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I was 17 when I contemplated having an abortion. I already had a daughter...

October 6, 2017

"I was 17 when I contemplated having an abortion. I already had a daughter, whom I had at 16 the previous year, and I was not financially or emotionally ready for another one. I was raised Catholic, and there was so much stigma against abortion that I cried every night over the guilt and confusion I felt. I knew I couldn't care for another child financially, and having another one would also put a strain on the limited time I had with my daughter as I was a full time student working a part time job already. However I didn't know if this was a good reason for having an abortion.

 

I remember scheduling three times to have the procedure done at a local Clinic, and each time I ran out crying. I had no idea what to expect, no one supporting me, and I felt alone. After the third time I ran out however, I went into the hospital as I was bleeding a bit and found out I was experiencing a missed miscarriage. This is when the fetus is no longer viable, yet your body continues the pregnancy as if nothing was wrong. The fetus had been without a heartbeat for about four weeks, and since my body was not expelling it on its own I had to go to a clinic to get a D&C (same procedure as an abortion) to remove it.

 

Going in I was still a nervous wreck, and there was so much guilt because I felt I caused the baby to die for contemplating an abortion. It turns out though that I had no real reason to be so terrified.

 

The women working there were so helpful before the procedure, and the actual procedure lasted about 5 minutes. I was given pain medication so I wouldn't feel anything, but I was still awake. I was worried about this, but the nurses in the room with me made me feel relaxed. I experienced no pain or discomfort ( other than a little embarrassed that my private area was up high on full display to a doctor ) and it was over quickly. I expected gruesome noises or terrible pain, but there was none of that.

 

After the procedure I was monitored for about an hour and a half to make sure I didn't bleed too much, and the nurses were so attentive during this time asking about pain or dizziness or any discomfort. I was able to get birth control that same day put into my arm (Nexplanon), and after that I was ready to go, and scheduled to come back in two weeks. That day I had a bit soreness in my private area but other than that no pain.

 

Emotionally, I was uneasy and confused about it all, but I kept reminding myself I did nothing wrong. The fetus had already been unviable which changes things a bit, but honestly if I knew how things were really going to be during the procedure I wouldn't have been so hesitant to have an abortion in the first place. I wouldn't have had to go through making three appointments and running out in tears, or the guilt, or confusion. The stigma of abortions is really what makes it so terrible, and I'm hoping to change that. It's not gruesome, or horrible, or terrifying in the end. It's normal to feel nervous as with anything; but don't believe the horrible or awful things say about the procedure. It's done before you know it, completely safe, and the people there are so helpful. Hopefully this eases a few peoples minds."  —Anonymous

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