"I just had a surgical abortion on Thursday, July 25, at 9 weeks. I was doing my routine STI check up and the nurse casually asked when my last period was and I mentioned I should have gotten it already, so she suggested I take a pregnancy test, I thought why not? To be 100% honest when she looked down at the test and told me I was pregnant I thought I was going to pass out. It came at me with complete and utter shock. Last I had unprotected sex with my boyfriend was over a month ago and I was on my period and he ejaculated outside of me so considering those two factors I was dumbfounded.
Regardless I was not ready at all to have a child as I’m starting my own business and things are going seemingly well for myself. I made the incredibly difficult decision of going through with the abortion. I called to book an appointment which was easy but couldn’t get one for 1 week, so the days leading up to the appointment I had major anxiety, thoughts bouncing from keeping the baby to having the surgical abortion or the pill. I googled risks and side effects of all three choices and none of them had a happy ending, obviously google has ample information on terrifying horror stories. It wasn’t until moments before actually speaking to the nurse at the clinic where I finally made my choice and that was to do the surgical abortion. I chose to do this way because I was surrounded by medical professionals in a sterile environment which was stocked with all kinds of pain medicine! Not to mention I decided not to be sedated because I cannot control my anxiety when I feel disoriented. The conscious sedation is made by Fentanyl and some kind of fast acting benzo both administered through IV. Instead I took a 1MG Ativan about an hour prior to arriving because for me Ativan reaches its peak in about an hour. I know this because I’ve been taking Ativan for my panic attacks for years. I ended up having to take another 1MG because I was sitting in the waiting room for 2 hours!
So being tired from lack of sleep and absolutely no food or water, I was quite groggy from the Ativan but I was doing A-OK because that’s what Ativan does. It was my turn and I spoke with the counsellor and spoke more about my options and such and then I went into the ultrasound room, then into the procedure room. I forgot to mention at some point they inserted an IV just in case the pain was too bad where they would have to give me sedation. Now to explain the procedure. Mind you I’m basically sober, the other Ativan didn’t even kick in yet. First they gave me 3-4 pink pills with a tiny white pill and mentioned it was antibiotics and nausea medication as the antibiotics can irritate the stomach. They opened me up with a speculum and froze my cervix using a needle, I did not feel the needle what so ever. Then it was time to go in! I did not feel a damn thing, just pressure. It was only until after they pulled the instrument out where I immediately started cramping because, I’m assuming, that’s when the uterus starts to contract and shrink to its original form and the pain I’d say was a solid five - one or two points more painful than your average menstrual cramp. It didn’t hurt because I was not anxious thanks to the Ativan, and the uterus has not a lot of nerve endings so physiologically-wise you wouldn’t feel much aside from pressure. When most women speak of pain to be unbearable they were probably anxious more or less. Anxiety makes everything seem and feel worse.
Again, I can only speak for myself, but I can promise you it will not be worse than you anticipate it. Our minds are so aggressive. Continuing on, with the pain I got an incredible heat flash! Because it activates the vagal nerve so feeling hot and light headed is completely normal. I felt both upon sitting up. I can’t recall if I heard the machine slushing or whirring probably because I was so focused on what was happening to my body. If you do happen to notice it please don’t look at the machine or tubes, it will be a image burned in your mind for a long time. I did not look as I know myself. So, they gave me mesh underwear with a pad and let me rest for a few minutes and suggested I walk it off haha, so they walked me to the recovery area where I was given a blanket and a heat pad. It wasn't until after that I was allowed to request pain medication called Tramadol, an injection administered through my buttocks area I think. They said it hurt less rather than the arm muscle. After that took effect I was pain free. Might I mention my boyfriend was with me through the entire procedure - he was sitting on a chair right next to me but facing opposite from my vagina so he couldn’t see anything except my face.
He drove us home about a half hour after recovering and I felt nauseous probably because I took 2MG of Ativan that I’m not used to taking and it did make me groggy and blah and with the stress of the procedure and such. I puked outside and I felt much better after. He made me a bed on the couch with a heating pad on my lower back and my lower abdomen, a hot cup of tea and I was out like a light! He woke me up to eat a few times and I slept through the night - woke up feeling relieved it was all over. I was bleeding light for the next day and it wasn't until the 3rd day (which where we are now) that I have heavy bleeding and clots now. I actually admitted myself into the emergency last night because I was scared I had an infection or something. They tested my urine and my blood, did a ultrasound, and did a pelvic exam and everything checked out and they sent me home and told me the amount of bleeding will be heavy but it is completely normal because there was no tissue or any of the pregnancy left behind. The likelihood of infection at this point is rare but it still could happen so I am just taking it easy, being kind to myself and resting. They also suggested to walk around a lot as sitting and laying can cause pooling of blood and that can actually cause an infection, so keep active! Drink plenty of water and eat wholesome foods! I know the bleeding will stop eventually. I keep telling myself it’ll be over soon and I’ll be back to normal in no time.
It’s tough when I see a lot of blood. It’s definitely a traumatic experience and it won’t be easy for anybody. I definitely had my moments where I cried a bunch and hated myself for putting my self through this and eliminating a part of me but also according to my beliefs I know my creator will gift me with a beautiful child when the time is right. I just pray for my baby that could have been and I pray for myself. So, all in all, the procedure wasn’t at all bad itself. It lasted about 5 minutes. Pain directly after procedure was about a 5 to a 6 and I'm at day 3 now - the bleeding is heavy but barely any cramps. I hope my story helps with someone who is having an abortion! Love and peace to all of you strong women! if I can do it basically sober and for someone who suffers from anxiety and panic attacks you'll do just fine!!" - Jennifer