“I'm married, 35 years old, with no children. My story is not only about abortion, but the pressure I had felt as a woman to ‘complete’ that duty in my life. I do not feel maternal, I do not feel moved when I am around babies or children, though I admire the women who manage to have babies. For my female friends, this is a possibility and for others, already mothers, a fact.
My husband and I took care of avoiding children for 7 years, till 3 weeks ago when the impossible happened. I was delayed 9 days and I am very regular. I thought this was because of the huge fibroid growing beside my uterus. I felt strange though. I decided to take a pregnancy test but I was sure it was not a pregnancy because my fibroid, which caused pain during sex. Me and my husband had relations once that month and was all left at the middle due to my pain.
A few days back I had payed for health insurance to take care of my fibroid. We borrowed the surgery money. When I took the test and it was positive I felt I was in a parallel reality. I could not properly breed. I just thought it was impossible and everything came to my mind at once: me without a job, my husband barely paying for everything, the money we owed, plus we received a letter from a service due to a bill debt that we had to pay, as well. I was in panic and scared...and in denial.
The next day went to the laboratory to run blood tests, hoping it was a hormonal imbalance mistake. I was so dizzy and felt so strange that day that I knew I was pregnant. The test was positive. And the torture began.
Crying, feeling scared, sad, sometimes hopeful—this was a sign. I needed a baby to improve my life and that my duty is to be a mother. It felt imposed and I felt caged. My husband was as confused as I was but supporting me. One day we were going to keep the baby, the next we were sure we could not, drowning into debts plus the surgery plan being lost with all the money, and by the time I could have the surgery again the fibroid would be very big.
We live in a very small place and the money we have is just for our expenses, plus we are in a foreign country with no family, just my husband and I. We felt scared, yet I was vulnerable in every possible way. I was feeling the morning sickness hitting hard while my mind was out of order. Besides my mom's cancer, these were the toughest days I had ever experienced, I felt just lost. Almost in autopilot mode, I made an appointment with my beloved Gynecologist to check the fibroid and pregnancy and study options. I was shaking that day, he was very kind and presented me the options, but for more hypothetically speaking—we wanted to keep the pregnancy, and our options were short.
I had the chance to listen to heart beats and see through the sonogram the embryo inside of me. That was shocking. But I was not happy deep inside, not excited and hopeful as I felt I should. I felt trapped, so I knew what I had to do.
I called the clinic and made an appointment for an abortion. It was a private clinic, and we had to borrow more money if I wanted to do this procedure with my gynecologist, so we had to go more into debts to solve this in the safest way possible.
In a foreign country where I do not know the language—I wanted this to be done by my doctor so I could feel I was in good hands. I had a few days ahead to keep thinking about it. The wait is the scariest and most confusing part. I researched a lot and freaked out, crawling into the covers of my bed, crying. I could not tell my mom because she is expecting I have babies sometime soon and she does not believe in abortion. I called a close girl friend and I had my husband.
The day before I felt very calm about the decision and did not pressure myself in any sense. If I felt different just right before the procedure I was allowing myself to say NO, any moment. I prepared everything for when I arrived home after the procedure, clean pjs and underwear, comfortable socks, clean sheets, menstrual pads, a few funny movies and I made chicken soup. I felt I needed it to treat myself with love instead since a few days before I felt like the worst, like I did not deserve for anything to be ok in my life. I think you have to become your best friend even if you have support around or not.
The day arrived and my husband and I went to the clinic, 9am sharp. I was calm but feeling the pregnancy symptoms that were making me feel so low, vulnerable and ill for many days now. I did not do anything for the past week, I was just feeling awful and weak, and it was horrible to make such a transcendental decision under those changes, plus the hormones effect. We arrived at the clinic on time and they accommodated me in a room with another lady. Clean, comfy bed, pjs and pressure socks were given to me. Everyone was nice.
I got scared when I was sent to wait in a recovery bedroom and the other lady was laying down with a catheter. I did not expected that but I let myself go into the situation. I went without breakfast and had to pee several times to empty the bladder. They put the needle/catheter for posterior intravenous physiological saline solution, took blood samples and asked questions about my health, allergies and family illnesses. They did not give me an ultrasound because days before I had one.
For a moment I was just in the bed having stomach turns every time a nurse came into the room. I had to wait there 3 hours, I think they injected me with something to dilate my cervix and relax because I felt calmer. My husband could be there beside me in a chair the whole waiting period. My doctor came into the room to ask some details and made me feel better, he was very kind and made me laugh a bit. The anesthesiologist also came and explained few things, I was worried because I had never been sedated or been in any kind of surgery so all of this was new to me.
The moment came and I was asked to follow a nurse to the operation room. This was surreal and fast. I remember thinking I had to be strong and I just went and lay down in the operation bed. My doctor was there with 2 nurses and the anesthesiologist. Everything was fast, I felt dizzy and in seconds I started having a fast speed dream. Next thing I knew I was back into the recovery bed, 15 minutes later. My husband and my friend were waiting for me there.
I felt a period-like dull pain that lasted about 30 min, and I was sleepy but stable. They put me on the physiological solution and I started talking with my friend. We were talking while the anesthetic was wearing off. I felt ok. The doctor came to check on me and an hour later asked a nurse to bring me food and a tea. My husband gave me the food and we watched tv and talked for the rest of the afternoon.
I went to pee and was bleeding bright red, not much though. I was dizzy but I was feeling like that already due to pregnancy. I stayed in bed till 7pm when they told me I could go. I was ok to go way before that time but I chose to stay in bed more. We took a cab and bought the medicines (antibiotics, painkiller,etc) and I had no pain, just discomfort in the area.
At home I felt ok too. Barely slept because I was scared and in alert of any strange bleeding or pain, but nothing happened. I woke up sore and inflamed but no pain, also no pregnancy symptoms. Next day I felt pain while urinating but I read that is normal. I did not bleed the next two days. Today, the 4th day after the abortion, I feel sharp, short, weak pain and a constant pressure like when I have a period, also had a light pinkish discharge. Next check is on Wednesday.
I just rested for the past few days and took it easy, my husband took care of me very well. I had been feeling ok but today I cried, because for a moment I wished to be happy with the idea of being a mother and avoid this situation. But it is ok, I am confident it was the best choice now, for us as a couple and for myself, it put everything into perspective...my life in many levels.
This is something to learn from, to grow from. To be scared is normal but you will go through this as I am doing and many are. Be strong for yourself and the ones you care about. Your body will heal. It is a safe procedure, seek information, be sure of yourself and that this choice is not wrong, we should not feel guilty for not wanting to be a mother, being under any circumstances, even mine where economical, health and emotional aspects converged together. Love to all of you reading me.” —Lina