PROJECT 486: A Patient’s Reflection on Her Medical Abortion Procedure (Abortion Pills: Mifepristone and Misoprostol or Cytotec) in the Philippines LIII (53rd entry)

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 Nica, a 24 year old accountant from Makati City, 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. 

 

My story…

Hi! My name is Nica.  My partner and I are both working professionals. We are in our early 20s and I just celebrated my first year in my Company. Although we are able to support ourselves in the big city, we still cannot afford to have a baby. As we all know, all entry level jobs start with a low salary. What we earn is just enough for our daily lives and some extras, only good for singles, but having a baby, is just too much for the both of us. The problem is not just the money; the responsibility is way too much. Not yet, please. Settling for good is our plan 3 to 5 years from now. Our priority is to set a foundation for our careers, for a better life, to help our family, ourselves and our children in the future. We are both career oriented. We have a lot of plans in our timetable, and we have so much more ahead of us. And this experience is a wakeup call for us. We call ourselves professionals, but this made us think otherwise. We were stupid for not being careful enough.

 

When…

It was first week of September. I was expecting my period at the last week of August. Meaning, I am delayed for a few days. My partner asked me if I already had my red days, I wasn’t even thinking about it that time. We are both sexually active. We were careful, or we thought so we were.

 

It was almost the 2nd week of September and still no period. It made me worry. I started to take note on the changes in my body if there are any. It struck me to realize that I actually began to have sensitive breasts. And they started to look fuller. I even feel bloated and I cannot wear my skirts. My emotions have changed drastically, I am easily irritated and sensitive to food. I’ve been too emotional, and knowing that I am pregnant made me cry at night when I am alone. I pitied myself. I can’t believe I am this stupid.

 

We started to feel anxious. We decided to take my first PT. We did the test at night, since we can’t wait till the morning. Although there is a hint that we already know the result, we still cried our hearts out when there was a faint line. Faint or distinct, we were being conservative, it was positive. I felt like my world and dreams have ended. It’s easier for a man to say we keep the baby, but most of the sacrifices belongs to the woman, and with this, we have all the right to think everything thoroughly before coming up with a decision without sacrificing time.

It is so hard to have a deep secret that you need to tell someone (especially your mom) but too afraid to spill it out. Good thing my partner is very supportive. Despite all my misbehavior and intolerable attitude during my pregnancy, he was always there; never backed out.

 

The argument…

I took another PT the third week. It showed a more distinct line now compared to last time. It’s real. We’ve got a little blip inside me. We still cried and consoled each other. I cried every night before going to sleep. It pained me that I have no one to talk to besides my partner. My partner and I argued almost every day for a week on what to do. We have a lot of great plans that will be delayed. Some will be changed. And others will be erased. How will we raise the child on our own? With our low salaries? That every end of cut-off we have only a thousand or two left in our pockets? And that is if we had a very tight budget for the couple of weeks. How much more if we have a child? We haven’t even started saving yet. We don’t have savings because we are living the life. Which was a big a mistake. I don’t want to depend on our parents. How good are we, the so called “working individuals”, if we still go back to our parents, borrow money, stay in their house and eat their food in their kitchen? This is not the right way to give back to them. We make no difference with the students who had early pregnancies. I want to be independent. Treat my parents out, here and abroad with my own hard earned money. And I can’t do any of those If I have a baby.

 

Decision…

We decided to pursue abortion. At first, we tried the herbal one by reading blogs and articles in the internet. But after 2 days nothing has happened. Good thing an email from a blogger recommended Project 486. Initially, we were hesitant to call Project 468. There are a lot to consider. What if it is a fraudulent organization? What if they run after we give the money? And we are also after confidentiality. We want to keep it low as much as possible. But we have come across these blogs of women who’s had experience with Project 486. We read all that we can see in the internet. The reflections made us believe partly, so we decided to give a message through their email address. After all the precautions, we were relieved. The stricter they are, the more confident we become that they are real. We read and re-read the procedures. We were both afraid but we adhered.

 

The procedure…

The call with sir John made me feel secured that I am talking to a professional. That he was knowledgeable of what he was about to let me do. And that he was not a fraud. The consultation made me feel that I was talking with my gynecologist. He was kind and straightforward. He told me everything that might happen besides being successful. He will not sugar coat it for you, so you can really understand the procedures and aftermath. We paid for the meds immediately and set our target date on September 29 to October 1.

 

Friday

This day is the Mife day. I started with a low folate diet and set the alarm and took in the Mife at 11:59PM. We wanted to follow the procedures by the letter.

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Saturday

We booked a hotel room for convenience and privacy. We both are living in separate dorms and so we have roommates. This day is a chill day for me. I just had to eat low folate diet. I had a snack before midnight as I am going to have a fast for 16 hours the next day.

 

Sunday

This is the final and most toxic. I got up at 5AM and took a bath. I got myself ready for the vaginal miso. My partner helped me and put it at 6AM. I slept immediately although I woke up after an hour because I am uncomfortable with my position. Nakakangawit kasi. I tried to sleep because I don’t want to wait for the upcoming pain that they have been talking about. I raised my legs. And hugged them. I felt better with this position, as it eases the abdominal pain, but later on I vomited. I think it’s an acid reflux? It was a super bitter liquid. I have nothing in my stomach to throw up and it was painful on the nose and throat.

 

At 8AM I started to feel the cramping. It felt like I was having dysmenorrhea but more painful. I have dysmenorrhea every month but I keep on combatting it with pain killers. This time, I have to bear with the pain. It lasted for almost an hour. One thing I learned, the more you resist with the cramping, the more that you feel the pain. Once you relax, you will still feel the pain, but it is tolerable. It was already 9AM when I was allowed by sir John to take Ibuprofen. Although the pain from 8AM has already subsided, I still took it. He said, I should expect upcoming pains upon taking the buccal miso.

 

10AM: I took the buccal miso. After an hour, I felt something liquid coming out of my V. But I know it’s not the fetus yet. Then more blood came out.

 

2PM: Before taking the last buccal miso, sir John allowed me to stand or sit. I stood up. Went to the comfort room and urinated. When suddenly a huge ball of blood came out of me. It was a perfect ball about the size of my palm. I washed it and my partner took pictures. We sent the pictures to sir John. He ordered me to take the last buccal miso. That was 3PM already and set up a modified instruction for the last dose.

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5PM: Sir John sent a go signal that we can dispose of the POCs. I went to the bathroom and started to clean. Then I saw a little while fetus. It was smaller than my thumb. We were both silent when I presented it to my partner. We sent the photos to sir John and later on he said that the procedure was a success.

 

We felt relieved after that. We are thankful to Project 468 for providing us the chance we seek. My gratitude towards you is beyond measure. I wish you all the best in your careers and in lives.

 

Piece of advice:

If you want to do this really bad, do it right. Choose the right people to help you. Don’t compromise your health on fraudulent acts of others just to enrich themselves at our expense. It’s okay to doubt, it’s an instinct but at least learn to trust. Good luck and be brave J

 

P.S.: To all the ladies who’ve made mistakes, guilt is part of everything we do. But let this not hold you back to darkness. There will be dual effects in everything we’ve done; the good and the bad. Choose to focus on the good, and never commit the bad. Again.”

 

Warmest Regards,

Nica


 

“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)

 

 

 

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