That Time I Went to an Abortion Clinic

The title isn’t what you think.

I didn’t have an abortion. And even if I did, I know there would be a multitude of reasons and circumstances leading up to that decision.

It’s not all black and white; dualistic decision making.

What this is about is how COVID-19 gave me no choice but to manage my miscarriage in a safe space alongside those choosing to end their pregnancies.

You see, I know my body.

I know my body clings to my lifeless babes and refuses to let go.

I know after hours and hours of induction I’m subjected to D&Cs to stop the massive clotting and remove retained products - the little pieces left of my pregnancy my body so desperately wanted to hold onto.

I know the way my body contracts and convulses in hours of pain to birth my tiny, lifeless beings. 

I know. 

Because I know my body.

This time around at 12 weeks, I wanted to save my body the additional trauma of potentially clotting and bleeding out. Many health professionals say “it’s just like a heavy period.” But it’s not; and my body doesn’t manage that way.

This time around at 12 weeks, I had to fight for what I knew my body needed. The hospital wouldn’t take me. The midwife told me to wait. The hospital refused to give me a D&C because of COVID-19 restrictions. I was told to take induction medication and miscarry at home, even though they knew my history. 

EVEN THOUGH I told them my story.

“This time around you’re only 12 weeks, you should be fine to miscarry at home.”

When I miscarried at 9 weeks four years ago, I experienced the worst pain I had experienced in my life. I thought I was dying as I passed massive clots in my shower. This time around I wasn’t too keen on the possibility of having to pull my lifeless baby out as they got dislodged in my vagina again.

So I turned to clinics. 

You know the ones “pro-lifers” are so adamant to abolish?

Yah those ones.

An “Abortion and Miscarriage Management Clinic” for when your miscarriage treatment goes wrong.

I travelled to Toronto to have my miscarriage managed because the hospital turned me away. Since I was in a clinic and not in a hospital they administered a local sedative rather than knocking me out. I felt everything.

Here I was, at 12 weeks, having my baby scraped out from my body so I didn’t have to go through the emotional, physical, and mental trauma of “waiting it out” only to end up in this situation anyways.

I have so many mixed feelings about sitting beside women who were choosing to end their pregnancies while I so desperately wanted to keep mine. 

But what I do know is this.

Each decision is preceded by a multitude of circumstances and reasons. Each woman knows her body and what it needs. If we would only just listen and learn and sit with one another in our pain. If others would only listen to the intuition of our bodies.

That day the abortion clinic saved me.

It saved me from pulling my dead baby out of my body with my own bare hands.

It saved me from potentially clotting and bleeding out.

It saved me from added trauma on top of trauma.

It potentially saved me from death.

And personally I wasn’t willing to roll the dice on that one.

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