Medical (pill) abortion that I managed myself
I got the medication from a trusted friend
When did you discover you were pregnant?
When I had missed my period and was having morning/all day sickness
What was the very first thought in your mind when that pregnancy test was positive?
Are you fucking serious. I had sex once since my last period.
Describe how you felt in the days after you realized you were pregnant.
Angry, embarrassed, ashamed.
What factors did you consider when making a choice?
My morning sickness was debilitating and unmanageable
Who was the most supportive or helpful person or resource during your choice-making process?
Who was the most supportive or helpful person in your life during and after your abortion?
Describe your overall abortion experience
Prolonged. Complicated. Distressing.
I found out I was pregnant using a home pregnancy test. Unlike my previous pregnancies I was sooo nauseous and tired. My breasts did not hurt which was surprising to me. I had missed my period and was anxious about my last abortion just a few months prior. I had had sex once between my cycles with my partner. I track my cycles but I figure it must have been off due to the previous termination. I took two tests and felt so defeated. I let my partner know and started planning for the abortion. I had medications from my friend and took those the day after when I knew I would be free. I took 2 full doses of the medication at recommended intervals, had some bleeding, but nothing substantial like the last time. After those two doses not being effective, I called a clinic and got the two medications I needed instead of the single one I had taken. I had much more bleeding and clotting. I was surprised and concerned with the size of clots and tissue that came out. It didn't seem to match with the estimated gestational age which was concerning to me. Either way, I passed tissue which was a good sign. I did follow up blood work, which seemed to be appropriate. I ended up having some additional lower abdominal tenderness and felt like something was not right. I called the clinic and they said to go to the ER. I went to the ER and was told I may have retained products. I was given antibiotics and more of the medication to help complete the abortion. The doctor who examined me was very rough with his speculum exam and really freaked my partner out by saying there was 'so much blood/clots' which was not the case as I felt it was the first time this man was seeing blood in a vagina. I went home and passed some more blood and clots. Went back to the ER where they confirmed that my hormone levels were going down. And continued follow up blood work with the clinic. I ended up lactating which surprised me and which ended up lasting for over 6 months after the termination, which was upsetting and surprising. This abortion my partner took very differently, it was as though I had a miscarriage. He was very worried about me and the complications of the abortion.
I was scared of telling people in the ER that I had an abortion, seeing as there are so many 'gatekeepers' between admitting, admin, nurses, doctors, blood and ultrasound techs. I did not tell my family aside from my mom, I was too embarrassed that this was happening for the third time. I told two friends who were very supportive. I told coworkers and work I had a miscarriage to be able to be somewhat transparent about appointments and the like.
Describe your feelings at the time you had your abortion. I want this to be over.
What about after the abortion? Did your feelings change?
I was angry at myself. Nothing would have changed this.
What about the feelings of others?
My spouse was very upset and had a hard time, as he wants to have children and we are finally getting to a place in our lives where this will soon be a reality. This was not the time though.
In what way did the choices you made meet your goals for yourself? Do you think the choices you made were aligned with your goals or were they different?
They met my goals
What other choices were available to you and why do you think you did not choose them?
Parent - not yet. Surgical abortion - may have been a better idea as it would have taken less time. I wanted another easy home abortion. Adoption - never.
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?
I wish it was not as prolonged.
What have you learned about yourself and others as a result of this experience and the way you feel about it?
I was upset about how long it took and that it was happening again
What would your expectations be now?
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?
I would have contacted a clinic right away and not have taken the 'unauthorized' medication at first.
In what ways has your abortion experience changed you?
Gave me an idea of what pregnancy loss/abortions look like in the ER
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 can make them
Will you make the same choices in the future? What will you do differently? In what ways will you stay the same?
No, I will seek clinical care
I am better able to accept the way things work out.