What to expect when you’re unexpectedly expecting and need to make an appointment at Planned parenthood.

*::Trigger Warning::*
This is a very candid and graphic entry about one woman’s experience with abortion.
If you know of anyone who could benefit from this blog entry, please share it with them.
I have found very little on the internet about abortions that isn’t some religous person preaching the morality of the topic. Every woman’s story is different. People make the choice to have children or not for lots of reasons.

There is NO right or wrong choice. Be true to yourself and take care. -xo- 


What to expect when you’re unexpectedly expecting

One of my close lady friends discovered that she is with child, and like most 20-somethings that have no designs on the pitter-patter of little feet anytime soon, is freaking the fuck out. She moved out here a few years ago from out west, with no family remotely nearby to give her hugs and tell her it’s going to be ok and most importantly, help her through this tough choice and take care of her on that day. As we are close friends, I’d consider her “Friembly”, so I am glad she called me and felt comfortable enough to come to me with such a huge and personal problem.
“BUT WHAT ABOUT THE GUY?!” “SHE DIDN’T MAKE THAT BABY SCREAMING HER OWN NAME!”  I can hear legions of ladies screaming at their monitors. RELAX BITCHES. Her dude is one of the best guys I know. If you knew him, he’d probably put your significant other to shame. He works in the service industry where paid days off do not exist, and since she will be taking a day or two off, someone still needs to bring home the bacon. He is 100% on board with the decision and procedure. Their lines of communication are open and are flooding with dialogue and peppered with lighthearted jokes.

You’ve let the cat out of the bag and he’s reacting badly to the news

 Emotionally, some women find it hard to cope with having had an abortion. Often women are very conscious of the time factor when they make their choice. Hormonal changes when the pregnancy is terminated may also make a woman more emotional. Talk to your partner or other people you can trust and let them know what you are feeling.
FYI – Good, clear communication should always be present in ANY relationship – regardless of the situation. Under no circumstances should you be made to feel terrible or like this is in anyway YOUR FAULT. It takes two to tango and to make a baby, so fuck them. No wait – don’t do that. That’s how you got here in the first place. GET AWAY FROM THEM.  Find a safe place to go and hang out there. Let the dust settle. If they are still behaving like an asshole a few days later, this should be a huge red flag and it sounds like you may have more to deal with than just the potential of a baby.Some women may want professional counselling at this time. If you are not sure how to arrange counselling sessions, talk to the people where you had your abortion and ask them to refer you.

The other big reason why she came to me, is because I had an abortion a few years ago. Just in case you missed it,
I HAD AN ABORTION.

It’s not something that I normally advertise, but if anyone asks me, I tell them straight up. I’m not ashamed. I made the right decision for my life at that time. The stigma and shame associated with this is RIDICULOUS!! It’s taboo because of religion – primarily Christianity. Needless to say, growing up in an Irish/Italian Catholic household, it went over as well as a fart in church. I was so scared to tell my family that I was pregnant, I waited to tell them while we were in a public place. I was in such a state of self preservation, I felt like I needed to out my dirty secret in the frozen food section at Trader Joe’s. They turned a lovely shade of purple because they were so horrified and couldn’t yell at their 26 year old daughter surrounded by strangers.

Was it an easy choice. No. Was it the obvious choice? YES.

I was in an extremely abusive relationship, we lived in a studio apartment that was 500 square feet (or less), and I was the only one working (2 jobs) because he didn’t want to get a job. I came home one morning after going out with coworkers and stayed at my best friend’s house since she lived around the corner. As I walked into the room, bag in hand saying “Hello? Are you home?” he jumped out from behind the wall, put me into a headlock and punched me  over and over in the face while demanding where I was and why was my phone dead. I started carrying a small 2 inch screwdriver in my back pocket after that. Subsequently, we terminated our 6 year on-again/off-again relationship and it was FOR THE BEST!! (Free at last, free at last!) He still denies that I was ever pregnant or it couldn’t have been his. *eye roll*   Now tell me how I was supposed to raise a baby into that kind of a household?

Babies cost a lot of money and time. Remember those two jobs I mentioned that I had? I was working 60 hour weeks – commuting 65 miles 3 days a week for one of them and I made less than 30K a year between the two. How is anyone supposed to manage to support 2 adults and a baby on that kind of income? Ask any new parent how they are sleeping and they will respond with “What is this ‘sleep’ phenomena that you speak of?” So I’m supposed to raise a baby and work 2 jobs and deal with mental and physical abuse? Don’t think so.

(Un)Planned Parenthood

Then there are the mother fucking Protesters. At times there may be protesters outside of the health center. The center suggests that you avoid interaction with them. Assholes with photos of dead babies, dolls in baby carriages and maybe Robby Roadsteamer holding up a “Bring Back The McRib” sign, which would make me hungry.
(This was actually the part I was most looking forward to, I really wanted to fuck with them… BADLY!)  I had thought of stuffing my shirt with pillows and wearing a shirt that says “My baby is pro-choice” or arming myself with useful comebacks like “Sorry, AIDS baby.” or saying “I saw a limp wrist in the ultrasound, so it’s clearly gay.” Then I had come up with more thoughtful things to say like “Let me get your address, because if you want this baby to live so badly, it can live with you.” However since it was the dead of January in New England, I was fortunate enough not to have to look at dead babies and have people screaming horrible things at me, forcing me into a walk of shame, because my appointment was during a Nor’Easter. Who knew that snow was their weakness! (I wonder if the white rapper who sang “Informer” will have the same effect…) Added plus, I think my Mom would have gotten all Mama-Bear and punched some old white lady and then I’d have to go bail her out of jail afterwards and that would have been awkward.

** Protip: Once you make it through the door you will have to walk through a metal detector and an armed police officer will be scanning you with a handheld metal detector. THIS IS FOR YOUR OWN PERSONAL SAFETY! I hate cops as much as the next person, but the guy they hire is not there to judge or arrest you. I’ve talked with him, it’s a tough job and he’s a nice guy. He’s the one making sure nobody shoots up or bombs the place. 

Now some ladies opt for the Abortion Pill. I have a friend who had elected to go this route and her story is something out of a horror movie, that involved partially formed limbs and blood and pain and misery and a weeks worth of missed work. She didn’t want to have to deal with the surgery as her Catholic guilt got the better of her. She insisted on it even though she was right at the threshold for the pill’s effectiveness. That scared the hell out of me and I wanted it GONE, so I opted for the surgery. Either way, you still need to go into the Planned Parenthood facility, so keep an open mind. You will have many opportunities to discuss the procedure that is right for you. They will also ask you multiple times “Are you sure you want to go through with this?” so in case you have a change of heart, there is an out. You are not forced to go through with it just because you walked through the door. I think thats part of the reason for the long wait in the waiting room. The hardest part is the ultrasound. It’s a huge realization seeing something tangible that is growing inside of you. Not gonna lie – I cried.

** Pro tip: It’s so much easier to deal with the waiting room with a good buddy by your side. You see a lot of strained couples, some very scared, lonely looking women and in my case – overly concerned and slightly crazy family members that rotated through the metal detector. You are only allowed to bring one companion with you into the waiting room – so choose wisely. The last thing you need is your significant other losing his shit, your mom nagging about you the procedure, or your catty coworker who passive-aggressively slut shames you. Bring someone who builds you up and supports you, not someone who tears you down.

WHAT TO EXPECT ONCE INSIDE

During your visit, you may be given the following:

*a pregnancy test
*a chance to speak with a trained staff person about all of your choices: abortion, adoption, and parenting
*a conversation with the health care provider about your health history
*lab tests/blood work
*a pelvic exam
*an ultrasound
*medications to make the abortion more comfortable
*medication if you are Rh negative
*antibiotics or other medications
*birth control information
*a birth control method

— If you desire medication to help make your in-clinic abortion more comfortable, you must have a responsible companion with you to help you get home safely.

** Pro Tip: If you’re going to flip your shit because of anxiety or become a sobbing mess, a xanex may help – but make sure you tell them that you took something prior to showing up, otherwise you could have some bigger problems on your hands because some medications don’t mix. Don’t drive yourself anywhere or take public transportation alone – altered states mean your car can’t fly or swim and you do not want to get robbed or worse on the train or bus. 

— If you plan to have sedation, please do not eat for 6 hours before your appointment or consume anything until 5am the next morning, including water.
** Pro Tip: At PP in Boston, they don’t normally sedate you, but they will inject some fentanyl into you. This medicine is a narcotic pain reliever. If you are sXe and feel guilty for having to get drugs for a medical procedure, you should probably reevaluate your priorities.
(I felt the womb scraping and I was on the drugs – I don’t care how hardcore or tuff you think you are – take the fucking drugs – unless you’re an addict and are in recovery, I feel for you and best of luck with the pain and your recovery) For people that have experience with mind altering substances (eg: High school stoners) this will probably wear off in a few hours. I was AWAKE AND LOOPY for my procedure. I couldn’t see what was happening, but I felt a sharp feeling in my internal, upper pussy area (ie: lower than belly button) and I was cracking jokes with the doctor and nurses. I deal with stress with humor.

— Wear loose fitting pants, bringing extra maxi pads (super or overnight), an extra pair of socks and an extra sweatshirt or sweater and flat shoes. Personally, I went with wearing a track suit, a hoodie, two pairs of socks stuffed into ballet flats and straddled on top of a maxi the size of a queen sized mattress.
** Pro Tip: Your Ugg boots, sweatpants and oversized Redsox hoodie is a perfect look. You can comfortably conceal your identity in the waiting room by pulling the hood up. Meanwhile you’re looking around at all the other people and seeing if you know anyone. Like that chick you always see doing lines in the bathroom at the Model… 

The Aftermath

Most women recover quickly. However, some women experience bleeding, cramping or stomach pain for up to two weeks. Contact your clinic or hospital if these symptoms are severe. Your period should return in four to six weeks. During this time you can get pregnant again if you have unprotected intercourse, so you should use some method of birth control. You should have a post abortion check two to three weeks afterwards to make sure the procedure was successful and your body has returned to normal.

Care Package

If you wanna tell your lady that she’s the cunt-loving master of her sexual universe I suggest putting together something like this. First you’ll need a crucifix and crushing sense of shame — OMG JAAAY FUCKING KAAAY.

1. Salty brothy soup/crackers and Ginger Ale — after surgery your body is alll waaaahhhhhh. I threw up a grip from the fentanyl, so for every one’s sake you want to put stuff in you that’s easy on the belleh.

2. Hot Herbal Tea/Flavored Rums — If you were like me you couldn’t hold down the booze during the fetus invasion. Now is the time to slowly sip some sweet ambrosia. It’s so soothing. Stay away from beer. It makes you more bloaty.

3. Fuckin Popcicles — You earned sweetness —but not dairy! That shit is hard to deal with after surgery.

4. At least 1-2 season’s worth of quality tv dvds. You really can’t do too much while you’re recovery except sleep and complain about cramps. Take the day to watch the a show that you can nod in and out of. I watched 2 seasons of The Office and a bunch of Disney movies. I cried a lot. Stay away from Deadwood or The Sopranos. That shit is all about the existential abyss. You don’t need that right now.

5. Tabloids — obvs. Schadenfreude Mother fuckers! Because seeing other people look like shit will make you feel better about yourself.

6. The best pain pills your dealer can get — not that you’ll be in that much pain at all but it really doesn’t hurt to feel all floaty on Percocet. Or just get tynelnol if you’re scared to take drugs, puss. 

7. Anything that brings humor to the situation. My fantastic friend got a huge package with girly themed lotion and make up, candy, magazines, fake candy grillz and temporary expecting mommy tattoos which blew my fucking mind!

8. COMPASSION. Your lady is a warrior and has a lot on her plate, physically and emotionally. This was probably one of the hardest things she’s ever done. (Leave the dick jokes out of it.) Hugs, kind words and encouragement will go really far.

 

early morning revelations.

So this blog has gone right down the tubes, full of unfinished projects and unkept promises. I’m sorry. I really am. Take heart in knowing that it’s not because I don’t want to share everything, actually it’s quite the contrary, I do want to post everything. I just have not had the time! But here it is, quarter to four in the morning. I need to get up in a hour and a half, pack for the week, shower, eat and get moving to Providence to be abused by toddlers for seven plus hours. I’m a photographer damnit, not a jungle gym! I digress. Aside from this burst of insomnia I have been sleeping quite well. I chalk that up to Justin.

I found myself falling asleep on the couch, playing the role of big spoon as we watched Man VS Food at barely ten pm the other evening. To any who know me IRL, you know that this has never happened. I find myself so comfortable around him that I can just let go and then, just like that, I’m deeply breathing, softly snoring and perhaps even drooling, out cold on his couch. We can talk about damn near anything, with no awkwardness. Conversation just comes with ease from both of us. I often find myself wondering if its real or if I am really asleep. I am quite fond of him and occasionally I wonder if I overstep those invisible boundaries that everyone has. So far he has said that I have not, and if anything, he finds my shenanigans amusing. Last weekend, during aguamageddon, Lindsay, Justin and myself paid Kim and Colin a visit at their place and I foolishly parked on the lawn, like I normally do. The ground was obviously super saturated and we ended up requiring a tow truck to extract us from the woodstock-like conditions that I had parked my vehicle upon. As I apologized on the way home after dropping of Lindsay at her new home in Carlisle, he said something to me that cut right to my heart and has stayed with me since; “I don’t mind your antics, I think they are a lot of fun. Being with you makes me feel alive. Getting stuck in that mud reminded me that there is so much more in life than just everyday routine, so it’s okay that we are out late tonight. I had a great time.” It echos in the caverns of my skull “You make me feel alive.” It plays across my face in a soft smile. No one has ever said anything so sweet or meaningful to me like that ever. It caught me totally off guard and everything just paused while I digested those words and I just felt any reservations I might have had, totally melt away. He totally disarmed me and took down my last walls completely.

If I even had anymore doubts of his intentions or feelings after that, they are certainly wiped away now, because this Sunday, he is bringing me home to meet his family. Eeep! I am a teensy bit anxious. I mean, who wouldn’t be, it’s only natural, but since I was raised by wolves, errm…, I mean, my grandparents, older people/parents tend to like me because I know how to mind my p’s and q’s and make a good first impression. I do need to constantly remind myself not to swear in front of them… Again, if you know me IRL, my potty mouth would make a sailor blush. I finally bought myself some new clothes for the first time in 3 years that didn’t come from a thrift  or army/navy surplus store. I actually bought myself a very pretty, stylish and surprisingly flattering cocktail dress. It was marked ninety dollars, but I got it for a song, so I appreciate it even more. I even went to Sephora and bought nail polish to paint my toes to match the hot pink highlights in it. Yes ladies and gentlemen, you heard me correctly. I will be wearing a dress and will have pink toes. Obviously, I am totally head over heels for this guy. I just pray to Zombie Christ that they like me and find my eccentricity charming and endearing as he seems to.

snog.

Neglectful…

So I know I am waaaay behind on my 365 project and just updates in general. Since my phone broke I’ve become pretty disconnected from the internet. Crazy, I know, but it’s kind of nice to be able to drop off the grid for a bit. Also, I’ve been working a lot and that is finally good. When I’m not working I’m usually out causing trouble with Lindsay, Nick or Katie on Cape Cod or up in Boston with Justin. I honestly can’t remember a time when I’ve been happier. I’m with the people I love most and having a ball, I’m finally a productive member of society again, and I’m in a healthy relationship with someone who actually likes me for who I am. It’s like having a giant weight lifted off of my shoulders. 2010 is off to an amazing start and I can’t stop smiling.

So far, So good: 2010 is kicking so much ass!!

So this past summer I celebrated my “Champagne Birthday*” by turning 27 on July 27th. My 27th year started out a little rocky at best, but with the start of this new calender year/decade everything seems to be coming up Milhouse. I start a new job tomorrow, I am in a new romantic relationship (with probably one of the last people I would have ever expected to be with) and I think I’ve really come into my own. I feel like I have finally arrived. I don’t feel like a kid anymore, but one really cool adult. Granted it’s a little late since I’m almost 30 now, but I’ve always been a bit of a late bloomer. I really like who I am. I was always this weird, goofy kid that had too much energy to burn and couldn’t sit still for longer than five minutes. I’ve grown into a weird, goofy adult that wishes that there were more hours in the day to do everything that I want to do and finally learned to take the time to sit back and enjoy 5 minutes without having to move. For the first time in almost a decade I am truly happy. I’ve had some really shitty times, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. All the people I’ve loved and lost, the highs and lows made me what I am today, and for that, I am thankful. I have the best friends and because of them, I can laugh, love and live.

*A person’s Golden or Grand Birthday, more commonly referred to as their “Lucky Birthday”, “Champagne Birthday” or “Star Birthday”, occurs when they turn the age of their birth day (e.g., when someone born on the 25th of the month turns 25). It’s said that this will be the luckiest year of their life.

Breakfast At Tiffany’s

After watching Breakfast At Tiffany’s for what seems to be the first time in 20 years, I have now realized that I have grown up to be (except for being a prostitute) Holly Golightly in the 21 century. So weeeeeiiiirrrrrd!

The similarities are striking! The “Party Girl” lifestyle, the Boysclub, the running away from my past/problems, the orange cat. It’s all there…

Holly Golightly and Cat

Hooligan and I

I think we’re alone now…

So I know I said yesterday was the first day I had spent alone… that was very short-lived. As the snow piled up, the more people showed up at my house for an impromptu snow party. Nick, Katie and I successfully got a fire going, but I don’t know if the flue was fully open since it got pretty smokey up in here. We roasted marshmallows, took photos, danced around and watched movies all night. I successfully killed 3 bottles of red wine in the past two days and now my teeth have a lovely purplish tinge. Eh, it’s nbd really. If anything I would hope it would help the level 5 creeper to keep his distance. I guess, when it rains, it pours… and it’s been raining men! Oh my gosh! It’s been unreal. I’ve met some very nice menfolk recently and I find it all very flattering, but entirely overwhelming. As of the fifth, I will have been single for a year. (okay- so I dated that kid over the spring but he really doesn’t count since I was black out drunk all day everyday from the minute I met him until the day before I dumped him.) I am finally accepting of my solitude and I am actually enjoying being single for the time being. I was practically married for six years, not that I am complaining, but I feel like I missed out on a lot of my 20’s and thats kind of sad. I mean, I did a lot and we had fun, but it was always “Us against the world” and I never did things with my friends unless he was involved on some level. I don’t really know what I’m going to do with this whole “too many dudes up in my mix” scenario, but I do  know that I don’t have to say “Yes” to any of them, which is such a relief. I can’t believe I honestly believed all the crap M had ever said about me being unlovable, etc. I am awesome and pretty darn attractive at 27, FTW! So far, this year has started out on a great note and I have high hopes for it. Come on, 2K10! Don’t let me down!

Okay, I’m going out to go have a snow adventure with Katie.

I will get my year in photos: 2009 edition up… eventually.

I promise.

It's WICKED out there!

This is why I adore being from New England.

Decidedly unholy, it’s… a stroll down memory lane.

So for whatever reason I felt compelled to fire up my old LiveJournal and read some old entries. I mean really old entries. I don’t know why, but I started with December 2004 and worked my way back to my first entry; dated February 27, 2002. It doesn’t seem like it should be all that long ago, but it is. 2009 is already winding to a close. In October of 2002 I discovered this person that would have the largest impact on and be one of the most inconsistently consistent people in my life. He was my boyfriend and best friend on and off for six years and 3 months. His name is Mark. (And yes, I still think he’s hotter than the sun.)

For the first time in our tumultuous history, this year has been the longest we have gone without speaking, seeing or in any way, shape, or form of communicating with each other. Some days, it’s easier than others. There are some days when I wake up crying from having down right bizarre dreams about him. (I honestly think I’ve dreamt  about him more in the past 11 months apart from him than I did in our 6 years together.) I don’t miss having a boyfriend. I could give a crap less about that, but I miss my best friend. I miss the inside jokes and having Mark around. Since August it has gotten a lot easier and  I found that I could start to distance myself from the memories. I’m not mourning a ghost of what once was… it just sucks that I got along so well with him, he was my best friend on earth, and my friends here, my friends everywhere… they just aren’t him.

So I tonight took that stroll down memory lane. It spanned from when I was still dating D to when Mark and I lived on the third floor of Winter St. in the dirty burg. It’s laughable how much has changed since then. I have become a little wiser and hardened and aside from being less witty now but being a better speller, I have pretty much remained the same person. I am still the same little spazz I was 7 years ago, but I did a lot of growing up. He morphed into someone completely different, and I see that the catalyst for that was a series of unfortunate events that happened in early July 2002. I am also only human and we had some serious fights that did lasting damage. He became more distant, less warm and less romantic. As the years progressed he grew mean and his paranoia increased. He just became a world-class pretentious curmudgeon who deconstructs the world around him. Keep in mind, I have never spoken ill about him. Ask anyone, I have consistently defended and at times, made excuses for him and his behavior. I think now, I can honestly say I still don’t feel like I am “talking shit” or “throwing him under the bus”. I am just stating my honest observations and I would (and have) said all of this to his face. Don’t get me wrong, I know I am far from perfect and he is an amazing man and has a lot to offer, but he has a very long road of self discovery and healing to wander down before he will ever reach his full potential. The first and largest obstacle he needs to overcome is his stubbornness, followed closely with forgiveness. That man holds a grudge like you’ve never seen. Once he has learned to forgive himself and others then he can truly move forward to find peace and happiness within himself, and that is all I have ever wanted for him, his happiness. I have to thank him for teaching me so much. He might think I didn’t learn anything from him, but he taught me right from wrong. When he didn’t keep in touch, it taught me to be strong. Just in case you ever thought I would, I wouldn’t change him for the world. He was my hero in disguise. 

Looking back on my very early entries about I can see how easily I fell in love with him. I was young, incredibly naive and had the worst boyfriends all through high school. He was amazingly charming, treated me like gold and every moment with him was a gift. The things he would say and do would make even the meanest, most bitter bitch melt. We had so much in common, even though it might have seemed like at the time we had very little. It has now dawned on me just how far apart we drifted over the years, only I was too blind to see it. I was in love with someone who didn’t exist anymore. Every now and then, a glimmer of the person he once was would shine though and I would fall in love with him all over again. I would never give up hope that things would be like the way they were once in the beginning. Love can be a terrible curse. It can make you overlook even the largest flaws in a person’s behavior. I was 20 when we began dating. I am now 27. It all seems like a lifetime ago. As passionate as we loved each other, we fought just a fiercely. I suppose our relationship was like Romeo and Juliet’s, we were never meant to be, which is a total bummer.

I have never had so much fun with one person in my entire life and his absence sticks out like a sore thumb in my life, but it’s for the best. If we had stayed together, he would never grow into the man that he needs to become. I would continue to be an enabler, doing everything for him while putting my own needs and goals on the permanent back burner. I know what I lost, I dont think he’ll ever understand that. I know that what we had, when we were at our best… no one else, on earth, anywhere, will ever top. ever. I have come a long way from being that little, scrawny, geeky spazz. This year alone has been momentous with my own self discovery. I never would have dreamed that I am as strong as I actually am, as well as patient and selfless. I have reached the point of no return. Do I still miss him? You bet! Do I still love him? I will always hold a special place in my heart for him, but it will always come with sadness and a sense of loss. Have I fully moved on? No way. Do I think it’s possible to do so? Not on your life, but I think I have come as far as I ever will. It’s impossible to replace a best friend. I still feel like a big part of my life, a big piece of me, is with him.
I will continue to work on myself as much as I can and will go wherever life takes me. Hopefully, I will find happiness on the journey.

He really did get the best of me. He may be the only one to ever get that close. Who knows… 

I took a gamble with love. I went all in and lost big, but I learned so much from all of it, I almost feel like I broke even… almost. 

I have 1000 reasons to hate, but I think thats bullshit. You dont love someone, more than anything on earth, for any long period of time, then just hate them because of a much shorter shitty period of time… or at least, that never made sense to me. I guess for me, looking back with positivity in my heart helps me move forward with the same.