I’m from Canada. 24 years old, and I had an abortion today. I am writing this for anyone who may be scared of the procedure – I know I was terrified.

I found out I was roughly 8-9 weeks pregnant on January 1st, 2016. I had a suspicion that was what it was considering I had missed two periods, and I had started getting random bouts of nausea. At first I didn’t really look too much into my missed periods, as I do have hypothyroidism, and have been under a lot of stress lately due to work, etc, so abnormal or absent periods were not new to me. As soon as I started feeling nauseous and puking, is what really urged me to check.

I was away from home with my family for Christmas, I managed to pass it off as a stomach flu. Except to my mother, as I knew she would be understanding. My wonderful boyfriend of 2 years was unfortunately on the other side of the country with his family, which made the situation a little harder. I am a sufferer of severe anxiety, and this didn’t help at all. However, my boyfriend and I exchanged text messages and called each other regularly – we both knew I was probably pregnant at this point.

My mom bought me an at home pregnancy test, which I must have not used properly, as it didn’t really show anything at all. Not even the control line. But I could see a very, very faint positive after a few hours. I was advised not to go off that test and to purchase a new one, which my boyfriend did on January 1st, when he returned from his vist with his family to come visit with mine. I went to the bathroom, took the test, and watched the blatent positive show up. I was petrified. I immediately started to cry. My boyfriend held me, and let me know if was okay. He then asked me what I wanted to do. I knew immediately I couldn’t keep it. Our finances aren’t the greatest, there would be no way I would be able to comfortably provide for a child. I plan on going to school soon, and carrying full term and then going through the adoption process was not something I wanted to do either. My mother is adopted, and I have seen and heard stories about the hardships she has gone through because of it – and I’m not willing to bring a child into this world for them to feel the way my mother did.

Moving forward to the procedure which was today. I was frightened. I never slept all night, I puked this morning due to anxiety. I also had extreme morning sickness which did not make me feel much better. I arrived at the clinic at 8am. It was a secure, homey, and wonderful environment. All of the nurses, counsellors and doctors were all female, and all understood my decision with no judgement whatsoever. I got called out of the first waiting room, said goodbye to my boyfriend, as he was not allowed passed that point, and continued to the next waiting room with other ladies anxiously awaiting their procedure.

My first stop: ultrasound. I had a normal tummy ultrasound. It was quick, painless, and the nurse in the room asked me if I had any questions. I never. You have the option to see if you’d like, but I did not want to.

I moved back into the waiting room with the ladies, and waited for my next stop which was a small counseling session with an experienced social worker who specialized in women’s health. She asked me how I felt about my decision. I told her it was a tough, but necessary decision for myself and my SO to make. She was very kind, and thanked me for sharing. She asked me many times if there was anything I needed from them, gave me options for counseling after the procedure, and then asked me questions about my health. After she was finished, she escorted me to a room to put on a skirt. I had to take off my underwear and pants. The skirt went passed my knees, so it was very easy to cover up. There were also blankets that were free for taking while in the clinic.

The next part was my consultation. My blood pressure was taken, a small blood sample – prick of my finger – a dose of antibiotics and a dose of a painkiller. The nurse also went over aftercare, and things to expect, as well as the risks of an abortion. She made it clear, that although the risks listed are severe, they are rare, and that abortion is one of the safest procedures a woman can have. 1 in 1,000,000 women will die from an abortion – statistically. 100 in 1,000,000 will die from full term pregnancy delivery – again, statistically. After this, the nurse returned me to the waiting room and said the next step was my procedure. She gave me an ativan for anxiety, sat me in a chair with a blanket, and from there I waited.

About 10 minutes passed, and a nurse came out of the OR room calling my name. I started to cry. She asked me why I was upset, and I told her that I was just very scared of the procedure. She understood this, saying its normal to be frightened, but thay I would do wonderfully. She laid me down on the bed, propped my bum up, and I put my legs on the stands. She put the needle in for my IV, but told me that I would not be administered the drugs yet, as I was to meet my doctor. The doctor was lovely, asked me if I was okay and if I am okay with my decision. I said yes, and that most of my anxiety is coming from the procedure it self. She reassured me, and the nurse went ahead and administered my sedatives.

I was still awake for the procedure, but the medication worked very quickly and calmed me down immensely. There was discomfort in the procedure, but it was not painful. It felt similar to a pap smear – just a little more rough. I was able to have a normal conversation with the nurse while it was happening without flinching. I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

The abortion itself took about 3 minutes. After, the put disposible underwear on me and a pad. I sat in recovery for 30 minutes and had some apple juice and cookies. They called my boyfriend to pick me up by 10:30am.

At 10:30am, I was allowed to get up and go to the bathroom to check on my bleeding. While a little heavy, it was nothing to be alarmed about. If it was really heavy, they are there to assist you with that. All in all, seeing the blood was weirdly relieving.

I was instructed to get dressed and then come back to have my IV removed. They gave me a prescription for different birth control pills (the ones I was on failed, so I was taking all the necessary measures to prevent this from happening), some antibiotics and some ibuprofen for cramping. They gave me an envelope with information on aftercare and if any problems were to arise.

I can honestly say this was the easiest procedure I have done, and I feel no remorse. I feel happy and relieved that it is over. And I am happy that I was able to receive the care I could.

For anyone living in Canada,I went to the Kensington Clinic in Calgary, AB. They are wonderful, and your procedures are covered under your health insurance.