A Letter to the Girl Who’s Considering an Abortion

Hi Sweet Girl,

I don’t need to know your name or look into your eyes, and I don’t need to have been where you find yourself tonight to know that you’re terrified and in pain. If you find yourself in the greeting of this letter, then all I know about you is that you’re pregnant and you have a choice to make… and I know what your choices are.

This isn’t a letter that will talk politics or preach Bible verses or tell you you’re killing your baby or beg you to choose adoption or tell you you’re an awful person for even considering something like abortion.  All of that is about the baby you’re carrying.

This is about you.

It’s not a letter for comments and likes. It’s about you.

My name is Lindsay. My husband and I have always wanted kids and we spent the first year of our marriage trying to build our family the ‘normal’ way, we had sex. After a year of having sex, just the two of us, we called in back-up. After a year of having sex under the careful instruction of a fertility specialist, as a three-some, we went back to having sex, just the two of us. We also filled out our first adoption application. 11 weeks later, we brought home our precious baby girl through an open adoption. My cycles grew more and more painful over the next year and we discovered that I had mild endometriosis – maybe the reason we never conceived, probably not. Our specialist suggested trying again to get pregnant because a pregnancy will wipe out endo. So we did, and we quickly became a two-some again. 2 years later we brought home our precious baby-boy through an open adoption.

17 months later we got pregnant. Just like that, and probably like you did; we had sex and got pregnant.

10 weeks later, I miscarried.

And that was 5 weeks ago.

I have no business talking to YOU about the decision you’re facing tonight. I’ve never faced an unwanted pregnancy. I’ll never have to choose between parenting or abortion or placing my baby for adoption.

But, I was pregnant once and I figure that’s all it takes for you and me to have something in common.

Whether or not I agree with abortion doesn’t matter. I lost my baby. Choose abortion? You will, too.

So here we are, standing on different sides of the same ‘procedure’. And that’s where you come in.

My husband and I had just come from the ultra-sound that showed that our baby’s heart had stopped beating. We were broken, devastated.

The doctor walked in to discuss our ‘options’ with us. We liked him. We could tell that this was the worst part of his job, but it was also a very ‘normal’ part of his job.

“I can give you a pill to take. The pill will cause your body to finish what has already started and will force miscarriage. Or you can go home and let your body figure it out on its own. It might take a few days but it could take a few weeks. You’ll feel strong cramps that are actually contractions. Some women feel more comfortable letting their bodies miscarry naturally.

I had already been bleeding and cramping for almost 2 weeks. Our baby had held on until the very last couple of days and waiting for the inevitable was torture. The physical pain was getting unbearable, as well. I knew my body wasn’t going to handle ‘natural’ very well, emotionally or physically.

“We can also do a D&C — Dilation & Curettage. It’s the same procedure as an abortion, except we’ll give you medicine so you don’t know what’s happening during the procedure. Women do it every day without medicine when they have an abortion. We’ll dilate your cervix by inserting various size rods. I’ll use a scalpel to scrape out the content of the uterus (to scrape out our baby). If I need to, I’ll use a vacuum to suction out larger pieces of tissue (which would be my baby’s body and placenta). When the procedure is done, you’ll have a normal period for about a week. You’ll feel very normal the next day and this will all be over with. You can consider trying to get pregnant again after 2 menstrual cycles, if you want to.”

Here’s where I find my place in writing to you my doctor compared my ‘procedure’ to an abortion, and I’m taking that as permission to do the same.

I had my D&C the next day, and it was nothing like he explained.

Waiting in pre-op before surgery wasn’t ‘normal’. No one treated me like I was ‘normal’. I didn’t feel judged, I felt pitied. I didn’t make the choice to lose my baby, but I still couldn’t look one person in the eye. I couldn’t stand to see their questions. The anesthesiologist asked me if I was ok. “No”, I said. He finished his paperwork and left.

I glanced over at my chart, looking for some written sign to every eye who read it that I had miscarried, that this wasn’t an abortion.


That’s it.

So I imagine if it’s you sitting in that post-op room, our charts would be identical.

They didn’t know my story. They won’t know your’s. Maybe that will make it easier for you, but I doubt it.

The medicine worked right away. I remember kissing my husband, we were both crying. I fell asleep with tears running down my face.

I woke up to a nurse trying to help me put in a sanitary pad for the bleeding. I guess doctors don’t do that after they take your baby out. I remember how terrified I was to pee afterwards but they wouldn’t let me go home until I had.

The rest of the day was a blur. I ate, I slept, and woke up the next morning anything but ‘normal’.

I expected to bleed and I did, but it wasn’t a ‘normal’ period, like my doctor had said it would be. My baby had just been scraped out of my body.

THAT’S why I was bleeding.

My stomach was crampy, but not because of my ‘normal’ period. My cervix had been stretched open with a rod so my baby could be vacuumed out.

My boobs still hurt, I still felt nauseous, smells bothered me for days, I was exhausted.  Pregnancy tests still detected my baby but really, they only detected parts of him/her.

The other parts? My body spent weeks trying to clean out the rest of it–of him or her. Three weeks, to be exact. I called my doctor to ask if that much bleeding, if all of the clots and clumps were ‘normal.’ “We try our best to get everything out during the ‘procedure’ but it’s inevitable that we’ll miss tissue,” he said. “It may take a while for your body to get rid of what we missed.” Something I wish he had included in his explanation of ‘normal’.

I want to share this with you because even though I didn’t make this choice, I wish so badly that someone had been able to prepare me for what would follow a ‘procedure’ that was so simply explained in words.  My baby was already gone, but the pain I have felt every day for the past few weeks as I’ve faced one of the worst experiences of my life is indescribable.

I don’t wish that… this…on anyone, whether they choose it or not.

You? You have this choice. I don’t know what you’ll choose in the end. It’s not up to me and it’s not my business. But I want so badly for you to know, and I want you to know before.

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