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I was 21 years old and finishing my third year of college...

May 23, 2014

"I was 21 years old and finishing my third year of college when I found out I was 6 weeks pregnant. For weeks I had been sick to my stomach and just thought I had the flu or the stress of finals was making me sick. After a friend jokingly said maybe you’re pregnant I decided to take an at home test since I was 8 days late (which isn’t abnormal, some months I am 18 days late). When that little blue plus sign emerged my heart sank. But after repeating the test 3 more times, I knew it must be true….. So I went to my boyfriend’s house to tell him. We have been together for almost 3 years and have been sexually active most of that time. He’s my best friend and I trust him with my life. Before we became sexually involved we discussed what we would do if a pregnancy would occur. And while we both love children and want to raise a family, we knew that college would not be the right place or time. When I showed him the tests, he fell completely silent and turned white as a ghost. After half an hour of throwing up, he was finally ready to comfort me. We were both in shock and spent the rest of that night talking about how unlucky we were.
 
The next day I went to our school’s health clinic to meet with a nurse to confirm the at home tests. Our nurses were amazing women who made me feel so comfortable. They talked through all the options with me and gave me phone numbers to call for all of them. My boyfriend and I spent the afternoon discussing our options, but we both knew we couldn’t bring a child into this world. Since I was unaware of my pregnancy for the first 6 weeks I lived a very unhealthy lifestyle of any typical college student (alcohol, caffeine, pot, no sleep, etc.). I was completely unfit to carry a child at this time for 9 months. So I made the call to the only abortion clinic left in Missouri to make my appointment. The hoops I had to jump through were ridiculous. I have been an avid pro-choice supporter since I was in 7th grade and my catholic grade school tried shoving pro-life propaganda down my throat (with much protest from my younger self!). I prepared myself for the procedure by reading other women’s stories (similar to this) so that I knew what to expect. So the two of us made the 4 hour trip to St. Louis for our 1st visit at Planned Parenthood. As we drove past the protestors outside the gates all I could think about was who are you to tell me what to do with my body. You have no idea how I feel right now or what my life situation is. How do you expect a 21 year old putting herself through college with no family support system to bring a child into this world on her own? We waited in the waiting room for several hours as we went through the counseling session, the ultrasounds, and medical examinations. As we viewed the ultrasound of the little speck in my uterus all I could think about was, I am not doing anything wrong, this is not a full grown fetus like the anti-choice liars have tried saying for so long. I had no emotional attachment to the tiny seed I saw.
 
Since the pregnancy was detected early on, I was able to request the medical abortion instead of the surgical procedure. But due to Missouri laws, we were unable to have the procedure done then and there. So we had to make that long drive yet again several days later to finally receive the medicine. That 3 day wait was horrible. I was sicker than I had ever been and just wanted this to be over with. We told a few close friends who were supportive for the most part. We never told our families as mine would force us to get married and his would force us to carry the pregnancy to term. Sitting in that waiting room for the second time, I was so hurt and angered and upset as I looked around the room at the faces of all the other women sitting there with me. There were young girls, barely 15, with angry looking parents, girls in college like me, usually alone and scared looking. There were several married women there with their husbands. There were lower class people, middle class, and even some that looked upper class. Some mentioned how they drove 6 hours to get there and some said how they lived just a few minutes away. This just fueled my passion for advocating pro-choice legislature. But back to the point of this story, I finally received the medication.
 
Clinic visits:
Day 1 (Mifepristone): After taking the Mifepristone pill at the clinic today I was immediately nausea. This was probably just my morning sickness, which has been intense the past several weeks. Once I got home I became very tired and depressed. My hormones were going crazy, which resulted in me taking it all out on my poor boyfriend.

Day 2(Misoprostol): Took my nausea and pain meds, then the 4 Misoprostol pills. I had mild cramps, similar to my period cramps. At one point when I stood up to get my heating pad I became really light headed and dizzy and had to sit down to ensure I didn’t pass out. Now I didn’t begin bleeding till several hours later. I started getting some sharp pains, so I went to sit on the toilet (which really did help relieve some pain). That’s when I passed a whitish pink clot. The clot didn’t hurt, it just slid right out. There wasn’t much blood following that one. About 20 minutes later I traveled back to the bathroom. With a little push, a slightly larger clot came out with a "gush" of blood following it… This kind of concerned me, so I kept an eye on the amount of blood I lost. There weren't anymore large clots, just little bits of tissue. I had several intense cramps every so often, but nothing too bad.
 
The next morning I woke up and felt 100x better. I had not felt this good in months. I was happy again and energetic and didn’t want to sleep all the time. Now I did bleed for about 3 weeks following the procedure. But the final examination showed everything was cleared out and I was no longer pregnant. In no way at all do I regret my decision. My relationship with my boyfriend has only grown stronger from this experience. This was the best choice for me, my relationship, my education, my family, and most importantly of all, the fetus. Someday I will have children, when my spouse and I are ready. And to any other women who have unplanned pregnancies, do what is best for YOU."  —Jessica

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