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Today I had an abortion. Prior to this procedure I spent hours online trying to educate myself so I would be able to not only be informed, but make the best choices for my body. I gained so much from what other women shared its only right that I now contribute with my experience.

First let me state that I am 23 years old and this is my first pregnancy. I am in a very supportive, dedicated relationship with a truly good man. When we found out I was pregnant my partner and I were shocked, however rational. We discussed how we felt about all options – adoption, parenting and finally settling on abortion. We would indeed love to have a child at some point and this experience only helped to solidify that for both of us. This just is not the right time – we are not able to offer all we know we want to for our child, it is better for us to wait until we can secure a good start to life.

I had originally decided to go with the medical abortion. After hours of reading that option just wasn't going to work. I have severe panic disorder and so sitting at home wondering "is it over?" "am I ok?" "am I bleeding too much?" and on top of that dealing with the pain and the duration…. That absolutely wasn't going to be a good idea for my mental and physical health. I spoke with a woman from PP and she went over the surgical abortion procedure with me – being in a much more controlled environment appealed to me.

Day of the abortion I woke up had ½ a bagel with some cream cheese and a few sips of water – I took 800mg of ibuprofen and an Atavan to help take the edge off. We got to the clinic and I filled out some paperwork, my boyfriend paid ($595), and shortly after that I was ushered into a room where a nurse met with me to discuss what I could expect from today. She went over how the abortion was done, what most women say it feels like and what to expect afterwards. She pricked my finger and took some blood, checked my blood pressure and then asked me to pee in a cup so they could do an STD screening. I was then taken into another room where I undressed (got to leave my tank top on) and hopped up on the table for an ultrasound. The doctor used an ultrasound tool that actually goes inside the vagina – just like a penis or vibrator. This did not hurt at all… She measured the fetus and was able to determine how old it was… then came the shocking part… I was actually pregnant with TWINS!

This did not change the procedure at all and there would be absolutely no complications. She then asked me if I would like to see the ultrasound… I said yes, she also gave me a print out to take home. Right after two nurses came in to get my IV set up for my Conscious Sedation. This was the only hard/painful part of the entire day. They had trouble finding a good vein to put the catheter in, so unfortunately they had to stick me about five times until they found on. This was very hard for me to tolerate so they were kind enough to give me some more Atavan to calm me down.

Once the IV was all set they put me on oxygen and gave me two drugs – the first was to help with pain, the second was to actually put me in a state of deep relaxation. They gave me a few minutes and then the doctor felt with her fingers where the uterus was and how large it was. The speculum was inserted and she numbed my cervix with lidocain (this was an injection, however I only felt a very small cramp and then cold), next my cervix was dilated and uterus was manually evacuated. All of the sudden we were done! The nurses and doctor said I did great – they did great!

One nurse stayed with me – she took away the oxygen, undid the IV, put a pad in my panties and helped me get my pants and shoes on. We then went to a recovery area where I sat in a La-Z-Boy recliner with a heating pad. At this point my boyfriend was allowed to join me again. I sat in recovery for about 10 minutes or so then the nurse asked me to go to the bathroom with her to check my panty liner – she wanted to know how much bleeding I had. It was minimal but when I wiped there was a good sized clot – nothing to worry about and totally normal. I sat in recovery for a few more minutes, was given a goody bag full of instructions, pads and pain medication, and then I was all set to go home! My boyfriend and I went out to lunch (I was still out of it, but feeling great) and then went home to sleep the rest of the day off.

This experience was not as bad as I was expecting. I was so afraid last night that this was going to be horrible and that something serious was going to go wrong… once I got to Planned Parenthood I knew everything was going to be alright. The women there were so nice, supportive and compassionate -- they were absolutely flawless in their protocols. The staff at this Planned Parenthood really did everything they could to make this day as pleasant as possible, and not once did someone make me feel bad about my choice.

I feel absolutely wonderful –- all of my pregnancy symptoms are starting to diminish. My breast are still a little tender and I do have some very mild cramping –- no upset stomach, bloating or headache though! I feel relief. I feel pride in myself for making this decision and sticking to it, knowing it was the right one. I am impressed with my boyfriend for his strength and most of all I am absolutely blown away with the women at Planned Parenthood. They will never know how grateful I am to them for being there.