“’You're 4 weeks and 6 days,’ the nurse said. I was so early along in the pregnancy the nurse had to perform a transvaginal ultrasound to see the tiny sac. ‘Return to the waiting room and someone will call you back shortly.’ I made my way back down the hall, to the waiting room. I sat down next to my friend who accompanied me, I had decided to have an in-clinic surgical abortion and would be undergoing sedation, so I needed someone to drive me home after the procedure.
I was nervous but I never doubted that I was making the best decision for me. I was engaged and soon to be married but my fiancé was living in another state trying desperately to make ends meet. Our economic situation made providing for a baby an impossible task to do on our own and I was unwilling to become a burden on my loved ones. My fiancé supported my decision to terminate the pregnancy although he was on board if I decided to keep the baby as well.
I heard my name being called from the waiting room. I gave my friend a quick smile, trying to convince her that I would be fine. I could see the worry all over her face. I made my way down the hall and into room number 10. I sat down & tried to relax as the nurse took my vitals. She looked at me and said, ‘You're nervous aren't you. Your heart rate’s 105.’ I smirked and nodded my head. She took my blood pressure and pricked my finger to check my blood type. She asked me questions about my health history and if getting the abortion was my choice. I answered each honestly and explained to her that the choice was mine and mine alone.
After she asked all the pertinent information, she escorted me to the next room where a nurse awaited to insert my IV. I sat down in a chair surrounded by at least a half dozen other women, one woman had tears rolling down her cheeks. The nurse gave me two pills in a small white cup. One was an antibiotic & the other ibuprofen. She handed me a small cup of water and I took the pills. ‘I'm going to start an IV’ she said. I nodded and she inserted the IV. ‘This is Zofran, an anti-nausea medication,’ she explained. She inserted the syringe into the IV and the medicine then made its way to my vein. The nurse was kind and gentle. She tried to keep the atmosphere as light as possible, telling jokes here and there to try to bring a smile to our faces. I was grateful for her, as I needed something to keep my spirits up.
I sat there for what felt like an eternity waiting for my name to be called and for the procedure to be over. After quite some time my name was called, and I made my way into the surgical room. I began to shiver instantly upon arriving in the room. I wasn't sure if it was fear or the cold temperature of the room. The nurse noticing my body quivering quickly got a blanket and wrapped it around my shoulders. She then told me to undress from the waist down and to place the pad she had given me in my underwear as there would likely be bleeding after the procedure. She left the room and shortly after another nurse and the doctor entered the room.
The doctor gave me her name (although now I don't recall it) and shook my hand. She had me scoot to the edge of the surgical table and assisted me in putting my legs in the stirrups. The nurse then administered the sedation. She told me what medication each of the syringes contained & what they were for. I know one was for pain and sedation I can't quite recall what the other medication was for. I drifted away. I was awake but almost in what I could only describe as a twilight zone. I still at this moment cannot recall what took place during the procedure and I only had the procedure yesterday. I can't remember the sounds or what tools were used.
After the procedure was over the nurse assisted me in getting dressed. I remember thinking how kind she was helping my put on my underwear and pants and although I am sure this is a common occurrence under such circumstances she did with such gentleness and care. I made my way back to the waiting room, the nurse accompanied me ensuring that I was steady on my feet. I sat back down in the waiting room. The nurse told me she had to monitor my vitals for 30 minutes before I could leave. I didn't feel anything in that moment. Not guilt or shame but not relief either. I honestly felt numb.
On the drive home I thought about the choice I made and felt immense pride in how strong I had been. It takes a strong woman to be a mother and an equally strong woman to admit that she isn't ready to become one. I'm not ready to be a mother and that's ok. I would be lying if I said there weren't moments when grief, shame and guilt didn’t overcome me. There are even moments when I can't stop the tears from flowing but then I think about all the things a baby deserves and I remind myself that I couldn't give the baby those things. It's a harsh reality but a baby deserves so much more than I can give at the moment. I hope to one day be a mother when the time is right, and I am in a place economically and emotionally to do so. To those considering or who have had an abortion, the choice is yours and yours alone to make. If you decide that you are not ready to be a mother that's ok, you're not alone.” —Anonymous