Alycia's Story

My name is Alycia. I am almost 22 years old and recently became pregnant by my boyfriend of 6 months. I have not always been pro-choice and ironically even wrote a term paper in high school opposing abortion. But as I got older and started being sexually active and the thought of an unwanted pregnancy became more real, my feelings changed. I don't think anyone can really truly say they would never do it until they too are faced with an unwanted pregnancy. I'm not trying to say that it is right, but I do believe women should have a right to choose. I would love to have a baby one day and I dream of having a little girl.

I can't think of anything more romantic than having a baby with the man I love, and although I love my boyfriend and would love to have his baby, unfortunately this just isn't the right time in our lives. I'm not financially and maybe not even emotionally ready to have a baby right now, and to be honest my boyfriend couldn't want one any less. I know there is the option to give it up for adoption but i honestly couldn't possibly do that. The second I saw it I would love it way too much to just give it to some stranger.

So the obvious choice was to have an abortion. I planned on getting medical abortion since the thought of surgery scared me to death, but unfortunately i waited too long and by the time my medical was set up and my appt. was made I had just missed the dead line (medical abortion is only offered up to 9 weeks after the first day of your last period). So here I was facing surgical abortion and was pretty fearful of it. Although my local abortion clinic offers general anesthesia abortion and I would be completely asleep during the procedure, I was mainly fearful of being put to sleep being as i have never had any type of surgery before and have never been put to sleep before. I knew it would only be for a very short time but I was still very scared about it and what to expect.

I found myself scrambling the internet for other women's stories about abortion and promised myself after I had mine I would share my full experience in detail. Because I, being probably the most wimpiest person ever when it comes to anything medical, feel that if i got through this then anyone can! So, here's my story step by step from walking in the clinic door to walking out of the discharge room.

My appt. was at 9 am this morning and as expected as soon as I got there I had to fill out some medical history papers. I then sat with my boyfriend in the waiting room waiting to be called back. I didn't mind the wait one bit and actually dreaded my name being called and having to leave him knowing I wouldn't see him until it was over. So 45 minutes later my name was called, I gave him a kiss, and nervously walked through the door to the "other side."

First I had to pee in a cup to confirm pregnancy, then I went to the lab tech to have a blood sample drawn to find out my blood type, etc. Next I went in an office and signed some consent forms and made my appt. for my post-op check up in 2 weeks. After this I sat in another waiting room for another 20 minutes or so.

My name was called once again and I went downstairs to the lower level. I was escorted to the changing area/locker room and was told to take off all my clothes and put on a paper gown and paper booties. At this point I became very nervous ...suddenly it all became so surreal putting on this gown and being seated in this tiny room with other girls, also in paper gowns, all waiting for the same thing. Next a nurse took my blood pressure and temperature, and then, more waiting. There happened to be a girl next to me who had done this before so I was nervously asking her questions about it, mainly about the whole anesthesia part of it and what it feels like to be put under.

Next I was called to another room where i was to have my ultra sound. At this point I was so nervous that my heart was beating what felt like 100 mph and my chest even felt tight. This wasn't an unfamiliar feeling to me and is the reason why I was so afraid to be put under. Call me crazy but I have the feeling something is wrong with my heart at times (this was understandable since I was nervous, but the same thing happens other times when I'm not nervous at all). I have had an ekg done in the past and the doctor said it was beautiful but i was still very unsure about it so I expressed my concern to the nurse. She listened to my heart and lungs and said everything sounded fine.

She was extremely nice and understanding and made me feel really comfortable, or as comfortable as I could be in this nerve-wracking situation. Next she put her fingers in me to feel how big my uterus was, and then she performed the ultra sound vaginally (i had thought it would be done on my tummy but in this early stage of pregnancy it is done vaginally). The screen was facing her way and i was really curious to see what it looked like...if it would look like a baby or would just be a speck or what. I mean i knew in the back of my mind that probably wasn't a good idea at all considering i was about to get this life sucked out of me, but still i was just so curious to see. I asked if i could see it and she kindly said she doesn't like to show it because it's inappropriate. I understood what she was saying completely, and i let it go. Lastly she asked me if i would like to get on the pill or the patch and I decided I would give the patch a try. Then i was escorted to yet another waiting room.

I knew this would be the last room and was extremely scared at this point. The doctor who would perform the surgery poked his head in and introduced himself with a warm smile. He seemed very nice and I thought it was a real nice gesture of him to be so personable with his patients. After only about 5 minutes another nurse escorted me right across the hall to the room where I would have the surgery. She didn't seem as warm and soft as the other nurses I had seen and this made me more nervous as she told me to sit on the edge of the operating table with my gown undone in back.....she then put the heart monitor patches on my chest and the pulse monitor on my finger. As we got to talking and I expressed my fear about my heart and being put under she became more personable and I felt slightly more at ease but I was still scared as hell.

Hearing my pulse beep on the machine was freaking me out because it didn't sound steady but she assured me my heart was fine and the pulse beats are different than the heart beat. I was so nervous that my stomach felt a little uneasy and I joked with her about my fear of taking a crap on the operating table. She laughed and I did too. Next a man came in and put an IV in my hand and once again I expressed my fears of it all. He was very nice and assured me I'd be fine and that the medicine wasn't in it yet so I wouldn't be going to sleep yet. Not until the anesthesiologist came in. I asked how fast i would fall asleep after the medicine was put in and he said 15 seconds. I was freaked out by this....15 seconds! That's scary fast I thought. He once again re-assured me and was super nice and friendly about it.

Finally the moment came and the anesthesiologist as well as the other man who had put the IV in came. Before I knew it and without much warning he was inserting the anesthetic into the IV. I was freaking out a little wondering how I'd feel waiting to black out spontaneously or something. Suddenly I felt a little fuzzy in the head and I said something like "I feel weird," kinda panicking trying to lift my body up. Here comes the funny part. Next I fart! Then I say "oh my god I farted!". Hahaha. I laugh every time I think about it. The funniest part is that is the absolutely last thing I remember before I woke up.

I began to become conscious as they wheeled me to the recovery room, but my eyes were closed and all I remember is the nurse talking to me telling me where she was taking me. I hope this doesn't sound bad or offend anyone but the coming out of anesthesia experience was kind of euphoric. I felt so relaxed like I had just gotten this beautiful sleep but at the same time I felt so tired but it was a good tired. I can't explain it. The nurses were asking if I was ok and I replied with something silly like "i'm just chillin". Haha. The nurse asked if I was feeling any cramps, and I did slightly but nothing major. I just didn't want to open my eyes and was laying there in the recovery room in a beautiful half sleep. I joked with the nurses about the fact that the last thing I remember saying was "oh my god I farted".

As I became slightly more awake and opened my eyes more I saw the nurse that was in the surgical suite with me, and reminded her about the fart comment I made and laughed. It felt as if I were drunk....I was so relaxed and happy. I asked her how long it had been since I'd been put to sleep and she said a half hour and I was shocked. It felt like so much longer. Shortly after a nurse helped me out of the bed and I walked back to the changing area in sort of a daze.

My body felt so weak but it wasn't a bad weak....I was just so relaxed. Next I put back on my clothes and the nurse attendant asked if there was any blood on my pad (they put an old-skool sanitary belt on me after the surgery). At this point there was barely a speck. She informed me that I might be bleeding for 2 weeks or more and gave me instructions on what I should avoid (no sex or heavy lifting for 2 weeks). She also gave me a prescription for doxycycline to pick up. I am to take 2 a day for 3 days. I guess this prevents possible vaginal infection. After this i went to the discharge room where I met my boyfriend. And that was it.

My abortion is over and I go back in 2 weeks for my follow up exam. As far as bleeding and cramping goes, so far I've had only mild period-like cramps and a light blood flow. Although I don't hope to let this happen again (until it is wanted and planned of course), I feel very good about my experience and am very thankful for every single person at the clinic that helped me through this. Everyone was very nice and i couldn't have asked for a better abortion experience. I don't know if that sounds weird but i really don't look back on it unfondly or as some horrific thing. In the moment I was very scared but that was just me and my fear of being put to sleep. Now I have conquered that fear and if i ever have to be put to sleep for anything else I will be much more at ease. In a weird way i look forward to it. Haha.

I know some women grieve afterwards for their lost child but i feel nothing but relief. That is mostly due to the fact that my boyfriend and I are in the midst of a break-up/ "taking a break", and so right now I am mourning over him. Talk about horrible timing for your bf to decide he wants to be single. Oh well though that's a whole other story! I hope my story brings comfort and answers to other women out there like me seeking information. God bless.

April 2004

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