“I am a thirty-one year old woman with a master's degree in a stable marriage for six years with no children and I just completed a medical abortion this weekend. That statement even surprises me just a few days later. I want to tell you about a real experience with medical abortion, as there are so many scare tactic stories on the Internet.
My husband and I met when we were twenty years old in college. We were both the first generation in our families to attend a university and were determined to stop the cycle of financial dependence and living paycheck to paycheck. My husband is a teacher and I now own my own business and have a few odd jobs to fill in the gaps. In our eleven years together we never once had a pregnancy "scare" until this past August.
I knew I was pregnant right away and I knew we couldn't financially afford to start a family. We'd be put right into the situations we worked so hard to get out of. The pregnancy was terrible. I had terrible pain, lost weight and would gush blood every week throughout. I believe that in time, I would have miscarried. But I didn't want to take that chance.
I live in a state that isn't as heavily regulated as most when it comes to abortion, but I also live in a rural community. I called up the nearest Planned Parenthood that prescribes the abortion pill-nearly two hundred miles away. The soonest I was able to get an appointment was two weeks.
The waiting was the most difficult part. And the googling. Google had me scared out of my mind about the possible experience of a medical abortion, but as an asthmatic who reacts poorly to surgery, I knew it was my best option.
The staff at the Planned Parenthood were so kind. I had a urine test, a vaginal ultrasound (the tech took as much time with me as I wanted, because I wanted to see the images and ask about what the screen was showing), a blood test, counseling with the RN about how to take the pills and what to expect and a meeting with the Doctor. I have never felt so supported from anyone in the medical field as I did with that staff.
My husband said they all must have tender hearts to work in a clinic under those circumstances. There were protestors yelling at me as I walked in, but I just kept reminding myself that they weren't going to adopt this child that had been making me so I'll for the past seven weeks.
I took the first pill while with the Doctor. She explained that most people can go on with their day and to take the misoprostol 24-48 hours later. I had some cramping and dizziness with the first pill, so I was glad I had taken the day off. That evening, I took the prescribed antibiotics and went to bed. When it was time for the misoprostol the next day, I was extremely anxious. I let the pills dissolve in my cheek as directed for thirty minutes and then swallowed the rest. I was told it could take hours, but the process began twenty minutes after I swallowed the last bits of the pills.
I threw up (but not from the pills-this was from the narcotic pain killer they gave me) maybe twice and only what I just eaten (a couple pieces of toast). Then I started cramping. I wouldn't describe it as menstral cramps. For me, it was as if there was a heavy pressure pushing down on my uterus. It was not painful, but it was constant and unpleasant. I stayed in the bathroom and bled out quite a bit. After about an hour of the uterine pressure, I passed a clot the size of a clementine and the pressure let up a little. I laid down for a few minutes and then the pressure completely disappeared. So did the nausea I had had everyday for the previous five weeks. I stood up and that's when I passed one more clot (the same size) and it was over.
From the time I took the misoprostol to the last clot took about two hours total. I felt relieved and good for the first time in over a month. I continued to bleed like a heavy period and am slowly returning back to myself. My hormones are a little shaky at times, and a sappy song on the radio can still make me cry. I will return to planned parenthood in a week and half for a checkup to make sure everyone came out alright.
I think there are plenty of stereotypes of the "type" of person who has an abortion. I had an abortion because my husband and I could not provide the type of life our child deserves. And it doesn't matter if you considered highly educated, if you are older or if you are in stable committed relationship. It's your body, it's your choice.
I was always pro-choice before my experience, but I have even stronger feelings about it now. No one should have to go through a pregnancy if they do not wish to. And don't let anyone use any scare tactics to try and keep you from getting the type of abortion you would prefer. I was able to have a private, personal experience that was very cathartic for me.” —Anonymous