Questions You Wanted to Ask But Wouldn’t

I found an article on UpWorthy that I found so necessary. It’s an older article, posted in October of 2016, but I still feel that is needs to be spread and read by everyone. There is still such a stigma surrounding abortion, especially with the crew in office right now.

I do want to give this author a big shout out because I believe you have to be incredibly strong to be so honest and open about such a taboo subject. Kudos to you, lady. ❤

Part of my wanting to start this blog was so I could be honest and informative, so this one is hard for me to write because very very few people know about this part of my life. But I don’t see the point of talking about tough subjects if I’m not going to be honest and put myself out there as well. 

I’m going to copy and paste the article and write my answers in bold. It has been almost 10 years since I was in this situation so my memory is not as clear as the author’s, who wrote this within a year of getting her abortion, but I will try and be as clear and honest as possible.

10 things you wanted to know about my abortion but were too afraid to ask.

I had an abortion this year, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.

Abortions are common.

That’s just a fact. Although we don’t talk about it a lot publicly, 1 in 3 women will have an abortion in their lifetimes.

But even though terminating a pregnancy is a fairly ordinary health decision, there’s still a lot of misinformation out there about the procedure and women’s own experiences — mostly because of the immense stigma that surrounds abortion.

In many cases, women don’t feel comfortable talking about their abortions because they don’t want to be shamed or ridiculed.

I had an abortion this year, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.

I wasn’t ready to have a kid, I didn’t want to be pregnant, and my partner fully supported my choice. Although sometimes people say terminating a pregnancy is “the hardest choice a woman can make,” it was a fairly easy decision for me.

Now that it’s over, though, I want to demystify the whole thing as much as I can. So here are 10 things you wanted to know about abortions but were too afraid to ask:

1. What was your abortion like?

I got my abortion on a Saturday morning at a clinic owned by an independent provider. When my boyfriend drove up to the clinic, there were protesters outside, but it was easy enough to ignore them. I was at the clinic for about five hours, but the procedure itself lasted only five minutes.

As soon as I got there, a nurse gave me pills to take — antibiotics, pills to soften my cervix, anti-nausea medication, a pain pill, and an oral sedation pill. I passed the next few hours reading, chatting with other patients, and nodding off in my chair (the sedation meds work, by the way).

When it was time for the actual procedure, I went into a normal-looking exam room. The nurse gave me IV sedation, which put me into a half-awake/half-asleep state.

Then the doctor inserted a thin tube into my uterus, which felt like a pinch, and turned on the aspiration machine to empty the contents of my uterus. I felt some pressure and pain. Then, before I knew it, it was over. I sat in a comfy recliner in the recovery room until my ride came.

I have had two abortions. Fuck, that’s hard for me to put out there, but I also know it’s necessary if I am going to be completely honest about the subject. One was very early on which meant I was able to get the medical abortion and one was later which meant I had to get the surgical abortion. Both times I had to drive roughly an hour away to get the medicine/get the procedure. There were no protestors but I had to push a button, be video taped, and show my ID before they would even let me into the building. 

The medical abortion was quite easy. I was 18, 1 month shy of being 19. My ex-boyfriend went with me to Salt Lake City to the class Utah requires you to take 48 hours before you have the abortion and he then came with me to the clinic and got my medication. I went back to his house and had a miscarriage with his mother’s support and love. It felt like an extremely painful and heavy period. 

The second one was later on and I had to get the surgical abortion. Unlike the woman who wrote the article, my surgical abortion was extremely painful. Like before, they made me take a class 48 hrs before and then I had to get an ultrasound and see my “baby.” Then the doctor put a little bit of numbing stuff in my vagina and turned on the aspiration machine. I was crying because I was in so much pain and I was so angry with myself for getting in the situation, to begin with. Like the original post, I was then put in the recovery room which was terrible. It was a small room with 8 or so recliners filled with sad women who were in pain and could not look each other in the eye. It was humiliating. I was not allowed to be with anyone in the recovery room other than the other women who had just gone through the procedure. I went home and had a heavy period and pain that Tylenol could handle. 

2. How much did it hurt?

It hurt a little bit during the actual procedure, but it was nothing major (and definitely nothing compared to childbirth!). I had cramps on and off for the next few days, but they were no worse than period cramps.

Like I explained before the medical abortion was not very painful but the surgical one was very painful. More painful than contractions when I had my two boys. 

3. How much did it cost?

Because I was only six weeks along, my abortion cost $550 — but that cost goes up for people who are farther along. I’m also lucky because I live a few miles away from my clinic, so my boyfriend just dropped me off. Lots of pregnant people have to travel hundreds of miles, find lodging, and miss work when they get an abortion.

For patients who can’t afford their procedure, abortion funds provide grants to help cover the cost.

Mine was $400 both times. However, this was back in 2008 and 2009. 

4. Why did you get a surgical abortion instead of taking the abortion pill?

Some people decide to take the abortion pill because then they can go home and miscarry in private. But I wanted to walk into the clinic pregnant and leave with all of it behind me. It’s just a matter of preference.

I simply got what the nurse recommended the first time around and the second time around I did not have a choice because of how far along I was. 

5. Did you feel ashamed afterward?

I wondered if I would, but I didn’t. I’ve been pro-choice for as long as I’ve known about abortion, and I felt comfortable with my decision. A lot of women do have complex feelings about their abortions, and that’s OK too. But no one should have to feel ashamed for making a decision that is right for them. I hope that the more we talk about this, the less shame we’ll all feel.

With the first one, I was not ashamed at all. However, no one knew about it except my ex and his mom. It made it a lot easier to deal with. The second one was harder to feel okay with because I was farther along and did not have the support I had the first time around. However, after a few days I realized that I made the best decision for me and I have absolutely no regrets about either abortion. 

6. What was recovery like?

Honestly, it was a little annoying. For the week after the procedure, I bled as though I was on my period. And even though the cramps were mild, they weren’t fun. Also, you can’t put anything in your vagina or have sex for two to four weeks.

But it was also way better than healing from pregnancy and childbirth.

It was very easy. Like the original article says, it’s cramps and heavy bleeding. The recovery is much better than having a child which really fucks with your vagina, tailbone, and stomach afterward.

7. What surprised you the most about your experience?

The waiting room was a really friendly environment. Many of the other patients shared their stories of how they got there. Most were mothers already, and some had gotten an abortion before. It was comforting to be in a safe, open place with the other patients.

Nothing really surprised me. I did a lot of research before I made any appointments plus in Utah it’s required by law you attend a class 48 hours before your procedure so I really got double the education about what I was about to go through. 

8. Did you tell your friends and family?

Yes to friends, no to family. I’m lucky because everyone who I told about my pregnancy and abortion was supportive.

I told very few people with each abortion. I was worried about being judged, but as I’ve gotten older I have learned the love my family has for me. I know they would not have judged me and would have only supported me in my decision, but honestly, who knows that at 18? As I’ve gotten older and become more vocal about issues I feel are important I’ve become more comfortable and confident telling people my story. 

9. Did you become depressed/become an alcoholic/get breast cancer? Are you infertile now?

No, no, no, and I’m pretty sure no. The idea that abortion causes mental health issues, breast cancer, or any physical side effect that isn’t also a side effect of childbirth is patently false.

No, no, no, and no. I already had issues with depression and that continues on and off. I do not consider myself an alcoholic and never have. I do not have breast cancer. And I have two beautiful boys that I am fully capable of taking care of today. Cash is 4 and Tate is 20 months. 

10. What was the worst part of the whole thing?

The worst part of my abortion wasn’t the abortion; it was being pregnant. I didn’t realize how much an unexpected pregnancy would affect my day-to-day life: I was exhausted, my breasts were sore, and my emotions were out of control. I imagine it might be a different experience for people who actually want to be pregnant, but it was a nightmare for me.

Honestly the fact that I felt I could not be honest was the worst part of the whole thing. I hated not being able to talk to friends or family about what I was going through and it’s only been recent that I’ve been more open about my experiences. 

I’ve been an advocate for abortion access all of my adult life.

But after going through the experience of terminating a pregnancy myself, I feel an even stronger enthusiasm for this fight. Now it makes me even angrier to see politicians vilify women for the decisions they make about their own bodies. Because these are our unique bodies, and solutions aren’t one-size-fits-all.

How can we keep fighting for this? I believe the first step is for us to keep talking about abortion publicly because there is power in sharing our experiences with the world.

 

Uber

I was checking my email this evening and saw this interesting email:

Dear Ashley,

We were horrified by the neo-Nazi demonstration that took place in Charlottesville, which resulted in the loss of life of a young woman as well as two Virginia State Troopers responding to the protest. There is simply no place for this type of bigotry, discrimination, and hate.

As the country braces for more white supremacist demonstrations, we wanted to let you know what we are doing for the Uber community:

    • We will act swiftly and decisively to uphold our Community Guidelines, including our policy against discrimination of any kind—this includes banning people from the app.
    • 24/7 in-app support is available to answer questions and address concerns. You always have the right to end your trip if you feel uncomfortable or disrespected.

Now more than ever we must stand together against hatred and violence. Thank you for making our community one that we can all be proud of.

On behalf of all of us at Uber,
Meghan Verena Joyce
Regional General Manager, US & Canada Cities

Now, this is great, I’m not complaining that I got the email. What is frustrating is that it has to be sent out at all. It’s heartbreaking that major companies like Uber have to stand up and speak out against hate and racism because our president won’t. It’s pathetic that companies have to send out an email telling its customers they are against white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

I think if I keep going with this post we will go down a rabbit hole of anger and complaints I am feeling right now and there’s no need for that. Instead of complaining and bitching I am going to put my money where my mouth is. I am going to do something to make a difference instead of just sitting here behind my computer complaining.

I found an article on UpWorthy with 16 ways you can make a difference after Charlottesville that I think has a lot of really great ideas and websites to check out. I have signed up for a few listed and I also am a member of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is a good source of information. Anyway, here is the list, you can check out the website for full descriptions and the websites they suggest.

  1. Make sure you are okay.
  2. Become a member of the NAACP.
  3. Follow Sesame Street’s lead and go out of your way to do something nice (big or small) for someone each day this week.
  4. Donate to the victims of the Charlottesville terror attack.
  5. If you’re not a person of color, take 10 minutes to learn about allyship.
  6. Speaking of being an ally – signing up for a Safety Pin Box subscription is a great first step.
  7. Find out how your own representatives reacted to Charlottesville.
  8. Help the country Swing Left in 2018.
  9. Find a protest in your own community within the Indivisible Guide.
  10. Report harassment online, or call on the allies at WHite Nonsense Roundup to step in
  11. Tune into TV shows that tackle important issues of racial and social injustice on screen.
  12. Use VolunteerMatch.org to commit to volunteering once a month with a group doing social justice work in your area.
  13. Systemic racism is one thing. But what should you do when bigoted harassment or violence is unfolding right in front of you? (Check out SPLC)
  14. Sign up for Common Cause’s Sessions Watch to keep an eye on Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
  15. Boost the Black Lives Matter movement on social media.
  16. Help Charlottesville rally past this dark period by supporting one of its incredible local non-profits.

Guest Posts Welcome

Have you ever had something you wanted to say or get off your chest and no platform to say it? Are you heartbroken over what’s been happening in our country? Are you upset with someone and want to write a unanimous open letter? Well here is the perfect opportunity! You can literally write about anything, I don’t like to discriminate. Shoot me an email at marsh.ashleym@gmail.com.

Happy First Day Back to School!

I have the sweetest and funniest mom ever! For any of you that don’t already know, she sends Cash and Tate letters regularly. We talked on the phone today and she let me know that she was sending Cash a card congratulating him on his first week of school.

For any of you that don’t already know, she sends Cash and Tate letters and packages regularly because Cash loves getting mail that is just for him. Anyway, my mom and I talked on the phone and she let me know that she was sending Cash a card congratulating him on his first week of school.

She was in a rush and just grabbed a blank card because they didn’t have any ‘first day of school’ cards. However, she grabbed a card with a margarita on the front of it. Sweet little Cash gets his first margarita at the age of 4 from grandma Shelly. AHAHAHAH

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Flowers & Tantrums

The difference between my two boys constantly amazes me and irritates the fuck out of me. Honestly, I don’t know how I ended up with two boys who are so polar opposite. Cash is social, extroverted, and very friendly. Tate is introverted, very shy, and only “talks” or giggles around people he knows well.

Yesterday and today were such good examples of my two children. Both of them were crying but for very different reasons and lengths of time.

Cash has started this new habit of wanting to pick me flowers on our walk home or to the gym. The problem with this is they aren’t really flowers they are just weeds, and they are usually dead by the time we leave the gym or I just throw them away when we get home because they are going to die in a few short hours. As we were walking home last night I asked Cash not to pick me a flower and Tyson explained they just die anyway. Cash started crying because he wanted to pick me a flower and be sweet. He thought we were being rude saying not to do something nice for mommy. I tried to explain to him that there are different ways to show love and one of my favorite ways is through touching and affection. AKA his snuggles.

To make things better we went to the store this morning on our way to school and I let him pick out some flowers for mommy. He was so excited to do this and know that they would stay alive for at least a week. I think we may have to plant some flowers just so he can always feel like he’s getting me something.

He is such a sweet and kind hearted kid. ❤

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Tate, on the other hand, has been screaming all day. He literally only stopped when he was napping, at Kids World, or had a treat. I tried to get him in the cart at the grocery store this afternoon and he got so mad at me because he wanted to walk that he hit me in the face. Literally slapped me across the face. I was livid. I put him on the ground so I could talk to him and he just threw himself on the ground and threw a fit, right in the middle of the parking lot. I put him in his car seat and shut the door. I literally sat outside the car with Cash for a solid 3 minutes trying to calm down while Tate screamed in the car. It was not a good parenting moment for me.

After Kids World I brought the boys home and tried to feed him dinner. He can tell us the foods he wants but he kept saying no to everything I offered him. He finally agreed on a bar. He got mad though because I made him sit in his high chair and so he ripped it all up and threw it onto the floor. Then he asked for yogurt. He emptied the yogurt on his tray then proceeded to through the spoon and container onto the floor. At this point I am so beyond angry I am counting down the minutes until Tyson gets home so I can walk away from him. He asked for rice as he was sitting in his high chair screaming so I warmed up some rice for him and he immediately threw that on the floor as well. After this, I just left it there and left him there. Tyson came home shortly after, thankfully. I’m including pictures because no one seems to believe me that he is a complete and utter monster.

We think his stomach hurts but this attitude and behavior is not something new, nor is that an excuse. He is constantly hitting, kicking, biting, and pinching Cash and me, as well as pulling my hair. I am at a loss for what to do. I have tried time out, I have tried being stern with him, I have tried yelling at him, I have tried ignoring him, absolutely nothing works. Nothing is changing. I am ready to give up. 😦 So here’s a big fuck you to Monday and parenting today in general. If I didn’t have class tomorrow I would be drunk right now. Ahahaha

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Please keep your fingers crossed for me, or in your prayers, whatever it is you do.

School!

Sophmore year here I come, baby!!!

I have high hopes for this semester. Especially after my fiasco of anthropology last semester. I have math with an incredible professor that I have had before so I know what to expect and what I need to do to get an A in her class. I also have 3 psychology classes, which will be really good for me. I have Intro to Biological Psychology, Life Span Development, and Psychology of Personality. My Psych of Personality is an online class and the rest are on campus.

I also just registered for a History of Jazz course to fulfill my art requirement. It’s offered online so I don’t have to worry about hiring the nanny for more time, or it conflicting with my other 3 classes, or anything like that. Unfortunately, the book from the book store is $150 and on Amazon, it’s $50. So I have to wait until next week sometime to get the book. Fingers crossed that will be okay.

If you don’t see me until December I’m sorry. Ahahaha

 

Q & A

I’ve never done something like this but I thought it might be interesting.

So this is how it’s going to work; Comment on Facebook, IG, twitter, or WordPress any question you have for me or my family and I will answer truthfully. You can email me if you would like it to be anonymous and I will post the question for you and answer it.

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