“Went in for an abortion today in Toronto, Ontario. Got into the clinic at 8:15AM, had to wait until about 10AM to be admitted into the process. Honestly, this was the worst part of my experience. The waiting was what made my anxiety worsen, but I respect the clinic I went to and their process. Overall I was there for 4 hours, but the process took about 2 hours.
In the week leading up to my appointment, I read a lot of stories online from women across the globe and none of them really gave me a peace of mind. I intend to share this in the utmost detail to put people's minds at ease and provide a clear explanation of the process/my experience and provide information I failed to find online.
Upon being admitted into the OR waiting room, I was taken to a waiting area where I sat for about 20 minutes before being called in for an vaginal ultrasound. This was the least stressful part of the day. Unlike what I have previously been led to believe, the wand was very small and so harmless. The nurses were super sweet and respectful, and I asked to not be informed of how far along I was or any other information. (Just to give you an idea of the probable growth of the pregnancy, my last period was March 12th and I was in for the appointment on April 25th). I have no idea of the gestational period or any other information at all! I was definitely in my first trimester.
I then was sent to the counsellor. The lady was very sweet and intended to be clear with me, but I did find her to be a little dismissive of my concerns and did not really put me at ease as I have a severe needle phobia. For bloodwork and other needle related issues, I usually have a lorazepam prescription intended for me to take an hour before the needle, and I was denied this. This was honestly the worst part of my day, but in retrospect was due to my personal anxieties.
It may also be important to just provide a small background that I was all for the procedure. I am too young to support a child and bringing one into the world at this time would be a horrible selfish act. I have not achieved MY life goals and was not willing to compromise my success for a child that would put me in both financial and mental jeopardy for the rest of my life. My ONLY concern was the IV I had to have in the procedure.
After speaking to the counsellor, I was put in a waiting room where I was told to change and wait for them to input my IV. Shortly after changing the nurses called me in for my needle. I admittedly became very scared and manic, but rather than being frustrated or rude with me, the nurses took the IV needle out of the packaging and showed me all the parts. The IV needle is a very thin needle, probably about a 24 gauge. I have a 14 gauge septum piercing in my nose which is much larger in comparison and this put me at ease (oddly, needle sizes in thickness run backwards on a needle scale). The IV was not a metal needle like I expected, it was actually a rubber catheter that surrounded the needle which was super flexible and was placed into my vein.
Although I was scared and admittedly cried a bit and had to hold another nurses hand for the needle, it was a 2/10 pain, even with my extreme needle phobia. It took about 5 seconds to place in my arm and caused me NO pain after I then had to wait about 15 minutes until being admitted into the surgery room.
There I was told to lie down as they gave me fentanyl as well as atropine. The surgery room had a large tapestry of a tree on the ceiling, as if you were lying underneath a tree on a summer day. I had read previous stories of women being injected with anesthetic and feeling burning across their bodies, but honestly, I felt nothing and it hit me very slowly.
The procedure itself was admittedly not 100% painless. I would say a 4/10 pain scale, but I have had period cramps SEVERELY worse than this. The doctor froze my cervix (felt like someone was just squeezing my cervix, no pinching at all) and then went ahead with the procedure. The worst part was the actual suction, but literally probably was 30 seconds of pain, but in all honesty you are so high on the meds it takes you so long to register what is even happening before you realize it even hurt. The whole procedure probably took 2 minutes as a whole.
Really, in retrospect, I almost want to laugh. I just remember being confused the whole time, not in a bad or taken-advantage of way, but the drugs really make you forget what is actually happening as a whole. I was calm and able to talk calmly to the nurse with me the whole time. They then placed a pad over me and gave me a gauze pair of weird underwear and I was escorted to a recovery room where I was given oreos and gingerale. I laid down in a recliner with a heat pad and was smiling the whole time because it was over.
From the trauma I actually I expected the experience to give me, it was probably a 1/10 in reality, and NOT saying I would ever want it to happen again, but honestly, I have had dental surgeries that were SO much worse. For anyone reading horror stories online, questioning their strengths and abilities to follow through because of how scary it may seem, I just have to say, dont be scared. Its kind of hypocritical because if someone said it to me before my procedure, I would have thought they were lying.
IT IS NOT THAT BAD IT IS NOT THAT TRAUMATIC IT DOES NOT HURT YOU WILL BE OK. Know this.
We are strong independent women in charge of our bodies. I applaud you and your choices, whether it be moving forward with an abortion or motherhood. Do what is right for you and know you are not alone in this struggle. The best way out is through.” —Anonymous