My daughter was only 9 months old when I found out I was pregnant again. I remember not feeling well and waiting for my period to come. My milk supply had dropped drastically and I started to notice extreme symptoms of fatigue. I have always been an anxious and overcautious person. So, naturally I already had a supply of pregnancy tests on standby for moments like this. Within the first few seconds of taking the test the control line appeared and I thought I was in the clear. I left the test sitting in a drawer and the next day while getting ready I went into that drawer to grab something and noticed an extremely faint second line. I dropped everything I was doing and ran to show my boyfriend. I actually tossed the test at him and walked away holding my head in confusion and fear. 

When he looked at it he nervously replied “What is this?” to which I responded “IT’S POSITIVE.” He replied back to me and said “So what do you want to do?” Angrily, I replied “what do you mean what do I want to do? I want an abortion!!!” I was extremely angry and embarrassed. So many thoughts were running through my head like “What will my family say?”, “I can’t tell anyone about this”, “How am I going to pay for an abortion?.” I knew immediately that I was not ready to have another child and I did not feel guilty for feeling that way. 
I had a very rough pregnancy. I battled prenatal and postpartum depression and my pregnancy affected my relationship in many ways. So, after the birth of my daughter, my boyfriend and I had decided we would wait until the time was right to have another child. Getting pregnant absolutely threw me off guard and it also made me realize that I was not being as cautious as I prided myself on being. I felt guilty for getting pregnant because it affected my mood and milk supply a lot which in turn affected my daughter. I learned of my new pregnancy just before christmas and it was weighing heavily on my mind. It was my daughter's first Christmas and I felt like I could not be as present as I wanted to be because I was so stressed about this new pregnancy and about the abortion process. I have always believed that it should be up to the birthing person to decide what choice is best for them but I never expected myself to be in the position to have to choose. Even though I knew I wanted an abortion immediately it was still difficult to prepare myself for the actual process.

There is so much propaganda out there inaccurately depicting what an abortion looks like and how an abortion actually goes. There’s twice as much fear mongering and shaming around the entire thing, too. I wasn’t prepared for what I believed would be a daunting, dark, dangerous procedure. 

After I took the first test I let a few days pass and took another and the lines got progressively darker. So, I called Planned Parenthood to schedule my abortion. The process over the phone was relatively seamless. I called their general appointment line and was directed through a series of prompts. Once I got to a scheduler they asked me a few questions like when my last period was, if I had insurance and if I would be scheduling a medical abortion or the procedure. At the time I honestly was not even aware a medical abortion was an option. A medical abortion also known as a medication abortion refers to the process of using prescribed pills to bring about the abortion. This would be an alternative to a surgical abortion which refers to the process of vacuum aspiration. When I informed them that I would prefer a medical abortion the woman on the phone explained how the process would work. She explained that after I was done scheduling my appointment I would be prompted to an automated 24 hour consent message, which is required in my state. This message has to be listened to at least 24 hours before your appointment, after this I would attend my appointment where I would receive an ultrasound examination to figure out how far along I was. I would also be meeting with a counselor to go through a series of questions and screening just to ensure this was the right decision for me. After meeting with the Planned Parenthood counselor I would then meet with a nurse who would explain how the medication works, after care, warning signs and symptoms and schedule follow up appointments. After this time with the nurse I met with the clinic's doctor to take the first pill, Mifepristone. Mifepristone works to stop the growth of the pregnancy by stopping the hormone progesterone from working. The doctor then would explain how to take the other pills, Misoprostol which would be taken several hours later, at home. Misoprostol works to contract the uterus and actually expel the pregnancy. So after I took this medicine is when the symptoms of bleeding and abdominal cramps began for me. 

When I took the first pill in the provider's office I did not have any symptoms. I took the second pills 24 hours later, at home and began to cramp and bleed almost immediately. I continued to bleed for about 2 weeks and then it began to taper off. During the entire abortion it felt like a really painful period and as far as my feelings I felt sad but also felt very relieved. 

From the moment those two lines appeared on my test I knew I was not ready for another baby and even though it made me sad to choose I am grateful I had the option to choose what was best for myself and my family. Not being pregnant right now allows me to continue to focus on my mental health, my family and my personal goals. I will have another child when the time is right and when I am mentally and physically prepared to experience another pregnancy. I am grateful to the nurses who supported my decision while also reminding me that I have several choices. I am also grateful for myself for standing firm and confident in my decision. It can be hard to make the decision to have an abortion simply because of the judgment and stigma that surrounds this topic. But I am proud of myself for choosing me and for doing what I knew was best. 

--Young mom and YUP! Member Justice