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I am capable of walking my own path.

6 Weeks Medical (pill) abortion that I managed myself I had my abortion or got my abortion pills from a local hospital or independent health clinic

When did you discover you were pregnant? A week or so after a missed period

Was the pregnancy planned? No

What was the very first thought in your mind when that pregnancy test was positive? No. I want to die. This can't be happening.

Describe how you felt in the days after you realized you were pregnant. I felt terrified. I felt like I was going to let my family down. I felt like my body was betraying me and I felt powerless and hopeless. Disgust and an intense hatred of my body. I contemplated suicide for a couple days before I figured out what to do... I just felt like my life was over, may happiness and comfort would forever end and there would be no point in continuing on.

What factors did you consider when making a choice? I never wanted to raise children. I have tokophobia, autism and gender dysphoria. I had only known my boyfriend for 3 months. I had financial support from family and bf, but don't want to rely on others. My dream lifestyle would be unattainable.

Did the person who got you pregnant support you during your abortion? Yes

What is the nature of your relationship with the person who got you pregnant? In partnership

Who was the most supportive or helpful person or resource during your choice-making process? Reddit and youtube. I didn't know about the abortion pills

Who was the most supportive or helpful person in your life during and after your abortion? My boyfriend at the time.

Describe your overall abortion experience using three words: harrowing, isolating, confusing

Please Describe your abortion experience. My bf took me to the hospital get the first pill, then I went home. I started bleeding that night. My mom told me I was "evil" for "making it suffer." I fell asleep crying. The second day, he visited me for a few minutes before I inserted the second set of pills. I made sure to time my medicine, took ibuprofen and tylenol. A few hours in the pain was unbearable. There was a 20 minute window between meds where I couldn't move, think, talk, anything... just pain. I didn't end up using the morphine though, and I passed large clots of blood throughout the day and the following week. I had a light period for a little over a month.

What were your expectations of yourself and others? I've never expected my mom to be on my side, so it wasn't a surprise that she blew me off most of the week to "mourn her grandchild." I guess I just expected her to not say anything to make me feel worse. I expected my boyfriend to be there for me and he was. I expected him to be more empathetic to my suffering, and to not make comments about other people's baby's and kids being so great.

In this section, describe your feelings at the time you had your abortion. Scared but mostly relieved. I felt like I just had to do this thing and then my life could go back to normal. I was strangely excited

What about after the abortion? Did your feelings change? What made you feel this way? I regret it and feel dis-empowered and worthless overall. I'm still extremely relieved that I did it. I have the rest of my life, and I know I can work through this emotional pain. Raising a child isn't what I want, but I still feel a deep sadness. My boyfriend left me a couple months after without a formal break up. I just feel like my only value as a person is to reproduce and when he realized I couldn't do that he just wasn't interested. My mum and her partner also reinforced this, any time they ask why im upset and I talk about missing my ex, they just tell me he would have stayed if I kept the kid, and now I just have to live with my choice.

"What about the feelings of others? While you might not know exactly what they were feeling, can you explain what you think they might have been feeling? Was your partner nervous or scared? Was the care provider frustrated, exhausted, busy? Explain why you think they may have been feeling this." (Childbirth International, 2018) My mom was disappointed. She always wanted grandkids and a big family. However, I've been telling her since puberty that I didn't want that and never would. She said some hurtful things to me, but she did relate to me on a mental level, recounting her abortions to relate to my situation. My boyfriend was devastated. I don't think he'll ever admit fully to how it makes him feel. One of our last conversations before he started pushing me away was a few weeks after the abortion. He told me he "had money" and "we could have made it work." That we were both young and ready to be parents. He told me he's always wanted kids. He reached out to me every month for a while after we split, and he was miserable, depressed and his mental health was failing the last time we spoke.

In what way did the choices you made meet your goals for yourself? Were the choices you made aligned with your goals? My goal is to live an adventurous, childfree lifestyle where I travel the world and explore every area on my bucket list. I want to meet like-minded people and create my own "chosen family." This choice was %100 in line with my longterm goals.

What other choices were available? Why do you think you did not choose them? I was told I could wait a few weeks to have the surgical option instead. I can't stand the thought of being operated on --especially in this type of situation because I have bad bottom dysphoria and negative experiences with most doctors/health professionals. The other choice was to HAVE A BABY. Not really an option for me, personally. Everyone wanted me too though, and made it very clear that they'd help support me. I chose not to because I'd rather be a disappointment doing what I love than gain people's approval for choosing to live a life I don't want.

What do you feel now, looking back on the event? If your feelings have changed, how have they changed and why do you think that is? It's been 10 months, and I feel reflective and numb. I think about it a lot and sometimes I just lay on the floor and cry for hours. People minimize and tell me to get over it, or ask, "isn't this what you wanted?" Thing is.. I DID want this, and I DO. I can't explain it. I have to hide my real feelings because I feel like I'm not "allowed" to feel them.

What have you learned about yourself and others as a result of this experience and the way you feel about it? People acted how I expected in general. I have a bit more trust in the healthcare system because the nurse was nice and good with explaining. I expected myself to be stronger and to move on from this faster, that was unrealistic

What would your expectations be now? Well I don't want to have to do that ever again, so I haven't been dating men since... not sure how to answer this. I would expect what happened to happen again the same way if it did.

If you were able to go back in time, what would you do differently? What different choices would you make or different actions you would take? Would have been more careful, read expiry dates on condoms, kept better track of my cycle.

In what ways has your abortion experience changed you? I feel more capable of enduring physical pain. I am less trustful of others. I used to feel indifferent towards families and parents, but now I feel cynical

Have your goals changed as a result of your abortion experience? My abortion experience was a catalyst for new goals and a new outlook on life,

After my abortion I question absolutely everything about myself, my beliefs, and my future,

My abortion experience has reinforced my certainty that I am on the right path for me

What have you learned about your ability to make choices? I guess I didn't think of it before now, but I felt A LOT of external pressure to "do the right thing" and I persevered to do the thing that was right FOR ME. I am capable of walking my own path.

Will you make the same choices in the future? If I had to, yes.

Select all statements are true for you after your abortion I changed my priorities about what is important in life.

I have a greater appreciation for the value of my own life.

I have developed new interests.

New opportunities are available to me which wouldn’t have been otherwise.

I can better appreciate each day.

I can do better things with my life.

I know that I can handle difficulties.

I established a new path for my life.

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I can do anything.

I practically skipped out the door. I was overjoyed to no longer be pregnant and oh so relieved.


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