I'm 23 and I went through a medical abortion two months ago.
I'm 23 and I went through a medical abortion two months ago. I've had pregnancy scares in the past where my period was mysteriously late for weeks, but this time I knew right away that I was pregnant, even though I was only a few days late. I felt that there was someone else with me, like a little light was ignited. I kept discussing with my boyfriend what we would do if I really was pregnant, and I think we were both uneasy about the idea. After a week or so of strange symptoms (I can't stop going to the bathroom! I don't feel like eating ever again! My boobs are so swollen!), I bought a pregnancy test after class. I came home, and told my boyfriend I'd be out in a few seconds, assuring him I was just doing it so I would stop freaking myself out. I peed on it, and it immediately showed up as positive. I knew that I was pregnant, but I had been trying to tell myself I wasn't. Such sudden and cruel proof was too much for me. I tried to compose myself but I could not. I was absolutely terrified of this new path that was being laid in front of my very eyes.
I've always told myself I would never have an abortion. It's fine for other people, but not for me. After a week filled with unstoppable tears, hours thinking of possible scenarios, frustration and absolutely debilitating nausea, I scheduled an appointment for a medical abortion. I found out I was about six weeks pregnant with twins, something I did not expect. I took the Mifeprex at the clinic and went home. The next few days were a blur, and then I was ready to take the misoprostol pills at home. The lady said it would feel like a heavy period. I was supposed to keep four pills in my cheeks for 30 minutes, until they dissolved. I figured I'd have a half hour or so after they dissolved to take the painkillers. Boy was I wrong. The pain started after only 20 minutes, when the pills weren't even fully dissolved yet.
I started panicking and sweating on my bed, my boyfriend gripping onto my hands for support. I jumped up and ran into the bathroom, fell onto the floor, hit my face on the bathtub and vomited pretty violently for a few minutes. The pain began to get very intense, I could barely get up to sit on the toilet. I remember exquisite, mind-blowing pain that hit me like a truck, that lasted for a full four and a half hours. I remember howling like a wild animal, tearing at my hair, and sobbing the most horrific-sounding sob I've ever heard. I was having strong contractions that lasted for 40-60 minutes each, with 30-second breaks in between, where I'd try to catch my breath and beg for painkillers, but my words were incomprehensible.
I remember trying to drink water, everything turning gray, incessantly rocking back and forth, and shivering uncontrollably when the contractions would momentarily stop. I remember my boyfriend begging for forgiveness, sorry that this happened, didn't know it would be so awful, pacing outside the bathroom. I remember one of my roommates running out of the house. And I remember my boyfriend holding me when I crawled out of the bathroom. An hour went by with no more contractions. I was hungry for the first time in weeks. I took a hot shower. I ate a lot of food. I laid in bed for hours, my boyfriend ordered more food, and I ate it all. I felt better than I had in weeks when I woke up the next day. I was bleeding pretty profusely, but I didn't care. The weeks went by and I slowly got back on my feet with a lot of much needed support. I took really good care of myself. I took cabs when I felt like it. I baked a lot. I did a lot of art. Overall, my experience was agonizingly painful, and if I had to do it again, I would choose the surgical route.
I've successfully passed through the period of deep regret and guilt that I think is a normal reaction to abortion. I don't have any doubt that I made the absolute right choice for my situation - I'm living with multiple roommates, trying to finish school, and my dear boyfriend is supportive in every way except financially, which definitely makes it or breaks it when a baby - or in my case, babies - are thrown into the mix. I know I'll always think about it, and wonder where they went, if they will come back, or if their souls just melted back into mine. I will have many children someday. When I am ready.
Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing your story with us…the procedure you describe suggests that you are in the States rather than the UK, which accounts for the different method of medical abortion. It sounds as if it was incredibly painful for you physically, although women report different experiences of pain levels. It’s good that you have allowed yourself to be with the emotional pain of the experience to some extent by engaging in art and other activities. This will ease you through some of the guilt and regret you have felt, but if you feel that you need more help, especially round anniversary times, get in touch with Optionline about post-abortion support.
This story was sent in on 16/01/2009 and it's been viewed 9,426 times.