A Personal Story

Submitted: Jan 6, 2000

Shared By: Ammy
Success: Yes
Pregnancy test: Positive
Success: Yes
Weight: 145 pounds.

What was the date of the first day of your last menstrual period? Uncertain.
Do you know the date of fertilizing intercourse? What was it? Very likely Monday, October 11th, 1999, 2 days after our handfasting.
What was the date you were expecting menstruation? October 23rd
When were the herbs started? November 1st

Did you have a pregnancy test? What was the result? and when was it taken? Yes. I tested positive at home on Wednesday October 27th, then confirmed it at Choice Medical Group on Thursday the 28th. Nothing was visible on the sonogram at that point though.

Is there anything you would have done differently? Iím guessing you mean regarding the actual abortion. Obvious things to do differently would be to get a sperm count to confirm the failure of Rickís vasectomy. I think I wouldíve told less people what as going on. I think I will always keep my health insurance paid for no matter what from now on. For the actual treatment, Iím not sure. Iím just still surprised at how easily it worked.


My life seemed to fall apart right after my handfasting to Rick. Perhaps the gods were testing our commitment. On Saturday, I was due to start my period, but we were moving and life had been exceptionally stressful (new job, moving to a new city, not having a place to move to, having my cell phone stolen, etc.) so I didnít think too much of it. Saturday night, I spent about two hours throwing up in the bathroom. When I finally let Rick call my mother to ask for advice, she asked if I was pregnant, but we both laughed and said that that wasnít possible. Rick had a vasectomy seven months earlier since we knew we didnít want kids. By Wednesday, I was starting to get pretty nervous about not having started my period. My breasts felt like overfilled water balloons about to burst. I had been nauseous for a week. We bought a pregnancy test that night. I warned Rick that if this came out positive, I was going to completely freak out. It came out faintly positive, but I wasnít completely convinced. The next day I went to a clinic after work and had a test done. It came out quite positive. I freaked out. Iíve never cried with such force in my life. When my life gets screwed up, I tend to do research to find out how to fix it. I scheduled myself for two different abortions on Thursday, November 11th Ė a standard surgical abortion with general anesthesia and a clinical trial of RU-486 in San Francisco. Both options wouldíve cost around $600, money which I didnít have.

Luckily I found this website and decided to try the vitamin C. I bought a big bottle of 500mg ascorbic acid tablets at Safeway on Monday night and started taking it one tablet per hour, except that I forgot to wake up in the middle of the night the first night. On Tuesday morning when I brushed my teeth, my gums bled. Still, I took one tablet every hour all day Tuesday, occasionally taking two in desperation.

By Tuesday night, I felt pretty ill. The nausea Iíd been feeling all week was getting much worse. I had mild diarrhea and some fairly strong cramps. I didnít know if it was my reproductive or my digestive system, but either way, it hurt. I kept taking the C anyway. At about 1 a.m. after tossing and turning for three hours, I made Rick get up and go for a walk with me. We tromped round an old orchard and past a pond and then headed back to our friendís house (since we still had no place of our own).

I still felt quite ill all night and decided I should stop the vitamin C because I was worried about how bad I felt. When my alarm went off the next morning, I tried to get up but the cramps were sharp and had me doubled over. I used a heating pad on my stomach for a few minutes and forced myself out of bed. I went to work and felt wretched. At about 9 a.m., I went to the bathroom. To my shock and amazement, I was bleeding. I jumped up and down a few times in the stall and then headed back to my desk and paged Rick repeatedly. When he called, I quietly mumbled that it was working. He seemed really worried and wanted me to come home or wanted to bring me something. I said that I would just go get pads and a Jamba Juice at lunch and that Iíd call him if it got too bad.

After work I called Choice and Planned Parenthood and got several panicky responses about coming to the emergency room immediately, but Planned Parenthood also referred me to an advice nurse at the local hospital. Grumpy as she was, she dismissed my being in any particular danger. She said if I came to the emergency room Iíd just have to wait a long time until they helped people who were really sick or hurt. If I started bleeding profusely or running a fever, then come in, otherwise itís probably just a late period and I shouldnít worry about it because I probably wasnít really pregnant. Somewhat relieved, I reported this to Rick and relieved some of his anxiety.

That night as I was getting out of the shower, I noticed a pinky finger sized purplish sac that had fallen. After inspection, I wrapped it in tissue and flushed it away. Throughout the night and the next two days I bled, sometimes heavily, but never profusely. I changed pads about once every two hours and looked closely at what was being left. There were definitely some yellowish branchy things that generally wiped away on the toilet paper.

Physically, I felt like bad cramps plus someone pulling on my uterus trying to yank it out of me bodily. I felt shaky (almost jittery), but not light headed. I could only stand for about five minutes without experiencing violent cramps. As long as I was sitting or lying down, I felt mostly okay. On Friday morning the bleeding was slowing considerably, so I started taking vitamin C again, worried about an incomplete abortion. On Saturday morning, I went to the Whole Foods Market and bought a tincture of blue and black cohosh. I also went next door to Longs and bought a Confirm pregnancy test.

Later that evening, I had Lemon Zinger tea with the tincture in it. I took the pregnancy test just before bed and it came back negative. Rick and I slept well for the first time in weeks. Iím still not completely sure that I believe it, but Iíve stopped bleeding and I can eat again (which constant nausea prevented during the pregnancy). When I became pregnant I found out just how many of my friends had had abortions. No one had had a pleasant clinical experience. On the other hand, I came away from this feeling like I had some control over my own body and that I was not merely subject to the whims and politics of medical science. Iím more pro-choice than ever and I actually feel good about this experience. It brought forward some issues between Rick and I and we were able to deal with them even under the most stressful of circumstances. For me, this has been an ugly, but ultimately positive experience.

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