Social Question

girlofscience's avatar

How was your abortion experience? What can I expect?

Asked by girlofscience (7449 points ) February 19th, 2010

Women who have had abortions, I’d be very appreciative of your sharing your experience.

I am scheduled for a vacuum aspiration abortion on Saturday, February 27, 8:45am, at Planned Parenthood. I will be under “light, conscious sedation.” At that time, I will be 7 weeks, 5 days pregnant. (An ultrasound on February 9 confirmed my pregnancy at 5 weeks, 1 day.) Immediately after the procedure, I will have an IUD placed. (I’m still trying to decide between Mirena and ParaGard, so IUD suggestions would be helpful too!)

My boyfriend will be driving, and he will be with me throughout the entire process. Planned Parenthood informed me that it will take about 4 hours total, including information/question session, ultrasound/labwork, abortion procedure, IUD placement, and recovery. I will be prescribed to Valium following these events.

So, what can I expect during and after all of this? How long will it be until I am back to “normal”? What kind of pain can I expect during and after? Is it likely my boyfriend and I will be able to go out to lunch on the ride home, or will I be completely out of commission? How can I expect to feel Saturday afternoon? Will I be ready to go out and enjoy Saturday evening? What will Sunday be like? Will I be ready to return to work on Monday? Also, Is there anything I should do in advance (eating / not eating)?

Thanks in advance for sharing your stories! <3

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170 Answers

Response moderated
girlofscience's avatar

@jbfletcherfan: Uh, then why did you respond at all?

Silhouette's avatar

Every girl is different. You can expect mild to sever cramping but it should get better by the second day, if it doesn’t check with the doctor. You might not feel like eating lunch. I worked for family planning and I can tell you that no two girls had the same experience. Expect a few people to think less of you for your very personal decision.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@girlofscience I couldn’t help myself.

Sophief's avatar

I presume you will be there all day. I doubt you will feel any pain. I doubt you will want to go out at the weekend but work should be ok Monday. Do they know your blood type? Good luck. I wish you well.

Merriment's avatar

I haven’t ever had an abortion so I don’t know anything more about “what to expect” physically than you could find by Google.

What I do know is that you can expect a lot of judgments being thrown your way, so I would like to tell you upfront that I support your right to choose and I’m sorry you find yourself in this position.

Sophief's avatar

@Merriment How sensitive of you.

girlofscience's avatar

@Merriment: Thank you for your support; however I am curious as to what you’re talking about -

Judgments from whom? I’ve known I am pregnant for several weeks now and have discussed my upcoming abortion with a fair amount of friends and colleagues. I have received nothing but absolute support.

Sophief's avatar

@girlofscience Judgements from people on here who don’t like you to say or do things they don’t agree with. I also support you. We don’t know why you are choosing to abort but I can imagine it isn’t a decision and that it has taken a lot of thought.

Val123's avatar

I support your right to choose too, but it’s certainly not something I, personally, would be running around telling people everybody and their brother with the same attitude of “How do you make chocolate chip cookies?”

Merriment's avatar

@girlofscience – If this thread goes the way that most threads concerning the issue of abortion go, you will likely see exactly the judgments I’m referring to..I thought I’d hop in early and avoid the rush :)

tinyfaery's avatar

Oh, girlie.

I was so young when I had an abortion. I don’t remember any physical pain, just kind of an an achy feeling.

Take care of yourself. Attend to the needs that will arise and don’t judge yourself or your reactions.

There is no reason you should feel shame over this. No one has the right to judge you.

((warm thoughts))

davidbetterman's avatar

@Val123 chocolte chip cookies?

@girlofscience I am sorry to hear that you are in need of this procedure. Please remember that no matter who badmouths you, there are those of us out here who feel for you and are 100% in your corner hoping that all works out well for you.

Always follow your own mind and never bother to even consider what someone else thinks about your life choices. It is, after all, your life. You must live it, and no one else can.

Good Luck.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@girlofscience The judgements are going to come from the people that oppose a woman’s right to choose. The majority of them seem to be males, like me, and they really can be dickheads. Sorry for the bad analogy, but there are going to be people coming at you for this choice.

Jude's avatar

tinyfaery is right. No one has the right to judge.

Take care of yourself..

Sophief's avatar

@tinyfaery and @davidbetterman @Adirondackwannabe @jmah How nice, this poor girl will be going through so much right now, she doesn’t need the negative comments. It isn’t something you can just decide, like waking up one morning and thinking, oh I’ll make some cookies today! It is a life changing decision for her. Thanks for being nice.

Steve_A's avatar

I am not sure if this will help you at all, but least it is on topic to the question.

http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/ASMF/asmf13.html

girlofscience's avatar

@Dibley: Thank you for the support as well.

I don’t know how you’ll take this, but choosing to terminate this pregnancy was a very easy decision, and I did not need to put a lot of thought into this at all. I already knew in advance that, if I ever were to get pregnant, I would have an abortion. I don’t think of this negatively—it seems a positive thing that this was just absolutely the right decision, so it did not involve a mental struggle. I never even considered having this child, and I am confident with my choice and feel no shame whatsoever.

These are my reasons:
I don’t want to have a child. I am only 24 years old. I am currently in my second year of an intensive 5–6-year Ph.D. program. I am not prepared to be a mother. My boyfriend is not prepared to be a father. We are too young to have a child. We are not at an appropriate stage in our lives to support a child and give this child the life it deserves. We have many more years during we will continue to grow personally, emotionally, career-wise, and financially, before we will be prepared to start a family. We do not want to have a child at all right now.

Pro-choice, pro-child: Every child a wanted child.

girlofscience's avatar

@tinyfaery, @davidbetterman, @Adirondackwannabe, and @jmah: Thank you so much for your genuine support. <3

Sophief's avatar

@girlofscience I agree with you 100%. It is your body and you to do with as you please. Seems like you have thought about. There are so many people who are prepared to bring children into this world who aren’t financial stable and emotionally stable and then can’t look after them.

slick44's avatar

You will feel some discomfort, they will prob. give you an I.v of Valuum, to calm and relax you. the prosedure doesnt take that long, lots of cramping. then you will lay down and recover for an hour or two depends on you. you will be fine, some cramping and blood clots are normal, take it easy and stay off your feet, good luck to you. I wish you only the best.

casheroo's avatar

Dude, no one is really answering the question…

I already spoke to you about mine, but since I took the pills..the recovery was probably much different.
When I was in recovery, the girls all seemed fine. A lot were resting in the chairs, the nurses were all extremely helpful getting crackers and juice (or ginger ale) for the girls. You have to stay there for a little while after the procedure, probably so they can monitor you since if there’s any bleeding issues, they’d arise pretty quickly. (This was at Planned Parenthood as well)
I think until you have it, you personally won’t know how your body will react. I tend to not deal well with pain and would probably go home and eat a bunch of junk food. I’d recommend resting at least for lunch, and then possibly going out for dinner. You’ll probably be bleeding still, so have the pads on hand. I’m betting the IUD will make the bleeding stop sooner than a normal abortion.

Also, I’ve seriously been considering the IUD even though I hear terrible things about it..but what I was reading about was the Mirena. So, I think if I got it, I’d get the Paragard. It seems to have much less side effects (weight gain and acne are seriously my top concerns lol) I didn’t know they’d place one so soon after an abortion, probably because your cervix is slightly opened. I can’t get one until 8 weeks after giving birth (lame).

I bet you’ll be okay by Sunday, especially if you get some rest and fluids on Saturday. I’m glad you have such a strong support system around you! I really hope it goes well. Oh, and Planned Parenthood doesn’t usually give out anything stronger than Tylenol 3’s. So, if you want something stronger, I’d try to get a prescription now from your primary care doctor, or someplace else. Good luck!

Likeradar's avatar

I had a D & C procedure about 6 years ago. It was not at a Planned Parenthood, but here’s what I remember experiencing.

I went to the facility with my boyfriend at the time. There were no protesters or anything, and it looked like a regular office building. The guy I was with had to wait in the waiting room for “security” reasons. I was brought back to talk to a counselor and cried so much she had to leave to get a second box of Kleenex. We talked about my choices and alternatives. I don’t remember if there was more waiting after that.

The actual procedure was uncomfortable but not painful. I think I was given a sedative. There was a sonogram (I think) and the doctors asked if I wanted to see the images or be told about possible multiples (and gender, I think, but my memory is hazy). Uh, no. I think it only took a few minutes, but again, I was sedated, emotionally a mess, and it was years ago.

Then I was brought back into a room to rest. I was told that many women take a nap for an hour or two. I couldn’t relax at all, checked out, and left. For some reason I remember it being really important that I get a big chocolatey frappuchino.

I don’t remember much of the physical parts afterwards. What I do remember sucked. I was on the couch watching TV and had to get up to pee, but found that I couldn’t stand up to walk because I had this crazy pain around the inside of my hip. I was terrified that a mistake had been made and I’d be damaged for life. We made some phone calls, and apparently it’s not an uncommon side effect and I was fine.

So that was the physical part.

I wish you the best- if you’re making the right decision for you, then you’re making the right decision.

edit: Emotionally, everyone feels different I guess. I couldn’t leave the house for days without crying. No one can tell you if you’ll be up for lunch or going out over the weekend. You might be completely emotionally fine, you might be cocooned in bed. My own reaction surprised me.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@girlofscience Good, I was worried that came across as too negative. There are some real loons in our country that think they have a right to dictate what a woman can or can not do on this issue. Just be prepared for some crap from the extremist so your not blindsided. Hope everything works out for you.

smokeweedeveryday's avatar

If you dont mind me asking, how old are you?

Do what you got to do

Val123's avatar

OK. Everyone is different but I can tell you what you MAY expect. If you’ve been given a due date, that day will come, every year, for the rest of your life, and you’ll hear it like a whisper in your ear. It will get even harder when you have children. When you’ve gone through it till the end. When you’re holding a real live baby in your arms, and the difference between a living, breathing, warm baby and the abstract concept of “a fetus” will hit you hard. And every birthday that you celebrate with you kids, the thought that “Their big sister would have been this age now” will flow through your mind. It will get more difficult the older and more mature you become, and you realize this was something you could have handled after all. And you’ll wish you could turn the clock back. But that was just me. For you, it may never be a big deal. Like making chocolate chip cookies.

I still don’t understand why you had to post this question for hundreds of perfect strangers to read, after you’ve “discussed (your) upcoming abortion with a fair amount of friends and colleagues”. You aren’t really asking us perfect strangers what to expect. For that answer you can simply ask your doctor. I have to question your motivation. Are you looking for a pat on the back? Are you bragging? Is this really an “intensely personal and PRIVATE” issue for you?”

And now, I’m going to quit following this.

smokeweedeveryday's avatar

I was just wondering.
Hope everything works out for you!

Likeradar's avatar

@Val123 How about we don’t criticize the behavior of a woman who is going through this, m’kay?

@girlofscience I’m sorry people are being lameasses on this thread.

BoBo1946's avatar

Cannot answer your question and very sorry you are in this situation. But, just have one queston. What if your mother had decided to have aborted you? Not being judgemental and critical of you…please..just a question to think about!

girlofscience's avatar

@Val123: Um. I am seriously looking for personal experiences to be shared. I like to hear perspectives of personal experiences of anything before I go through something so I can know what is possible to expect and see how my experience compares.

My due date would be October 11. I’m not going to care about October 11s in my future. I’m also not going to think any of that other nonsense you proposed. I’m going to be forever thankful that abortion procedures exist and that I was able to prevent the total destruction of my current great life.

I posted this question because most of the friends and colleagues with whom I have shared my news have not had personal abortion experiences to share. I was not looking for a “pat on the back.” I don’t care whether random Fluther people support me or not (but I do appreciate those who do!) But no, this is not an intensely personal and private issue for me. As I said, I’m completely confident and comfortable with my decision, and I don’t feel any shame because of this.

girlofscience's avatar

@BoBo1946: I think the answer to that question is pretty simple. If my mother had aborted me, I wouldn’t exist.

LunaChick's avatar

I was all set to support you, because choosing to terminate a pregnancy, for most people, is a difficult decision – then you had to go and post this: “I already knew in advance that, if I ever were to get pregnant, I would have an abortion.” Why didn’t you take steps to prevent your pregnancy before hand, instead of just having the attitude, if I get pregnant, I’ll have an abortion? Abortion is not birth control. (sigh)

BTW, I’m in the process of getting the necessary testing to have a Mirena IUD placed (should be scheduled within a few weeks) It’s not going to be a one day thing for me – I have to go in beforehand to get Lamineria placed, to open my cervix, so the placement will be easier.

BoBo1946's avatar

@girlofscience understood and respect your answer and decision!

CMaz's avatar

“What if your mother had decided to have aborted you?”

I was just going to watch. Interesting stuff.

I hate that type of guilt tactic!I guess the answer to that would be, the question would not have been asked.

Non existence and hypothetical questions have no merit.

I believe in your right to choose.

casheroo's avatar

@Val123 My fetus thinks your argument is stupid
@BoBo1946 How could she have any feelings if she didn’t exist?
@LunaChick I don’t think that means she planned on getting pregnant just to abort. It means that she knew abortion would be an option if ever to have an unplanned pregnancy. Heck, once I pop this kid out, if I got pregnant within the next two years (even with precaution) I’d have an abortion. Yeah, it would suck, but that’s what abortion is there for. An option in case an unwanted pregnancy occurs.

BoBo1946's avatar

@ChazMaz guilt tactic…not at all. But, if you think so….that is your thoughts..not mine!

Jude's avatar

@Val123 totally uncalled for. I’d just butt out if I were you and move along (I’m toning down my use of words here). We really don’t care how you feel (about this situation). At least I don’t.

CMaz's avatar

@BoBo1946 – I respect you and what you have to say. :-)

But, to expect someone to make any sort of effort to try to figure out what their concern would be if nonexistent makes no sense.

Especially having a hear and now discussion.

BoBo1946's avatar

Time out: as we all know, this is a highly controversial subject. Did not mean offend anyone or put a guilt trip on this young lady. If so, please accept my apology.

BoBo1946's avatar

@ChazMaz cool..understand your comment!

Frankie's avatar

You’ll be absolutely fine. I had a D&C just over four years ago, and I remember it quite well. There was a lot of cramping during the actual procedure, like period cramps only stronger. It wasn’t too bad, since the actual procedure only lasted a few minutes. The bad cramping stopped almost immediately after the procedure was over, but I did have regular period-like cramping for a couple days, and I bled for about two weeks afterward…heavy like a regular period for the first week, with a fair amount of clots (those did hurt coming out—sort of like a stabbing, shooting pain that would last for several seconds, and you can feel them when they come out, so when you feel it just head to the bathroom to clean up), and then very light bleeding during the second week. Wear pads, not tampons, as I’m sure the nurses at PP will tell you. As for how you will be feeling afterwards, as far as I know you should be completely fine. Eat if you feel hungry, sleep in the car or when you get home if you feel tired…there shouldn’t really be anything you can’t do, but I would recommend not doing strenuous exercise or lifting for a couple days. Also, I’m sure PP will give you an information packet on body stretches that relieve cramping, and those really work, so do them! They should also tell you about uterine massage, which encourages clots to release and also relieves cramping, and that really helped me, too. Just don’t outdo yourself…pay attention to what your body is telling you, and if you feel tired or crampy or under the weather, don’t force yourself to go out Saturday night. You should be good to go by Monday…I had my procedure on a Saturday, I believe, and I was normal and back at school on Monday.

Good luck, and I hope everything goes okay! It’s very good that your boyfriend will be there for you and that your friends support you…honestly, support and love is more important to the healing process than anything else. I was 17 when I had mine and completely alone, and that had a lot to do with how long it took me to fully recover (emotionally, not physically). Also, I’ve heard a ton of good things about Mirena, but you’ll want to talk with the people at PP before you make a decision. Again, good luck—I’ll be thinking about you.

Edit: Also, as others have mentioned, after the procedure you’re usually taken to a recovery-type room. I just sat on a recliner and the nurses passed around pop and cookies to get our blood sugar up or something like that, and that was when they talked with us, individually, about what to expect over the next few days and weeks, what do if certain things happen, the stretches and uterine massage, and some other stuff. If you have any other questions you’d be able to ask one of the nurses during that time.

lovemypits86's avatar

i got pegnant young before i had my son and i knew i had to get it done bc i wasn;t done with school and the dad was a loser and i didn’t want to be a single mom. after i had it done i felt okay i went home took a 2 hour nap and the next day i went to school but every person is diffrent. for me it wasn’t a bad thing. i knew what i had to do why should a baby have to suffer bc of me? and your bf should be able to leave my father took me to get mine they just wanted him back about 30 mins before i was done. just make sure this is what you want. and don’t let people make you feel bad for it. they don’t have to live with it you do.

smokeweedeveryday's avatar

But dont you think that she should keep it or just give up for adoption. Its not the baby’s fault. I mean im not trying to sound rude or anything but as long as you know what your doing. and that your positive that this is want you want.

Likeradar's avatar

edited by me because I should know better.

smokeweedeveryday's avatar

@Likeradar : yeah i did read her question. but im just saying i dont think the baby should pay for her mistakes. I mean i dont mind her having an abortion. but its just kinda sad.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Likeradar you have already chastised me for my comment in the “comment to you” area. Again, sorry that you feel that way. Those are your thoughts, not mine. Never meant to arrogant and unhelpful.

casheroo's avatar

@smokeweedeveryday Have you ever been pregnant, or given birth? Do you even know what really goes into it? Adoption is a huge decision, not one to make lightly. I don’t see how it’s even comparable or easier than an abortion at all. She stated her reasons for the abortion, so I don’t see why you’d even suggest adoption.

Likeradar's avatar

@smokeweedeveryday Clump of cells =/= baby. Babies suffer when women choose not to abort and the kids have a shitty life. Why do you think this is the place for you to say things like that?

Jude's avatar

@smokeweedeveryday she’s not asking whether you feel that it’s a good or bad decision.

smokeweedeveryday's avatar

@Likeradar : Say things like what!
Well shes 24 i think she well old enough to have a baby.
I understand that abortion is a big deal but like i said its kinda sad.

Cupcake's avatar

I can’t personally comment on an abortion, but I have a paraguard in (6 months now) and I still regularly experience pain, spotting, cramping and heavy periods. I would recommend the mirena.

I was in bed for days after insertion. I hope your procedure is easier and goes well. Best wishes.

lovemypits86's avatar

yeah it’s sad but why should she and the baby go through that. yeah she could give it up but what if she can’t when the baby comes it sad yeah but sounds like the right thing to do. i ould cary a baby for 9 months than give it up it would be too had

Frankie's avatar

@smokeweedeveryday and what exactly makes you so entitled that you think she needs or even wants to know your opinion? She wasn’t asking for opinions, and if you have no experience on this subject then you should make your long-overdue exit from this question.

critter1982's avatar

@Likeradar: Week 5 the babies heart begins to form and by week 7 the brain and face begin to rapidly develop (hardly JUST a clump of cells). I also liked how you assume that if the baby is born it is going to have a shitty life, but I guess whatever allows you to sleep at night?

@girlofscience: I’m sorry that you believe the only way out of this is an abortion, no matter what side of the fence you sit on this controversial issue, it’s always difficult. My sister-in-law had an abortion. She suffered from post abortion syndrome for about 2 years and has been clinically depressed for the past 5 years. Obviously this doesn’t happen to everyone but is one of the most severe side effects of this terrible situation. I can only conclude from the one situation that I’ve been close to that there is something ‘not good’ about these procedures. Good luck and I hope everything works out for everyone.

Frankie's avatar

@critter1982 Perhaps your sister-in-law would not have experienced those side effects, and would not be depressed, if members of her family (i.e. you and your ilk) weren’t so judgmental about the choices they made which you have nothing to do with.

critter1982's avatar

@Frankie: She had full support from my and her family. So….errr…...you’re wrong in your whole judgmental argument.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@girlofscience You have my absolute support. As a guy, I have no idea what your physical feelings will be. As a volunteer, I’ve escorted numerous women to and from the clinic and know that gentle, understanding support is needed. I hope everything goes well and with as little discomfort as possible. ((hugs))

nikipedia's avatar

@critter1982: Sorry, you can’t judge abortion in one breath (see your comment to @Likeradar) and then turn around and say you never judged your family member.

funkdaddy's avatar

My wife and I were expecting our first recently. At our first sonogram (12 weeks) they found major physical problems with the baby (without getting too graphic, an incomplete chest cavity and spine were the most obvious) and referred us to a specialist. The specialist confirmed the baby was “incompatible with life” and did not have a chance to live after birth. It probably wouldn’t make it that far. My wife was crushed.

Unfortunately the perinatologist (specialist) wouldn’t discuss options with us and kept referring us to a genetic counselor. I don’t know if this was a financial consideration (the genetic counselor is in the same office, but bills separately) or his personal feelings on the subject but it’s the first time we felt any judgement.

We didn’t feel like we needed genetic counseling at that point and after talking to her doctor again we scheduled a D&C.

Before hand she was told not to eat after midnight the night before. We were scheduled for 11:30, so I don’t know if it’s a 12 hour rule of thumb or you just don’t eat the day of. We were at a general surgery facility and after checking in we got a call from her doctor’s office saying the facility wouldn’t approve the procedure because the baby still had a heart beat. We were already checked in, my wife was already wearing the gown, we had a nurse there with us walking through everything. Everyone on the floor was unaware, and very nice, so they all scrambled trying to figure out what was going on while my wife laid in the bed and cried.

Eventually whoever disapproved got the information they needed and gave the ok. The doctors came in and apologized repeatedly and everyone we saw face to face was extremely professional and even warm. I guess it’s easier to be judgmental from afar. I only mention it so you know there are definitely those who judge regardless of the situation, facts, or logic.

We were there about 4 hours total, 45 minutes of that was actual procedure time, the rest was prep and recovery. She didn’t have a lot of pain during or later that day. They gave her something to calm her before and put her in twilight sedation during. She doesn’t remember anything for about a two hour period and was shaky most of the rest of the day. They recommended a diet of clear fluids for the rest of that day, but by dinner she was starving and wanted real food. The other recommendations I remember were that she could shower the next day but no baths/swimming for a week (or 3 days maybe?), “vaginal rest” for 2 weeks, use contraception until she’s had a period and she should be limited to light activity for the next few days.

The next 3–4 days she bled a lot (stock up on pads), passed a lot of clots and had more pain than immediately after. She had been given a prescription for pain killers (Darvocet I believe) and used that each day. She was able to get up and about but just felt some pain. Not dancing around, but not restricted to the bed or house either. I remember her being very tired.

6 days afterwards she was up and about all day for the first time and starting passing a lot of clots (a new pad every 2 hours or so). She said it was a very strange feeling. We called the doctor and they said it was fairly normal although it may happen earlier if you spend a lot of time on your feet soon after. This was just her first day back at work and she walks all day.

After that she had a little bit of a “down” feeling, probably because of her hormones and typical post-partum without the happiness of having the baby to offset it. We talked about it before and it was manageable but something to be aware of. Her breasts also hurt for 3–4 days, in theory from starting to make milk. She said it felt like a burning sensation. I would say she was truly “back to normal” that next week for the most part.

Going forward they said she should get her first period anywhere from 4–8 weeks afterwards and then be back on her normal schedule within 2 cycles.

If I was giving advice, I’d say stock up on pads, have a lot of support around you, don’t set anything in stone for those 4–5 days afterwards and discuss the hormonal changes with your boyfriend beforehand both so he’s aware and can keep an eye on you. Not so much because you’ll need it, but just because it’s hard to be objective when it’s your body.

I hope the information helps, I hope it goes well, and I hope you find nothing but support. Take care.

critter1982's avatar

@nikipedia: No I did not judge the overall idea of abortion in one breath. I argued @Likeradars point that it is only a clump of cells. I didn’t argue that women don’t have a right to choose and I certainly didn’t argue that @girlofscience doesn’t have her right to choose, however and I’m sure @girlofscience has done her research, that people shouldn’t make decisions on faulty arguments. The argument that it’s all just a clump of random cells is a faulty argument. There are tons of women whom have had late term abortions only to realize what was truly in their body. This would be a 7th week abortion not late by any means and not just a clump of useless cells by any means. I’m not being judgmental but rather factual. So I ask you how I was being judgmental or was it just your opinion that I was? Sounds very judgmental of you.

Vunessuh's avatar

@girlofscience Never had an abortion, so unfortunately I can’t answer your question, but I would just like to say good luck and I hope everything works out for you and don’t forget you have tons of support here when it’s over.

Frankie's avatar

@funkdaddy Generally, only women who will have go under IV sedation or something other than just a light anesthetic have to not eat the night before. It sounds like your wife was probably under IV sedation. When I had my D&C the only pain medication I received was some sort of numbing thing that they injected directly into my cervix (sorry if that’s a bit graphic), so I didn’t have to fast. In fact, I ate about 20 minutes before I had the procedure. Also, I’m so sorry for you and your wife, that’s such a heartbreaking situation..

@critter1982 Yeah, because saying “whatever helps you sleep at night” isn’t judgmental at all…. Also, PAS is not even real…it’s made up. Crazy, huh? She does not have depression because she had an abortion. Your sister-in-law’s mental and emotional problems are direct results of pre-existing issues she had before the abortion and/or with the decision she made, or what she experienced from family and friends before and after the procedure. Do a bit more research.

Jude's avatar

I really wish that people would just stick to answering the question.

TooBlue's avatar

Why is everyone kicking up such a fuss about this? The foetus isn’t conscious of its existence. And people saying, “well think of the life it could have” is a useless, meaningless argument. The world is all about life and death okay? The woman’s body created the foetus, therefore she has the right to do with it as she wants. There should be NO obligation that when an egg is fertilised a child must be born.

Janka's avatar

I hope the abortion goes well.

I tried to dig up some scientific info on the IUDs to compare them, but did not find anything conclusive. It seems that it is pretty much individual luck what works for whom… so if you have not had one before, and your doctor does not recommend one or the other, seems that you might as well toss a coin. The upside it is that it’s very likely to be effective and painless regardless of your choice.

janbb's avatar

@girlofscience Best of luck with it!

susanc's avatar

I had three abortions as a young woman. I’m sure I did the right thing in each case.

I do think the body wants to make kids, and the body’s connected to the soul, (or, as we say on fluther, the brain). We do experience some elemental grief. This is not a bad thing. A few tears, a bunch of bleeding, “goodbye”.

I hope this isn’t off-topic. It’s a piece we haven’t been talking about but I think it’s part of the process.

girlofscience's avatar

Had a lunchtime work meeting, sorry! I’m back now.

Thank you SO much to @tinyfaery, @casheroo, @Likeradar, @Frankie, @funkdaddy, and @susanc for sharing your abortion experiences. This is what I was hoping to gain from asking this question. I also appreciate others’ unwavering support of my decision in the midst of the apparently expected ignorance of others.

One thing I realized is that I’m going to have to buy non-thong underwear because I don’t currently own any underwear that can accommodate a pad! I’ve never worn a pad in my life. And I’m not looking forward to that…yikes. But wearing a pad is certainly a small price to pay for preventing the ruination of my life. And it really sounds like things aren’t going to be too terribly awful, although many of you shared the D&C procedure experience, and I’ll be having a vacuum aspiration procedure, which I believe is even simpler.

@LunaChick: Why would you assume I didn’t take steps to prevent this pregnancy? Birth control methods do have the potential to fail. In the event of an unplanned pregnancy, I’ve always known I’d have an abortion.

@BoBo1946: Obviously, what someone posts is his/her thoughts and not yours. Why do you keep asking/stating the obvious?

@lovemypits86: My boyfriend should be able to leave?! NO WAY is that happening! I actually had to call several places before finding this one that would allow him to be with me during the procedure. He will be holding my hand the whole way, and neither of us would ever have it any other way.

@smokeweedeveryday: No, I don’t think that I should just keep it or give it up for adoption. Why would I go through a pregnancy and birth for no reason and produce an unwanted child when I have the option to not do that? Nothing could be the baby’s fault because the baby doesn’t yet exist (and never will)… Since it doesn’t exist, it’s not paying for any “mistakes.”

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@girlofscience You might experience protestors outside the clinic. They are almost always bound by restraining order and are forbidden to be within a certain distance of the clinic. They are forbidden to block your way or touch you. The clinic will usually provide parking within the exclusion zone and an entrance out of their sight.

We had curtains installed in the back of our car so the ladies we escorted didn’t have to look at the protestors. These people know what the rules are, just blow right through them.

girlofscience's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land: Yeah, Planned Parenthood warned me about the protesters on the phone. They said that they are not legally allowed to harass patients, so if they start harassing me (obviously I’m a patient, but unless I say so, they don’t legally know that yet), I can just tell them I’m a patient, and they need to stop. I’m sure my boyfriend will respond unpleasantly to them as well. It could be interesting to encounter these folks.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@girlofscience In 12 years of escort work, I’ve only had to use force once. Just go right through, put your fingers in your ears if you have to. ((more hugs))

CyanoticWasp's avatar

My abortion was unsuccessful, obviously, because here I still am.

casheroo's avatar

When I’ve gone, all the protesters did was hand out pamphlets. You know, the ones trying to guilt you into keeping a baby, promising that they’ll help but once the baby is born they have nothing to do with it, or paying your bills, or putting food on the table. I can never understand the goal of making someone keep a child they do not want, nor can they provide for (emotionally, or financially).

critter1982's avatar

@Frankie: I doubt wikipedia constitutes research, and I’m not so sure what qualifies you to argue one way or the other, other than your research online? I was being judgmental of your rant not abortion. I was judging your “scientific” argument that it’s just a clump of cells. @girlofscience asked for experiences so I gave her mine, just because it doesn’t align with what you believe to be true don’t jump down my throat.

Frankie's avatar

@critter1982 Sorry, I don’t use wikipedia. I’m a university student. Ever heard of the APA? I sure have. As it happens, the APA is where I’m getting my information. And they happen to be pretty damn reputable.

Edit: Also, I wasn’t the one making the “clump of cells” argument. Try to get it straight.

augustlan's avatar

I had an abortion when I was 18 years old (over 20 years ago, now). For me, it was a very difficult decision, partly because I was born to a single mother when she was just 19. It really hit home with me. However, seeing how difficult her life had turned out to be because she chose to have me certainly nudged me in the abortion direction.

On the way into the clinic, we were confronted by a single protester (this was long before the days of restricted areas for protesting). He held in his hands a tiny plastic baby, and basically yelled at us “this is what a 10 week old fetus looks like”, while shoving it towards our faces. My then boyfriend shouldered him aside and hurried me in to the clinic. That was an awful experience, and I hope you don’t experience anything like it.

I had a vacuum abortion, and the actual procedure didn’t hurt at all. I experienced pretty painful cramping for a day or two afterward, and passed a lot of clots. After that, I was physically fine. Mentally? I was a wreck.

While you feel sure that you’ll be fine emotionally, don’t be surprised if that isn’t the case. I’m 100% certain that having an abortion was the right thing for me to do, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been haunted by my decision. Especially when I was purposely pregnant, 10 years later. What I had (quite logically) viewed as a ‘clump of cells’ in the first go-round was now a full-on baby in my eyes, from the very instant I knew I was pregnant. It caused me a ton of guilt. I guess what I’m trying to say here is, don’t have any expectations about your feelings whatsoever. However you do feel is how you feel, and it’s ok if it turns out differently than you anticipate.

I’m glad you have a strong support system, and want you to know that I support you, too. {hugs}

Leanne1986's avatar

I haven’t been through it myself but I have a something to add from my best friends experience. She fell pregnant at sixteen years old and decided that the time wasn’t right. She booked an abortion but a few days before the abortion she miscarried. Anyway, although she didn’t end up needing the abortion the advice she gives women who do is don’t be surprised if you feel extremely sad and “empty” for a little while after. Even if you think you will be fine, at the moment you are obviously quite comfortable with your decision, it may hit you after the procedure and my best friend was very depressed for a while after she lost the baby even though she was very matter of fact about it beforehand. Most importantly though you should know that it is ok to feel this way. Just because you have made the decision that you cannot be a parent does not mean that you won’t feel some sadness and it is natural to mourn a little. My best friend is not maternal at all but she does always remember her due date and it’s the one day of the year when she is a little quieter than normal. You may not feel this way but I am just prewarning you based on her experience and I know she won’t mind me telling you. Another thing you may like to know is that she doesn’t regret her decision even though it makes her sad from time to time. Good luck and I am glad to see there hasn’t been as much bitching or guilt tripping as I thought there would be on this thread.

deni's avatar

I don’t have a personal experience, thankfully, but I understand where you’re coming from and anyone else’s opinion on this situation is not important so I hope some of the rude and unhelpful things mentioned above don’t bother you. I just wanted to wish you luck!

critter1982's avatar

@Frankie: Since you apparently read the report the APA put out on mental health and abortions did you not read the area that stated, “A multitude of reasons lead to variability in women’s psychological experiences to their particular abortion experience. For these reasons, global statements about the psychological impact of abortion on women can be misleading.”

In other words stating that PAS is a hoax without analyzing each individual situation can be misleading or wrong.

The report goes on to say, “Because abortion occurs in the context of a second stressful life event – a pregnancy that is unwanted, unintended, or associated with problems in some way – a stress and coping perspective emphasizes that it can be difficult to separate out psychological experiences associated with abortion from psychological experiences associated with other aspects of the unintended pregnancy.”

The APA recognizes that because of the multiple stressful events that occur simultaneously during the decision to abort an unwanted child, the capability to single out one stressful event over another is almost impossible. This is the reason the APA states that there is no conclusive evidence that shows abortions themselves drive mental health issues. It’s because they can’t identify, in the women that have mental health issues after an abortion, whether it comes from the abortion itself or from some other high stress situation. However, nobody argues the fact that “some” women have mental health issues occurring after an abortion.

tinyfaery's avatar

Yeah. And abortion syndrome is not in the DSM either. Therefore, not a psychological diagnosis.

LunaChick's avatar

@Likeradar – I’m going to have to agree with @critter1982 on this one – the embryo, at 7 weeks, is by no means a “clump of cells” so that is a faulty argument.

From WebMD “Your embryo makes great strides in size this week, growing to between 0.44 inches and 0.52 inches from crown to rump by the end of the week, or about the size of a small raspberry. Leg buds are starting to look like short fins, and hands and feet have a digital plate where fingers and toes will develop. The heart and lungs are becoming more developed, as are the eyes and nostrils, intestines and appendix. By now the brain and spinal cord are growing from the neural tube.”

I hope @girlofscience is as strong as she thinks she is – this is not a decision to be taken lightly and, while most women don’t regret their decision, they do have emotional issues to deal with. At least she has supportive people in her life, who will help her get through this.

@augustlan – lurve and hugs for you – your story is more common than most people think.

Brick by Ben Folds Five is a great song that tells the true story of Ben Folds’ own experience with his girlfriend’s abortion.

Likeradar's avatar

@LunaChick Clumps of cells can have function and form. Still a clump of cells to me. Half an inch of cell masses does not a baby make, in my opinion. It’s cool if you disagree.

Frankie's avatar

@critter1982 You have very obviously, and purposely, misread the quote you used in your first paragraph. It truly is laughable. Your entire post affirms what I previously said. You’re simply twisting the APA’s report to fit your needs. PAS does not exist. You even said in your post that there is “no conclusive evidence” that abortion leads to mental health issues, yet you didn’t hesitate to diagnose your sister-in-law with a nonexistent psychological condition. It really is kind of amusing.

critter1982's avatar

@tinyfaery & @Frankie: I think you are both missing my point. Whether or not PAS is an actual mental issue related to abortions themselves is arguable okay I get your point, but only because of inconclusive evidence that mental health issues lead “directly” to the act of abortion. My point is that abortions whether it’s because of the abortion itself or because of some other high stress issue related to the abortion, mental issues can occur at the onset of an abortion. Directly or indirectly linked to the abortion itself, I’m not so sure it matters for our particular discussion, because either way the abortion is the initial culprit.

Yes my sister was diagnosed with symptoms relating to those otherwise known as PAS. Her symptoms are very real not non-existant as you stated.

@Frankie: Don’t you think it’s kind of funny that you are using a report which identifies no conclusive evidence either way to “prove” that PAS is not real. We are not in court and innocent until proven guilty does not work here. Inconclusive means there still is a very real chance that this condition does exist, not conclusively “nonexistent”. I’ve seen what my sisters abortion has done to her and I can conclusively say that she had mental issues after her abortion.

tinyfaery's avatar

How old was she when she had the abortion?

critter1982's avatar

@likeradar: Just wondering what does make a baby in your opinion?

critter1982's avatar

I believe she was 30. Around that age at least.

Likeradar's avatar

@critter1982 Good question. I don’t have a personal definition for what a baby is, only what it isn’t.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m not saying people can’t have problems only that abortion syndrome is not a diagnosis that any professional would/could make.

girlofscience's avatar

@Likeradar: I meant to ask you—why did you not want to see the ultrasound or know about multiples/genders?

When I got my ultrasound at 5weeks1day, I absolutely wanted to see it! They even printed out a picture for me. And when I get this second ultrasound, it will be even more interesting. I can’t imagine not wanting to know something. Why didn’t you? (Just curious, no judgment!)

Likeradar's avatar

@girlofscience It was very emotionally charged for me, and unlike in your situation, it wasn’t an easy decision. I just didn’t want the knowledge that I would have been having twins, or a girl, or whatever. It made it easier for me to not know any details of the possibilities and potential that could have come from that clump of cells.

jonsblond's avatar

@girlofscience You can’t find out the gender from an ultrasound until 16 weeks, at the earliest. You usually don’t find out until 18–20 weeks.

girlofscience's avatar

@jonsblond: I know this. I wasn’t implying that I would be able to find out the gender…

Likeradar's avatar

@jonsblond Guess they didn’t offer to tell me the gender, since my D&C was at 9 weeks. Sedation wasn’t so good for the memory!

augustlan's avatar

@girlofscience I didn’t want to see my ultrasound, either. The more impersonal it was, the better for my mental health. I think that’s pretty common. I find it very interesting that you’re able to be so emotionally neutral about it (not in a bad way, just in a ‘huh, that’s interesting’ way). Do you think your science background helps you to achieve a sort of clinical detachment? Or maybe it’s a generational thing.

Likeradar's avatar

@augustlan & @girlofscience I find the emotional neutrality interesting too (in the same way @augustlan does). I assume you know yourself pretty well, but I hope you’re not in for a shock of emotion after the procedure. If you’re comfortable, please let us know how you’re feeling afterwards.

casheroo's avatar

I didn’t want to see the ultrasound when I had my first abortion. But I looked at it when I had the second, and both times I wanted to know if there were multiples. I think it was curiousity. The first time I was just trying to distance myself from the situation, the second time I was second guessing myself so I wanted to see, to see if that would change my mind. But, it didn’t.

candide's avatar

gee, why is everyone jumping all over @Val123 for the candid answer? She answered the question from her own experience; the asker has indicated that she is interested in people’s personal experiences. Good job Val123 for a great answer, and of anyone, my support’s with you!

stemnyjones's avatar

@funkdaddy I’m sorry that happened to you.

MacBean's avatar

@candide I don’t think people are jumping all over Val for a candid answer. I think they’re jumping all over her for a judgmental, unhelpful answer.

Dr_C's avatar

I won´t touch the abortion argument with a ten foot pole as people seem to have strong opinions on this thread in both directions. So i will limit myself to suggesting you go for Mirena. Many of my patients have gone this route and are extremely happy with it.

Hope you´re ok no matter what happens. Regardless of your beliefs this is never an easy decision or experience.

Rarebear's avatar

I’ve skimmed through the above posts, and thought I’d add my 2 pennies.

You will be greeted politely and with respect. There will usually be a comfortable room to wait in. You will have an intake with a nurse getting vital signs and such. You will meet the physician, and the physician will go over the risks of the procedure. A vacuum aspiration is low risk (but not zero risk). You will be asked to sign a consent form. You will be asked about your contraceptive plans.

After that, you will change into a hospital gown (unless they already did that). The nurse will start an IV which will hurt a little bit. They will hang a bag of fluid and start the IV drip.

You will be moved on probably a pretty uncomfortable table, although it depends on the particular PP you’re going to. The physician will probably come in and do a sonogram of the fetus to ensure the dates. She will do a pelvic exam, which is never fun.

The nurse will administer some short acting IV medication, and you will start feeling a bit light headed. You may not remember anything as one of the medications is usually a short acting amnestic. They may put a little oxygen on you.

You will most likely be placed in a lithotomy position. The physician will do another sonogram, and start the procedure. She may or may not give cervical anesthesia which involves another poke, but doesn’t hurt that much. When she does the aspiration, you will feel some cramping and some loud sounds, if she’s using a machine vacuum. There are hand pump vacuums that some use that aren’t as loud. Don’t be alarmed, this is normal. You may not even remember this anyway.

When you wake up, you’ll feel a little groggy, and you may have some cramping. You will have some bleeding that will last for a few days. After that you’ll be back to normal.

Supacase's avatar

I have had a Mirena for almost two years. I have had no cramping or pain, very little spotting and only a few periods.

@Frankie Sincerely wondering… if postpartum depression is legit (and surely some sort of depression after a miscarriage or still birth is accepted), why is it so easy to dismiss the idea of PAS? Whatever the reason for the abortion, there are hormones running rampant and another life (potential or real depending on their position) involved. It doesn’t mean abortion is bad or the wrong decision, it is simply how the person’s body reacts.

I realize it isn’t in the DSM and don’t care to get into the issues brought up by you and Val. I am just wondering why the idea that people can experience depression or other emotional issues post-abortion is impossible to accept.

filmfann's avatar

My wife had a DNC following a partial miscarriage. She was quite frightened and pained by the process, and definitely was not able to go out to lunch afterwards.
By Monday you should be able to return to work.

Rarebear's avatar

@filmfann My wife had a D&C after a retained miscarriage. We went to a movie that night.

Frankie's avatar

@Supacase When did I ever say that no women ever experience depression or emotional issues after an abortion?! I experienced depression after my abortion, for God’s sake! My depression was not a direct result of having an abortion, but was a result of the lack of support I had from my boyfriend at the time and the secrecy that surrounded it. PAS assumes that abortion itself, not other factors, is the cause of the depression. This is different from depression caused by hormones, because after an abortion hormones go back to normal within weeks at the most. PAS, however, contends that long-term depression is caused by actually having the abortion. It doesn’t take into account how the level of support a woman has from her friends, family, peers, and even her community, effects her mental well-being long-term. My (as well as the APA) saying that PAS does not exist is not saying that women never experience sadness or long-term depression…we are saying, quite rightly, that the depression was caused by pre-existing factors that had an impact on how the woman feels about her decision.

kelly8906's avatar

Hey, I had an abortion about a year ½ ago when I was just about 7 weeks. It’s not a fun thing to go through. I was totally asleep though so if you are awake a little (not sure if you will be) you may feel more discomfort?

I was in a very serious amount of pain for about 3 days after the procedure. The pain killers they gave me made me vomit and didn’t take much of the cramping away. Just make sure you follow the after care instructions- IE no sex for 3 weeks I believe, and you will be ok. It’s a difficult decision and one that could cause you a great deal of pain (emotionally) in the future BUT you have to do whats best for you so don’t pay attention to what other people say. Only you know what’s best for you.

stemnyjones's avatar

Even though I haven’t had an abortion myself, let me just give you another perspective on it from a friend of mine who has. And before I get flamed, I’d like to say that even though I’m a very happy mother who has been blessed with a wonderful baby girl, I am strongly pro-choice – I think at this point it has become a necessary evil, because there are so many abandoned kids in orphanages who need homes already, and we are overpopulating the world and destroying it in the process.

A friend of mine had an abortion years ago. Granted, her situation was different than yours – she wanted to keep the baby, but was talked into having an abortion by her boyfriend and planned parenthood. I don’t know about the surgery or the recovery, but I do know that to this day she still has nightmares about it and has serious regrets. She does wonder every year what the kid would have been like.

Like I said, it probably won’t be the same for you, because you made the decision yourself that you are not ready for a child. I just wanted to warn you about a possible problem you may face afterwards.

Good luck with the surgery, I hope all goes well for you.

plethora's avatar

@stemnyjones Stories like that are legion. It is very predictable. I dated a woman who years ago had an abortion for exactly the same reason and she related almost your exact words and knew of a host of others with the same experience decades after the abortion.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

If they administer Valium (diazepam) during the procedure, your memory of the procedure may be fuzzy afterwards.

lonelydragon's avatar

@smokeweedeveryday So you think she’s old enough to have a baby. Unless you’re going to pay to help her raise it, then it is her opinion, not yours, that matters.

@girlofscience I don’t know anything about the physical or emotional effects of abortion, but I did want to give you my best wishes.

@stranger_in_a_strange_land I didn’t know that PP had volunteer escorts. I’m sure the women appreciated your presence. Do they still offer that kind of service?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@lonelydragon Yes they do, at least where we live. My wife and I did it as a team. I drove and provided protection, Meg would escort her through the whole process. It’s surprising how many women would otherwise have no support through the process.

smokeweedeveryday's avatar

@girlofscience : yeah i totally get you but im just trying to look at it from another perspective. I Mean i think i would do That to. And I Think like taht too. but im just saying..

judethm's avatar

This is a decision with significant ramifications, so since you have a few days and admit that it didn’t take much thought to identify abortion as your solution I urge you to do enough research to make a fully informed choice. There are a multitude of women who have shared their experiences if you visit www.silentnomoreawareness.org, www.rachelsvineyard.org, www.operationoutcry.org or www.postabortionhelp.org. If you’d prefer scientific data to quantify the proven clinical effects of abortion on women, there’s plenty of that as well. The Elliot Institute is the web’s most complete source of information on the after effects of abortion and post-abortion healing. http://www.afterabortion.org

It cannot be said that all women who have breast cancer have had abortions. Similarly, not all women who have had abortions will get breast cancer. Nevertheless, abortion is the most preventable risk factor for breast cancer. www.abortionbreastcancer.com/The_Link.htm

Since you are in a relationship and both of you have agreed on an abortion, you might also be interested in the results of a result study published in the journal Public Health in 2009 relating to the effects of abortion on relationships. An article summarizing the findings can be read at http://www.lifenews.com/nat4946.html

You say you and your boyfriend are not ready to be parents. Would you feel more secure in taking on that responsibility if you knew support were available? Because there is support – lots of it – at your local pregnancy resource center. They can help you identify resources you may not realize exist with everything from prenatal care to financial help to daycare. Contrary to the mistaken impressions that many have, pregnancy resource centers are concerned with the mother, the father and the baby. Not only will they see you through the pregnancy, but will continue to be there afterward to help make sure your needs continue to be met.

If you are certain that parenthood is not something you want to undertake at this point, then please consider adoption. There are no unwanted children – that is a complete myth. Waiting families far outnumber the number of children available for adoption in this country. There are even waiting lists for children with special needs like Down Syndrome and Spina Bifida. There is a loving family waiting for every unborn child. Birth parents now have greater control than ever before in selecting an adoptive family and requesting whether they want open, semi-open or closed adoptions. As the adoptive mother of two beautiful boys I am deeply grateful for the gift of life their birth mothers gave them.

I pray that some of this has given you pause to reconsider what you are going to do. If, however, you still think abortion is the quick, easy and painless fix to a problem, then I challenge you to visit www.priestsforlife.org and view the photos of fetuses at the stage of development yours is at. Then view the photos of fetuses at that stage of development who have been aborted. It’s the truth. It’s the reality of abortion and no one at Planned Parenthood would dream of showing it to you. They are invested in your choice being abortion.

This is a decision that will remain with you forever, regardless of how you proceed. Make sure you’re fully informed.

girlofscience's avatar

@judethm: I’m fully informed, thanks. It appears some of your links, however, are not.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@girlofscience Remember that you don’t have to interact with the protesters at all. Your b/f can tell them that you are a patient, then just hustle straight into the clinic. No drama.

TLRobinson's avatar

I’ve held off long enough! @girlofscience-Its not something I share often, but your question and subsequent answers has compelled me.

I’ve had multiple abortions and two DNC’s. The first when I was 15. Each one was physically painful, it never got better.

I had my first child at 30 and i’m an awesome mom, if I say so myself.~ My point is, I wouldn’t have been at the age of 15, 19 and in my 20’s. It was CHOICES I’ve made, that I can truthfully say I’ve never regretted nor spent a great deal of time thinking about it.

Not sure if the process has changed, but as others have stated, get a lot of pads, you can’t drink alcohol while on the meds, get “ugly” panties and have your boyfriend rub your lower back and stomach.

My prayer and thoughts will be with you. You have the best medicine already, love and support!

MacBean's avatar

@TLRobinson: Thank you for sharing with us. <3

sarahgal's avatar

I’ll keep this simple and sweet. I had an abortion done nearly 1 hour ago. I was 7½ weeks and I feel just fine as of now. Mild cramping and lots of bleeding but no severe pain. They prescribed me pain medicine and I’m just taking that and my antibiotics awaiting the follow up. The actual procedure, it went very quickly and was just fine. Received IV sedation and was awake but not “all there”. Gave me some Valium and they were well on their way…took about 10 minutes and then I was placed in recovery. I recovered, was given some goldfish, they checked on me every so often and then I was on my way with my ride. You’ll be fine and don’t pay attention to the Radical picketers outside. It’s your life & your body & I wish you the best <3 Having an abortion isn’t something anyone wants to do…sometimes it’s just what you have to do. And well, one day I hope to be financially secure with my bachelors degree and then I’ll have a baby…and be able to take care of it the way it deserves. You’ll be fine, good luck to anyone that reads this and is apprehensive about the procedure.

Another thing, I don’t advise doing the pill or the shot. I’ve heard many women have problems with that. You’re far better off going with the surgical and getting it over with & being certain it will all be okay.

Again, good luck. <3

Jude's avatar

I wonder how @girlofscience is doing..

nikipedia's avatar

@jjmah: I hope she doesn’t mind me posting, but she texted this to me this morning:

I am all done, and everything went amazingly smoothly! No pain at all, and I’m already feeling much better.

Jude's avatar

Good to hear that she’s feeling okay..

Thanks, @nikipedia.

girlofscience's avatar

Hello! I have just arrived home.

As @nikipedia said, everything went just great. My boyfriend and I were there for about four hours total: paperwork, silly video about abortion, ultrasound, bloodwork, IV prep, procedure, IUD placement, recovery, and a bit of waiting in between each!

No protesters upon arriving, and the staff was all extremely friendly. My boyfriend was able to stay with me for the entire process. My ultrasound dated me at 8 weeks exactly, and we got a picture to take home. I learned that my Rh factor is positive and that 1 in 3 women has an abortion.

My IV of Versed and Fentanyl was fantastic. I don’t remember anything 10 seconds into the IV, but apparently I had a lucid conversation about my job with the amazing nurse and doctor and then said I was feeling relaxed and great as a result of the IV. They asked if I needed more, I said I wanted more, and they obliged. The abortion and IUD placement took a total of like 7 minutes, I didn’t look like I was in any pain, and then I went into recovery, started to become coherent again a half hour or so later, and was eating cookies and pretzels and drinking ginger ale.

I was able to leave shortly after, and my boyfriend and I went out to a delicious Indian lunch. We’re home now drinking mimosas, and I’m feeling very relieved and much better physically than I have in a month.

Yay!

MacBean's avatar

So glad it went smoothly for you. <3

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I’m happy for you that it went without problems. ((hugs))

girlofscience's avatar

Thanks, guys.

@augustlan and @Likeradar: I never got back to you about my emotional neutrality towards all of this, but I have found it to be interesting as well. Given all that was said here and all that I’ve read, I became very open to feeling sadness surrounding the event. Even though I was so comfortable with my decision, it seemed possible I might experience some pretty extreme negative emotions on abortion day. My boyfriend and I talked about this in length and were going to allow it to happen if either of us felt that way. We were prepared to cry together at Planned Parenthood if that’s how we were going to feel.

It simply turned out not to be the case, and I’m not exactly sure why? Maybe my scientific mindset, as @augustlan suggested? Neither of us felt any kind of attachment to what was growing inside me. I was nauseous and cramping for a month and wanted it out of me. My boyfriend felt empathy for the pain I was in and wanted it to be over for me.

We were both very interested in the concept of this pregnancy along the way. We wanted to know everything that was going on and were glad we were able to experience what it was like for me to be pregnant together, even if it was just a taste. Although I really can’t pinpoint the source of my/our emotional neutrality, another possible source is the fact that we don’t want to have biological children. My boyfriend and I will not be parents for a long time, still, but when we are, it will be through adoption. Pregnancy and childbearing are just not for me, and there are so many unwanted children in the world that, when we’re ready to be parents, we’ll be parents to one of them rather than by making another child.

So the entire abortion process simply wasn’t sad for us at all. We were holding hands and smiling at each other during each of the waiting periods and in very jovial moods, laughing at the preposterous situations unfolding in the waiting room. The staff we encountered through each step of the process reflected our pleasant moods and were even joking with us along the way.

And no, we’re not cold, heartless people; quite the opposite, in fact. But rather than sadness, the strong emotions we felt yesterday were love (for each other, for our trust in each other, and for the coherence of our perspectives) and happiness (for my immediate physical relief, for being able to experience a fascinating process together, and for everything going just perfectly).

It’s now been about 24 hours since my abortion, and I’ve yet to feel the slightest hint of sadness. My boyfriend and I spent yesterday cuddling, watching movies, and talking about how we felt about each element of the abortion. We laughed for awhile about the idea hinted at above by @judethm that abortions can cause more relationship problems than having unwanted children. We had a humorous conversation about how absurd it would be for our abortion to cause us any relationship problems as well as the relationship problems we are successfully avoiding by not having a baby.

I wanted to share this both to answer the questions about my emotional neutrality and to provide the perspective of a woman who had an extremely positive abortion experience. There are already so many negative abortion experiences posted about online, in an attempt to make women reconsider having an abortion. But it’s important for women to know that it’s simply not always that way.

TLRobinson's avatar

@girlofscience-you’re my new SHEro.

tinyfaery's avatar

@girlofscience I lurve you. Thank you for sharing this all with us.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@girlofscience I admire the way you shared your experience. Big ((hugs)).

casheroo's avatar

@girlofscience Glad it went well, I’d been thinking of you.

augustlan's avatar

@girlofscience I’m glad everything went well and you were even able to go to lunch! Thank you for getting back to us about the emotional aspect. It did help me understand it better.

girlofscience's avatar

@augustlan: Thanks! :)

I’m glad you’re able to understand the emotional aspect better now. Since I still don’t fully understand it myself, though, I’m curious, what about my answer helped to clarify?

augustlan's avatar

@girlofscience I think it was a combination of things. Partly that you never intend to have biological children, so it wasn’t just a case of getting pregnant “too early” and still wanting to experience it later on. It was a no-go for both of you, no matter what the timing was. And I do see some evidence of your scientific background in your interest in the concept and the process.

Also, I totally understand the loving closeness you felt. Weirdly, my ex-husband and I held hands during the mediation process to finalize our separation agreement! Going through a big (even if not traumatic) thing together just does that sometimes. :)

Likeradar's avatar

@girlofscience How are you doing?

girlofscience's avatar

@Likeradar: I remain entirely recovered and happy I am no longer pregnant.

Likeradar's avatar

@girlofscience Good! :) I’m glad you feel the way you thought you would!

desiree333's avatar

I’m am supportive of your choice also, but one day my friends and myself were discussing the issues that go along with abortions in one of my classes because it was brought up by my teacher because we were in a religion class and that was the topic for the day. Anyways while my friends and I were talking about abortions I said that I support it and that if I was ever in a hard situation where I wasn’t in the right place in my life to have a baby I would consider it. I’m sixteen and I’ve seen girls drop out of school and not making the right choices while they are pregnant such as drinking and drugs while they are in their prenatal stage. But after I finished stating my opinion on the subject my friends said “when you get an abortion you aren’t just not pregnant anymore, you are now the mother of a dead baby.” It really scared me and now my opinion is sort of fuzzy on it now. I still support it and do not pass judgement on people who have gotten one, especially if under an appropriate situation where they are not ready for a baby. But now, personally after hearing what my friends said I couldn’t imagine that guilt, and sadness an abortion must bring to women who have had one. My heart goes out to you @girlofscience you seem to be doing good, and I’m glad it worked out for you.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@desiree333 You are the mother of a dead fetus. For some, that has a different emotional meaning than a baby (by which I mean a child that dies after being born).

girlofscience's avatar

@desiree333: That’s ridiculous. Such nonsense doesn’t impact me at all, and you shouldn’t let it impact you either. You’re not the mother of a dead baby/fetus; YOU’RE NOT A MOTHER, PERIOD. If nothing was ever born, you never became a mother. People are full of stupid bullshit to try to make women feel guilty about the decisions they make about their own bodies. Don’t place any value on such idiotic statements, please.

Oh, and apparently you didn’t read everything I said about my feelings after my abortion because I felt no guilt nor sadness whatsoever. So there is no guilt/sadness that abortions “must” bring to women.

Merriment's avatar

@girlofscience – Desiree333 offered you no judgment and just shared that “she personally” couldn’t imagine the guilt or sadness once confronted with her classmates words.

As in SHE would feel guilt/sadness…not that you did!

The strident response to her is more likely to convince people that you aren’t 100% at peace with your decision and therefore must reject that others have the same freedom to choose. Even if that choice isn’t the same as yours.

@desiree333 – none of us who haven’t been confronted with the hard reality of an unplanned pregnancy know exactly how we would react. You did no wrong by considering that, for you, it may not be as easy an option as you had previously thought.

We are all entitled to deal with this choice in our own way and I hope like heck you aren’t ever in this position.

girlofscience's avatar

@Merriment:

@desiree333 said “I couldn’t imagine that guilt, and sadness an abortion must bring to women who have had one.”

That an abortion MUST bring to women who have had one.

I did not think she judged me. I simply wanted to indicate that:
1) There are tons of ridiculous concepts like the “mother of a dead baby” pro-lifers throw around; @desiree333 is young and apparently easily influenced by this bullshit, so I wanted to encourage her to ignore it.
2) Contrary to her statement, an abortion need not cause guilt/sadness. Her statement indicates must. So yes, it did imply that I did!

Merriment's avatar

@girlofscience-

If your goal is to enlighten desiree333 that there is more than one school of thought on this matter it is probably best to come at it in a less aggressive and ,yes, angry sounding way.

That she could imagine that there are other women out there who have had abortions with less than your 100% conviction that it was the right thing to do doesn’t jeopardize your convictions. Or at least it shouldn’t.

Merriment's avatar

@desiree333 – I have often wondered what I would do in this situation. I have no easy answers. I can’t quite bring myself to see the pregnancy at whatever stage as anything less than a pregnancy that will result in a child if I weren’t to interfere.

That notion would always give me pause. It might not be enough to make me continue the pregnancy but it would make me think. And really, is that such a bad thing?

I don’t think less of people who have or who will make this choice.

I just don’t know if I could personally do it.

wilma's avatar

As @Merriment pointed out, we are all entitled to our own views on this. As mother, I felt like a mother from the moment I knew I was pregnant.
If another woman doesn’t feel that way, that is her prerogative.

girlofscience's avatar

@Merriment:

Sure, I could have been less aggressive sounding.

Jeopardizing my convictions was never an issue… I never felt my convictions were under jeopardy. I was just picking apart the wording of one sentence. “the guilt/sadness that women must feel.” I was trying to indicate that there is no guilt/sadness women MUST feel because this would imply that every woman absolutely feels guilt/sadness. Since at least I (but also many other women) did not, this statement is incorrect.

desiree333's avatar

@girlofscience Okay first of all if you read my post it was pretty oubvious that I said YOU were not emotionally guilty/sad.  When I said women must feel guilt and sadness I meant other women!  Otherwise wouldn’t I have said YOU must feel that?  Seriously settle the hell down, you highlighted “must” practically ten times!  If all you can find is one word that suggests that I am judging you or saying you don’t feel guit yet I said many times I am supportive of you and I don’t judge than why don’t you understand?  It’s a very basic concept…
  I don’t know you or you and your boyfriends situation so why would I be telling you whether or not you feel emotional towards your decision?  You clearly said you don’t feel guilty or anything.  And yes I totally back up my point about how OTHER women must feel guilt/sadness!  Who wouldn’t?  And personally the way you are jumping all over me for being SUPPORTIVE and objective just shows that you have some sort of compulsion to show that you are fine.   Take a breath, admit your wrong, and shut your mouth.

MacBean's avatar

@desiree333 See, the thing is, she isn’t wrong. You continue to imply that women have to feel bad about having an abortion, otherwise they are somehow lesser. You are the one who is wrong.

DominicX's avatar

I just noticed that I am still following the question.

Here’s my theory. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think I have it. I am a Stanford linguistics major, so I have meh good enough credentials. :P

You misunderstand the usage of “must”. Here, must does not mean “they are required to feel sadness otherwise something is wrong with them” it means “they probably feel sadness, don’t’cha think?” “Must” can be used in those different ways.

1) You must obey me.

2) He must feel bad about dumping her. 3) He probably feels bad about dumping her.

2 & 3 mean the same thing! And it was the usage in 2 & 3 that @desiree333 was using. That is what it really looks like to me. English is ambiguous in this sense, so she could mean must as in “is required”, but it seems to me that she meant it as in “probably”. Because in the second example, “he must feel bad about dumping her” could mean “he is required to feel bad about dumping her”, but most of the time when people say such things, they mean “must” to mean “probably” or “most likely”. If they wanted to indicate that he is obligated to feel bad about dumping, they would say “he should feel bad” rather than “he must”.

MacBean's avatar

If someone were to say “He must feel bad about dumping her” and I replied “No, actually, he doesn’t,” I would expect the person to be shocked and possibly to think less of “him,” whoever he is. So if there’s a communications problem here, it begins with the sending. If that’s what @desiree333 means, she should PROBABLY say that, instead of something else.

Merriment's avatar

@DominicX I agree with your assessment of the use of the word “must”.

I guess it’s meaning MUST lie in the ear of the be holder hearer :).

desiree333's avatar

@MacBean Thank you for clearing this up. I for sure am using must in the context of 2 & 3, as in he might or probably feels bad about dumping her.
And since you bolded the word PROBABLY, everyone else go and read my answer and sub-in “probably” or “maybe” for “must”. That is what I was originally trying to say.

Anyways I’m going to stop following this thread because it has basically just turned into a thread of defining the word must.

stemnyjones's avatar

“Anyways I’m going to stop following this thread because it has basically just turned into a thread of defining the word must.”

So true. This has gone so far off-topic of the usage of one little word… jesus.

brimelo's avatar

i was wondering if they give you shots during the aspiration procedure, like in the uterus or anywhere else, im not good with needles or pain or anything like that, so im really trying to avoid that i think i’d have a panic attack and i would immedietly change my decision based on an intense personal fear. So, can anyone answer that question? and also, can you hear the suction ? some people sya yes others say no, my nurse told me i wouldnt but im not sure if shes just saying that to make me feel better or what ? .

stemnyjones's avatar

I can’t answer your other questions, but I can let you know that it has been exposed that some Planned Parenthood offices lie to the women they are possibly going to be working with. They don’t want to scare you out of having an abortion, even if they have to lie to do it… they have lied about how far the baby has really developed at the time you go in (telling you it doesn’t have a heart beat when it does, etc) and telling you that there will be no pain afterwards, though the level of pain differs for each woman.

Your best bet would be to bring some ear plugs or an ipod if you’re worried about hearing it.

Good luck.

casheroo's avatar

@stemnyjones Do you have anything to back up your accusation that Planned Parenthood nurses and doctors lie just to get women to get abortions??

brimelo's avatar

well i went in yesterday and the lady i talked with was super sweet and funny and seemed to be respectuful. She made me feel comfortable and comforted me. She did tell me about the abortion pill and how it may be harder to hide if that is what im trying to do and that i may get blood clots the size of a lemon. Which to me seems pretty obnoxious. She toold me im 5 weeks in and that babies dont develop heart beats till the 6th week. She didnt tell me to much about the in clinic procedure i’ve been getting most of my information online, but i do have an appointment for tomorrow and im just soo nervous about all of this, im terrified really, i dont want pain i don’t want any scraping of the uterous? I just want them to gently take it out i dont even want to see it i’m afraid i might even beg to have them re-insert it. I know it sounds sick. But i’m already getting too emotionally attached and i can’t be. For myself, if im going to do this so i can live a normal life then might as well follow up with all the steps. if anyone has any memory of their aspiration abortion procedure step by step like where your legs are if there are any vaginal shots or anything please let me know

Frankie's avatar

@brimelo When I had my procedure, I WAS given a shot into my cervix to dull the pain. I assure you, however, that the shot didn’t hurt…it was like a tiny little pinch. I’m not good with needles either, but I didn’t see this needle and it was the least amount of pain I’ve had from any shot, which helped a lot. And yes, I could hear the aspiration machine as the prcedure was being performed. You don’t see anything, though, because you’re laying on your back with your legs slightly elevated, and at least in my case, there was a blanket over my knees, which prevented me from seeing too much of what was going on down there. The doctor and nurses told me, step by step, what they were doing before they did it and what I would expect to hear and feel. It only took about 5 minutes total. Like you, I was absolutely terrified, but it was not anywhere near as awful as I was thinking it would be…it was uncomfortable, definitely, but it was quick and relatively easy.

Honestly, though, you seem very unsure about your decision. One thing I would tell any woman considering abortion is that she has to be absolutely sure that it is the right decision for her. You can’t change your mind halfway through the procedure and they can’t “re-insert” it…it is impossible. If you think you are too emotionally attached already, I would suggest you wait and think about it some more and seek counseling before you forge ahead with an abortion you are unsure about. You need to be able to own your decision and be confident in the choice you’ve made, otherwise you’re leaving yourself open to some potentially damaging emotional trauma. Good luck.

brimelo's avatar

@Frankie
Well i went in today to get it done, i even vommited in the waiting room because all the anticipation. After waiting about TWO hours they finally called my name. I’m letting you know that i was terrified and had been terrified. Im only 5 weeks so they had to use the vaginal ultrasound which auto matically brought me to tears, it sounds childish and kind of stupid considering the fact that i have had sex? But i mean i’ve been with one person and ive been with this person for a very long time and im comfortable with this person, in no way am i comfortable with some lady i’ve known for a grand total of 4 minutes to stick THAT thing into me, Anyways, we enventually got to the point and i cried during and after, all i wanted was for that day to be over and to be able to be over with all of this, about 20 minutes later after having another nurse come in and check me herself, they tell me i’m too early to have it terminated and i can’t do it today because there is no ‘visual evidence’ again i broke down into tears and i was all alone they left the room for like half an hour to let me soak it in but all i really needed was like 3 minutes so i began to cry cause i felt soo incredibly alone, AH, then i had to get my blood draw which i have never experienced either and i paniced, i cried so hard that when the lady was about to i screamed and begged her to stop, i kept saying sorry and the lady started to tear up a bit, eventually i had to get the shot it was as bad as i thougt, it was a little pinch, the only bad part of that enite 7 second blood draw was taking the needle out. I have to reschedule another appointment friday to get another blood draw and then next week i should be ahead enough to get the termination.
And honestly i don’t think i want this 100%, infact i know i don’t but i cannot have a baby inside of me for 9 months and not get attached (i already am at 5 weeks?) and then just ship it off to some random family. Nor can i emotionally or physically or phynacially support a baby? I want to go to med school become a doctor, travel the world, get married then have babies, and i guess i should have thought of that before i gave it all up, but it was my personal decision and i don’t regret it, i made an awful mistake, and it kills me, pains me to have to make such a terrible decision, but ” Think wrongly, if you please, but in all cases thing for yourself” it sounds terrible but thats the only thing keeping me from moving forward. I know i will be emotionally unstable for a long time but i can’t do this right now at this age, just not possible for me.
Thank you for taking time to reply to me, i really needed someone to talk to, sorry for my rambling, have a wonderful day.

funkdaddy's avatar

@brimelo – is there someone you can take with you next week? Having someone there with you might help with some of the waiting and getting to and from. You’re not alone but it’s easy to feel that way.

Maybe the boy you’ve been with for a long time? A parent? A friend?

brimelo's avatar

Well see, my boyfriend that day of my appointment really tried to make it and he works with his parents and they dont know, they are pastors, they can’t know, so he told then he needed to meet me for another heart appointment then they said they wanted to go too, so he hadto say it was cancled and he couldnt get out of work so he couldnt really make it, ): sad news. and my friend technically WAS there, but like she wasnt? i was totaly dissapointed in here she didnt lookat me she didnt comfort me she didnt go in the room with me she didnt even talk to me? and its not like shes against what im doing? soo i dont know what her issue was ): i just ah ya bad dayy

stemnyjones's avatar

@brimelo I know you are going through a lot, and you have to be strong. You said you know that you don’t want to go through with this, but you feel that you can’t take care of the baby.

If you really don’t want to have an abortion (which you may regret for the rest of your life if your heart tells you not to do it), you can think about possibly setting up an adoption where you start choosing the couple now. You get to know them ,really make sure that they are a great family and would treat the child wonderfully. They pay for all of the expenses related to the pregnancy and birth (including food and maternity clothes for you), so nothing has to come out of your pocket. That situation may also help you to not get too attached to the baby, because instead of thinking of it as yours, you may be able to think more along the lines of you are carrying a baby for a couple who can’t have their own. You are doing the most wonderful thing that anyone can ever do for that couple, you are giving them a gift that money can’t buy and a chance to raise their own family. Then, when you are done with school and traveling and are ready to have a family of your own, there will be no guilt about having children after terminating the first.

I’ve never given a child up for adoption, but I did seriously consider it until about 6 months into my pregnancy. I didn’t meet up with prospective couples because I knew that deep down I wanted to keep the baby, but I didn’t want to deprive her of a comfortable life if someone else who was out of school and in a stable relationship could do better for her. In the end, I ended up being able to let her live comfortably and shower her with toys and things, but in the beginning that was mostly due to my partner and family’s help.

So I can’t tell you that what I said above about adoption is exactly what would happen if you went that route. I’m just offering it as another option.

brimelo's avatar

i understand i truely do, but im the kind of person who doesnt budge, i got a monkey from my boyfriend awhile back and i dont let anyone touh it look at it or even think about it haha, im attached its stupid but its an example, i know for a fact for ME i would not be able to carry such a wonderful beautiful thing for 9 months and give it away no matter how much i think its not for me its for a couple, id probably end up having the baby looking at him/her and ending all the adoption. I know how i am, im already getting attached and a part of me says go with the termination and another is saying keep it… i really don’t know at this point on what i want all i know is what i HAVE to do… i really can’t do this to my mother right now or anyone in my family, they would not support me im sure maybe my mom would but i’d disapoint her and she would probably have another panic attack (runs in the family) i made this mistake and i take full responsibility and thats why me and my boyfriend have decided to stay celibate for a couple of years, we have lived with out sex for 16 years im positive we can do it for a few more. Again thank you soooooo much for taking your time to talk to me, it really helps to talk to someone who i don’t know, i dont want to tell any friends or family members so thank you. so much.

LinZ08's avatar

I’m going to have a cinical abortion tomorrow at PP and am on the fence about whether to use the IV medicine or not. I don’t want to have to have someone drive me.
A little background on my situation is that I am almost 25 years old and about 7 months ago a nurse practicioner at PP inserted a Mirena IUD for me. It was horrifically painful, I went into labor with it while driving home and I know what labor feels like because I am a mother of a beautiful little girl. I had checked my strings about 3 months after insertion and they were in place… now my period is 3 weeks late and my IUD seems to have disappeared. (I have had 3 sonograms and an xray to confirm this) I have broken up with the man responsible for THIS pregnancy and I do not wish to eventually have 3 children with 3 different fathers. I had what I thought was semi-permanent (for 5 years) birth control and it failed me. I think there should be Mirena insurance to cover the costs of these procedures when there is such a “mishap.” Dare to dream! I am now considering the Implanon arm implant. If anyone has experience with this, do tell.
I had planned to do the pill method abortion but the clinical procedure seems to be less painful, from what I’ve read online. I will post my experience tomorrow.
On a side note, I attempted the at-home herbal abortion methods involving ibuprofen, vitamin C, Dong Quai and Black Cohosh… I guess we all know how that turned out.

augustlan's avatar

Thanks for sharing that with us, @LinZ08. Welcome to Fluther.

LinZ08's avatar

It felt like my uterus was going to be sucked inside out but it only lasted about 3 minutes and then about another 5 minutes of really bad cramps. Regular period cramps for about 2 days. I had hardly any bleeding at all and I feel much better that I’m not nauseous from the pregnancy and free to go on about my business. I was not ready to be the single mother of 2 children and I’m somewhat sad but the sadness is overwhelmed by relief. Good luck to anyone going through this difficult time in their life.

LinZ08's avatar

Also, I did not take any of the “comfort” medicine. Valium and the IV…whatever that was. Just the 800mg of ibuprofen that they provide. They also send you home with an antibiotic to take for a week. It’s Doxycycline and it’s used for the aftercare of these procedures and rosacea acne patients. Also read that it’s used for the treatment of Malaryia, Lyme disease and Lupus. You’re not supposed to drink with is but I have with no problems.

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