My children do not know I chose them over the pregnancy, but that is exactly what I did. I was 36, it was January 2013 when I knew I was pregnant. BC failure. We decided together we would have the baby. I was not excited to be starting over, I already had 2 great boys 15 and 8. We were scraping by but we made it. We would do fine, we had 2 incomes, I had health insurance. I started buying diapers, outfits, bottles. I seriously struggled with bottle feeding because I did not trust formula makers. I started accepting the flood of hand me downs – strollers, a crib, baby toys.
My second income decided he was moving in with another woman. When he told me this I should have been devastated but I wasn’t. I was hit with a wave of panic. I was 4 months pregnant and my job was too physically demanding to work much longer while pregnant, we needed his income to make it while I was out of work. In all reality I should not have been doing it at that time of the pregnancy. (My job included loading and unloading a van with 150 lb crates 3 times a week and moving large tables the other 2 days) That job kept a roof over my family’s head. I looked into welfare and it would not have been enough to pay rent, we did not have paid medical or maternity leave, I could have worked a lighter duty position but the pay would have went down and I still would not have been able to pay the rent on my 1 bedroom crappy and cheap unit. At the time I lived in a small landlocked town, I had a really bad feeling I would have a hard time getting an abortion there, they like to think they are liberal but things like this don’t happen there. I ordered an MPT kit, it is an abortion kit meant for 3rd world countries where women don’t have access to abortions. I went to my Ob appointment, had my ultrasound, demanded to know exactly how far along I was, she told me I was 19 weeks 3 days. 20 weeks is the cut off for an abortion in AK. I ask for an abortion they refused. I had a fit, screamed, cried and begged for a referral outside, then I straight up ask the girl at the front to give me a list of providers, she literally turned her chair back to me, and I yelled again this was supposed to be a doctor’s office is there any professionals in here. There was not. I weighed my options hard; I had already looked up the safety issues with taking the pills this late in the pregnancy, WHO recommended they not be used after 20 weeks, there were safety issues with them. I had to decide if I was going to do it now or take a chance on miscarrying at a later date while working. I would not have left work, not because I liked it but because it provided a roof for my kids. At the time I felt it was safer for me to end it then. I used the pills as directed, told my oldest son to watch his brother, I was going to stay with a friend of mine. I went to the hospital when I knew it was far too late to stop the labor. That was the beginning of a new hell. I was in the final stages of labor and could no longer speak a coherent sentence. An EMT helped me out of the car and took me into the ER (still not sure why I was not taken to Labor and delivery) The nurses ran to me, one asked me who my ob was. I was able to tell them that. They tried to get my name, I gave them my ID, one asked me how far along I was and if I wanted to stop the labor, I flat said no. My friend came in and told them I had taken something to end the pregnancy; I was asked again if I wanted to stop the labor, I said no again. The EMT came back in and started an IV, the nurses made some seriously off remarks, including the determination that they put in my medical records that my friend who was a girl and I were lesbians, we were not. They demanded to know what I took. I could not tell them, I was in to much pain to speak a coherent sentence. My friend gave them the package and direction to what I took the MPT kit. I didn’t see them again for a while, my friend standing at the end of my bed yelled at them for not giving me any care, not so much as blood pressure or a pelvic exam. Then she got serious. She was a personal friend of one of our state reps. I lived in Juneau a land locked town of 30 thousand and the state capital, and she said she was calling her, pulled out her phone and dialed the number. The nurse came in and gave me some pain meds in my IV, and did some basic care. My friend left to go to the house and pick some things up. While she was gone wow! I had a nurse standing at my bed side screaming at me and stomping her foot demanding to know why, as if it was her business. It was not, it was her job to be a professional and provide necessary care. A doctor from my Ob group came in said I can’t believe you did it. I had told them earlier at a visit that day if they would not do it or refer me to someone who could I would, I told them what I would take.
He left the room. It was a curtained off room not an actual room and the nurses’ station was close. I could hear him talking on the phone and asking how to save the baby, I had already told the nurses NO! Bartlett hospital did not have a NICU, he ordered an ultrasound, when the ultrasound tech came in they gave me a large dose of some kind of pain killer. I was in and out during the ultrasound and then taken back to my curtained room. My Ob doctor standing at the foot of my bed stopped the ultrasound tech and asked her about the ultrasound and if they could “save the baby,” she kinda stumbled looked and said “Oh he’s far gone.” He said he was going to admit me to labor and delivery and disappeared. My friend was there, I had to pee, she ask a nurse or an aid for a bed pan, the girl brought me a toilet on a walker she slammed it down at my bed side. I looked at my friend and she shuffled around the room got a bed pan and helped me on it. I sat up my water broke and the head passed through the cervix and my labor stopped. They took me into the labor and delivery, the doctor ask me about my contractions, I said they stopped. He left and came back with a pill and said this is the same thing you took and started to insert it, felt the head, I was told to push, I did a few times, the baby was delivered. He left the baby between my legs. I laid there then told him to remove it, he said he couldn’t it was attached to the placenta he had to wait for it to be delivered. I laid there for a few more minutes with my legs in a frog position, they were weak and shaking. I told him again to remove the baby he again said he couldn’t, I told him to put a pair of hemostats on the cord and move the fetus. He still did not then I told I could not hold my legs up any longer and he cut the cord and moved the fetus. It was over and I felt relieved. I did not deliver the placenta and about 6 or 7 am he came in, told me the risk of a D&C and took me back to prep for surgery. In the hall on the way to the OR one of the nurses or maybe she was an aid opened my chart and held it open to the page that had photos of my fetus on it and held it there for me to see. I kicked the chat off the bed. When I got back for prep they sat me up right with my legs hung over the bedside and gave me an epidural and something in my IV. They lifted my legs back to the bed and the placenta was delivered. I said I don’t need surgery, it’s done, and passed out. They went ahead and did it anyway because “but because we were there we put a sterile speculum and examined the cervical os any way.” When I said I didn’t need the surgery that was consent removed.
When I woke up in my room I was angry. The surgery was not needed at that time, I was angry about the nerve of the hospital doctors who ever to take photos of my fetus and the bitch who decide to show them to me. But it was not over yet. When I was being discharged another nurse or whoever she was came in with a clipboard for me to sign the discharge paper work, a small stack of it. She also brought a box of tissue for me, I did not give her the satisfaction shedding a tear.
I signed the first page flipped to the second page looking to find something to sign to see a Newborn Identification page H*** baby boy demise race w weight 273 grams 10 oz length 23.5 cm 9 ¼ inches it had his foot prints on it. She apologized and flipped the page for me but it was not immediately. She watched me read it, she said that was not supposed to be in there. Then she handed me a box of tissue and I handed the clipboard back to her.
A lot of people think that I aborted this fetus out of revenge to punish G***. They’re wrong, when he told me he was leaving it was not about him anymore, it was about the ability for me to be able to keep a roof over my kids heads. Social programs would not do that. My choice to abort was, I am sure, a lot easier than someone who does not already have children, I explored my other possibilities and they would not work, I had to provide for the two children I already had and that was the bottom line, I was not going to put a pregnancy above the kids I already had.
My abortion was not a good experience. None are, mine I think worse than most. I had the hormonal ups and downs for the next 6 months, I was upset, I was hurt, I was angry. During that time I can honestly say I did not regret my choice, I didn’t like it and it hurt and it hurt more when I had to pack baby things up . I made the choice to end the pregnancy and some say kill the baby. Call it what you want. I don’t like it, I am not ashamed and I do not regret it, It was the best choice in a bad situation. I am a woman, we make the hard decisions, abortion is one of them. It is never taken lightly, every woman who has an abortion feels some pain from it, even if they do not show it. The only person who would ever want an abortion is a pregnant woman. You don’t have to have an abortion if you don’t want one. Do not stand in another woman’s way who wants one, because when it comes down to the basics of it, it is her body that is providing the life support and her body is not owed to any one, not a fetus not a husband. On the emotional side of it, you do not know what is going on even if you think you do. So if you are anti-abortion and you truly do want to lessen or even end abortion, then support birth control. Then next time you hear your senator or rep say abortion, slap the shit out of him, and ask him why he hasn’t require paid medical maternity leave for all stages of pregnancy, ask him why he hasn’t raised the minimum wage to a living wage so maybe that woman could afford to have the child.
Most abortions are for economic reasons to keep a job, not because you are in love with it but because you need the money to survive. It is not because there is money in providing abortions, there is more money in delivering babies.