Finding out: I found out I was pregnant Monday, February 9, 2014 at a clinic nearby my work. Before giving me a pregnancy test, the doctor assured me I probably was not pregnant.
However, I think many of us women just know we are pregnant. I was worried for about two weeks prior to finally heading to the doctor. Anyway, the doctor from the clinic recommended me to the Willow Women’s Clinic, a well-known clinic in Vancouver, B.C. When I told my Boyfriend, he was surprised, and honestly a little immature about it – but we can’t be too hard on him or any of our other partners (who have never been pregnant) because it truly is such a strange thing to create a life, mix DNA, etc.
The Clinic: I arrived at the Clinic the next day, (Tuesday February 10). The Clinic was small, and honestly, kind of depressing. I am in Political Science at UBC, and I’ve learned about many clinics that often do not get the subsides they require to help women in situations similar to mine. The girls behind the desk were rude to me; one was Filipino with deep black hair and cat-eye liner. When I told her I wanted an abortion, she made no attempt at using discretion and told me to come back when I have an appointment. I was a little confused because I came in person to make an appointment, but she said it was not right and that I would have to come back when they telephoned me. This was honestly one of the hardest days of mine and my Boyfriend’s life together. We eventually got an appointment at 230pm. A lot of my anxiety revolved around whether or not I was to get a medical abortion or a surgical abortion, and that depended on whether or not I was 6 weeks along because anything over would mean I would need to get a surgical abortion. I would hate to get a surgical abortion just simply because I saw it as something more serious, being “operated” on, and having a fetus scraped out of my body.
At my actual appointment I went with my bestfriend. She was entirely supportive and offered no judgment – which was exactly what I needed. I had to get an ultrasound so that we could find out how far along I am. I turned out to be 6 weeks and 3 days pregnant! The doctor told me the tiny embryo that was the size of a sesame seed. My next appointment was on Friday, February 13.
On February 13 I met with a counselor. She was a dirty blonde, hipster looking girl that appeared as though she had no medical knowledge on the misoprostal and injection I would receive later that day. She had cuts all over her wrists and a tattoo that said something like “love your self” over the cuts on her wrist. I felt as though I would have been judged if I didn’t show any remorse because there was a journal in the counselor’s office that had testimonies written by young girls who were there before me. All of them were sad, and full of regret. They were far more attached to the fetus’ they let go than I was.
After my appointment I received the misoprostal from the pharmacy downstairs, as well as some T3’s and other pain killers. Upstairs I was received rather coldly by the doctor who would give me an injection to stop the pregnancy from continuing. I don’t think she was purposefully cold, but just that I was yet another one of those women.
The Actual Process – February 14
DO NOT TAKE ADVIL before the pain starts kicking in; I truly believe that because I had done that, my body had a delayed reaction to the misoprostal. The first four or five hours (the first dose) was not too painful. They actually felt more like gas pains. My boyfriend bought me a heating pad and fed me a ton of food and watched a lot of movies with me – it was actually a very romantic Valentine’s day 😉 The second dose was far more painful and had a stronger reaction. I remember heading to the toilet to pee for the first time and feeling large globs of tissue come out of my body. I couldn’t confirm it in the moment, but it had been the embryo. The next couple of times I headed to the washroom were not quite as intense. I slept fine that night and the next morning I was not too bad at all.
From Sunday to Tuesday I was just spotting. I decided to have sex with my Boyfriend; I was honestly super horny. There is no other way to put it. Then, on Wednesday I walked the seawall with my other Bestfriend (who did not know about the abortion). We had actually engaged in “strenuous exercise”, a honking total of 18km were walked that day, which induced a bloodbath in my vagina. I had cramps and was bleeding profusely all day Wednesday. I went to the doctor that night and he assured me there was nothing wrong. On Friday the 20th of February, I met with the doctor that opened Willow Women’s Clinic and she assured me the advil was not connected to my delayed response and that it had been completely normal. She also said that every one is different and if we want to engage in strenuous exercise, wear a tampon, or have sex with our Spouses, we can and there is nothing wrong with that. We scheduled an IUD for the upcoming Wednesday, the 25th.
The IUD experience itself was amazing. My doctor was hilarious and it took all of 11 minutes. There’s no other way to explain what had happened other than that it was a deep cramp that went away shortly. I had the insertion at 3:05 and was out of there by 3:20. My doctor told me that I should avoid having sex with my boyfriend for two days. My boyfriend and I had actually had sex the day after – I think it was precaution to avoid infection. I wish that my doctor had told me whether or not I was fully protected, because I heard the Mirena is not effective until 7 days after my last period? My situation was different because I was having an abortion-period, so I don’t quite know what happened there. Anyways, I couldn’t even fake being in pain after 5pm and began doing work for school.
Now I have a mirena, and can say that I have had an abortion. I have no complaints about Mirena, and it allows me to have a full sex life with my Boyfriend who I know I will marry. If I were to offer up any advice, I’d have to say that it’s best not to think that you have lost a baby, but instead just needed to expel a fertilized egg. There was a moment in time when I thought my Boyfriend and I were cowards for giving up a baby, but it was truly a brief moment. Now I feel rather cold to the idea of having any children, but now that I have a mirena, I don’t even have to think of it for five years. No one in my close group of friends know, except for that one friend that went with me to the ultrasound, and honestly, it’s probably better that way. I engaged in a very private activity and I’d like to keep it that way, just simply because of the taboos associated with abortion. I know that in the future I will be more confident in speaking about it, but I will take my anonymity as a blessing for the time being.