I am 27 and just had my first abortion.
I grew up in a place where, surprisingly, abstinence only sex education is taught. I was the only person out of my friends who didn’t get pregnant or have a child before the age of 18.
Last year at age 26 I had my first pregnancy which ended in a natural miscarriage. I was still emotionally bruised from the trauma of seeing a 4 month old fetus come out of my body at the time I found out I was pregnant in late June of 2013.
I had been with the father of both pregnancies for two years at this time, and we had just moved to another state. I was in the middle of starting my own business, and so was the father.
Now let me get a misconception about people who have abortions out of the way: I am not uneducated and neither is he. We were not emotionally prepared for a baby and I didn’t feel our relationship was at a point where being pregnant was a good idea. And did I mention that I was definitely not emotionally prepared to have a baby given that I was still dealing with the trauma of a natural miscarriage?
I made an appointment for my local Planned Parenthood center the week following a positive pregnancy test.
After watching a video describing what to expect (which is horribly played down) I decided to have a medication abortion at home. I signed my consent forms, signed all papers, took the first round of medications in the office, and was sent home with a bottle of four pills to take the next day.
The following day I had to dissolve the four pills in my mouth for 30 minutes. I put the pills in their places and hit “Start” on my stopwatch.
At the 29 minute mark I started to feel nauseated, and at 29 minutes and 58 seconds I ran to the bathroom, vomited the contents of my stomach, and had the most horrendous painful diarrhea of my life. When I got off the toilet, I had to grab a sanitary napkin because my cervix dilated and the abortion was underway. The next three hours I spent in bed with a trash can to hold all the bile that I was throwing up. When my stomach settled, I made a cherry coke and took the ibuprofen that was prescribed, and put in a movie.
For the next week I was constantly bleeding and in pain. I couldn’t go far without bringing ibuprofen along and a purse full of heavy duty pads.
I stopped bleeding a week following the day I took the second set of pills and went for my follow up appointment. The abortion was successful, and during the week long abortion I had time to deal with the sudden drop in hormones. I felt relieved that I didn’t have to be an emotionally unprepared mother to a life that deserved better than what I could have done at the time.
Over the next month I spent time grieving. My body had just been through a traumatic event and I needed to let that be known.
I was always pro-choice but never thought I’d make the decision to have an abortion. But I am honored that I live in a place where abortion is available to those who want it, and proud that the decision was mine alone.
Would I have made the same decision, looking back on it? Yes. Making the decision to have an abortion not only relieved any worries I had about being prepared for a child, but helped me deal with emotions associated with the prior miscarriage. I don’t know how, and I don’t know if the same thing happens with others, but it happened with me.