I'm Wendy and this is my story. As of today I have just turned 19. Two days ago I went through one of the biggest ordeals of my life: I went through with my abortion. My boyfriend drove me to the Trinity Women's Center in Ft. Worth... and both of us were anxious, nervous, and neither of us really wanted to talk about it... and yet we somehow seemed to come back to it. I actually think that he was more upset by what I was about to undergo than I was, because I actually started to feel like I was fairly calm.
We got there, and I remember thinking how bleak the building looked. It was this tiny beige building, not much to look at. Before the doors on two sides of the building were protesters. Both of them women, I remember thinking "Do these women have children? What right do they have to try to scare me away from my decision?" I had already made up my mind long before. I could not possibly care for a child, I don't have the right mentality just yet. My body isn't as mature as I'd like, my mind isn't as mature as I'd like, and worst of all, I don't have the income I would like to care for a child. My mother raised me practically on her own and we were struggling. She was older than me and actually had a more stable job than me and it was still rough. So I know that there is no possible way I could care for a child... not yet.
Anyway, these women had every intention of keeping me from doing what I was dead-set on doing, and this one persistent one tried appealing to me and Joe--"Mom? Dad? Please, you don't have to do this... you don't have to." It was miserable. All I could do is laugh, and so I did. And I couldn't feel bad for it, because I had my mind made up. I was there for a reason. I had $375 in my bank account for one reason and one reason only, and I wasn't about to change my mind. Why would I bring a child into the world who I knew would be more miserable alive than gone in it's 7 week and 2 day long life? I felt that that would be much more cruel, carrying it to term... and I still feel that way.
Joe politely turned the woman down, explaining that "It's already a hard enough decision, right?" (later on he would make the decision to go out there and actually accept the information she had in little pamphlets... apparently it was horrific. If you want to keep your mind set on the decision, I have determined, but you feel ANY DOUBT AT ALL, these pamphlets will eat away at you. So don't take them unless you actually want to turn around, or unless you're as lucky as I was to have already made the hard decision.)
We got into the building and I found that they had tried hard to make it comfortable. The lighting was ambient. I felt anxious as I checked in and sat down. Shortly after my arrival they took my sonogram to check the child's age and make sure that I wasn't making a mistake. It read 7 weeks and 2 days. I repeated this out loud, because even though you know it's logical, it still is a bit of a shock to know that you've sustained something for that long.
I went back into the waiting room, a little more perturbed than before. But Joe was feeling worse, and I could see it, so I was joking around and laughing trying to get him happy. I felt slightly giddy and out of my mind. This one girl came in after being bombarded by the protests from outside and when the woman said "I'LL PRAY FOR YOU!" the girl said "Oh, don't worry.. I'll pray for you too!" which made me laugh. If you are religious, which I am not, trust me... comments like this will probably get under your skin. So just a fair warning, learn to guard your mind. It's scary, but it's the same as any hard decision you have ever made. Once it's over, it's over. It's not so bad.
I paid for the next portion, the actual abortion, and they led me to a chair. I might mention now that I have the WORST fear of needles. Needles, hospitals, and doctors... and I was about to face every one of those fears in some way, shape or form. OH--and I'm also afraid of anything that will remove your inhibitions, and unfortunately, Joe had signed me up to have an IV drip with anesthesia. Joy. They proceeded to sterilize my finger.. then pricked it. My finger went numb. I later asked the nurse why they did that--it's because they have to check your Rh and iron levels.
They then led me to another waiting room with armchairs (more ambient, soft, consoling lighting) and some girls I had seen before in the other room in the front. One girl seemed very anxious and very young. I had caught her earlier telling some people in Spanish that it was a difficult decision that she made. She had been crying. All I could do, in contrast, was smile grimly. I filled out the mass of paperwork they had handed me and put my headphones on to lose the world around me. Finally someone came and I handed them my paperwork, and they led me to a room with a desk and two chairs. I was flustered, so when the nurse was telling me to go into that room she kept having to redirect me despite the fact that the directions were so simple. She was patient and smiled kindly at me, and I began to feel a little better and calm down. She went through my paperwork and asked me a few questions to fill in the areas I might have missed and to make sure that it was all completely accurate. She reassured me, as the recording you are required by Texas law to listen to at least 24 hours before your abortion, and as many truthful websites will tell you, that abortions are among the safest surgical procedures you can undergo. And trust me, it's not too gruesome on your side. In fact, especially if you are as tiny as me (4'10, weighing in at 95 lbs), it would be less safe to carry the child to term. Much, much more can go wrong.
She remarked that my birthday was in two days, and I was about to respond, saying that yes, I found it quite ironic, but I instead told her that I wasn't excited. She asked, and I was feeling bleak. She finished up after receiving my statement (why I want to go through with the procedure in my own words--essentially I truthfully explained that it was not the right time at all, and that it would be, quite frankly, cruel and stupid of me to carry the child to term), and handed me a basket with two sides of a gown. She finally explained how to put it on and led me back to the room for more waiting.
I was waiting almost two hours from the point of the sonogram to the point that (after I had fallen asleep) someone came in and told me to dress. I did what I was told and, in a dazed state, went back to the waiting room. Twenty minutes later I'm being led into yet another room with a doctor's exam table.. some lady tells me to sit down. She repeats what to do several times. I'm hardly hearing it, because I had already seen the syringe. I was crying and shaking uncontrollably, and I'll tell you that this woman wasn't the most patient woman on earth. In fact, she was the only one I had dealt with I had problems with. She sighed and told me to squeeze a bag of sand she had handed me, wrapping the tourniquet about my upper arm and staring at me in a sort of "shut up, you're nineteen!" manner. She sterilized my arm and I was looking away, cringing, crying, shaking... and then I felt it. And I don't remember much after that. I remember they were talking, because more people had come in. I don't know what happened, which sort of scares me, and I wish I knew.. but somehow I think my mind was working with the anesthesia, telling me that I really shouldn't remember. But I wish I did. I do remember being helped off of the table, feeling nothing. I remember them removing the needle and putting a bandaid with gauze over the area. I remember, more vaguely, being led to yet another waiting room, being sat in a chair next to a back door, and being handed antibiotics and some 7Up and some crackers in a bag. I took the antibiotics, though I ended up sort of chewing up one of the pills. I felt bland--if you've ever been sedated, you'd probably know the feeling. The feeling is... nothing. And it wasn't the operation that did it to me, because in the back of my mind I was happy. I ate most of the crackers, not realizing (I learned why I got them later on) that they were to keep you from feeling too queasy. I asked for more 7Up, I think.. But I'm not sure. Then they opened the door and said my ride was there, and I guess I had changed at some point before that, and it's all very, very blurry. Joe picked me up and carried me to the truck, and he bumped my head on the truck and I told him he sucked at carrying people, which he confirmed today, because I asked. I was curious.
We got going and he handed me a thing of fruit and a Sobe, because I had text messaged him before the operation saying I was starving. I hadn't had anything to eat at all that morning, even though you weren't supposed to eat for one hour before coming in. I was eating the fruit, then started wobbling. I rolled down the window, still unfeeling, and noted that I might throw up, just to justify myself. I didn't, and rolled the window back up, and I guess he saw that I was really out of it so he closed the fruit for me and had me lay my head in his lap for the rest of the ride.
We got home and I plopped onto the closest thing to me, the couch. He lay with me for awhile as I drifted in and out of consciousness for a good hour or so.. then I finally sat up. I told him I felt queasy, but just after that I was covering my mouth and running to the bathroom. For a day the sink was covered in pineapple and grape skins.
But somehow, as I began to come back to myself, I felt a lot better. I laid around the whole day and found that, happily enough, the thought of food didn't make me feel sick as it did before. In fact, I was STARVING, so I just kept eating, really.
I didn't feel empty or depressed or anxious as many stories tell you, nor did I feel any regret or remorse. I felt glad I got it finished with. I still do, but if any of those feelings come to me I'll be the first to let you know.
If I hadn't made the decision on my own, and without so much rationality, I'm not so sure that I'd be left without remorse at this moment. The only thing that bothers me is the bleeding. I didn't bleed most of the day after the procedure, but last night I suddenly bled more than I ever have in my entire life. I got home and lay down shakily, but today I'm bleeding like I'm on my period and feeling fine. I'm lucky, I haven't even hardly cramped.
I would just like to make a few points. If you have any doubts, figure out what they are. If you know you will regret it afterwards and you know that you can care for the child, then have the child. But if you will regret having the child more, I think that an abortion is PROBABLY a better idea. Do not do it if you don't want to if someone else tells you to go through with it. Be honest to those trying to help you at the clinic. Talk it out with someone, even if it's on an online forum. And it isn't so bad. It really isn't. Everything will get better eventually if you allow it to, but don't drag yourself down and don't let someone else drag you down!
I hope that this helps you on your journey. Best of luck and best of wishes.
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