Abortion's not a happy thing but isn't all doom-and-gloom and I hope this is informative
My story is kind of happy. Not that having an abortion is a happy thing but it isn't all doom-and-gloom. I don't regret my decision at all.
At 25 I had big plans, at 40 I'm glad I got the chance
At 25 I had big plans for the future and a career to cultivate. Now, at 40, I'm thrilled that I had a chance to do this.
If I had a baby at 25 I would have been forced to take some dead-end job for the money instead of going back to school for a graduate degree and establishing a career as a software engineer(!).
My boyfriend at the time was (I see now in retrospect) a narcissistic, selfish guy who kept telling me that he was worried that he may be infertile because none of his ex-girlfriends had ever gotten pregnant!
One night when we were intimate he told me the condom had somehow fallen off during intercourse. Although this kind of thing does happen during sex, the fact that he was constantly fretting about his fertility during our relationship was very suspicious. At any rate I got pregnant from that single "accident".
I couldn't have a kid fathered by this idiot
I was 25, applying to grad school, and full of big plans for the future. There was no way I could have a kid and certainly not one fathered by this idiot.
I was lucky and had a good job with good health insurance. I went to see my ob-gyn but she said her schedule was booked and wouldn't be able to do the procedure until the following week.
I was already 5 weeks pregnant; the clock was ticking. I didn't want to wait until the 6th week.
The larger that tiny mass of cells became the more paranoid I felt. As bad as it sounds I wanted nothing more than to get it out of me.
My family is Buddhist and the Buddhist view of the human body is that it is a vessel that holds our souls. If the vessel doesn't finish forming, the soul does not enter it. So, the more unfinished the fetal ‘vessel’ the better.
Your window of opportunity has closed
In spite of all our modern technology, the inevitable truth is that nature governs us and not the other way around. If nature lets you safely abort then you have the right to abort (don't listen to the anti-abortion religious zealots--they're misogynists who don't care about women's health and well-being).
When aborting becomes a threat to your safety then that is nature's way of saying ‘your window of opportunity has closed and it's time to commit to this pregnancy’.
Abandoned-looking, mysterious and inconspicuous
So, I found a clinic in New York City (where I lived) that could schedule a procedure the same week.
Luckily, they had some availabilities and I could have the procedure done in a couple of days.
The clinic was in a somewhat abandoned-looking area with a mysterious, inconspicuous front door. This was disappointing because I felt that so many decades after Roe vs. Wade and in a city like New York this shouldn't be happening. The clinic should be bright, cheerful, and easily found.
When I entered I saw a rather sad and sobering sight. Inside the abandoned-looking building was a vast, dingy waiting room filled with almost a hundred women waiting for their procedure.
Health insurance would cover the abortion
Many were low income with several children in tow and it was obvious that they were doing a favor for the public welfare system by not having another baby. Some were young, well-educated, and looked well-off. Admittedly, I was somewhat like them and had health insurance that would cover the abortion.
In retrospect I should have told this ex-boyfriend that my insurance didn't cover the procedure and make him pay for his stupidity. Hindsight 20/20, etc.
I'd heard horror stories about women that only had local anesthesia freaking out during the procedure. One of my friends did that and greatly regretted it.
With local anesthesia you're not in horrible pain but there is still some pain and discomfort and you have to be awake the whole time to experience it! No thanks, I thought, and went with general anesthesia, which turned out to be a great choice. I don't know what they used but I woke up feeling fantastic.
I had a fantastic conversation with the nurse
I was going through serious personal problems not related to this boyfriend and was socially very anxious with strangers. The anesthesia took all those fears away and I had a fantastic conversation with the nurse without a care in the world. Nothing that my therapist ever prescribed (zoloft, etc.) ever made me feel that good--I was perfectly awake, aware, rational, but felt no fear or anxiety.
I still wonder what that drug was to this day! I think they added a little mood-enhancer to the usual anesthetic cocktail to calm women that had anxieties about abortion. I didn't have that and just ended up feeling really happy that the crippling social anxiety that I usually experienced was replaced with calm social confidence.
I'm just rambling now and don't want to give anyone the impression that when you get an abortion you can also get a nice pick-me-up that makes you feel happy all day. Just that this had happened to me.
Also, I wanted to write a story that wasn't all doom and gloom about abortion and that it's similar to any minor surgical procedure you might get, like having an appendix or to tonsils removed.
The procedure was fine but recuperation was brutal
It's your emotions that color it. So, if you are upbeat and okay with your decision, then it is a routine operation that takes about 20 minutes max. Then you wake up and go home after an hour.
For me the procedure was fine--very routine and as easy as minor surgery can be, but the recuperation was brutal.
First, it's the twinges of pain in the uterus. You do get some meds in the first week but after that you're on your own. I generally don't like taking any kinds of drugs so I just bit my lip and took the pain.
The uterus will feel very, very sore, fragile and delicate in the first two weeks. It will feel like a martial arts gym took your uterus and used it as a punching bag for mixed martial arts training. Your uterus will come back to you sore, swollen, bruised, and crippled.
Women will abuse abortions
I had intense pain shoot through my lower abdomen for about a month after the surgery. After a month the pain becomes more bearable but the sensation of knives stabbing your guts is to be avoided in general, so I decided never to have an abortion again.
Whoever claimed that women will “abuse” abortions probably
- has never had an abortion
- does not have a uterus
- is a man
Abortions really, really suck. Your body goes through hell. It was such a painful recovery that every time I thought I might be pregnant I'd immediately call my ob-gyn for emergency contraceptive pills so I will never have to go through an abortion again.
Avoid the pain of having an abortion
Maybe you can't avoid the pain of childbirth (if you want a family), but you can avoid the pain of having an abortion if you make sure you're either on the pill or have some pills available if you think you might be pregnant.
This is my (long-winded) story. I hope it was informative and not depressing!
Jane sent this story in on 02/06/2015