I had a 20 week abortion without sedation only 3 days ago
I have every emotion going through me, I had a 20-week gestation abortion only 3 days ago. It was awful and I can't stop thinking about the procedure. I am however experiencing great relief. Here's my story.
When I was 18 I had an unplanned pregnancy with my then live-in boyfriend. I knew he was no good, he already had children he didn't take care of and couldn't hold down a job. I must have been in denial.
[You can also find other stories of surgical abortion and abortions taking place at 20 weeks via the links on this page.]
I woke up one night in the greatest pain of my life up to that point. I knew immediately what was happening, a miscarriage. I spent hours in the bathroom alone sobbing, bleeding everywhere, and terrified beyond words. I had worked through many emotions. I felt extreme loss, regret, a sense of agony for the poor baby that died inside of me, and I had to dispose of. It gave me nightmares.
I moved out immediately, knowing my fate would be horrible if I stayed. I travelled and counted my blessing that I was able to escape a horrible situation. I healed and gained a new sense of love for life and myself. I was grateful. I do always wonder what would be, what if...
Fast forward a few years. I had not had a relationship since above-mentioned boyfriend. I didn't want one. I was young, free and living life. That's when I met my now-husband. We sparked, we fell in love. We were one for the story books.
I got pregnant, unplanned. We were not very careful and we knew it. I think we both deep down wanted it. We were scared but happy. He was extremely supportive and we made plans.
Abortion was never even an option at that point. When I told my best friends they said I should have an abortion, they have, and said I was too young, and they were upset with me. I calmly said my only option was to have that baby.
I was firm, I KNEW it would be ok and that this is what I wanted. I did not want to feel that loss again.
We married, and our first child was welcomed to this world. It was amazing and exhausting. A couple years later as our child grew we were looking at baby pictures, and felt a sense of longing for another child.
We made plans to conceive, and did so immediately. The second pregnancy was even better than the first. I felt amazing and looked amazing, glowing everyday.
Our family was growing and so were we. When our second arrived, I felt like supermom. I did it all, my children were awesome. We had been blessed with such amazing babies that grow into awesome little people that everyone can't get enough of.
After my second I went on the low dose pill as I had breastfed. I disliked it greatly, after 18 months I stopped it after discussing with my husband. We of course had conversations about other options and we both decided we would ‘be careful’.
We had discussions of should we have another? Should we wait? Should we buy a bigger house first?
During these discussions I of course got pregnant. Not planned, but not prevented. We were happy once again, also thinking... what have we gotten ourselves into?!?!
I made my mind up, this was the last, I would not have any more children. I relished in the fact that this would be my last pregnancy and I loved every minute of it. I told everyone, this is it... no more babies. I have 3 amazingly wonderful, healthy, beautiful, children.
When my youngest was a infant our marriage suffered greatly. I had changed, and so had he. We started to resent each other as life became a zoo with 3 children under the age of 5. I had to be a supermom, he disappeared much of the days/nights. I was lonely and devastated that our perfect life was not so perfect.
After 5 years of the rockiest, tested to the limit too many times on both ends, nearly divorced marriage, our lives have finally settled into place again. We look at each other and think....."Whew, we almost didn't make it. But we did."
And now. How did I get here?
I got pregnant again, I was angry. I was upset, I did not want it.
My children all school aged now, would get home from school, and I knew I did not want to do it all over again. Was I being selfish? Was I being evil? I hadn't told anyone, not even my husband, not a soul. I had been carrying this burden for months.
I was hoping for a miscarriage again, as horrible as that sounds, I wanted that nightmare again. I felt like I couldn't go through with abortion, but I wanted it to end.
Time slipped away as it always does. I had some bleeding and I thought I was miscarrying, and I was ecstatic about it. That's when I knew I had to make the choice. I had to work through SO much agony, denial, disbelief, and internal grief just to make the call. I had 3 amazing kids, why would I rob them of this sibling? Or rob this baby of us and them?
It had been a long hard road. I didn't even look pregnant. I hadn't gained a pound, I hadn't even felt pregnant. I was in a classic state of denial.
I made the call. First to Planned Parenthood. I couldn't get in for 2 weeks. When I finally did I got the ultrasound and was 18 weeks. I refused to look at the sonogram, I felt so detached and invaded. They told me I was past their gestation age and referred me to a clinic across town.
I made an appointment right away. I was to go in the following week.
I spent a week feverishly reading stories of late abortions and the procedures involved. I felt evil and horrible, because I knew I was going to go through with it. I had not told anyone up to this point, I was going it alone.
I walked past the protesters, which was easier than I had thought. I walked into a clinic in a state of saddened purpose. Everyone there had someone with them. Many of us looked at each other with a look a knowing, wondering what their story was.
I was alone, and I was OK with that. I went through the motions again. Blood test, ultra sound and counselling. I knew I wanted this, I just wish I had done it sooner. I wish I didn't have to be in this position.
I had met with the Dr. and explained that I wanted to go through with it. She said she would be sedating me, and I said no. I didn't have anyone to take me home and I wanted to do it this way. I had given birth 3 times and I can handle pain.
She respected my decision, warned that if I had been surprised and jerked she could damage my uterus. We agreed to go without sedation, she stated that if her or I, felt like we needed the procedure to stop so they could twilight me, they would do that.
I came back the next day for the Laminaria, and Digoxin. That was a little painful but tolerable, especially for someone who has had children or many paps.
I was sent home. I was so sad that night looking at my children and my family. I also knew its what I wanted and I wanted to do it alone, I felt like I had to suffer. There was no turning back, I was cramping and bleeding and I could feel my cervix dilating.
I wanted to throw up knowing the Dr. had put a needle into my womb and that a baby had died inside of me. I spent the night mourning the loss and the circumstance. Begging for forgiveness and wishing I had made the decision sooner.
The next morning, I prepared myself mentally and emotionally for what was about to happen inside my body. I understood what the procedure entailed. I felt sick knowing I was doing this. I went back to the clinic with so many emotions going through me! I wanted it to be over.
I got the Misoprostol and sat and waited again, so much waiting. I expected to feel sick after everything I had read. It was fine for me. I sat and read a magazine, or at least pretended too, I couldn't focus. I was nervous, terrified, alone and mostly devestated that I just killed my own flesh inside my body.
I was called to the room. The Dr. reassured that this would go quickly, again confirming the fact that I did not want sedation, I was certain. A pinch of me screamed inside... ”get the damn sedation just so you don't know what's going on”. Again, I felt the need to suffer through this.
The procedure took a total of 10 minutes. She broke my water, which made me feel sad because when this had happened before it was an exciting time. She numbed the cervix which was like a sharp pinching. She said I would feel pressure, and yes I did.
The nurse was very nice to me, I think she felt sad that I was alone, or maybe she thought I was a cold cold woman because I laid there, stone cold and put myself into a state of almost meditation.
The sounds and the tugging were the things nightmares are made of, honestly. The pain was mild, it was the experience and knowing exactly what was happening. I wanted to throw up and I couldn't turn away now. I wanted it over. I had my eyes closed so tight, and squeezed my shirt, not out of physical pain, but emotional agony. This is why they use the twilight.
I felt the pregnancy end. I felt a baby leave my body piece by piece. An image I will never forgive myself for. I was thankful it was only several minutes long. I was escorted to the recovery room.
It was a weird place to be. I was bleeding pretty heavy, which I expected. I sat in the chair and started bawling!! I couldn't stop crying. I was a wreck. I intentionally destroyed a life. I couldn’t breath. The nurses were kind, I said I just needed to cry and they respected my wishes.
I was sent home within 30 minutes.
I was grateful to have been awake and aware at that point, I had seen women come out of the procedure under twilight and their support person looked like they had just watched a horror film, I felt bad for those people. They had to hear it, see it, and experience it too. I was glad to be alone, and awake.
I got in the car and I just had to call my husband. I told him to meet me at home, and that we had to talk. I told him I had a “fetal death” I explained the details of how the baby was taken out of me. I was hysterical, I told him it was barbaric.
I did not tell him it was my choice, I did not tell him how far along I was. I did not tell him I knew the whole time. I will never tell anyone. This is my burden, my sin, and I must live with my choice. I will not hurt anyone else with my choice.
I wanted him to know, as it’s his loss too. I couldn't let him be a part of this decision because it would have made it 1 million times harder. He does not have the strength to sit through and witness what other ‘support persons’ had.
I felt a sense of calm when he looked at me and said “I am so sad, but I am so relieved, is that bad? I don't want anymore children, we are done, and this is something we should take seriously. I will get a vasectomy. What would we have done with another baby”.
I have been quiet, and dealing with the physical pain as well as the emotional pain. My body thinks I just gave birth... My breast are ready to nourish life, my hormones are wonky, and I see my husband thinking and I know he has the what ifs... going through his mind and it kills me inside.
I love my family beyond every cell in my body. I will live with this choice everyday. I will choose to live my life and give my family the best me they can have. I am relieved this is over, I had agonized over this far too long.
I know I made the right choice, I just wish I had done it sooner and it was less traumatic for me and the baby.
I am grateful to have this choice for my body and my family. I was offered safe care, in a protected environment, with the utmost respect and dignity.
I am fortunate to live close to clinics that offer this care. I am sickened by how many times this happens in a day. I am in horror at the procedure. I will hold my family tight and be grateful for what I have. I will mourn the loss of two babies I sent to heaven, one by chance and one by choice. I will hope that these babies have/will find a mother more ready, willing, and desiring of a family or a larger family.
This story was sent in on 28/06/2015