THE FULL STORY OF MY ABORTION

Li.st is the only place where nobody knows me IRL, so here I am, debriefing myself. I think the title is explanatory so if it will be triggering to you, don't read further. I also know that many people are NOT pro-choice, but I ask that you don't use this space to argue that.
  1. DAY 1: the first day of my last period.
    We measure the gestational age from this day, even though conception rarely actually occurs on this day.
  2. DAY 14: ovulating, probably.
  3. DAY 16: conception, probably.
  4. DAY 28: my period is due. It's a little late sometimes. I'm not worried. I'm moody and having mild cramps. It'll be here soon.
  5. DAY 35 (5 weeks): now I am worried. I have no appetite, all food makes me want to puke. I buy a pregnancy test. I call my boyfriend (who is out of town) and tell him that if I'm pregnant, I plan to terminate. I ask if he wants to know or if I should leave him out of it. He says he wants to be part of it. Support me, and so on.
    Ten points for him.
  6. DAY 38: The pregnancy test is positive and says, "3+ weeks". My first thought is that it's an ectopic pregnancy because I have an IUCD.
    I call my friend who is on call at OBGYN. He finds a senior colleague who can scan me the next day. I don't call my own gyno because it's weekend, and I don't consider this an emergency. I'm certain I can handle this on my own - with a little help. It will all be over soon.
  7. DAY 39: I wake up early to meet my colleague at the same OBGYN unit where I worked last year. She scans me and the pregnancy is intrauterine. This is both a relief and not, because the emotional burden of terminating an intrauterine pregnancy is so much heavier.
    This colleague is not for abortion, but she is for medical reasons. Because of the fact that I'm on a known teratogen, she writes up misoprostol for me. If she didn't, someone else would. She doesn't write up mifepristone because it's not available over weekends, and misoprostol works in 90% of cases.
  8. I go to my friend's apartment and take the treatment. He gives me nutella and we sit and talk. Nothing happens. We spend the day but the pain and bleeding don't come. I go home.
    At home I'm an emotional mess. I can't stop crying and I don't even know why. I tell my family I have a headache and go to bed early.
  9. DAY 40: the first time I've ever been disappointed to wake on clean sheets. I had mild cramping overnight, but still no bleeding. I'm still an emotional mess.
    I spend the day in my boyfriend's apartment, because I don't want my parents to wonder what's wrong. (Yes, I'm 26 and I live with my parents.)
  10. DAY 41: my friend repeats my B-HCG levels. They've about doubled. I am on call and don't have time to go to the doctor.
  11. DAY 42: post-call. I go to the same doctor and get the same treatment. I think I should make an appointment with my own gyno who can write up stronger medication without all my friends in pharmacy finding out about it, but I am scared.
    I take the tablets. Still nothing.
  12. DAY 43: I'm on leave and fly out to another city where my boyfriend is already. I'm not excited to see him, even though he has been nothing but supportive.
    Before my flight, I have a huge blow-out with my parents and I cry a LOT. They can obviously tell something is wrong, but they can never know.
  13. DAYS 44-53: I have what I think is the worst depressive episode I've ever had. I stay in bed most of the day and don't have strength to do the fun activities I planned for our holiday. My boyfriend is terrified, but supportive. I have intolerable nausea, but no vomiting. I lose about 2kg.
    My boyfriend offers to take me to a local gyno, which should be better because nobody knows me here. But I've decided I want to be treated by my own gyno.
  14. DAY 54: my B-HCG is just under the expected value for a GA of 8 weeks. I get scanned by my colleague one last time and she measures 7 weeks, 6 days.
    She suggests I go to my gyno because there is no privacy for me here from colleagues. I don't want a D&C in the hospital where I work. I call my gyno and try to explain the situation to her nurse. I don't think the nurse quite gets what I'm asking for, and I'm too emotional to spell it out. But because pregnant patients get preference, I get an appointment for the next week.
  15. DAY 62: I go to my gynaecologist - the one who originally placed my IUCD. Her nurse congratulates me and because the waiting room is full, I don't correct her. I go through the motions of giving a urine sample and having my vitals taken. I know this routine and I feel tears prickling behind my eyes.
  16. The consulting room is full of photos of babies she has delivered. How amazing. This makes me reconsider OBGYN as a career. But the photos also make me think that she probably doesn't do abortions. Private gynos as so careful for their reputations and I know many of them won't do it.
    I prepare myself on the possibility of having to get an evac at work after all.
  17. The gyno is super friendly. She whisks me to her scan room and while I remove my shoes she says, "So you're here with some exciting news today" at the same time that I say, "Please don't congratulate me." Then I finally cry. I get on the bed and she awkwardly pats my knee, then tells me to "tell her what's potting."
    She scans me and gets a GA of 8 weeks and 6 days. Spot on.
  18. She's so calm, and starts talking about our treatment plan. Because she knows I'm a doctor, she involves me in this a LOT. I can't get over how NICE she is.
    She says she doesn't want to do a D&C because she knows how hard it is to get leave from work. She did her internship at the same hospital years ago. So she'll give me more medicine, finally with mifepristone.
  19. I go to work having taken the mifepristone. Nothing feels different.
    Twelve hours later, at home, I take misoprostol. Not half an hour later I vomit everything I've eaten that day. My uterus feels like it's tearing itself apart. I'm dizzy, sweaty, and having all the symptoms of cervical dilation. I know rationally that this is normal, but I nearly freak out. It feels like I am dying.
  20. DAY 63-64: I don't go to work. I'm bleeding a lot and in the worst pain I could imagine. I'm also not tolerating fluids so I get some IV rehydration. I've gone pale and I'm sleeping all day again, this time from analgesia.
  21. DAY 65: I go back to work. Nobody knows the real reason I was gone. I'm still very weak and they send me home at lunch.
  22. DAY 68: I have a follow-up with my gyno. The process was complete and I don't need any other intervention.
    She congratulates me on getting through this. She says I've done well.
  23. Then we spend 15 minutes talking about work. She motivates me, probably without knowing. I want to be like her. She tells me to come back after my next period because I want an IUCD again.
    She also offers to refer me to one of her psychologists. I tell her I'll think about it. I want to hug her but obviously she is my doctor, NOT my friend, and I'm not going to be silly.
  24. DAY 69: that's now.