“This is dedicated to all of the women who have ever felt alone after choosing to have an abortion. You are not alone, you are loved, you are worthy, and you are still a mother, don’t let anyone take that from you. This is my experience, and it is not meant to change the minds of anyone who already has a belief about how they feel about abortion, but more so to give my account on an experience that changed my life forever.
I’m a mother by my own right, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and so much more. I am someone close to you, that you never would have expected this to come from, and that is my purpose… I am not alone, and you are not alone, WE are not alone. There are many like us, and we don’t have to be ashamed. I am not disgusting. I am not insensitive. I am not less of a woman. I am not anything else people may refer to me as. I am a woman, and I have a right to do whatever I so choose with my body, and I won’t let anyone make me feel less for doing so.
1:30 AM February 15, 2018. It’s been almost exactly two weeks since I’ve terminated my pregnancy. I’ve experienced every possible emotion than could be associated with doing such a thing. Some days I feel that I am at peace, and other days I feel absolute chaos within myself. Some days, I stay up late, like tonight and I just cry and scream. Due to the emotive nature of my personality, I knew that this would be a tough pill to swallow. I try my best to continue to think with the logic that led me to my decision, but my heart is hurting so badly it makes it hard. The circumstances were very much less than ideal.
I am a 22 year old dental assistant, I am still living with my mother, the child’s father and I aren’t in a stable relationship, and I am still financially unstable according to my own definition. Sure people ‘step up’, and have children all the time but they are dependent upon government funds and handouts, and that isn’t something I personally wanted for my child. I know that one day when I am in a better place financially and mentally, my sweet child will come back to me. The father will love US unconditionally, and things will feel so much better.
Sometimes I just dig out my ultrasound pictures and smile, sometimes I cry. I was 5 weeks when my pregnancy gave me a positive result, and 7 weeks when I went in for my abortion.
February 1, 2018. Today, I arrived in Indianapolis for my ultrasound, for some reason they make you pay for this process even if you already know you are pregnant for ‘verification’ purposes. I’d already gotten an ultrasound the day before, but this didn’t matter to them. I saw my baby, and I even got the opportunity to listen to the heartbeat. It was about the size of a lima bean or so. I felt overwhelmed with happiness upon seeing this, and flushed with sadness when I thought about what I was planning to do next. The truth is, I already loved and grew an emotional connection with the life that was blossoming inside of me…but I also knew at the same time I could not keep this child.
February 2, 2018. The day that I won’t ever forget. I am thankful not to have been completely alone, because originally that was the plan. My best friend took a half day at work to be by my side. I can never thank her enough for being supportive, and trying to make light of such a hard situation. Upon arriving to the clinic I faced a protestor, who carried a sign with a dead fetus, and words that read 'does anyone even care' he shouted at us 'you’re so young and full of life, you’re going to regret this for the rest of your life' perhaps, he was right. I checked in, and I waited.
They called me back to take my vitals, everything was okay except I ran a fever, I was very nervous about it all. I was moved to a sitting area closer to the rooms where they did the procedure, and I waited. I thought, I cried inside, but I kept a strong spirit, I had to do this, for us. After about 30 minutes, they called for me, and I walked back into the room. I observed everything. The room was small, and kind of old looking, there was a suction tube nearby, a sharps container, and a bleach container mixed with water and then the exam table with large stirrups. The medical assistant came in and instructed me to take off my clothes from the waist down, and to use the thin sheet to cover, and to sit on the table. I sat dazed, my heart racing, waiting for the doctor to come in. A few minutes past and a tall white man with a kind smile walked in. He introduced himself to me and sat on the small soon close to me. We talked for a bit and he told me about the procedure, and asked if I had any questions, I shook my head no. I laid back on the exam table and placed my feet in the stirrups.
Due to the fact they didn’t do general anesthesia, he accessed my cervix and injected a local anesthetic, luckily, I didn’t feel a thing. The first few minutes were a breeze, he talked to me as he dilated my cervix enough to reach the uterus, and he used several tools to do so. After being dilated, he began to scrape the embryo and any other tissues from my uterus. This process was called, curettage. He scraped, and it was okay, at first … and then the cramps became too much to bare. Tears streamed down my face and I began to scream. He talked to me as he did this, he said sorry for hurting me several times. He told me that my uterus was retroverted, making it harder to access, thus making it more painful. The medical assistant instructed me not to scream, and to hold her hand, I held her hand tightly and cried silently, eyes closed.
This process lasted for about 3 minutes, but it felt like 3 hours. My breathing was so fast that I almost went into hyperventilation, everything was dizzy, and then it was over. It was over! I laid there, sad, mad, disgusted at what had just happened. I slowly picked myself up from the exam table, and put on my underwear that had a pad tucked inside. The medical assistant walked me to the recovery room where I was given a strong dose of antibiotic to ward off any infection, and where I relaxed with a heating pad on my stomach. After 10 or 15 minutes, the nurse wanted to me go to the restroom and see how much bleeding I was having, which surprisingly, wasn’t much. I returned to my chair, relaxed for another 10 minutes or so and then I departed the recovery room where my best friend sat patiently waiting for me.
The security guard walked us to our car, luckily, no protestors were outside, and we got in and drove off. The rest of the weekend I recovered. I went through times where I bled none, a little, and then times I bled so much I thought it would never stop. The bleeding stopped completely around Sunday, and I thought that was the end until it surprised me Monday morning. I bled through several pads, and I passed large clots, it hurt so bad that it debilitated me. I laid in bed with my heating pad and Ibuprofen most of the time.
The day I was due back for work, I couldn’t even go due to the size of the clots I was having and the pain. I laid in bed most the day and just cried. During the time a million thoughts ran through my head, even though I felt sadness, I also felt relief. I suppose I had deserved this pain for what I’d done some would say, but that just isn’t a fair thought to me.
I loved the idea of having a baby, but I loved the idea of having it with someone who loved me, being financially stable, and being more educated before I brought a child into the world, more than that. I don’t owe anyone an explanation as to what I did, and that isn’t my purpose in sharing. My hopes are to share my personal experience on account of women who wish they were brave enough to speak out about what they went through. I sat in silence for a short time, but then I realized who I am, and it isn’t my nature to feel ashamed about any choice I made as a woman.
I am not running, hiding, or afraid to say that I’ve had an abortion. It is not something that I would like to experience again, and not something I would want anyone to have to experience alone. To all of my women who’ve suffered in silence, I hope you find inner peace, strength, and courage to move forward from your decision. It doesn’t define who you are nor does it make you a bad person. I appreciate you for taking the time out to hear my story.” —Signed candidly, Ariana