A Personal Story

Submitted: Mar 13, 2002

Shared By: Ali
Age: 18
Weight: 155
Height: 5'7"
Do you smoke tobacco? YES

Did you have a pregnancy test? YES
When was it taken? 2/20 3/4
What was the result.First - Negative, 2nd test was Positive
(Perhaps not enough hormones in my body by the 20th.. I *know* I became pregnant on 2/15)

How was the pregnancy ended? Clinical Abortion
Were you successful in using the herbs? NO

Would you try herbs again, or recommend them to a friend in the same situation?
I would recommend a herbal approach, but perhaps a little more research/studious ingestion. I missed times frequently.

Is this your first pregnancy? YES

What was the date of the first day of your last menstrual period? 1/20
Do you know the date of fertilizing intercourse? What was it? 2/15
What was the date you were expecting menstruation? 2/20

How long do your cycles usually run? does it vary? More or less regularly around the middle of the month, recently comes a few days later than the last month, probably because of move back into dorms and the phenomenon of women who live together having similar cycles

Do you cycle regularly or irregularly? Somewhat regular

What was the date when the herbs were started? 3/5
How many weeks pregnant were you when the herbs were started? 4

For how many days were the herbs used (total)?
4 days with dong Quai, vitamin c, black cohosh 3 days with pennyroyal/tansy/blue cohosh tea (perhaps switch had adverse affects)

What was the date the pregnancy was terminated? 3/13

Were you using birth control? usually condoms, irresponsibility led to fallback on withdrawal technique
Do you know how/why it failed? withdrawal doesn't work
If you were not using birth control, please share why not. Forgot condoms on a weekend vacation, lapsed into "nothing will happen to me" mentality and decided withdrawal would be OK

Did you experience any symptoms or signs of pregnancy? by the 20th I was peeing very frequently, (not sure if this is a pregnancy, but whenever I thought about it, I just knew that I was pregnant) I denied it for a while until my breasts were very sore and grew a cup size)

Please include a summary of dosage information.
On the 5th I began Vitamin C supplements, 1000 mg every 1-2 hours, with 3000 in the morning and before bed (I didn't get up through the night), on the 6th I started drinking warm water with 15-25 drops of dong Quai tincture every 4 hours in addition to the vitamin C but still didn't get up through the night. on the 7th I added 2 540 mg black cohosh capsules every 4 hours. These continued until the evening of Saturday the 9th when I began to feel more desperate and decided to drink a steaming cup of emmenagogue brew' (recipe on website) every 4 hours. wasn't sure if this was the right recipe to use, but decided that pennyroyal in any form would be hopeful. I continued this for 2 days, until the 12th before my abortion appointment when I gave up.

Through it all I tried to remain as respectful and mindful of my body through mediation, but unfortunately alot of the time I used drugs to escape my reality. smoked marijuana regularly, increased cigarette smoking to almost a pack every 2 days (ugh.. I quit now), did coke, drank and partied, at the beginning tried pressure technique for 36 hours but got frustrated about how it made me feel mentally (almost like I was suffocating my uterus)

Useful information includes for each herb used:
Vitamin C 1000 mg capsule every 1-2 hours, 3000 at bed and wake up. used from 3/5 to 3/10. slight stomach upset, agitated or jittery feelings.
Dong Quai tincture 15-25 drops in warm water every 4 hours, didn't wake up at night (just skipped supplements). used from 3/6 to 3/10.
Black Cohosh 540 mg capsules, two every 4 hours, didn't wake up during night. used from 3/7 to 3/10
Pennyroyal (3 TBS.), Blue Cohosh (2 TBS.), Tansy (2 TBSP) tea from dried herbs every four hours warm from 3/10 to 3/12. woke up at night when possible. made my stomach ache, slight cramps, general dizzy/spacy feeling.

other comments: having issues with hair falling out now
How did the herbs affect you? Spacy feelings, some stomach aches, some jittery/agitated feelings. Hair falling out.
Any positive effects? Not really
Where there any negative effects? Didn't work. Hair falling out.
Do you have any health problems or issues? No

How did being pregnant make you feel physically? My breasts hurt more, I ate more but maybe that's just me seeking support in food, I was much more emotionally unstable, sometimes weakness/diziness. I felt PREGNANT.

I thought maybe the herbs were working when I began getting cramps more frequently, but unfortunately I was wrong. Maybe it was in my head?

The clinical abortion is a process I never want to experience again. I kept just repeating to myself how exactly stupid I was to even get myself into this situation, fooling with something so much bigger than me: life. It felt like a bad teen movie, and I disrespected the new life within me, and my body. I regret that now. I wish I had approached it with a sounder mind, but right now in my life I feel very unstable spiritually and emotionally. I am still seeking my womanhood. Dealing with something so large really was a wake up call, but an experience that I cannot say "was for the best" in any way. It was a lesson I didn't want to learn because the cost was too high. The clinical abortion this morning was absolutely a violation on my body. It was painful and scary, but somehow I maintained an upbeat attitude through it all. Perhaps the only way I can deal with life's problems is with a sunny attitude, and so I put one on any situation I can.

The issue with this is my denial of it all. I survived, however, with intense support from my friends, and music. I am now searching to find meaning behind it, responsibility, and forgiveness. I have sought wisdom from my friends as counseling. I was saving myself for marriage before this year, because of my fear of pregnancy, but when I was in 'love' and partying in college, I lost that fear with protected me and absorbed the 'it cant happen to me' mentality; a mentality that never can resolve well. Perhaps this was just a catharsis to clean up my act and my self-abuse, and I'm hoping I can treat it as such. The price, however, was overwhelming.

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