I decided to journal down what happened around my abortion as a way to process my emotions and work through how I was feeling. A few months later, I feel fine about the decision. There are still things that I find painful, like a lady at work announcing she was expecting or my friend complaining about her kids. Life can be bittersweet like that. However, I really wanted to share my story because I’ve never heard someone talk openly about their abortion and there is still so much stigma around the topic. By breaking the silence, we can break the stigma.
Below is my experience, as it was happening.
The Week Before My Abortion
It’s the day before my operation. I’m a little nervous but mostly keen to get it over with. The last couple of weeks have been difficult.
The logical decision itself was an easy one. I was happily married and the pregnancy was an accident. My husband adamantly didn’t want a kid. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any savings and neither of our parents would have provided much support.
However, emotionally it felt like it was my last chance to have a child. I was angry I hadn’t become a mum. Society is heavily biased towards parents and families. I felt cheated. I had all sorts of negative self-talk.
When I was trying to decide on my options, I popped into Marie Stopes (a safe abortion organization). You can either have an operation or take medication. Your choice may depend on how far along you are pregnant and whether or not you have a support person. I discussed my decision with a nurse and she shared that she was able to go out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant the same night as her operation. Also, it sounds like it was less painful and more definitive for her.
A Few Days Before My Abortion
The hardest part was having an ultrasound to determine the number of weeks. It looked like a chestnut, but in reality, it was no bigger than a blueberry. The lady congratulated me on the way out. That was a little surreal. I didn’t actually ‘feel pregnant’. I felt fine. I just didn’t have a period and that was kind of nice. I wanted to eat more than usual, as I was depressed about having to do the deed. My boobs were a bit sore, that’s all.
I didn’t really know anyone else who’d had an abortion. Television shows make you think it is restricted to teenagers and the poor. It’s just not a topic that comes up. I told my coworkers and boss that I needed minor day surgery.
The Day of My Abortion
I cried myself to sleep last night. I’m feeling okay, though a little nervous. Hubby has gone to golf. Four other women are in the waiting area. Some are with friends or boyfriends. I’m starving as you aren’t allowed to eat. But I’m glad I got one of the first slots of the day.
There is lots of waiting around and it takes about four hours in total. I see a nurse and she takes my vitals. I decide to go back on contraception, but not the pill. Then I see the doctor and anesthetist. I put on a purple disposable gown and hat and wait again. All of the staff are trained, professional and trained. The place is neat and tidy.
The abortion itself is all over within ten minutes. Everything went smoothly. Soon I’m gulping down glasses of water and munching on free biscuits. My husband drives me home and we watch TV shows and movies for the rest of the day.
The Day After My Abortion
I wake up having slept deeply. I have to I rest for 24 hours, that means no washing up, no cleaning or heavy lifting, just taking it easy. I’ve got a hot pack on my tummy, mostly because our house is cold but it feels reassuring. I have light spotting and little pain.
It’s been an emotional roller coaster of a weekend. I fought with my hubby. I was angry and sad.
A Week Later
I knew I’d be sad and upset afterward. There were moments where I just burst into tears. I ate a lot of cake and started drinking a bit too much alcohol. Eventually, the intense feelings subside into a reluctant acceptance. Life returns back to normal, as do my hormones.
I preordered some floral shrubs to plant in my garden. I wanted a reminder that life carries on, even if our particular genes don’t. I can’t wait to see the shrubs flower each spring. I vowed to be a great dog mum and an awesome aunty.