would show up anytime and it was just stress.

I no sooner had the stick on the edge of the sink before was clearly positive. I just stood there staring at it – in shock. I didn’t know what to do – but just cried as hard as I’ve cried in many many years.

I live with my mother and we are very close. By the time she got home from work, I was laying on the bed watching TV. I told her I needed her to go with me the next morning and be “my person” because I wanted a more official test to be certain, and there was a center that offered free testing and support. She was shocked, but agreed. We had a good long discussion. She told me that no matter what I decided, she supported me, as I knew she would.

The next morning, we went to the center, which it turned out even though they advertise as support and information for all, I quickly realized they don’t support abortion. But I got my free test, and talked with the nurse for about 15 minutes before being on my way.

By the next Monday, I had decided that I was going to get the abortion. I did not and have not told the father, as we aren’t even getting together for dinner anymore anyway. I did not feel that three dates allowed him the say in what decision I made with my body. I also know he had some revenge/grudge issues that I had learned of, which also made me leery of discussing it.

Very few people knew that I was pregnant, my Mom, her best friend (a 2nd mother to me). I did tell a male friend, that I had been close to for nearly 4 years. However, I lost that friendship, as he didn’t believe that there was a choice. That friendship ended, at my choice. I had hoped that even if he didn’t agree, that he would still be a friend. I was wrong.

I called the local abortion clinic, and they were very nice on the phone, and when I told them when my last period was, I was told to call back in approximately 2 or 3 weeks since I was so early along. I was late in my 5th week at this point. I was upset, as once I make up my mind I like to do whatever it is I’ve decided. But I waited. I called the next Monday, no harm I figured. And I made my appointment for the following week, which put me at the middle of my 8th week.

I went in on Tuesday for my “counseling” mandated by the state of Indiana. This was just about 15 minutes or so with the doctor and being informed of the three options – keeping the child, adoption and abortion. The doctor was very frank, open, and easy to talk to. I didn’t have any questions. There was another woman in the session with me, who brought her “person” into the session with her. That part I didn’t care for, but again, I didn’t have any questions anyhow.

I went back yesterday, Wednesday, with my Mom for the abortion. We were the first that showed up for that afternoon’s schedule. The women were WONDERFUL, friendly, polite and real. I had my blood work done and went through the other “counseling” which was describing the procedure in detail with the instruments and a poster on the wall. While the tools they use for the dilation made be nervous, I was still determined. I never had any moments where I considered not following though with the abortion. While I knew, I would / could be a good mother, I also knew that I would not be able to provide for the child the way I feel should be. This was the best decision, and right for me, which is all that mattered.

Finally, after quite a bit of waiting, and watching the waiting room fill up, I was called back. I honestly think my Mom was more nervous than I was. I went into the restroom and changed, and placed my things in my basket that travels with me wherever I go from here out. When I was ready, I was lead into the procedure room, and got settled on the table, waiting for things to begin. My nurse turned on the radio, and sat with me while waiting for the Doctor to come in.

When he first came in, he did the ultrasound, which just took a few minutes. He then began the procedure. My nurse held both my hands, and walked me through breathing through the pain of the local anesthetic, and then stayed with me while the Doctor stepped out for the lidocaine to take effect. She told me, that my lips would likely feel numb for a point, which I found almost comical considering where it was injected. The Doctor came back a few moments later, and my nurse held my hands tightly and he began the procedure. She helped me in breathing through the cramps, which I must say, were pretty strong. I don’t know how I didn’t cry out, but I didn’t. I was too busy concentrating on my breathing. Breathe in long and slow through your nose and out slowly through your mouth. I learned when I breathed out well, I could spin the small wind chime type decoration that was hanging above me. So I chose to concentrate on that small decoration. I didn’t feel the hot flash that I was told I would feel at the end, though I’m sure I had it. But I was focused on moving that decoration. All in all, at the most it probably took about 4 or 5 minutes I’m sure, though it felt longer as I was on the table.

I was cleaned up, and the doctor performed another ultrasound, and I was released to recovery. The Doctor stood and held my hand tightly as we talked while my nurse got things taken care of and ready for me in the recovery room. She returned in a few moments, and helped me down the hall to the recliners, and got me settled into my chair and cozy with a blanket. She took my blood pressure, gave me Motrin and Sprite and offered me crackers or snacks. I had pretty strong cramps in recovery, but within about 5 or 10 minutes the Motrin had kicked in and I was feeling much better, just shaky. After I was starting to feel better, the next girl was brought into recovery and settled in the chair beside mine.

The nurses then were in and out, but we weren’t on own for more than a minute at any time. She asked if I wanted my Mom to come back, and I said that was fine, I knew she would feel better even if she could just see me for a moment. I was allowed to leave then, maybe 10 minutes or so after my Mom came back to recovery with me, a total time in recovery was probably about 30 minutes. My vitals had gotten back to normal and while I was sore, I felt fine.

We were there for almost all afternoon, and the waiting room was still full when we left. Everyone at the clinic was amazing, and I’m thankful that we have such a clinic here in this town. I feel like I should send everyone a thank you note, for being so wonderful to me. I think I learned more from my nurse in the recovery area about fertility etc than I ever did in school. Even my Mom learned!

I also learned more about my birth control pills (which I am getting back on this weekend!) I knew that antibiotics interfered with the pill; however, I did NOT know that my stomach medication did. I learned that ANY acid reducer affects the pill – whether it’s Zantac, Prilosec, Pepto-Bismol, ALL of that type of stuff. I consider myself lucky that I didn’t find myself pregnant before now, since I take those types of meds often, if not daily, for many years now!

I have my follow-up appointment in two weeks, and plan to discuss any other options for birth control, due to how often I use medications that can affect them. I am already considering talking about having my tubes done. I know many doctors don’t like to do that for younger women, or women who haven’t had children yet. But no harm in having the discussion.

I was lucky, in all of these trips back and forth, only one time did I encounter the protestors. When my Mom and I went in, there were two ladies at the end of the driveway, since they cannot be on the clinic property. They hollered about wanting only a minute of time, but we ignored them and were quickly inside. Turns out they really didn’t truly believe in their cause, since once it started snowing harder and getting colder, they vanished. Must have been fair-weather protestors. I just found that a bit funny – they have such believe in their “cause” but a bit of cold and snow and they run off.

I have always supported our right to choose. I wasn’t ever sure that I would be able to go through with an abortion personally, but I wanted that option. It’s always been my opinion that if a woman can live at peace with the decision she makes, that’s all that matters. Then I found myself in the situation that so many of us find ourselves in, and learned how strong I really am. I am not sorry I had this abortion. It is the right decision for me, and that is the only thing that matters in the end.