Before I had my abortion, I was very nervous about
what the procedure would entail. I was unable,
however, to find a first-person perspective on the
subject. Here I will try to remedy that for anyone in
the same situation.
I was very committed to having an abortion and was
therefore not as affected by the emotional side as
some might be. But physically, I doubt there will be
First off, there's the process of finding a
provider. That isn't always easy, especially in a
southern state. Just be sure to do research on the
provider. I was lucky enough to live in a town with a
nationally respected gynecologist who performs
On the first visit, I was given a pregnancy test and
an ultrasound. The nurse asked if I wanted to see the
embryo, which was 6 weeks old. For those who are
having doubts about the procedure anyway, don't look.
It might bother you later. But then again, those that
aren't comfortable with it probably shouldn't be
having an abortion in the first place. I looked and
felt and twinge of sadness, but I knew I was doing the
There is a waiting period in Arkansas between the
first visit and the abortion procedure. So, it was a
few days before the actual abortion.
On the day of the procedure, my mother (a nurse) went
with me and stayed in the room. I highly recommend
having someone there, but only if they are emotionally
strong and won't bring you down.
Once in the room, the nurse ran an IV with a saline
drip. The nurse was great, so the stick barely hurt. Then the doctor came in and we talked for a bit about
what was going to happen. Please ask any questions you
have. It's important to ease you mind as much as you
can, and to be prepared.
He performed an examination and used the previous
ultrasound pictures to locate the embryo. Then, they
replaced the saline with drugs. I began to feel woozy
but was still conscious. I remember little about the
procedure, as that is one of the intentions of the
My mom said I didn't act as if I were in any pain. I
continued talking with the doctor throughout. He had
written a book that I liked, and we discussed some of
his statements. Once he had removed the embryo, the
nurse gave me a shot of methrigen (sp?) in the upper
leg. Mom said that was the only time she saw me wince.
Then it was over. The whole procedure took about 5 or
I got dressed, with the help of my mom, and we left.
This is the part where you must have someone for
support. You are so drugged out you can barely walk;
at least I was. I slept most of the way home, waking
up once to throw up from the drugs.
I didn't have much bleeding for several days and
don't remember any remarkable cramping. I've had a
miscarriage, and it was nothing as painful as that.
The bleeding began several days after the abortion and
continued for 2 or 3 weeks, though it was slight for
the last week or so.
After a couple of days, my morning sickness
subsided, which was a huge relief.
On the follow up visit two weeks later, they gave me
a pregnancy test and an examination. It too was
painless, or at least as painless as a normal pap.
To sum up, my experience involved little physical
pain. And, as I said, I was committed to my decision,
so the emotional pain was low as well. The case might
be different on either level for others.
Just make sure you have a reputable doctor, and make
sure you're solid in your decision. Don't worry about
what others think of you. You're the only one that has
to live your life.
11 November 2004
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