9:11 pm - 07/29/2011

my experience with surgical abortion

Hi everyone,
I recently posted with concerns about a surgical abortion and I wanted to thank everyone for being supportive. This really was a major milestone in my life and a big, mature decision I had to make and I really don’t want to have to go through this ever again. I definitely plan on being as careful and cautious as possible when I become sexually active again. I got my abortion performed today and I wanted to share my story so anyone looking to read personal stories can see it.

I was scheduled for 12:30 pm and got brought to the clinic by a friend who stayed the entire time waiting for me. When we got there, there were 4-5 olden men who were protesting abortion outside with really graphic signs of fake bloody fetuses and when we got out of the car were shouting at us that they could help us and that my baby loved me. It made me feel uncomfortable but luckily it was a short walk to the door. I couldn’t help but notice that all the protesters were men. The website for the clinic said they have protesters every day and for some reason I imagined in my head some small, right-wing, Christian women standing outside trying to talk you out of an abortion but it was all older men. Curious.
When we walked in I was very surprised by the amount of women and people there, there were at least 3 other women in the waiting room in front of me and a few behind me. Some of them brought their boyfriends with them while other ones were alone. Almost every woman there for an abortion was Hispanic/Latina, including myself. I live in New Mexico so this isn’t some surprising occurrence but I wonder if there’s a statistic out there that shows the spread of abortions in terms of ethnicity/race.
When I was called back for the first time I was given an ultrasound by a really sweet older tech, she was chatting me up and I was extremely tense and she tries to make sure I was ok. I think this was the worst part because I had a flashback to my first ultrasound experience where I felt so shamed, scared, upset etc where I was forced to view my baby and forced to hear the heartbeat. I was really hoping I didn’t have to do this again and I was right, they didn’t make me look at anything. They drew blood, probably to make sure I wasn’t anemic, and left the little plastic thing in my arm and showed me back out to the waiting room, paying my $425 fee at that time.
Every time I was in the waiting room I probably was out there for maybe 40 minutes in between getting seen. My friend and I played phone games and made fun of celebrities in the People magazine we were looking at and I hope nobody judged us for laughing and acting normal in the waiting room.
The second time I was called back was to see the counselor. I was prepared for this and went in to see her with a smile and told her that I was very confident in my decision and I couldn’t wait to be a normal person again. I told her I had a large group of friends for support as well as my father, who knew about everything. She was very surprised to hear that I had a college degree, was very surprised to hear that my father knew, and was surprised that I had a primary GYN, which tells you that a lot of the women being seen don’t have those. She was extremely sweet and caring; she was the best part of the whole experience, I can’t describe how genuinely concerned she was for my well-being and made sure she did all she could to make sure I was ok and comfortable and didn’t feel upset.
Back to the waiting room for another 20-minute wait, then I got called back by my counselor to see the doctor. Waited in a cold, clean room with a bed with the stirrups except these ones cradled my legs and not my heels. The doctor came in and was extremely sensitive, making sure I was ok and that I didn’t have any questions. I had told the counselor I have anxiety/panic-attacks in medical situations and so the doctor and counselor stayed with me to make sure I didn’t panic over anything. Before I got my medicine my counselor talked to me for about 10 minutes prior about my life and career goals to make sure I had my mind off things.
A tech came in to give me the drugs and I was all ready to go. The drugs I had were an anti-anxiety medicine as well as a painkiller. I felt incredibly happy on them, like high as a cloud. It made me dizzy and heavy but I felt really good. I think they inserted a speculum, definitely not as uncomfortable as when you get a pap smear, and then the only very painful part about the whole thing was when they numbed my cervix. It felt like a huge, sharp pang of pain going from my cervix up my whole body. I was really startled so then every time something painful or uncomfortable might happened the doctor warned me. I had the tech and counselor on one side holding my hand and talking to me, telling me to take deep breaths and by the time I exhaled the pain would subside. I wouldn’t say it was super painful just very weird and uncomfortable, like a wave of a period cramp. It definitely wasn’t painless for me though. It was over SO fast I could not believe it. The doctor said they were all done and I barely remember her even leaving the room but they probably had to get prepped for more patients.
My counselor stayed with me and told me to get dressed and showed me to another room where there was a long row of like lazy-boy recliners with blankets that I had to sit down in. All the chairs were full of sleeping, groggy women and I sat down in the only empty one. They gave us a choice of graham crackers, saltines and ritz along with water or sprite or coke. I was starving from not eating since that morning and gobbled down a cracker and chugged some water and immediately felt nauseous, which can be a side effect of the anesthesia. I slowed it down after that. The other girls in the room definitely looked worse for wear than me and one was waiting for her ride. I got released and gave my counselor a big hug for everything she did for me and asked for her business card but she didn’t have one so I assumed she only worked at the abortion clinic and didn’t have a practice.
My friend was there to drive me home. I could feel myself bleeding and cramping already, I was very sleepy and walking to the car even felt like a task. My shoulders were tired, back sore, chest tight. Just generally very exhausted. We went to go get a burrito for me since I was so hungry and I barely remember standing in line, I was probably swaying back and forth like a drunk person. When I got back to lay on her couch we turned on Office Space and ate. I had to eat slowly but I was cramping really badly, it hurt quite a bit so I took one of the 800mg ibuprofen they give you on the way out. After dinner tonight I’ll be taking an antibiotic to make sure I don’t get an infection. So far I’ve taken a giant nap and the cramping seems to have lessened. I’m bleeding still but not so badly, and I can just feel it when I stand up after a while.
I feel like the whole process went so much better than expected, I had a really positive experience and I hope anyone considering abortion also has a positive experience. I definitely, like I said before, do not want to have to go through this again and do not intend to view sex as lightly as I did before. I’m not saying this is somehow a moral decision but I think I’ll just be too paranoid to ever have sex without a condom/double protection for a very long time, and will always be on HBC. I’m really hurt and turned off by what the fetus’s father had to say about the whole situation and I think I’m very put off by men in general right now so I’m going to use this experience to motivate me to pursue my career goals a bit more aggressively and maybe move out sometime soon, but I’m not interested in jumping back into dating quite yet.

Thanks for reading and for all support that is given in this community, you all are truly wonderful, non-judgmental people.
Please feel free to ask me any questions
Thanks everyone

ps. I cant seem to get the tags working if the mods could tag this for me that would be great
also_warriors 30th-Jul-2011 03:40 am (UTC)
OP, thank you for trusting VP enough to share your story. We're honored to have you here sharing your story and we hope you receive kind thoughts.

Commenters: We'd like to remind you all of VP's rules, specifically with regard to abortion debate in VP on LJ:

"VaginaPagina as a body does not take a stance on abortion, or on any other controversial issues for that matter. It's not that we don't all have our own personal opinions, but political biases aren't what we're about. We're about health and access to information.

"We ask that our members refrain from arguing about abortion issues here as it's counterproductive to community cohesiveness."

Click here to read more.

VP is fabulous because of its members, so please take care to uphold the rules and your usual wonderfulness as you comment to this and every post. Thanks!

For the VP Team
hoot 30th-Jul-2011 03:50 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for sharing this. It was really interesting. I'm glad everything went smoothly for you. :)
sillysallyfckup 30th-Jul-2011 04:52 am (UTC)
I have never needed an abortion, but it sounds like yours went smoothly, despite you know, just regular medical stuff (numbing hurting, feeling exhausted), and that is a huge comfort to me, that in the event such an occasion should arise, there are positive experiences out there.

Rest up, and thanks for sharing.
beach_justice 30th-Jul-2011 06:51 am (UTC)
i'm really glad this could be comforting. when i was thinking about abortion i really benefitted from reading personal stories so i wanted this to be here for other's as a resource :)
acharmedlife 30th-Jul-2011 05:00 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for posting this, OP. You are brave and it took a lot of courage to share your story. I hope that you are resting comfortably and that you will begin to feel more at ease with the days to come. Stay strong, and don't be afraid to take life by the reigns and go wherever you want and need to go. :) ***HUGS***
kat1031 30th-Jul-2011 05:57 am (UTC)
Thank you for sharing this experience with the community.

It sounds like you definitely made the right choice for you and I wish you well in healing and getting back to your regularly scheduled life.
fallconsmate 30th-Jul-2011 06:00 am (UTC)
The anesthesia symptoms you describe...yeah. I had to have a liver biopsy earlier this year, and the aftereffects were very similar.

I wonder if the number of Hispanic women at the clinic is tied to the cultural bias against birth control as taught by the Catholic church, made worse by the lack of anything like decent sex education in public schools? And many professors outside abortion clinics are male because *they* aren't the ones who ultimately have to raise an unplanned-for child. It's a lot more "acceptable" for males to walk away from an unplanned pregnancy.

I've had that happen to me, being screamed at by protesters. I was not pleased...because I was going to my bank at the time. I complained to the bank manager, who called the building owner. After that, the goobs were no longer allowed on the property. Thank you for sharing your story.
pocochina 30th-Jul-2011 07:00 am (UTC)
Thank you for telling us your story! I am glad to hear you received such high-quality care, and that you're doing well.
ryeth 30th-Jul-2011 12:21 pm (UTC)
Good for you, posting your story is a brave thing. I'm glad that the staff was caring and that your experience was as good as it could be for the situation.
meximanian 30th-Jul-2011 02:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing. I'm curious were the protestors still there when you were finished?
beach_justice 30th-Jul-2011 05:00 pm (UTC)
No, I don't think they were still there when I left but I was still pretty groggy and I could've just not noticed.
doomweasel 31st-Jul-2011 10:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing your experience! It's good to get an idea of what getting an abortion feels like in case I ever need one. It actually sounds kind of similar to what getting my IUD inserted felt like, minus the annoying protesters.
ladycat 1st-Aug-2011 12:06 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you had a positive experience and are doing ok. I hope you'll never need this, but if anything does get difficult then there's a politically neutral support site called www.afterabortion.org who are lovely.
princessselene 1st-Aug-2011 04:04 am (UTC)
Thank you for sharing this with us. I may have to have a medical termination due to a genetic issue that's a 50/50 chance of being passed on to a child. This comforts me with knowing what would happen. Thank you. Get some rest and I'm glad you had such a positive experience.
sweetchild92 1st-Aug-2011 04:45 am (UTC)
Yeah when I went into Planned Parenthood I guess it was protester day. Middle aged men purposefully standing in view of patients inside the clinic forcing them to read ridiculous signs disturb me to no end.

I’m not saying this is somehow a moral decision but I think I’ll just be too paranoid to ever have sex without a condom/double protection for a very long time, and will always be on HBC.

Hopefully you won't be TOO paranoid that it will interfere with your enjoyment, but also understandable. And after getting/treating a case of chlamydia I had, it definitely impacted the way I view sex (especially the kinds that can pose risk.) I feel like I can totally get where you're coming from.

And good that you're away from the guy who you became pregnant with, you deserve support, especially from that person.
bchsbunny2005 20th-Feb-2012 08:16 pm (UTC)
When I went into PP, they had someone outside to escort everyone in so that the protestors wouldn't actually talk to anyone. the only family member that knows about my descision is my baby sister, I know my father will understand but i'm not ready to tell him, this was back in septemeber.
But most of my friends that I've told have been really understanding but one and still she talks to me and all we just don't talk about that. She's just very pro-life, and I am okay with that. we all have our beliefs.
sweetchild92 21st-Feb-2012 07:59 am (UTC)
Ah yes, there were several volunteers (all elderly people, one had a dog! So cute!) to escort patients inside. I parked really close, and wasn't too bothered, but the thought of other and more vulnerable patients having to deal with it really upset me (not only just walking in, but harassing us as we sit in the waiting room?!), Glad you have support! <3
divineoubliette 23rd-Mar-2012 08:47 am (UTC)
Characteristics of U.S. Women Having Abortions

What is the racial or ethnic background of U.S. women who have abortions?

No racial or ethnic group makes up a majority of women having abortions: 36% are non-Hispanic white, 30% are non-Hispanic black, 25% are Hispanic and 9% are women of other races.

I think NM just has more Hispanics in general . . .
This page was loaded Aug 27th 2016, 2:58 am GMT.