Paula’s Story

I am 24 years old and have very recently had a medical abortion at 7 weeks 4 days pregnant.

I was married for three years and have a four year old daughter with my estranged husband. We separated in the summer of 2009 and about five months after the separation I began to see a new guy. Things were going well; we had a lot in common and had a lot of fun together. About 2 months into us dating I began to feel the signs of pregnancy again (morning sickness, cramping, tenderness in my breasts) I was nervous but took a pregnancy test, with him there, and the plus sign came through clear almost immediately. I began to cry and he was supportive. He told me he was excited and couldn’t wait to have another baby (he has a few from different relationships in the past) I calmed down and even came to terms with my unexpected pregnancy. I still was secretly going back and forth in my head about actually keeping the baby though. About a week and a half after we found out, my boyfriend and I were sitting on my couch and he looked over at me and said “wouldn’t it suck if it’s a girl?” I was speechless, honestly had no idea what to say to that. After he left that evening I immediately searched for abortion clinics and found one about two hours from my home I called and made an appointment the very next day.

I wasn’t actually able to get in for the procedure for another two weeks and not having any prenatal care I had an idea of the gestational age of my fetus but I wasn’t certain. The drive down to the clinic was hell. I didn’t include my boyfriend in my choice so I took a close girlfriend of mine. We left at five o’clock in the morning and drove in severe thunderstorms the whole way. I remember thinking at one point while I was trying to keep time driving in zero visibility rain that this must be ‘gods’ way of trying to stop me from going through with my plan. I had to repeatedly shake that thought from my head.

When I finally arrived the rain cleared, but lucky for me that morning’s bad weather kept the protesters from coming out. I had to be buzzed in and once I was inside I saw how full the lobby was. There were girls and women everywhere, some very young. I filled out my paperwork and about 10 minutes later I was called back with about four other girls into a separate waiting area. Because I was unsure of how far along I was I was given information about the surgical procedure and sat and read it until I was called back for my sonogram. The nurse had me take off my pants and underwear and lay on a table with my legs in stirrups and she did an external exam. It took about 30 seconds and all she said was “so you’re doing a medical procedure today” I asked how far along I was and she replied “looks about 7 weeks. And you actually have very little tissue in there” I got dressed again and went back out into the private waiting area. Secretly I was so relieved, I didn’t want to have to go under anesthetic and have a surgical abortion and the abortion pill was something I thought I could handle much better.

I was shuffled back and forth between different waiting areas and nurses. Some took my blood while others got blood pressure and medical history. Finally about three hours later I was called back with one other girl into a small room next to where the surgical patients came for recovery and a nurse explained to us all of the guidelines of the abortion pill procedures. She gave us all of the medication we would need to complete the abortion at home on our own, then told us the doctor would be in shortly to administer the first and only oral pill we would be taking. He came out from performing an abortion sat down across the table and basically read from a script. I can’t really remember what he said as I was off in my own world lost in thought about what I was about to do. They handed me and the other girl a Dixie cup with one single pill in it and another cup with a swallow of water, I almost wanted to cheers the other girl, but given the situation thought it might be inappropriate. I took the pill and the doctor stood up and said “good luck ladies” and walked out. On the ride home I was in good spirits. I remember seeing the girls in the recovery room after the surgical procedures and thought “wow, I’m glad I’m not them right now” the ride home was much calmer then the trip down and I was very pleased thinking a few more hours and my ordeal would be over.

Six hours past and the first pill had done its job (stopping the body from making progesterone which in turn caused the fetus to detach from my uterus). I then had to lay on my bed and insert four small pills into my vagina and wait for the cramps and bleeding. It only took about 45 minutes and when it started and came hard and fast. This is when I started rethinking my choice for medical over surgical. It was like going through labor all over; I spent a good amount of the next five hours on the toilet or in the shower. At the point I thought I could take no more, I felt my body shudder and something plop into the toilet. I knew it was not a clot, it was something different. I had to confirm the passing of the pregnancy so I looked down and sure enough, just like it was from a picture in a pregnancy book there was the fetus. No longer then the tip of my pinky, lying under the water in the toilet bowl. My body became still and the cramps started to slow. I made my way back to my couch and took a Tylenol P.M. and slept for a few hours.

I went through this on my own by choice. I was glad that I had that option instead of lying on a cold hard hospital bed with tools and anesthetic. The pain was horrid but it passed and it was nothing that I couldn’t handle. I was faced with something I couldn’t handle and that was an unwanted pregnancy. It’s only been four days since my abortion and I’m getting back to normal quickly. Emotionally and physically I feel better everyday. I’m so thankful for everyone at the clinic and living somewhere that I had and still have the choice. I had a medical abortion and I’m not sorry.