A Personal Story

Submitted Oct 17, 1998

(NAME) Fiona
(rate) empowering
(success) yes
(pregnancy_test) y
I was 38 and had 3 children, 11, 14, 16 and found I was pregnant. I am very aware of my body signals and about 1 week before my period was due I noticed itchy breasts. Not sore as usual during early pregnancy but itchy. My periods had always been 28 days apart and so on day 29 I had a big ? when I didn't yet have my period. the next day I went and purchased a home PG test and it tested positive.

After many tears throughout the day (husband at work and I hadn't told him anyway) I called and made an appointment for an abortion. It was 2 weeks away yet so I got a book about herbs (I hadn't heard of herbal abortion really, but was just curious) I saw that pennyroyal had been used by Native Americans to end pregnancy. and I had some in my garden to use a bug repellent. I must make some references here to some other circumstances that may not sound very conventional but they are part of who I am.

My brother and his wife had been trying to have a child and she had 2 miscarriages. I felt so angry that this was me that was pregnant and not them, I felt it was very unfair and I was in quite a state. I never wanted to have to make a choice like this. I wanted to send this pregnancy to my sister-in-law, I always felt like it was supposed to be her pregnancy.

That evening, when my husband came home I continued to cry as I told him the news. He agreed that an abortion would be best, said it was my choice and he would stand by me no matter what. When all were in bed, I went to my herb garden and by the light of the moon I cut some pennyroyal and made a strong cup of tea. the next morning I made another cup of tea and spent the day meditating and visualizing my body having its period. In the afternoon, I drank a hot cup of tea that I made of fresh ginger root and brewers yeast and in the evening another weak cup of pennyroyal tea.

After reading the precautions in the book about pennyroyal, I began to become afraid that I would hurt myself so I discontinued it. I also had to contact my family physician to get an antibiotic pre-op since I have a slight heart murmur, and should I go ahead with my abortion plans, I would need it. This is a small town and I didn't feel safe contacting him but did so nevertheless. Every evening, I visualized this fetus going to my sister-in-law and during the week I visualized twice a day, at least.

I began to develop a kind of relationship with the pregnancy. I decided not to have a clinical abortion and canceled it and told my husband that I guess we would just have another baby, yet every night I tried to say goodbye to it. At the end of the week, I was feeling really aware of it and took a walk in the woods to be alone. When I returned home, my family was asleep and I went to the garden and cut some more pennyroyal leaves and made a cup of tea. I went to bed and awakened from a "dream" that I almost heard aloud, but within. It said goodbye and thank you, it would be going now to my brother. As the next day began, I suddenly didn't "feel" pregnant. I was just suddenly aware of an emptiness and my breasts felt limp and were no longer itchy. Later in the day I began to spot. I went to the Dr. and he said not to worry that he had seen worse spotting than that. I went to my son's ball game, and then that evening I began passing clots. I went back to the Dr. and had a miscarriage confirmed. I was feeling very low and think my hormones were really playing a big part. I missed being pregnant, yet I knew I didn't want to be.

Two days later I called my sister-in-law to ask her how she felt after a miscarriage. (I didn't mention that I had taken herbs for abortion, she has VERY strong feelings). She told me it was too bad that I had a miscarriage because she had just found out that she was pregnant-quite by surprise. As it turns out, her due date was 10 days later than mine would have been.

I have learned a lot since then, and am so happy to see this site. I have kind of made it a mission of mine to find information for other women and although I had no clear-cut idea of what I was doing with the herbs, I think I trusted myself enough to give it a go. However, please don't discount the power of meditation and visualization I used in this process. It helped me make this a sacred experience and also to help myself and a fetus let go without feelings of hatred or guilt. A positive experience all in all. I felt the fetus wanted released as much as I wanted to release it.

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