Couple, Clinic and Tissue
Please Note: Views expressed by patients of Early Options and their companions are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Early Options. This transcript has been edited for clarity and readability.
Content Warning: This post contains an image of a gestational sac at 6 weeks of pregnancy.
0:00 | The Early Options Difference
Doctor Joan Fleischman: So, you just finished the procedure about 15-20 minutes ago.
Early Options Patient: Yes.
D: And how are you doing?
P: I’m doing great. It’s not at all what I expected. It’s a very simple procedure. I feel good. I thought that I was going to be more emotional after having gone through this but I’m not. Everything was explained to me in detail. I was treated very, very well. Everyone was patient. It was just an overall great, great experience.
D: You had actually been to a clinic a few days ago?
P: I went to a clinic when I was about six weeks. When I just hit the six-week mark. And it was the worst experience I have gone through. I did a lot of research. This clinic was recommended to me by a friend who had gone there and had the procedure done.
And when I got there, the receptionist was very rude. I waited about four hours and got inside. The Doctor who took me in for the sonogram just basically rushed through everything and made me feel very uncomfortable. I ended up not getting the procedure done there and I couldn’t be happier about it.
D: So you actually walked out?
D: You just didn’t feel comfortable going forward?
P: After speaking to the counselor and seeing how everything was and all the rooms and stuff it was just… I was very uncomfortable. I ended up freaking out and kind of breaking down. I had a very emotional moment. I wasn’t allowed to be with my boyfriend during this time. They wouldn’t allow him to come in the room with me, which was a big deal because we wanted to go through this together.
D: So at that point you didn’t know about us?
P: No, at that point I had no idea about you guys. I spent about a week and a half maybe two really, really depressed about the situation and very emotional. It was just a complete emotional roller coaster. I knew I had to do something about it as soon as possible because I didn’t want it to be too late. I didn’t want more you know like…
D: To be further?
P: Yeah, my pregnancy to be further. I went online and did some research and came across Early Options and the website was phenomenal. It listed a lot of details. I called in and the person who I spoke with on the phone answered all of my questions, made me feel very comfortable and at ease. And after arriving to the office it was just a great, great experience.
D: And you guys were together this time?
D: It mattered to both of you to be able to be together?
Companions are always welcome at Early Options
Companion: Well, from my perspective, I never had any idea how difficult it is to find a facility that’s warm, that has a predominantly female staff, and that makes someone feel comfortable and not like a statistic.
When she came to me and told me that she found this place it was a no-brainer. I knew that she had serious nerves and anxiety and a lot of emotional distress from the first experience. She made one phone call here and already felt way more at ease and comfortable and so I had a good feeling about it going in.
The fact that I was included in the experience as well is comforting because she shouldn’t have to go through it alone. It’s something that both of us are responsible for so we should share in the emotional burden and everything else that comes with it.
D: So you also ended a pregnancy quite a while ago when you were young?
P: When I was 16, I went to Planned Parenthood and had an abortion. I was pretty far along. I’m not quite sure how far, I don’t remember, but even that experience was traumatizing. It was scary just to have all the picketers outside of the clinic. They literally surrounded my car. They were saying really crazy stuff to me and my mom who came with me. And, it was just not a good experience.
It’s really sad to see that in this country and in New York State alone there’s not a lot of offices like this one, that are comforting and understanding of the difficult time that any woman is going through.
D: Do you have a sense of the impact of that emotionally and how your medical care impacts on your overall experience of going through this decision? And thinking about it in the future? I know you just had it but do you have a sense of the difference?
P: It’s a huge difference. I mean, I had no idea that this procedure, the SofTouch procedure even existed. It was not something that was made aware to me and if it wasn’t for Google I would’ve never found out about it. It’s something that I definitely think more people should be aware of.
D: There’s so much misinformation on the internet and also on the placards during the picket lines of what’s actually there. So, I really encouraged you to look at both the ultrasound and the tissue.
P: Yes, I felt more at ease after looking at the ultrasound and the tissue. When I saw the ultrasound it looked a little bit bigger and then I expected compared to looking at it in real life and it’s definitely something that more people should see. I mean it’s not… There’s no hands, there’s no feet.
D: There’s no embryo.
Gestational Sac at 6 Weeks
Early Abortion and the SofTouch advantage
P: There’s nothing there but tissue. It kind of looks like a jellyfish.
D: Yeah, You were looking at the gestational sac which becomes the amniotic sac. That’s really what comes out at this stage, under 10 weeks. There’s no embryo but a lot of women because of the misinformation out there, imagine that there’s more than there is.
P: Especially being pregnant there’s so many hormones and so many emotions and so many thoughts that cross through your mind. It’s very hard to make a decision like this but going through this procedure at this office made everything so much better.
Early Options is not a Clinic
C: If I could just add that, there truly is psychological warfare going on with regards to the information about these types of procedures at different stages in the pregnancy. The fact that you guys have a specialty in differentiating, the fact that it’s something that was caught early because it wasn’t the right time or whatever reason someone might have for needing to make this decision, you guys are understanding no judgment is held.
D: Do you think? I’m always hoping the way that we support you to both be here together that it’s a way to make you closer rather than to make you feel more alone going through this… Do you think it’s had a positive effect on your relationship?
P: Absolutely, absolutely. I mean we went through something really big together and it’s definitely brought us closer.
One of the things like how he mentioned everything is done quickly at a clinic. There’s no connection, there’s no worry about the patient. It’s just like you’re another number as opposed to here. You guys actually take the time to know the person, know the patient and connect with them and just make everything go smoother.
D: Anything else you want to add for somebody who’s just finding that positive pregnancy test and is terrified?
P: I’d like to add that it’s a very emotional process. It’s very scary to have to go through, and it’s hard to make a decision like this but looking at the bigger picture.
Sometimes you do things not for yourself but for your child. And right now, or at that moment for me speaking, it’s not the time to bring a life into this world that I may or may not be able to provide everything that I would want to provide for my child so it’s definitely worth everything.
D: When the time’s right it’s really wonderful.
D: When the time is not right…
P: It’s very difficult and it can cause a lot of downfalls and it’s just not okay.
C: If someone’s just finding that positive pregnancy test it can be extremely overwhelming and extremely emotional. It’s refreshing and reassuring that at least one place like this exists.
P: And it won’t be so rough on your body. The fact that there was no scraping involved is really big for me. I was very worried about future fertility and what damage could be done if I had gone to the clinic. I was way too early at that stage to have gone through a procedure so invasive that could potentially affect my conceiving in the future.
D: So you did get scraped? You know that?
P: When I was 16 there was definitely scraping for sure.
D: Because now at least at a lot of places there isn’t scraping. They are still doing electric suction but most places have stopped scraping, thank goodness! The problem is a lot of clinics don’t guarantee that, so it’s kind of left up to the doctor as to what approach they’re going to use. It’s not something that you could ask when you’re scheduling an appointment. I don’t know if you tried to do that.
P: Yeah, they don’t really give you much detail. They say the doctor will explain when you see him.
P: One thing I’d also like to add is upon recovering after the procedure when I was 16 compared to now I was literally in the waiting room completely woozy, and very lightheaded and not conscious. I was kicked out of the waiting room because they had so many people and I was sent home and it was just an absolute horrible experience.
D: And now 15 minutes later?
P: Yup, I had all the time for me to recover with my boyfriend and make sure that I was okay. I was given stress relievers and nice warm pads, everything was just done so well.
D: Well, thank you for taking the time. It makes all the difference, I think, for women to hear other people who’ve just been through this.
C: Thank you.
P: Absolutely. Thank you.