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I found out I was pregnant last week...

April 12, 2019

“I found out I was pregnant last week. I have been having irregular periods and figured it's because I'm nearly 46! I really didn't think I could get pregnant and had skipped my period a few times this past year. I had been taking the combination birth control pill but had missed quite a few doses in the last month due to an irregular and stressful work schedule. When I started getting pregnancy symptoms, I couldn't believe it at first. I already have 3 kids, and I really was not planning on having any more. I love being pregnant and I love kids (and work with them), but the thought of having a 4th child and starting all over with a newborn again just made me feel queasy. And the chance of there being a genetic abnormality is as high as 1 in 20 at my age.

 

My husband and I talked and talked about it. It was exciting to know I could get pregnant again, but we talked about what a 4th child would mean for our family - and what having a child in the house until I'm 64 would mean as well. I'm the main earner in our household, so this would mean a significant cut in our income for at least a few months, then there's the high cost of child care after that. We talked about adoption but felt like we couldn't give up a child who was a full sibling for our other 3 kids--and how would we ever explain that to the child as well?? Plus, again the chance of a baby being special needs at this point in my life is fairly high, so then it would seem we were adopting out only because the child had special needs, and how could we do that?

 

I called my OB's office within an hour after I had the positive pregnancy test, and I had a blood test that afternoon to confirm and to try to estimate dating (since I had no idea when my last period was). It showed likely 5-6 weeks, and then I had an ultrasound a few days later that confirmed this as well. I watched the ultrasound and saw how tiny the embryo was and there was a heartbeat, though on the low side for 6 weeks. Everyone from the doctor's office to the radiology tech kept congratulating me and saying that it was ‘meant to be’ since I thought I was too old to get pregnant. I was on the fence about what to do and felt guilty for not being more grateful, especially with friends having trouble getting pregnant and looking into adoption themselves.

 

But ultimately, I made an appointment at Planned Parenthood for 2 weeks from then since my work schedule didn't allow for earlier dates. Then, I checked the PP website again after my ultrasound and an earlier date popped up. I kept hoping my body would just allow a miscarriage, but I knew with the heartbeat present that the odds of continuing the pregnancy was somewhere between 70-90%. And I felt that if I were wishing for a miscarriage, I had made up my mind. Also, I knew if I had an abortion earlier, it would likely be easier on me physically and emotionally. I went to Planned Parenthood 2 days ago and they asked if I was ‘100% confident’ in my decision. It's hard to say since I'm often not 100% confident in a lot of my decisions! But I knew I was more confident than not, and I had another ultrasound to confirm I was still pregnant--and I assume there was still a heartbeat present, but I didn't look. Then, after watching a video and talking with the assistant and the nurse practitioner, I took the first pill for the medical abortion.

 

I was surprised to hear that most women having abortions already have kids themselves - far different than what you hear in the anti-choice arguments. I didn't have any symptoms after the 1st pill and was able to go home, have lunch, and then go back to work that evening. It turned out work was a welcome distraction. I slept well and then debated when to take the 2nd medication, since that one is the one that causes bleeding and cramping and I was worried about this. I knew I had 48 hours to take it, and I finally took it last night, about 36 hours after the 1st medication. It didn't taste great, but I took the anti-nausea medicine and ibuprofen about 45 minutes before and I didn't feel nauseous. About an hour later, I had some chills and felt shaky and a bit sad, but my husband was super supportive and brought a warm water bottle to have with me in bed, and then I fell asleep. I had a pad on but didn't bleed at all overnight.

 

When I woke up, I passed some clots and a fair amount of blood (like a really heavy period). I changed my pad and took some ibuprofen and rested a bit more but the cramps were not more than a heavy period. The ibuprofen helped and I've been able to get some work done on the computer today and am about to go take the dog for a walk. I think the hardest part is seeing stories on the news today about Ohio and Georgia passing 6-week abortion bans. Ugh. So ridiculous. I think I need to stay away from the news for a bit. But I'm relieved it really has not been as bad physically as I had feared and I feeling fairly settled in my decision - my main doubt was really whether I should've waited until the 8-week appointment in case I just ended up with a miscarriage and I didn't have to make this decision or go through this. But, I think doing this at 6-6.5 weeks has worked out well overall, and I feel fortunate I had this choice.” - Anonymous

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