I had an abortion a few months ago, at 36. I’d only been seeing the father for a few months when I got pregnant.
When we first found out, I was the one who felt that it wasn’t the right time, and he suggested that even though there were difficulties with the timing we could make it work. We decided to make an appointment and give ourselves a couple weeks to consider the choice. I already had plans to be out of town for those weeks and he and I didn’t see each other again before the appointment – the town where we live doesn’t have a clinic, so I made the appointment in a different town 4 hours away, and it was in the city that I had flown back into from my trip. He has a child from a previous relationship that he is caring for, and a friend of mine had offered to come to the clinic with me so that he wouldn’t have to find child care for that day. We had decided to choose the medical abortion so that he and I could be together when it was happening. While I was away, I had been very tired and nauseous and the pregnancy felt much more real. I have always wanted to have a child and even though I knew there were difficulties with the timing, because it was early in our relationship, he still has things he’s working out with the mother of his son, and both of us have been struggling financially. I started to lean towards continuing the pregnancy, while he became more interested in ending it. We talked on the phone a few times, and in the end decided to go through with the abortion, which I felt accepting of at the time. The abortion itself was less difficult than I thought it would be. I took one of two pills at the clinic. The first pill was to end the pregnancy, and the second was to cause the uterus to expel the pregnancy, which I took the next morning. A few hours after taking the second pill I started to bleed, and that afternoon I felt and then saw the passing of the embryo. The bleeding and cramping were no worse than a bad period. The symptoms of pregnancy that I’d been experiencing, nausea and tiredness, were gone by that evening. I continued to bleed for almost a month – heavily for the first week and then lighter, and also started to have abdominal pains after the first week, which continued until I stopped bleeding. I never went back to the clinic for the follow up exam because arranging transportation was so challenging and I felt so unwell. The clinic was not a good experience for me. They do all their abortions on certain days of the week, and there were a lot of people there on the day that I went. I had to wait for hours to complete the process even though I was just getting the pills, and I didn’t have access to water or food at all. I felt like I was part of an inhuman machine. This clinic was the only one in the state, with branches in a few different cities, and when I called to ask for help with follow up questions, I wasn’t connected to the clinic I went to; I think the calls may go to some central call center, and the person I spoke with didn’t seem to be familiar with the information the clinic had given me about following up. I decided to go to a doctor in my town for an exam instead, which in the end cost me twice as much. Overall it was a hard experience for me emotionally and physically. I thought that I had prepared myself and had a supportive partner, and now that a couple months have gone by, I realized that it’s still affecting me emotionally. I am glad that it is a choice I could make, but it hasn’t been easy for me.