A Personal Story

Submitted 1/11/99

(NAME) Clare
(rate) It was personally empowering.
(success) Yes
(weight) 175
(pregnancy_test) Yes

My period was due December 27, 1998. My last period was November 29, 1998 [Day 1 begins with menstruation]. I had unprotected intercourse on December 12th [Day 14] and felt myself ovulate immediately. I was having all of the symptoms of pregnancy (by Dec. 18th!!! [Day 20]) - sore breasts, major acne breakouts, queasiness, constipation and a weird heart thing which my friend explained to me (PVD?) as something 30% of pregnant women get. I did buy a pregnancy test and used it December 20th knowing full well it was too early, but giving myself some satisfaction (delusion) in seeing it come out negative.

On December 23rd [Day 25] I spoke with my friend again and she suggested trying Vitamin C (she has a fertility book - not R. Chalker's) which spurred me to find your website to get more information. I then ran out and bought a bottle of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 500 mg tablets - NO BIOFLAVINOIDS!! That same day I took 5 tabs at 3pm and 5 more at 8pm (total 5 grams for the day). I noticed an immediate reduction in queasiness. Thursday, Christmas Eve I took 5 tablets each at 9am, 12pm, 4pm and 8pm (10 grams). I thought it might be a little easier on my stomach to take a smaller dose closer together (and always with food) so on Friday and Saturday I took 3 tablets at 9am, 3 at 11am, 3 at 1pm, 2 at 3pm, 3 at 5pm, 3 at 7pm and finally 3 at 9pm (20 tablets total - 10 grams). On Friday, I did have a major blaring headache (very PMSy), but that was about the only side effect that I experienced.

Saturday, December 26th [Day 28] in the evening as I was sitting relaxing, I felt very strange and had a sharp pang in my lower back and then right under my ribs. I got very sweaty and shaky - a combination of the emotional and the physical and sure enough - it worked. I did cry a bit (a mixture of sadness and relief) and my period was more clotty/painful than usual.

If it didn't happen to me, I wouldn't have believed it. I have had two abortions in the past and when I think of what I went through compared to this, I become very angry. How it is that Planned Parenthood does not dispense this information? What I find suspicious is that the Vitamin C I purchased only ran $6 and PP's procedures cost $275 (without anesthesia) and this amount does not include follow up care. It is also interesting to note how much easier the process is on the body - safer and less invasive. Additionally, I did try EC's (emergency contraceptives) one time and felt like hell for seven weeks afterward. So what's up?

While it may sound like I am "ripping" on Planned Parenthood or placing them in the scapegoat position because of some of my poor choices, it is really some of the technicians' judgmental behavior that troubles me the most. It is very hard to be so vulnerable and explain very complicated personal issues in 5 minutes and be understood. My deepest gratitude in this situation is that I have been spared the humiliation of having to go there and see the reaction/hear the tone as they read my file.

    Note: I counted the days in Clare's cycle to illustrate how the menstrual cycle should be charted. The first day menstruation begins is Day 1. Ovulation, for someone who has a 28-29 day cycle like Clare, will occur around the 14th or 15th Day of the cycle. When bleeding begins again, that cycle comes to a close, the first day of bleeding is the final day of that cycle and also the first day of the new cycle. Clare's last day of her cycle was Day 28, which is also Day 1 of this months cycle. I hope this example helps everyone to understand how to chart their own cycle. Please write me if you have any questions.

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