“Ill start by saying if you are apprehensive, nervous, terrified and don't know what to expect with having a surgical abortion—I strongly recommend you read this story. I read hundreds in the weeks up to my own and totally psyched myself out something awful. I suspected I was pregnant for about 2 weeks until I finally fought up the nerve to pee on that stick. I didn't tell my boyfriend, or my mother, or anyone what I had thought may be true.
When I finally did work up the nerve to accept my reality, I bought the test on a whim at Walmart, hurried home and peed on the stick. I chickened out and threw it under the sink before the result came up and left it under there while I worked up the balls to look for a half hour. Finally, I couldn't stand it and slipped in the bathroom to read the test with my boyfriend just outside the door... Clueless. I glanced down and read the one word on the sticks screen 'PREGNANT'.
Honestly, it didn't come as a huge shock. Im a pessimist, and very unlucky. I had already assumed the worst. Still, afterwards my boyfriend could read the fear and shock on my face and kept asking what was wrong. I couldn't tell him.
The next morning, I googled and read about some abortion clinics in my area. One advertised very little wait times compared to the others who warned each appointment usually lasted 4 to 6 hours. I called and scheduled the appointment for the next morning. The morning of my sisters baby shower, ironically.
The first appointment was quick. I arrived and was called back within 5 minutes or so. The nurse made me 'empty my bladder' nd walked me to an ultrasound room. She asked my last period, which had been about 5 weeks earlier. The nurse said since I was so early, I had to have a vaginal ultrasound. She lubed up a big metallic stick and inserted it into me. She kept saying 'if you keep tensing up, I won't be able to see'.
As if anyone can relax under the circumstances with a long metal rod in them. It didn't hurt, I was just freaked out. She finally got the image, asked if I wanted a copy or to know if there was a heartbeat. I declined both. She handed me a print out that said i was 'Less than 5 weeks and 0 days' and estimated I was around 4 to 4 and a half weeks. I was surprised by how early I was. But relieved.
After that, she took me to another room where she took my blood pressure and pricked my finger to see if I was RH negative. I wasnt. I asked my questions and had decided I wanted a surgical abortion. I had a friend who had told me a horror story about her excruciating pill one, where she had to endure hours of horrific pain and seared the 'plop sound' of the fetal sack dropping into the toilet into her mind. I opted for a few minute of uncomfortablness or pain to not have to go through that.
Next, the doctor came in and had me sign some consent papers. She was a younger woman, and I was relieved she gave me the opportunity to schedule my procedure with her. I felt better knowing that a woman was going to do it, and her demeanor was cool but gentle. Both her and my nurse said I made the right choice with a surgical, and if they were in my position they would have a surgical too. The doc said when I walked out the door after my surgical, I would know I wasnt pregnant. With the pill, there was a higher fail rate and I wouldn't know if it was successful until 3 weeks later at the follow up.
I scheduled my procedure for the following Tuesday, 3 days away. The whole first appointment took less than an hour and a half. I drove straight to the torture that was my sisters baby shower afterwards. I played games and molded fake babies with playdough, all the while thinking about the fetus I was to abort in my stomach. The cute baby booties and onesies and presents she opened were the final straw. I excused myself from the shower early and drove home numb. Ready to have it all over with.
My boyfriend confronted me when I got home about a pregnancy test wrapper he saw in the trash. I admitted it to him. For a weird reason, I didn't want to tell him until after the abortion. Telling anyone would make it real. I wanted to get it done, and live my life like it never happened. Denial is one of my favorite coping skills.
Tuesday came after 3 days of nausea, cramping, cravings for fried chicken, and boobs that felt like they were twice the size and horribly painful. My boyfriend agreed to drive me, but that's all I would allow him to do. I cope with things better on my own, and didn't want him there for anything, much to his dismay.
About 10 minutes after I left to make the drive to the clinic to have the surgical, I inserted the miprosol into my cheeks. We drove in silence towards the clinic. Which was interrupted by a loud thumping noise. My tire going flat. We got out and the thing was SHREDDED. LITERALLY. We waited an hour and a half for triple a to show to change it. I tried to call the clinic a million times, just kept getting voicemail. I was freaking out that I had already taken the meds and would probably now miss my procedure. Seriously? This is happening NOW??
We went home afterwards, knowing I had long missed my appointment and couldn't get ahold of the clinic anyway. I cried and cried. I thought the universe was trying to stop me. I found out I was one number off on the clinics phone number. Id hate to hear the voicemails of me in tears some poor shmuck had to listen to.
The next morning, I called the correct number. I asked to reschedule with the same woman doc I was supposed to have. The nurse replied 'but you didn't show up the last time' I felt she was implying that I didn't deserve to pick my doctor. She told me the only appointment until the next week was tomorrow at 8am. I still believe she was lying to this day. I jumped on it anyways. I just wanted it over as soon as possible. She said it was a different woman doctor. I was relieved it was still a woman.
The next morning came. My boyfriend drove me again. We made it in one piece this time. I had read about a billion horror stories about surgical abortions with just local anasthetic, no sedation. I would have opted for all the sedation in the world had I had the choice. The clinic only offered laughing gas and an ibuprofen shot. Oh, and a vicodin and Valium they had me take when I got there. I was the first person there, followed by a few other woman.
They called me back and gave me the toradol shot and took my vitals then sent me back to the waiting room. 5 minutes later, the nurse called my name. My heart stopped, this was it. I have horrible anxiety and had read all those stories of women going through horrible pains and cramps, some almost passing out from the pain. Most all of them urged you to have sedation. I had no choice.
She walked me back to the room with the table and stirrups. I told her itd only been about ten minutes since id taken the norco and valium and I doubt it had kicked in. She didn't care. She had me undress, and I asked for a few minutes to suck down the laughing gas. She said I had until the doctor came, then left and came back 30 seconds later with a 70 year old MALE doctor. I was absolutely terrified. No way had the pain meds kicked in, laughing gas did nothing but make me a bit tingly in the thirty seconds, nd now a 70 year old man was my doctor.
I 'womaned' up and powered through anyways. I knew itd be quick. I was shaking from fear. The nurse didn't offer me her hand like I had read in other stories. The doc inserted something into me, then said "here comes the shots". Those seemed painful at the time, but in retrospect my nerves made it worse. Id rate them a 5 out of 10. He then dilated me and I heard one or two clicks from the device. That was more uncomfortable than painful. Id rate them a 3 or 4 on the pain scale. And, that pain only lasted while the clicking happened, maybe 10 or 15 seconds. Then he used what looked like a turkey baster (the nurse showed me it before, I couldn't see) and I heard a weird ‘sloop’. Maybe a tiny tug sensation came with it, but barely noticeable and I may have imagined it because I read it in other woman's stories.
I asked if it was over. The doc said almost, I just have to check I got it all. Then about 5 seconds later, he pulled the instrument out and I sat up. 'Its all over?' I asked. He said he wanted to do a vaginal ultrasound quick since I was so early to make sure everything was good. He inserted a much smaller ultrasound stick than the last one, and was 10 times quicker than the nurse at the first appointment. That took maybe 5 seconds, and he exclaimed I was "clean as a whistle". The entire procedure took what I'm estimating to be 2 to 3 minutes at the most. Closer to two. I expected the minutes to feel like hours, since I was SO ANXIOUS (I have anxiety problems as it is) It wasnt at all painful, except for the minor pains I explained that each lasted maybe 10 to 15 seconds each. Everything else was just slightly uncomfortable.
The stories of woman getting surgicals with only local anesthetic were more torture on my mind in the days leading up than anything the procedure could have produced. The procedure was quick as ever, and really not any more painful than having blood drawn or a rough papsmear. The few positive stories I read were spot on. It literally was less painful than an iud insertion, and so quick that I hardly can believe anyone who says otherwise. It was nothing. A breeze compared to what I expected. Please don't be worried about the procedure itself.
After the abortion was over, the lady had me use the paper I had covered myself with to wipe myself off (ew, right?) and then get dressed. I wasnt in any pain at all. No painful cramps, no residual pain. She walked me to the recovery room with recliners and heating pads. I sat down and put one on. The only sensation I had was maybe a tad bit of weird feeling in my uterus. It was just like when you have a heavy period, your uterus kind of feels like its 'tired' or 'sore'. That was it.
Another nurse asked my pain level. I said 2. Just because of the tired uterus feeling. She gave me my antibiotics and went over aftercare. No sex, tampons, or swimming for two weeks. Antibiotics for 3 days. Take the pregnancy test 3 weeks after to make sure its negative. Then sent me on my way with that and a birth control prescription. The entire appointment lasted an hour and a half from walking in, to walking out.
Its been 2 days since then, and the 'sore uterus' feeling is pretty much all I've dealt with since. Maybe some very very light cramping a few seconds a day, but hardly noticeable. I've been taking it easy and have had maybe 2 tablespoons of bleeding since the procedure. Just need to wear a liner.
After the whole ordeal, I read articles about how the clinic I went to was owned by the male doctor who did my procedure. His last clinic in the same spot as the one I went to was shut down, and he practiced in a bordering state for a few months before he opened the one I went to under a new name. The state is trying to take his license for having 41% of complications relating to the pill abortion in the entire state of Ohio. He also got busted writing 'empty prescriptions' (no pill amount on them) for people. He wasnt licensed to give sedation, that's why they didnt offer it.
Other than the shoddy doctor and clinic I went to, and rather rude nurses and staff... The entire ordeal felt like a regular trip to the gyno. I read so few positive stories beforehand, so I'm putting mine out there to help another in my position. If I went through this with no sedation, at a shoddy clinic, and all the roadblocks along the way and came out unscathed and had such a no big deal procedure, you'll be fine too. Good luck ladies. You'll do great.” —Cris