Sep 052010

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I had my first abortion yesterday, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I’m 26 years old, have a great job that is finally forming into a real career and I’m in a loving relationship of three years with a man who is truly my best friend. And I am not ready for a child.

I arrived at the clinic and was gratified to find only a few protesters outside. As I strode purposefully into the building, one of them yelled something at me that I didn’t hear and I shared a smile with one of the other patients in the waiting room when I muttered something right back at the protester.

The worst part about the experience was waiting. All told, the whole thing took six hours even though the procedure was less than five. The reason was apparent as patients waited quietly and talked about how far they had to travel to find a trusted clinic like Planned Parenthood. I had also been to this clinic for regular gynecological checkups in the past, so I knew that the staff was filled with competent and compassionate people who truly care about women’s health — on every occasion they take all the time you need to answer every question or sometimes just to hug you and generally make you feel comfortable, no matter the reason for your visit.

When I was called back to do my lab work, I was amazed at how painlessly the nurse drew my blood. Had I not been watching her, I wouldn’t have even known she had inserted a needle. This pretty much set the tone for how painful the experience would be. The doctor was incredibly gentle and very efficient. I was told the procedure would take ten minutes or less, but it was actually less than five. I’ve had regular checkups that were more painful than that — lucky me, though I think that mostly just depends on the woman and how sensitive she is to pain or discomfort. Immediately afterwards, I had some pretty bad cramping but I was ushered into the recovery room where I was given soft blankets, a cushy chair, juice and cookies and a heating pad that took the cramps away in record time.

I’ve had little to no bleeding and the hardest part about the whole thing has been dealing with other people projecting how THEY feel about abortion on to me, insisting that I’ll feel pain (both emotional and physical) and that I’ll regret it simply because they do. Well, I don’t. I feel relief and I feel gratified that I have the ability to choose what happens to my own body. I wish more women would talk openly about their abortions, which is why I’ve been telling many friends about mine, and I think most people would be amazed at how many women have had them. There should be no stigma about a woman who decides not to add more unwanted children to a world that’s already packed with them. I was so happy to be directed to this site. It seems ridiculous that if I’m not weepy of regretful, that somehow makes me a monster. I’m happy, have a sense of peace and am no longer nauseous. Overall it was a very positive experience and a complete relief. Of course I’m not sorry.

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