9:11 pm - 07/29/2011
my experience with surgical abortion
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
ps. I cant seem to get the tags working if the mods could tag this for me that would be great