“I am a 17-year-old high school student in my junior year, and one day my biggest nightmare became a reality—I was pregnant. My periods are very irregular so when my period skipped a month I was not immediately concerned, because this happens quite often. After they skip a month, the following month my period comes the first week and then the last. I didn’t become suspicious until it was the second week of January and no period. I soon took a test and the result was positive. I knew immediately without second thought that I needed to terminate the pregnancy.
I luckily have a very supportive father who did not question, argue with, or second guess my decision of abortion. This is not a reality for a lot of people, which is a very sad and hard situation for a lot of women, especially at my age. If you are considering abortion but are having second thoughts, please take a moment to read my experience and I hope it will bring you a peace of mind and help bring you comfort in your future decision.
I actually am writing this on January 18th, the day of my abortion. I was extremely nervous going in today. I had my father and my best friend, who is practically my long-lost sister with me. It was really nice to have a supportive pair with me. It brought me a lot of comfort. My father was definitely more worked up than me, so as I went back in the room to start preparing for my procedure I went alone. I didn’t want my dad or my friend back with me because I felt it might not only work me up more and make me feel nervous and uncomfortable, but I didn’t want them to have to watch me go through something like that.
I went in the room and I took off the bottom half of my clothing, then I was given an ultrasound to confirm how far along my pregnancy was. I was 10 and 1/2 weeks. For the ultrasound, my doctor beforehand gave me the option of looking at it or not and listening to the heartbeat. I chose not to look at the ultrasound or hear the heartbeat, as I felt it would give me some type of trauma. Then I was given 800 mg of Ibuprofen, 2 antibiotics to prevent risk of infection which is an extremely low chance, and 1 Ativan to help ease my nerves because I was extremely nervous. The doctor gave me time alone in the room to let all the medication kick in, which was really nice.
When the doctor came back in she had a nurse and a student shadow with her, who were extremely nice. The doctor examined my cervix with her fingers, then she proceeded to put the speculum in and open up my cervix. I only felt a little bit of pressure, but I was focusing on my breathing the whole time to keep my mind off the pressure. She then tested me with a swab for STDS, which is just a standard procedure since I haven’t been tested. Then she cleaned out my cervix, then proceeded to put the three numbing shots in my cervix. Because of the pressure I was feeling from the speculum, I didn’t feel them at all, not even a pinch. Needles are my biggest fear and that was the biggest concern on my mind. I was very relieved to not even feel them. Then she did some other things like dilate me, open my cervix up more, then began the procedure. Now after the shots I did start to feel nauseous, I got a weird taste in my mouth and my hearing went out a little bit, but that was all normal.
Once the procedure began, the student shadow held my hand the whole time and she just talked to me about everything, her and the doctor both were asking me questions and starting different types of conversations, which was extremely comforting and helped me keep my mind off the discomfort. The pain was very bearable the whole time during the procedure. I just felt pressure, discomfort and painful menstrual-like cramps. The pain didn’t become extreme to me until I would say the last two minutes after everything was removed and the doctor was just double checking and making sure everything was out and cleaned up. This is when I stopped the conversation because I was in extreme pain, moaning and groaning and my legs started to shake.
Now like I said, my pain tolerance is extremely low, and it wasn’t until the last few minutes where I was on the verge of not handling it well. After it was over, I was immediately relieved that the pain would stop, and I wouldn’t have to worry about the pregnancy anymore. I immediately started crying because of the amount of relief and pain I was in. I immediately asked for my friend to come back when they finished cleaning me up and I was given a heating pad.
I was in a lot of discomfort, and the menstrual-like cramps were at their worst for me at this point, I told the nurse they were at a 9 with 10 being the worst. My hips were also feeling extremely sore and all around I was in discomfort. I began feeling extremely nauseous. The doctor told me I might throw up because of the medication mixed with my pain and nerves and that the pain would subside in 5-10 minutes.
After my friend came in, she was holding me and I was crying and in a lot of pain, then I threw up. After I threw up, I started feeling a lot better and the pain started to slowly subside, and the nurses were all so nice and helpful. I just laid there for probably around 45 minutes to an hour, and at that point pain was down to a 3 and had been for a while. The doctor gave me pads and wash cloths for me to go to the bathroom and clean up and check my blood. I was bleeding but like a normal period. Everything just seemed like a period at this point. Luckily my bleeding has been very low all day today, I am only on my second pad and the bleeding is extremely light for me. The cramps stopped eventually by the time I got home a couple hours after the procedure.
Now I am just lying in bed relaxed and feeling great. I have felt very tired since I got home, and I took a great 4-hour nap. I have been eating regularly all day nothing is abnormal. Now I just feel like I am on my period. I hope my experience in the raw storytelling doesn’t scare you, but just opens your eyes and can help you mentally prepare yourself before you go in for the procedure. I also forgot to mention after the procedure they also inserted an IUD for me upon my request. I am hoping it helps regulate out my irregular periods and will work as a new strong birth control for me. I have read up on it a lot and it was the perfect option for me.” —Anonymous