I was on hormonal birth control. I worked for a large animal veterinarian, administering medication, often working alone during nights and evenings. One summer I began spotting through my birth control, spoke to my doctor about it, and was told it was normal and I shouldn’t worry, so long as I was taking my pills at the same time every day, and I was, so I brushed it off and continued to live my life as usual. In September of that year, I felt “off” and something compelled me to take an at-home pregnancy test. It was positive. I visited a local planned parenthood and had a blood test to confirm.

After further discussion with a doctor, it was discovered that one of the medications I was handling at my job could be absorbed through the skin and interfered with my birth control. I wore gloves while handling it, but because I often worked alone, trying to administer it to unruly large animals, it often ended up coming into contact with more than just my hands.

It was a tough situation. I told my boyfriend, and we both told our mothers. My mother was pressuring me to have an abortion, but I was hesitant. I knew in my heart, this man was the man I would marry, and we had talked about having kids in the future. I thought that we could make it work, no matter how difficult it would be. He volunteered to drop out of school and get a full time job to support us while I was pregnant and finishing my degree. Our lives were about to change drastically, and it was terrifying, but we were prepared to handle it.

At 10 weeks I went in for my first prenatal check up and ultrasound. At this appointment I had blood work done, and an ultrasound. My bloodwork was indicative of a miscarriage. My pregnancy hormones were low. The ultrasound revealed a fetus that was undersized for how far along I was. It had a heartbeat, but the heartbeat was slow and erratic. The placenta was separating from the uterine wall. The doctor didn’t know why. He said there was a chance the placenta would reattach and everything would be ok, but that was unlikely. He told me what to expect in a miscarriage, and that that was the most likely outcome. I was supposed to come back at least weekly for check ups. I’d probably miss school. I didn’t like the idea of missing class. It was my senior year and I was taking a lot of difficult courses related to my major. I didn’t want to upset my GPA or my ability to graduate on time, and it terrified me not knowing when or where the miscarriage might happen. I was over 100 miles away from any family, and lived in a shared living space. I didn’t even have my own bathroom. I had no idea how I was going to handle a miscarriage with nowhere to have it in peace and privacy.

It was then that I decided to abort. My boyfriend was supportive. I took a friend with me and we drove 2 hours away to the nearest clinic that would perform one that far along. I did it on a Friday, so I had the weekend to recover and wouldn’t need to miss class. I would have had to go out of state for one that could do it with sedation, so I had a D & C while completely awake and fully feeling. It was the most awful, painful experience, and I couldn’t hold still on the table. The abortion doctor couldn’t get everything out. I had a room mate take me to the ER the next day, where they did another D & C, this time with sedation.

I regret not going out of state to do it with sedation the first time. I’m disappointed that there weren’t nearby facilities available to do it. It cost me a lot more than it should have, and was a much more painful experience than it needed to be because of that. At the hospital, I was told I have a uterine septum, and that was why I lost this pregnancy. It implanted in the wrong place, so I would have miscarried. Even with the expensive, round-about way I had to do it, I’m still glad I got the abortion when I did. I didn’t end up missing any class, and made a full recovery within hours of the second D & C.