To cope with the range of emotions that our patients undergo after the procedure (Medical Abortion with Abortion Pills Mifepristone and Misoprostol or Cytotec) , we encourage them to make a reflection about their experience and share them with us and the world ( their personal data kept confidential). A “reflection” will help them unload much of that emotional baggage. This activity will surely benefit them a lot as they embark on the road to a full recovery and to a new beginning. The story submitted are published as they are — no revisions, no corrections (typo and all) except for some words or phrases that may compromise the patient’s privacy . Here’s one reflection from Nonie, a 24 year-old former flight stewardess/cabin crew and world traveler from Quirino, Philippines .
We always practice maximum restraint in publishing pictures of POC’s (Products of Conception) from our patients even if consent is given. The default position is not to publish any pictures at all. However in this case and possibly more in the future, the decision to release the photos online is more for the benefit of women contemplating such a life-changing decision. It is best to do the procedure in the first first 4-7 weeks of pregnancy for lesser emotional and physical strain on the patient. We asked for the consent of the patient and she gave us the nod. UNLESS CONSENT/PERMISSION IS GIVEN, WE DON’T RELEASE ANY PHOTOS from our patients.
I cannot thank you enough for what your movement has given me.
I HAVE BEEN GIVEN A SECOND CHANCE AT LIFE.
I am still in my recovery at four days after the procedure. Still bleeding and cramping sometimes but I notice the blood getting less and less. My medical abortion is both a success and a relief. I am not proud of what I’ve done but I am glad that there is such a thing as PRJCT486 in a closed minded country such as ours. Here’s my story, and I encourage you miss, read on… before you make that choice.
- Sept 24, PT positive.
I couldn’t believe it so I did the test more than 3 times. People get emotional and throw financial carefulness to the wind I guess. Now computing I spent more than 500php for all the PT tests.
The test gradually became clearer from rosy pink color to distinct unforgivingly darker lines. My fate was becoming clearer and clearer. But wait, was this my fate?
I was just starting my life again from scratch after resigning from my dream job. A cabin crew. I was so burned out and depressed everyday working in that time of my life that I realized, it was not my dream job after all. So many of my friends, batch mates and family were putting me down for giving up the best job in the world which apparently IS WHAT ALL GIRLS DREAM OF, TO BECOME A FLIGHT STEWARDESS/ CABIN CREW. But to tell you honestly, I discovered it was not my dream after all. Working there, with your life in the hands of the “schedulers”, waking up at impossible times of the day to put on annoyingly thick layers of make-up and look presentable, be at your best when you feel all grumpy inside. Then staying in an iron tube 30k+ altitude in the air looking at the sights from small windows and just wishing you could really explore it, and not just gaze at it all like a locked up money looking through a hole. Then finally going out of the plane. You might wonder why those cabin crew have that winsome smile and blooming look on their face? Ha! That’s because they finally got out of the cage to explore, even for a short while. I know some women out there would still say different but to me, this was not my life, this is not me. What do you do when you find out your dream job was not your dream job after all?
I made up my mind. I quit that job and got all my savings, travelled the world in 8 months. Just got lost and made my own blog, did yoga, meditation, jumped off cliffs, explored canyons and caves, temples and walls and such other stuff which I’ve been itching to try for myself.
I finally got tired of travelling and came back home. Nothing beats home. Especially the weather I grew up in. Broke and tired from travelling alone and having had to guard my own back while in all the dangers for a single girl alone out there, I settled my mind to go home and start anew. Find my own path again. Do what I want to do and do things in my own way.
Home was not as welcoming as I’d imagined. But it was still a comfort to finally go to a restaurant, and understand what people sitting behind you are saying. My siblings all have their own careers, and friends have their careers and lives to live too. I felt stuck. But still I trudged on. One of the main deciding factors of my staying here again in the Philippines was my dad asking me to come home from all those travelling and stop being lost. There is much to gain and do in life in our own country, and he promised he will come back home also so I should also come home. Yes, I adore my dad like the super daddy’s girl I am.
Still, home was not as before, we’re not kids anymore. And I hated living with my brother and his live in partner. On what sparse money I have, I went and got my own rented apartment, and got employed in the government while doing different stuffs on the side.
I got the know this guy who went head over heels for me. He’s not Filipino so he had to travel back to his country and stay in the big city because that is where he is based in. Six years older than me, I thought he had his shit together. I went and quit my job just to have more time for him when he came to visit me. My dad did not approve of this but hey, I was in love and I had faith we could still make ends meet. I went all out for this guy, the sad thing is, he does not like wearing protection. And he was pretty sure I was the one so why would he try and be cautious around his future wife. He really wanted to set up his life here with me, but I had no idea how we could start. I was still partially hanging on to the hopes of going out abroad. Nothing compares to how much you receive abroad with what you receive here in our country. Sad to say starting out here is even harder than it is abroad. Home is still home. But it’s damn hard to try and earn a living here when you’ve experienced how easy and higher the pay is out there.
So anyway, I thought I played my cards right. So when I finally got all the courage to tell him I was pregnant, I called him after his crucial management meeting. We video called, I showed him the tests, and behold! He was smiling like a kid. So happy was his face. I told him, you need to start saving. Let’s create a baby fund. After a while, it got quiet. And awkward. I don’t know how it came out or what we were talking about but he went on to say, “first thing you should know about me is, I’m broke, and I’m poor.” Then he went on to tell me about his failed business ventures and how the bank in his country is looking for him every month and how he needed this job that keeps him away from his country so he could keep bank account abroad and the bank won’t get his money from all the loans he made from his business ventures before.
I can’t tell you how I fell the earth crumble at my feet and I felt like I was slowly being buried under the earth. In tagalog we can say, “unti unting gumuho ang mundo ko”.
That’s when I made up my mind. I cannot bring into this world an innocent little thing where I still do not know where I stand, what I’m doing and where I’m going. Selfish may be the term but I cannot feed a baby on dreams or more suffering. I took hold of my senses and oriented myself that this is the right way to go. Imagining where I would take this pregnancy with the state I am in and how everyone around me was watching my every move from having been a top achiever as a child, starting out early in my career, having reached my dream job and travelling goals, and finally coming back home. In the outside, or for the common outsider, it looked like I had everything together, a young lady, having had the world open up to her so easily.
No. Deep inside I was depressed, beating up myself for having no direction in life. No disposition. What have I done wrong? I did everything as they expected. Followed all the rules, achieved the success they dreamed of, yet here I am, miserable. Why? How could I subject another human being to all these things when I haven’t even figured it out for my own self? I was seething in anguish.
I might be selfish that I decided this on my own but I couldn’t tell the man I love about all this. Not yet. After seeing his face light up upon knowing, how will he accept what I’m about to do and my reasons behind it. He would not only see it as an insult to his capacity in bringing food on the table or providing for his family but I believe he would feel emasculated. On top of all that, he was also trying to climb his way up from all his debts with a mother who’s sick with breast cancer and having to undergo chemo every few weeks.
Yeah, fucked up this situation was. Or still is. I still feel like a mess.
Anyway, short recap:
- August 23, first day of LMP
- September 18, (last contact without condom)
- September 24, PT positive
- September 25, OB check up, I complained of cramps and constant pain at my lower back. Dr. said might be ectopic, get an ultrasound (have not taken anything in to harm d baby). She, the Doctor said I am on 4-5weeks into pregnancy. She prescribed folic acid for baby brain development and another medicine which is supposed to make the fetus hang in there tighter. “PAMPAKAPIT”.
- September 26, Ultrasound results NO SIGN OF GESTATIONAL SAC, enlarged endometrium. Ultrasound Dr. Says on 5 weeks pregnancy there should already be a gestational sac. I asked about the enlarged endometrium at 3.2mm, he said it might have been an unsuccessful abortion or miscarriage. I felt insulted by this, I have not taken in anything but that doctor was already assuming.
That night I went on the internet and found out about herbal abortion. The reviews, replies and success stories on it were encouraging.
- September 27-29, started on the herbal abortion procedures:
2days & a half vit c + parsely infusion. Parsley inserts on and off.
1 whole day and a half of 1000mg capsule dong quai (bought this online too)
- i’ve read and estimated that from the other emails on the blog of the sisters that it is around 4 days on average before they finally bled
- September 30, a bit of spotting and cramping but nothing else.
- October 1, emailed the blogger about my slow progress on the herbal abortion and she suggested on PLAN B: contacting PROJECT 486. Found out about medical abortion. I emailed them that night. Got in touch with Mr. Alex.
- October 2, talked to Mr. John. And how the process is via call. It was a relief to have someone who knows his stuff and talked professionally about what can be done and how the process is.
- October 3, deposited to BDO for the meds.
- October 4, got the meds in the afternoon
- October 5, DAY 1 MIFE. *had greenish discharge that day. Might be a sign of infection. 2 months ago I found out I had
herpes and yeast infection. Still taking meds on and
- off for this but sir john says the antivirals won’t interfere with the abortion meds. Just to be safe, I didn’t take anything else but the meds I got from project 486 anyway
- October 6, DAY 2, LOW FOLIC DIET. My last meal was still at 3pm that day. So I was a bit cranky and irritably texting sir John if I could get a much. He said I could but we’d have to postpone the procedure and hour. I said no, I tolerate it. Let’s get on with the process. I’ve already started this. I can’t give in to my own silly impetuous hunger. I also went and renewed my passport earlier that day. ===
- October 7, DAY 3, MISO DAY. Sir john instructed me about the pillow procedure, and the insertion of the tablets into my V. I somehow lost the first tablet in there. But I couldn’t find it anymore. I made sure that nothing fell tho. So I was pretty sure it was in there… somewhere…
I was actually complaining to my bf about the pain and the cramping last night. I emotionally caved. I called him up and was crying on the phone as I told him I was bleeding. So much. He sent one of my friends to come check on me. Luckily I closed my room and kept her out. Told her to go and I didn’t want to go to the hospital, because it’s already useless. (they didn’t know I set this up on my own self).
At 2 pm, when I was finally allowed to stand, I came out of my room to find my friend
still in my living room. Waiting for me. I went to the toilet because I felt like defecating so much and let out the bad stuff from behind. I did this in a pail and not in the toilet bowl as Sir John advised. I saw a clump of tissue together with the blood clots. I picked it up and washed some of the blood away. It looked so small and formless but it smelled fishy.
I felt cold. I did as instructed. Took a picture of the POCS on a tissue beside a coin with the PRJCT code written there too. It looked like this:
In the end, I got my friend to go as I ignored her and came out from the bathroom after a long time of staring at the POCS and went directly to sleep.
Later, I asked sir john why the POCS were so small for mine yet I took a look at the POCS of the other ladies in the 486 blog and theirs where bigger or more. Sir john reassured me and later got back to me to ask the last of when I think it was conceived.
This was what I was wondering about because they said 5 weeks yet from what I know from last contact (September 18) would have only been on October 1-7, turns out to 2-3 weeks gestation only. That evening, when I told this to sir John, they figured the same and confirmed that I was NOT OFFICIALLY PREGNANT ANYMORE.
- October 8, REST DAY. Sunday My boyfriend came this day, and we went out to eat all the food I was craving, like the mango pizza, Japanese rice and California Maki, waffle sandwich with chocolate and banana filling.
Because of so much worry, he wanted me to go for a check-up. So I acquiesced. It was Sunday and all private clinics were closed. So we had no choice but go to the GH. The doctor there was young and had an annoyingly assuming face asking if im sure that I did not take in anything. She called up her superior in front of me and asked what to do because I was apparently “denying” that I took in any meds. They took my urine sample and then she examined me on the table. She had cold hands and once again bullied me into admitting. Then she went on to say that they had a patient who died because she denied of having taken anything for abortion. I just said I didn’t want to have a raspa because I don’t want a my uterus scared which would hurt my chances of pregnancy later on. Then she asked why I was not scared and did not go to the hospital when I saw blood, that means I actually did take in something. I just said no. because I know already that what came out was what it was and there was no way to save it. She made me sign a waiver and let me go without any meds.
It was a horrendous experience, quite depressing and I was impossibly annoyed by that female young doctor. However, going to the hospital got the effect I wanted for my boyfriend. He seemed less worried because at least I got checked. I just told him I was advised to get an ultrasound asap(which I will do in a few more days to a week after im all cleared up but not now yet). If I get the ultrasound and the shedding looks thin, as that fugly annoying faced doctor said, we could do it by meds and raspa wont be needed. But she said its highly recommended I still do the raspa because she still got some of the placenta when she got her finger out of my V. And so if the shedding I thick, we will HAVE to go into raspa.
After the hospital, we went to the church, lighted candles and prayed for a few.
That night, my boyfriend left to go back because he had to work that Monday. Again I was left alone with my summersaulting emotions and depression.
- October 13, TO DATE. Friday. It is now 3.30pm as I am writing this. The bleeding has slowed significantly but I was quite moody and was always trying to bring up a fight with my sweetheart for the past few days. I’ve done Zumba last Wednesday 11th of this month and did some belly dancing yesterday too. I’ve tried to slow down but my lifestyle I’ve set for myself has me working out MWF and my friends looking for me. I can’t be gone too long. I still worry I might prolapse my uterus if I work out too hard but I try to take it slow by just telling the people im having really bad cramps as in dysmenorrhea. Yesterday a small clotlike tissue also came out of me. I put it together with the first that came out. I have a strawberry plant on a pot in my kitchen and I’ll be looking after this with great care because in it is that little thing that did not come to be.
Because of growing up in a largely catholic country and very traditional patterned way of thinking, we were brought up to think that we, women of the weaker sex are supposed to be subject to the will of men and the will of God. And the bible guiding our existence. But the scriptures do not talk about how we are supposed to take control of how we live our destiny. Indeed, God has a plan for us. But isn’t that plan only a guidance system? We cannot just wait for the mana from heaven. I am not pagan nor am I Atheist. I am merely a millennial feminist and I do not regret the choice I’ve made for myself and my life. I vow however, that if I will ever really bring out an innocent angel into this world, I shall not be in this desperate and lowly position again. The almighty has showered me with so much blessings, and the chance to make this choice with proper people and professionals who are constantly helping me has been a great gift.
Girls, they have not left me in the wind and are still helping me with my emotional bouts. Trust in them and follow the instructions thoroughly. I believe every woman is empowered to help herself in these desperate times to take rationally justified measures. Its just that this country’s religiousness and narrow-mindedness that we may look desperate in trying to get this done because they made it illegal. When in fact, this is our choice. Will those prolifers feed our children or carry our children for us? Will they stay up the long nights and endure the pains and scars of pregnancy while trying to build up a life after it? Indeed, men also cannot relate but only take pity and sympathize in our pain as women. But fact is, they just don’t know. Make your decisions crisply, realize and accept the consequences that your conscience (the church has installed in you too much of this self-doubt that at times we fail to see how capable and great we are because we are forever called sinners). Take action as early as possible and live with your choice. Then be greater. For the sake of that sacrifice.
Thank you PROJECT 486, thank you. May you ever be blessed in your campaigns. Continue waking up this third world country and education people in their choices. You’re actually helping the population and the economy.
Nonie, 24, Quirino
“Take hold of your future or the future will take hold of you” – P. Dixon
PROJECT 486: A Patient’s Reflection on Her Medical Abortion Procedure (Abortion Pills: Mifepristone and Misoprostol or Cytotec) in the Philippines LIII (53rd entry)