I'm only 17 & terrified of things like this but went through medical abortion fairly easily
I'm 17 years old and I had an abortion exactly a week ago.
I hope to ease some nervousness and anxiety for other people who are afraid of the experience because it really was NOT that bad.
I'll start from the beginning.
We did what most other 17-years-olds in a relationship do...
Yes, I'm 17 and my boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half. Just like most other 17 year olds (in relationships or not, sorry, but it's true), we started having sex and have been doing that for a while.
I'm on a lot of different medications for numerous things, so I didn't want to add birth control to the list, but we always wore condoms and were very careful.
I got a morning after pill
One day the condom broke and we got really panicked, but I went and got a morning after pill and took it right away, so we figured we were all set.
A few weeks later, I was two weeks late on my period, so I bought a pregnancy test. I had a bad feeling about it (I had been feeling pretty off and somewhat sick to my stomach), so my boyfriend came over to take it with me.
When I found out, I passed out
When I found out I was pregnant, I passed out, then woke up and cried for a good three hours. The next few days were MISERABLE. This was the worst part of the process. I was sad all the time and extremely nauseous and uncomfortable (from being pregnant and anxiety).
Deciding on abortion wasn't hard
I told my parents (they still loved me) and my mom said we could probably schedule an abortion for some time later the next week. Deciding I wanted an abortion wasn't hard at all. I knew I couldn't raise a baby and I was sure I couldn't give birth or even carry it for much longer than the few weeks I already had been.
Deciding which abortion was tough
It was tough for me to figure out if I wanted a surgical abortion or a medical abortion, though.
I have a really bad fear of throwing up and I was already nauseous all the time. I didn't want the abortion to make me throw up (I haven't thrown up in 10 years!!), but I also didn't want it to be a huge process and really invasive.
I heard medical abortion makes you sick but surgical abortion sounded scarier
I heard the medical abortion makes people feel really sick and often throw up, but the surgical abortion appeared a lot scarier to me.
When I found out I wouldn't be able to dance for three weeks after a surgical abortion, it made the decision a little easier. I wanted to get back to normal as soon after the abortion as I could.
It wasn't an easy decision, but eventually I realized it wasn't going to be a walk in the park to get either type of abortion, but I needed to do it, so I just chose to go with the medical abortion, figuring it would all be over much faster.
Having chosen medical abortion I started reading about terrible experiences
That was when I started going on to websites like this one and reading about everyone's terrible experiences with medical abortions. I was convinced I was going to be throwing up and writhing on the floor in pain for hours.
I was so terrified, I felt sick to my stomach all the time and my mom ended up finding an appointment for me only four days after I found out I was pregnant. I really couldn't take waiting around any longer.
At the doctors office, they pricked my finger (ouch, but really not bad obviously) to find out if I had negative or positive blood. I guess depending on what you are, they might have to give you a shot, but whatever I was didn't require an extra shot, so that was good.
They said I was 6 weeks pregnant
I went and got an ultrasound (the one that goes in your vagina, not on your stomach). It wasn't uncomfortable. If you can stick a penis up there then you're all set for this part. They told me I was definitely pregnant (6 weeks, but they count it from when you got your last period).
This was the only time I felt really sad/guilty. I had that feeling a little bit leading up to it, just because I work with kids and babysit lots of little babies. They're so cute and sweet and a small part of me felt like I was killing one inside me. But, the truth is that it's really just a small sac of cells, if that.
I felt sad at the ultrasound
I felt sad in the ultrasound room, because I knew the woman was looking at the first picture ever taken of my baby that wouldn't be born, but they face it away from you so you can't see, which was definitely good.
The doctor explained the whole process
When I went back to the abortion part of the office, the doctor went over some birth control options after it was all over with. He was a really nice guy and made me feel really relaxed about the whole thing.
He explained in detail the whole process to me (take one pill there, then 24 hours later put the other four pills between my gums and cheeks and let them dissolve for 30 minutes, then swallow the rest and it would start), then had me repeat it back to him, so he was sure I knew.
He also told me what to expect. I asked him if I would throw up and he laughed and said to drink some ginger ale and eat some crackers and I'd be fine.
I felt better having a plan to follow
When I left the doctors, I was still nervous, but felt a lot better and not so sad anymore. I had taken the first pill, so I felt better having a plan figured out and in motion to take care of things. My mom and I went out to lunch (first meal I had since I found out) and I was feeling a little bit better (with more energy).
I went to dance that afternoon and sat out at my classes (still feeling a little queasy), but that was a good distraction. My advice is not to dwell on what's going to happen. If you need to have an abortion, then it isn't gonna be a fun experience, but it's what needs to happen, so just accept it. All the days I spent worrying about it were a lot worse than the day itself.
The next day I took the remaining pills
The next day, I went to school, feeling nervous for taking the rest of the pills later, but also happy that it would all be over soon.
When I got home, my boyfriend and sister were already there with movies picked out to watch while everything was happening. It took a little bit of convincing, but about 20 minutes after I got home from school, I put the four remaining pills between my gums and cheeks and set a timer for 30 minutes.
The doctor told me that within an hour or two after taking them, I should start to bleed.
The first 25 minutes with them in my mouth, I felt fine. When there were 5 minutes left on the timer, I started getting some pretty bad cramps. I felt a little nauseous and thought I was going to be sick, so I went to the bathroom, but I didn't throw up (I was just anxious about it).
It wasn't comfortable but I was NOT in excruciating pain
I sat on the toilet for a while and pooped a little bit. Let me be clear, it definitely wasn't a comfortable feeling. The cramps were really bad, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Just cramps.
I sat in the bathroom for about 20 minutes, feeling pretty gross. Then my mom came home and convinced me to go sit on the couch and watch a movie. That was when I noticed I had already started bleeding a little bit. So, I went out and watched Hairspray (the musical, hehe, which cheered me up) and put my heating pad on my stomach.
My heating pad made the whole experience A LOT better, so I would definitely recommend that. It was really comforting.
Basically, the cramps came in waves. I'd start to feel it slowly, so I could prepare, then I'd be in pretty bad pain for at most, 5-7 minutes, and then it would fade again. I had a good amount of time (1-5 minutes) between each one for a while, so I relaxed a lot during those minutes.
I'll repeat again, the experience certainly wasn't comfortable, but I was NOT in excruciating pain by any means.
Knowing the process was working was a relief
I probably sat on the couch for about an hour, then went to the bathroom to pee and check out the blood situation. While peeing I passed two somewhat large blood clots (not painful, not gross feeling, they just slip right out. It was actually pretty relieving knowing that the whole process was working the way it should be).
From then on, I probably went to the bathroom every 20 minutes or so to pass some blood clots (still not bad at all) and maybe change my pad. Overall though, there would be a lot of blood in the toilet, but never too much in my pads.
After some time, the cramps started to come less frequently and were slightly duller.
I watched another movie and halfway through it, I felt well enough to move onto the couch with my boyfriend and snuggle with him (before I felt pretty sick and wanted a couch to myself, to spread out, with easy access to the bathroom).
I took the pills at around 3:30 and by 8:30, I was eating some pasta and feeling pretty good.
I slept in then went to school feeling fine
At 9, I fell asleep and didn't wake up until about 11 when my boyfriend left. I went to bed and the next morning I slept in a little, then went to school late, feeling fine.
It's been a week and I have had no complications. I went back to dancing only two days later. I still have some bleeding, but it's very light. I did have very mild cramping, but only for two days after the abortion.
It's not worth working yourself up about how scary abortion seems
I really want to stress that it wasn't a horrific experience. I know everyone is different, but for me, it went really well and I was VERY anxious about it. I just want to say it really isn't worth it to work yourself up about how scary the process seems. I'm only 17 and I'm terrified of things like this, but I went through it fairly easily.
Don't be scared and definitely don't be ashamed
Don't be scared and definitely don't be ashamed. Mistakes happen and they happen to more people than you think. Good luck to anyone getting an abortion. You'll be okay, I promise.
This story was sent in on 24/03/2015