Story: Recommending the medical option over surgical

Submitted by: Tristin V.

Tagged: Planned Parenthood, surgical abortion, Asheville, North Carolina, endometriosis, hyperemesis, pain

I began getting sick to my stomach in early April. I have a number of stomach issues, so thought nothing of it. I’ve never had a regular cycle, so when I was a week ‘late’ I thought nothing of it. Well, after throwing up for a few weeks and being well over a week late, my partner suggested I look into it as a possibility. Turns out he was right! I have endometriosis, along with a few other uterine health issues, so it is highly unlikely that I was even able to become pregnant. Even the girl who told me I was in fact pregnant at Planned Parenthood was surprised. (I go to them for almost all of my women’s health needs, so she knew my medical history.) I scheduled my abortion the same day I found out I was pregnant. I have known for years I didn’t want children, so there was no doubt in my mind. I had to wait a week and two days. During that time I became even more ill, needing to be hospitalized twice. I lost weight, and was throwing up everything I put in my body. I was diagnosed with hyperemesis of pregnancy. It’s morning sickness, but the severe, all day and lasts the first three months of pregnancy. 1% of pregnant women suffer from this, and I’m one of those people where if something can, it probably will go wrong.

When I checked into the ER the first time, I attempted to hide the fact that I was pregnant, fearing they would treat me differently and not give me the medicine I needed to stop vomiting. When my ER doctor said he was going to run a pregnancy test, I came clean stating that I knew and had already scheduled my abortion procedure.  This doctor was incredibly cool about it and just said, “Let’s get you some anti-nauseas meds, hydrated and sent on your way.” I was pleasantly surprised.

When I ended up having to go back a few days later because I was throwing up worse, the new ER doctor was not nearly as kind. I never even was able to mention that I was having an abortion because they automatically assumed I was planning on staying pregnant. Their medical advise upon discharging me was, “come back when you need to over the next three months.” I’m sorry, but what? You see my body clearly can not handle this and you don’t even think of abortion as an option? Again, I knew I would have an abortion if I ever got pregnant anyway, but the fact that I was down to 94 lbs and obviously not going to be able to take the hormones in my system for three months, and staying pregnant, sick, was the only option they saw is yet another testament of how messed up our medical system is when it comes to women’s reproductive health.

I was scheduled for an early morning procedure, and on the day of I changed my mind from the pill option to the in clinic procedure, because I was worried about the medicine not being able to stay in my system long enough from my vomiting to complete the abortion. The Planned Parenthood staff was wonderful. Very kind and informative. I did pass out in the waiting room before I even finished filling out all the paperwork, so my procedure was delayed a few hours, and they helped me feel better and let me rest.

The procedure itself was excruciating. They claim it’s not too bad and only feels like bad period cramps, but this proved to be vastly untrue for me. The nurse who was in the room with me, is a nurse I’d had every time I’ve seen Planned Parenthood. She is down to earth and I really love how cool she was. She stated this, “Oh yeah, the procedure is much worse, you should have asked me. I would have told you. We just have to say it’s not so bad.” I am not saying what they did was wrong, it probably is necessary to keep women from chickening out and having an unwanted child. Also, my pain tolerance is very low so that had a effect on it.

Here’s my advice for those about to have an abortion, opt for the pill version. I passed out and threw up right after the procedure and almost fainted during because the pain was so bad. I had to stay for 3 hours afterwards, instead of just one or so. I was in bed for two days from the pain. Do the research before hand, and ask all the questions you need. It has been a little over three months since I had my abortion, and I haven’t regretted it for a second. I should not be able to become pregnant, and my partner and i weren’t careless, but it happened anyway. Having this option was very important for me. I doubt I would have been able to carry to full term anyway, and I would not have kept the child. Also, they say you can return to work even the same day, but I suggest trying to take a day or two off from work and everything to let your body rest and heal.

So for those faced with an unplanned pregnancy, this really is a great option to have. It made a huge difference in my life and I’m immensely glad I was able to have it done safely. Otherwise, I probably would have seriously hurt myself trying to have an at home abortion.

I hope sharing my story will help someone else.