Misty's Story

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 much difference.

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 abortions.

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 right thing.

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 drugs.

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 6 minutes.

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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