friends huggingHi Becky, I want to thank you for your wonderful web site which has provided such great relief and a sense of comfort to me over the past couple weeks. I have been thinking about my own abortion nonstop and I can’t get it out of my head-your site has helped me connect with many girls who have been through exactly what I have.

My name is Eryn and I am 19 years old, soon to be twenty in November. I have spent the last couple days thorougly reading through each and every story you have posted on your website. Each one brought tears to my eyes and let me know that I was not alone in my regret and sadness. I would like to share my story with others as well, so here goes.

I have a wonderful boyfriend named Tony whom I fell in love with rather quickly. He and I are still together to this day and plan on getting married and having kids sometimes later on. However, in August of 2003, after we had been dating for six months, I started getting a sneaking feeling I was pregnant. I was 18 years old and Tony was my first serious relationship. I immediately felt stupid because I had never been on birth control and we had been sleeping together since our second month of dating. So I couldn’t really blame anyone but myself. I didn’t get my period on time and I just had a feeling..I know a lot of people say that and I think women’s intuition is almost always right. So, Tony and I bought a pregnancy test. It was negative. When I saw the result, I almost felt disappointed. I can’t really explain why, it just seemed like I wanted something that was going to change my life, especially this. So when I thought nothing had changed I was actually upset by it.

However, time passed and still no period. Tony and I both kind of knew though, and he humored me and bought more tests. We took about two a week, because I was so impatient just to know. I knew that I was pregnant, and I just wanted confirmation! Finally, one night I took a test, and there was a second line, no question about it. I had been expecting it so my reaction wasn’t to cry or be shocked. I was actually relieved that I had finally found out. It was better to be sure and make a decision, than to not know and continue to wonder and wait in anxiousness.

Immediately we began discussing abortion. It seemed there was no question. We spoke hypothetically about keeping it, and Tony told me that if I really wanted to he would support me. He said that he was just scared because a lot of his friends had kids at a young age and they had not really done anything with their life as a result, and he didn’t want that to happen to him or me. I was scared and I’m not going to say my decision was influenced by Tony at all. Maybe if he really really wanted a baby it would have been easier to keep it, but we were both in the mindset of, “we’re going to get married, we have the rest of our lives to have kids.” I wasn’t very religious at the time and I had always been pro-choice; however, I don’t think anyone ever pictures themself in a position where they would have to make that choice. I just couldn’t picture myself having a baby; images of people I knew who were teenage mothers popped into my head and I just didn’t see myself in that “group” (like those girls chose to be a part of it, right?)

So we layed on his bed discussing it for a while, and then I got up and started researching abortion on his computer. The actual descriptions of the procedure began to scare me-words like “suction” and “vacuum” are not good to hear when they are pertaining to my uterus and other parts of my body. I began to cry. Tony held me and we silently agreed that I would go through with it.

When I called to make the appointment it was almost a breeze-no big deal. Like I was scheduling a regular checkup. Tony got off work so that he could come with me, and I rearranged my schedule. The night before I was a nervous wreck but somehow managed to sleep. At the time I didn’t think there was anything morally wrong with abortion, and I didn’t think I would be regretful-I was just scared of the abortion itself. To tell the truth it was exciting to think of something growing inside of me, but I never really gave it a chance-I don’t think I even stopped smoking. I just figured, I’m getting an abortion anyway. It never crossed my mind that there was a living breathing thing inside of me. I was just scared to have a baby and felt unprepared and too young and too financially unstable and too this and too that. So I went through with it.

We drove to the clinic the next afternoon (on September 8th, 2003) and I remember being hungry (you’re not supposed to eat anything beforehand) and dizzy-I had been feeling dizzy every day over the past couple weeks. I was hoping to show up at Planned Parenthood and be in and out in a few hours-this was not the case. Let me just say that it is ridiculous to make a girl set an appointment under the belief that she will be able to be seen at that particular time. They might as well just tell you over the phone, “be prepared to sit and wait and walk in and out of doors for four to six hours.” Because that’s basically what it was. Tony and I were the first ones there and I arrived fifteen minutes before my appointment time (1:30). I filled out some initial paperwork and over the next two hours more girls came in and did the same. There were a variety of ages and situations-there was some very young looking girl who came with her mom, and a blonde girl who came with her mom and either her boyfriend or her brother (I couldn’t figure out which), some couples, some people who came by themselves, some older ladies who had three kids, one girl who’d already had an abortion eight years ago.

The first time I was called into the actual hospital area of the clinic, they gave me a vaginal ultrasound. I later was told that I was six weeks and three days pregnant (I recently looked up photographs of six-week-old embryos and realized what my baby looked like at that time). After the ultrasound there was more waiting in the waiting room, which was quickly filling up. I started to feel very dizzy and sick sitting in the chair. There was more waiting and more paperwork and more girls were called back into the hospital for their ultrasounds. Then there was more waiting…and more waiting. Finally I was called into the hospital area and, thinking this was it, was disappointed only to have my blood taken and be weighed. I was then ushered into a room full of recliners where two other girls were already sitting. We talked about abortion and children and how far along we were (the blonde girl was only seven weeks and already throwing up three times a day), etc. We realized that we were waiting for the other girls (I think there were about ten) to get their blood drawn also, and we sat there waiting for about 45 minutes. Finally everyone was in the recliner room and one of the nurses put on a movie about first trimester abortion. It wasn’t anything I hadn’t read online, so I was pretty bored. Afterwards, another nurse told us we’d be given 800mg of ibuprofen, for the cramping, and valium. We were let out into the waiting room again-by this time Tony had been sitting in a chair for almost four hours.

We then were called back into the hospital area, to go over our paperwork one last time-but not before one of the ladies informed me that my blood type was negative and so I was required to pay for a post-abortion shot that cost $60-we were $40 short. I started crying and told Tony we wouldn’t be able to do it today, etc. He then went up to the lady and got her to give me a form that would allow them to bill me for the full amount-$75. He promised to pay for it, but I didn’t care. I was just scared that I would have to come back and go through the whole process all over again. I was almost in tears. By this time they had already called my name twice, but I had to wait and fill out some more forms. Finally they called my name again, and I went back thinking this was it-wrong. They just wanted to go over my paperwork, my medical history, make sure I didn’t have any allergies or STDs and that I wasn’t being pressured by anyone to have an abortion. The counselor I spoke with honestly didn’t make me feel like she was very concerned about whether or not it was my choice, so I just told her what she wanted to hear. I was then sent back out into the waiting room. A few minutes later I was called back to take the medicine-ibuprofen and valium. I came back out to the waiting room. The valium was having different effects on everyone. The blonde girl got up and nearly fell over. Another girl did the same when she attempted to walk to the bathroom. But I was fine. I felt a little dizzy, but then again I had been feeling like that all day. I rested my head on Tony’s shoulders for a while and then I heard them call my name, hoping this was the last time.

I was sent into a room and told to put a maxi pad onto my change of underwear so that the nurse could just slip it onto my legs when the operation was over. I did so and undressed from the waist down, then I lied down on an examination table with my legs up in holsters. The doctor came in with an assistant, and one of the nurses I’d met earlier held my hand.

I can only describe what happened next as some of the worst pain of my life. The process is this: the doctor injects an anesthesia into your cervix, which hurts. He then dilates your cervix, which hurts more as it goes on. He then begins to apply suction to your uterus, which creates extremely painful cramping as the uterus becomes smaller as the pregnancy tissue is sucked out. I was told to take deep breaths and hold them-which seemed virtually impossible. What I did, actually, was begin to scream very loudly, to the point where the nurse holding my hand said, “You can’t scream! Help me out, Eryn!” But I didn’t care who heard me, I was in so much pain and I didn’t have anybody I cared about there to help me get through it.

After it was over I could barely breathe. I lie there with tears running down my face as the nurse put my underwear on, wrapped a paper sheet around me, and led me to the room with the recliners, which was now dimmed, and each recliner was equipped with a blanket and heating pad. I welcomed both of them. They took my blood pressure, and I cried, trying to get over the cramping, which was very painful and wasn’t going away fast enough. I remember catching the eye of one of the girls I had spoken with earlier and we shared a sad smile. I was given crackers (which have never tasted so good in my life seeing as how I wasn’t allowed to eat all day before the procedure) and 7-up, and they gave me my shot.

I rested and ate a little more and then they took my blood pressure and asked me to get dressed, which was difficult at first because my walking was similar to that of a snail’s. I changed my pad and they gave me a bag with antibiotics and birth control, and instructions for both, and recommendations to clinics at which I need to make a follow up appointment. I was then allowed to leave, and Tony was so sweet-opening doors, hugging me, telling me he loved me over and over-I told him we’d better not get pregnant again anytime soon because I am not going through that again-I’d rather go into labor.

I cried on and off all night-a mixture of sadness, relief, pain. While I felt fine by the time I got home-a bit cramped, but not too bad-the memory of the pain still brought tears to my eyes, if that makes sense. It’s hard to put it into words. I walked into a building six weeks and three days pregnant, feeling sick and dizzy and weak, and I left not pregnant, feeling a little cramped, but not at all dizzy . When I woke up the next morning it was ten times better than waking up pregnant, and I didn’t feel sick if I sat in one place anymore.

However, it is now over a year since my abortion and the memory is haunting me worse than ever. I don’t know if it is because it was recently the year anniversary of when I, sadly, killed my baby, or if it is because I am only now fully realizing the horror of what I have done. I used to mock pro-lifers, resent them for being so right-wing and conservative in their beliefs. But now I realize that there is nothing wrong with supporting life. After I had the abortion, the friends I told about it all said to me, “you’re so brave! I’m so proud of you for thinking of your future and Tony’s future.” But there is nothing brave about it. Brave is the girl who has her baby at a young age despite what people think about her, despite all the factors stacking up against her, despite everything. Brave is not hiding away in some clinic and having your precious baby scraped out of you.

I now want a baby more than ever. Tony would like to wait until he is deeper in school and we are a bit more financially set. I understand that, and now I take birth control religiously, but I am almost ashamed to say I would secretly be overjoyed if I got pregnant. I know I did a terrible thing and I have grown afraid of God and whether or not he will send me another child in the future. I never used to be religious but now I realized what a precious gift I was given and I just threw it away without giving life a chance, or even acknowledging the fact that I might want to have the baby. I never gave consideration to any other option except abortion, I just wanted the easy, quick, silent way out. However, this decision haunts me now and I never thought it would. I remember Tony telling me he didn’t want me to regret it for the rest of my life and I just shrugged it off and said that wouldn’t happen. But now I honestly don’t think I could go through that again and I want the next time I am pregnant to be a happy time for both me and my boyfriend. I want to be able to share the joy I feel at the thought of being pregnant with the person I love, and I never want to throw that opportunity away again.

Now whenever I see pregnant women or small children I am just overjoyed at the thought of one day experiencing that-and saddened that my own experience was cut short of my own doing. Sometimes I even resent my boyfriend because I don’t think men can truly comprehend what it is like to have a child sucked out of you. I wish he would have said to me, “we can do this. We will be happy and we will be a family.” But I can’t blame him for being scared-I was too, and ultimately it was my decision, so I have no choice but to live with it.

Thank you for letting me share my story-if you put it on your site, I will be honored. However, it has been nice just to share this with someone else, and I feel like you’ve already given me so much through your website. Thank you.

Take care-
Eryn

Eryn | epangle@mkpinc.com

Dearest Erin,

When I read your story I felt like I was reading my story. It made me remember all the lengthy tests and the crying and the emotions that I had. May I share my story with you:

https://www.standupgirl.com/dearbecky/news-archive-12-10-2003.html

So many of us are convinced by those that are around us “It is my choice” when in reality – “IT” not a choice but but “IT” is my baby. I think that a lot of the people that try to convince everyone that “Abortion is OK” are truly not properly educated on the subject.

When I had my abortions, I didn’t know the development of my babies either. When I found out later, I couldn’t believe it. The tests seem unending, and the ‘care’ of the ‘nurses’ are so minimal.

Erin – I would love to open my arms of friendship to you in love and just say to you … I’ve been where you are at. I would love to share with you the healing and the freedom that I have. Would you like this freedom? I will copy a website where you can go and input your city, state and zip code to locate some centers in your area. See if they offer a group called “Forgiven and Set Free” and I would HIGHLY recommend that you maybe
sign up for this group. It’s with other girls just like you and just like me. THey are seeking healing and also it helps so much to see that there are other women in your community that are just like you.The website is www.optionline.org

Take care and I hope to hear from you soon.

Luv Lisa

Becky and Lisa | dearbecky@standupgirl.com