“It happened yesterday. I'm 29 years old and already have a five-year-old son. Although my son’s father is in his life every other weekend, I’m a single mom. My son depends on me and his father pays the state MINIMUM in child support. I have a caring boyfriend of a little over a year, however, we broke up a few times through last year due to mostly my indecisiveness regarding commitment. He took the last break up pretty hard and went "back out " (we are both members of alcoholics anonymous and his drug of choice is heroin). He cleaned up and got back in the program after his short binge and he and I decided to work through my commitment issues and try again in early January.
Come February, I missed my period. We agonized over what to do (mostly I agonized). He wanted to keep it. I went to my first appointment at PPH and scheduled the next appointment for the procedure. I chose the procedure because of less side effects & at this time I was only 6 weeks along. My 2nd appointment came up on a Saturday and I couldn’t follow through... I was scared and sad and I wondered if maybe I could keep it. My boyfriend was glad I didn't go. Within days I felt regretful about not going... I realized my boyfriend and I are not ready for a baby. Taking care of my son is financially challenging enough at times. My parents are not supportive people and I knew if my boyfriend and I don’t work out, I’d be on my own with a baby and my son.
I scheduled another appointment but with a different clinic this time as the ultrasound is cheaper and I read that they would sedate me unlike PPH. After my first appointment, I scheduled the 2nd and that happened yesterday. I cried on the way there because I felt sad… guilt... wonder of if I am doing wrong.
I then got to the place and protestors were YELLING and holding signs in front of the clinic... they were the worst part of the experience to me. The volunteer at the clinic (funny thing is I knew her but she didn't recognize me & I was thankful for that), told me and my boyfriend there was no more parking but if we wanted she would ride with us to the closest street parking and we could follow her through the back. I started to get a mini panic attack at the thought of having to walk past the 20 or 30 protesters, but we accepted her help. She guided us in and I covered my ears as men and women holding crosses and signs yelled things at me. I mostly couldn’t hear but I did lose my temper and screamed ‘you're NOT helping!’ at one of the men. I also yelled at one of the women ‘are you going to raise it?!’... to which she emphatically nodded her head yes and smiled. It was all very strange and creepy but also emotionally painful. I felt shamed and heaped with guilt.
Once I got inside the clinic I was crying and visibly shaking. A man and woman looked at me with empathy in their eyes and nodded as if to say, we understand. I said ‘that was awful... this is already hard enough.’ I can say that, if anything, the protesters encouraged me to go forward with the procedure strangely enough. When I got to the back, I spoke to some of the ladies and heard their stories... we shared our circumstances and talked about the procedure. This is my second abortion, so I was able to explain to some that they didn't have to worry about too much pain.
The nurse gave me something like 5 pills to swallow, one being 15mg of valium which kicked in after 20 minutes, and 4 to put inside my cheeks that soften the cervix. After that I waited about 30 minutes and was called into the procedure room. The nurse gave me an i.v. sedative that helped a lot (the pills that sit inside your cheeks have a side effect of making you shake so the iv sedative stopped all the shaking). I don’t remember much next but I do recall quite a bit more pressureish/pain than I expected and then it was done. Took maybe 5 minutes?
The nurse helped me get dressed and get my things out of the locker. My boyfriend was waiting for me with the car pulled up and I drifted in and out of a dreamlike state the ride home... he didn't like seeing me like that and I could hear it in his voice that he was annoyed? Today, I've cried some. I think I made the right choice. Regardless, it is still a difficult and sad thing to do and I hope to not go through the agony of deciding what to do ever again. Once I'm making a better living and or married to a man who can support the family more, I believe I would keep it but that isn’t my circumstance. I’m thankful for the choice available to women and am looking forward to volunteering at the clinic I went to or PPH soon.” - Anonymous