I am 23 years old, single, and just
had my first (and hopefully only) abortion 3 days ago. Although it was certainly
not an easy choice to make, I am glad that I did it and so far I look back with
I had just broken up with my boyfriend of 5 years and went
out with an old friend who had just gotten divorced. The night ended up with us
having unprotected sex - something neither one of us imagined would happen. (I
was on the pill, but an antibiotic
I was taking made it less effective.)
When my period was nearly 2 weeks
late, I bought a home pregnancy test during my lunch hour and took it in the restroom
of my office. Of course it was positive. I went to my gynecologist, where over
the next few weeks, I was put through a battery of tests resulting from strange
symptoms that accompanied my pregnancy. The worst was when I spent a night in
the emergency department, was given a catheter and had an ultrasound. The technician
turned up the volume on the ultrasound machine and I heard, for the first and
last time, the heartbeat of the fetus inside of me.
I had daily discussions
with the father, and after lots of heartbreak and tears, it was finally concluded
that neither one of us could give this child the kind of life we wanted for it.
We would abort the pregnancy. I wanted to do it as quickly as possible - as I
knew it would be harder to actually go through as I got further along and the
baby developed more. My gynecologist referred me to a reputable clinic in my city,
and I made the appointment.
Driving to the doctor was the longest drive
of my life. I was absolutely petrified about the procedure. I knew in my heart
that I was doing the right thing but I was afraid of the physical pain that my
body might go through. We arrived at the clinic together, prepared to spend 5
hours there, like they told us we would. I was given another ultrasound - this
time the body was more visible. I was counseled and had blood work done. When
they finally called my name to prepare me for the operating room, I froze with
fear. As I sat in the standard-issue hospital gown waiting my turn, I begged the
nurses to reassure me that I wouldn't feel a thing. They wouldn't do it. Finally,
a counselor came and took me into the operating room. The nurse injected me with
a combination of 2 drugs that would calm my nerves but leave me awake and aware
during the procedure (it did a little more than calm my nerves, but I'm certainly
They told me that I would have a pelvic exam and then
the doctor would do the procedure. I heard the doctor say "OK" and assumed
that she was done with the pelvic exam and was about to start on the actual procedure.
The counselor looked at me and said "You did a great job - you're all done."
My abortion took a total of 3 minutes. I didn't feel a single thing -
I was completely amazed. The nurse reversed all of the drugs with another
injection (I was having slight breathing difficulty as a result of the drugs)
and they walked me to recovery. I sat there for 20 minutes. Over the last 3 days,
I have had moderate cramping, bled very little, and felt tremendous relief that
I had been brave enough to do what was right for everyone involved.
want other women who are trying to make the decision regarding their unexpected
pregnancy to understand that they are not alone. I read everything on the Internet
and nothing said the abortion would be relatively simple, that there would be
little to no physical pain, and that the workers in the clinic would be so supportive.
I hope my story gives just one person hope that an abortion
is not a horrible experience, that they will survive and go on with their life,
and that there are hundreds of thousands of women who have gone through the same
thing. I am thankful for all of those women who came before me and fought for
the right to terminate my pregnancy.Stephanie
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