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Every day, women and men make deep, personal decisions about their reproductive health. Many send us powerful stories about why theyíre pro-choice. You can read a few of them on this page.

 
Pro-Choice: My Personal Journey by MES

Yesterday marked a month since having to make one of the hardest decision  JT and I have ever  had to make.
 I normally hate talking about health related things and I have my reasons. But the recovery workbooks say that its best to get it all out on "paperĒ and when ready to share. Well I now feel Iím at that step. I'll start from the beginning I suppose.

In the beginning of month, the 2nd to be exact, we found out we would be expecting a 3rd. It was a complete shock and not perfect timing but a new baby who was very welcome and loved from the start. We set up the OB appointment, got my heparin shots that I was required to be on and got ready for another journey of pregnancy. I had morning sickness, though nowhere near as bad as J-- and L--, and all your typical pregnancy related symptoms. But something didnít sit right with me. In the back of my head I had the fear you have with every 1st trimester; miscarriage. But as I was soon to discover, that would be the least of my fears.

It started with some light bleeding, normal for me , I had it with both kids. The bleeding picked up and I experienced some cramping. We went for an ultrasound and there was a strong heartbeat and healthy 7 week 4 day gestation baby. The doctor said everything was fine and it didnít look like a miscarriage. He said to just rest and to try not to worry. Clots in the uterus can be common, especially with clotting disorders like mine. These clots can cause bleeding in early pregnancy and sometimes the whole duration of it. The cramps I was experiencing were due to some cyst. I went home with my ultrasound picture and tried not to worry. I was still having that nagging feeling that something horrible was going to happen. You know how  people say "Trust your gut?Ē Do so!

Fast forward to Tuesday later in the month, on the 26th. I wake up with cramps in my legs. "Must be getting Charlie horses already,Ē I thought. I drink some water and go about my day as usual. Morning of the 27th I wake again with the same horrible leg pains Iíve had before. Itís a blood clot, I just know it. We spend the day at Religiously-Affiliated hospital, only to receive the most atrocious treatment I have ever received from a health care facility. We were set in a hall way to wait like any typical hospital. We went to triage and then sent back to wait some more. I get yelled at by an aide and am told that they need the wheel chair, even though I was told to stay in it.

I am moved to a chair. After more waiting we are approached by another aide to go to the room. I tell them I cant walk. "WHY?!Ē he says in a very condescending tone. I state because my leg hurts and he gets me a wheelchair at what seems to be a huge inconvenience to him. The doctor comes in and I explain my extensive history of clots and the fact that I am pregnant. He orders an ultrasound of my leg and nothing else. Ultrasound is done quickly and not as thoroughly as it should have been. Doctor comes back to say nothing showed and I must have torn a muscle by the way I was limping. I insist that he redo the ultrasound and to check my PTT, a test to check how thick or thin your blood is and to see your risk of clots. I am told I am misinformed. There is no such test to check for that and I must have injured myself. I am sent home with no answers.
 
On the following day, at around 10pm I am rushed to by ambulance to another Religiously-Affiliated Hospital. I come to find out I have had a small stroke and they find 3 clots in my leg and am told there is no way they could have missed them.. At the first Religiously-Affiliated hospital. I am also told my PTT is EXTREMLY low. I spend the next 3 days in the hospital getting a battery of test and seeing 5 specialist. I am told for my health and welfare that I need to have a medical termination or things would only get worse. I am stabilized and sent home to make my decision.

We schedule a consultation to find out what exactly is done during the procedure. With a lot of thinking we make the very hard choice to end the pregnancy.  Early in the next month (only 5 days before my 25th birthday and 9 weeks 2 days gestation) I arrive at the clinic. A clinic, because there are only a handful of doctors willing to do this, even in medical cases such as mine. I was put under and awaken not even feeling as anything had happened except the absence of my pregnancy symptoms. I think to myself, "I have done this for the right reasons. My children and husband need their mother and wife alive. I have so many goals and dreams to live for.Ē
 
A few days pass and the flood gate of emotions opens up. Over the next few weeks I go through every stage of grief you would expect. Denial, anger , bargaining, depression and finally acceptance.
 
I have accepted what has happened to me. I HAD to, my life was in danger. My children were at risk of living a life with out ever having or really knowing a mother being as young as they are.

It saddens me that women in this day and age have to fear making this choice for whatever reason it may be. Fear of judgment, ridicule and shame. I have always been pro-choice when it comes to ones body, especially with the choice to have or not have a medical procedure done. But I never thought this would be something I would have to go through myself. Many may not agree with what happened and the way I chose to handle it. But that doesnít matter. I donít need other peoples acceptance on the things I do in life or in my families life. Trust me I learned that along time ago. But I do have to say to those who donít agree; donít judge. I donít care what reason a person terminates for, donít ever judge, because you NEVER can fully understand the emotional and physical burden a woman has to go through before they even make that choice. And then you can NEVER understand the toll that it will take on her after it is all said and done. You do not know her background, her life story or anything
about her without being inside her head to be able to judge. So before you go waving your picket signs, yelling murder, or in the extreme cases bombing clinics ( that by the way do more then just abortions. Birth control , pregnancy test, some even care for low income maternity care.) Try and put yourself in that womanís shoes and even then you will never fully comprehend what itís like.

For the women who have been in my shoes, even if you wish you hadnít , donít ever live in fear or shame. You did the best you could, and made the best choice you knew how at the time. Donít ever let the hurtful words and actions of others dictate your life and what you do or did.  Be grateful for what you have now in life because you never know where life would have taken you other wise. This goes for every choice you make.
 
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