Making the Decision as a Couple
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.
0:00 | Feelings
Doctor Joan Feischman: So, you just finished doing the SofTouch procedure and it went well, I think?
Early Options Patient: Yes, it did go very well. Going into the experience, I think I found out I was pregnant on Thursday and immediately I was like, “Now I have to think of a game plan around what I’m going to do.”
My decision was always going to be an abortion. I’m only 24 years old, just turned 24, so I think that how I view my life is that I have a lot more to do before I take that step and become a mom. I think this was the best decision for me and my life. I’m very satisfied with the procedure and the help that I got from it and all the consultation.
D: Did you have a hard time finding us?
P: No, your website is one of the first ones that came up in the search. My friend, she was actually with me when I found out and she immediately googled to find our next steps.
We were originally going to go with the pill and then I figured out it was probably better to go with the SofTouch procedure. Then, we just booked the appointment.
Maggie was so helpful online. She called me at 7:30, when you guys opened right away. She asked me for all my information, she asked what I wanted to do. She booked me the first appointment you had and we went from there, it was great.
D: You’re someone who feels clear about your decision, you didn’t have a lot of conflicts. A lot of women that come to me, they’re very conflicted over their decision and are very emotional. You were extremely clear that this is something you wanted to do.
P: Yes. I think this comes within me. In my head, I’ve always thought that if this were ever to happen to me, this is the step that I would take. These are the reasons why. I think I’m very young. I have a career to go. I have things I want to do before I take that step. I don’t want to jump into something I’m not ready for.
D: Were you nervous about actually getting the procedure?
P: No, I wasn’t nervous. In my head I thought of it more like as a regular procedure. I’m going to go to the doctor and get a shot or I’m going to go to the doctor and get a pap smear or my gyno. I thought it was more of a regular procedure.
Walking in here I thought I was going to see so many people, but it was the complete opposite. I walked in and it was a relaxed environment. I didn’t see anybody. I only saw the people that helped me. It was a great experience overall. I would recommend it to anybody, I really would.
2:07 | Having your partner by your side
D: And, you brought your partner. Did that help that you could do this together?
P: Yes. I think what’s best about us is we were both on the same page, we had the same decision. It was just a matter of when and where we were going to do it and in the shortest amount of time.
D: Do you want to say anything about being able to be here or your experience?
Companion: I think she was very relaxed throughout the whole thing, even coming in to it. At first, when she first got the positive pregnancy test she was embarrassed because of what other people were going to think but in reality it doesn’t matter what other people think. What matters is what you think and she was fine with coming here. It’s something that she actually wanted to do. She listed her reasons why and I completely agreed with them.
D: Do you think it helped both of you to go through this, to be able to do it together?
C: Yes, definitely. I think it helped us to be able to go through something like this together. It’s kind of a big step, now in the future we know what to expect and how to deal with it.
P: And how to take care of it.
C: Yes, and how to take care of it. How to handle certain situations, sometimes tougher situations to deal with than your everyday type of things.
D: Yes. I always say, couples can learn more about each other in this situation than you can in a couple of years.
P: Yes. Anthony he gets overwhelmed easily and I’m the more relaxed one so we balance it out. He immediately was like, “Ok, I have to find this place.” I read all of the reviews, this place is great! We’re going to go here.
D: He found it?
C: Yes. Well her friend looked and she mentioned something and then I looked.
P: Then I sent him the confirmation email that was sent to me after hours and then she called me and Anthony said “let me do my research” and then he said it was perfect and we booked it on Saturday.
And I thought it was great news, I was excited to get it over with because I knew it was what I wanted to do. I feel perfectly fine with it, I feel this is great… I’m walking out of here just knowing my life is going to continue and I’m not going to have any huge walls to climb over yet. In terms of having a baby because it’s a big step, it’s a lot to handle and in my life I’m just not ready for that yet.
D: Yes, for you I know you were worried you were further along. It was really really important that you were early.
P: It was my biggest fear. I was like, “I’m going to walk in there and she’s going to tell me I’m too far along. What am I going to do? How am I going to react?”
It was perfect because as soon as I walked in I was telling Heather about my experience. I was telling her I hadn’t felt like throwing up and I couldn’t be that far along and she said “you’re not, don’t worry it’s going to be fine”. And then when you came in and told me I wasn’t that far along, ‘you’re 4 weeks.’ I thought it was the best news ever!
I must know my body just a little better than I think to know that some things weren’t right. At one point I couldn’t do a sit-up and it was weird. I was trying to get up from the bed and I thought “I can’t do a sit-up, what am I going to do?” I feel funny and my boobs were heavy and I thought it was my period but then I knew it wasn’t, I could feel it. It’s good that I was able to pick up on it as soon as I could and then handle the situation and be happy with the result.
D: You actually looked at the tissue and I was wondering how was that, to look at it?
P: It’s just weird to think about, I think, to see it I thought “Oh my God, this could’ve been something really big and I would’ve had a kid” and I was like “No Way!”
D: Did it bother you to see what came out of you?
P: No! I was happy. Now I know and if someone were to ask me about my experience I would explain it how I’m explaining it now. I saw the tissue, I know how it would grow. It’s just cool to know what’s coming out of your body instead of ignoring it.
D: Did it look like an embryo?
P: Not really. Well, I don’t know what an embryo looks like so I shouldn’t really answer that question.
D: Well there was no form to it.
P: No, there was no form to it. It was like white…
D: It’s actually the sac. It’s what becomes the amniotic sac.
D: The pregnancy itself is invisible. It’s just cells at this point, you can’t see it.
D: So this is what forms where the fluid collects so it’s just an early stage sac.
P: Yes, it looks very basic I want to say. I don’t want to say that (chuckle)…
D: Some people have called it a jellyfish.
P: Yes! That’s actually a good way to say it, here Anthony you can look! He was like..ok.
D: Yes, mucus or jellyfish is kind of what it looks like.
P: Exactly! (Chuckle) which is good. I was happy to see it.
6:17 | Why Shame?
D: Well, I wanted to interview you personally because you were still laughing and joking through the procedure, which some women are able to do. I think when you feel really clear about your decision, you come to the right place and you’re taken care of in the right way you can still have a positive attitude going through it. We feel extremely supportive of that, we think that…
What bothers me is that a lot of women walk in here with a lot of shame and that seems to be coming from somewhere else. You know, other people’s judgement, other people’s opinion of what a woman should be going through or feeling.
For me, I like to try and take the shame out of it so that you can go through whatever it is you’re going through. That’s different for you and every single woman I saw today had a different emotional experience and I would like to help you go through whatever that is for you. You know, you might feel one way now and feel one way tomorrow. It’s your process, it’s you.
P: I completely agree. The moment I found out, I was ashamed. I was like, “Oh my God, this is just not what I wanted.” Not that I didn’t want to do this process because I knew this would be the ending process if I were to be in this situation but being pregnant and seeing that pregnancy completely changes your vision in terms of wrapping your head around it.
In those first couple of minutes you are like “oh my God, I’m pregnant.” It’s shocking, but coming into here you guys were all very friendly to me and not making it such a big deal.
I really make light of a lot of situations in life because I think that’s what you have to do. There’s no point in dreading on something, this is what I have to do, this is what I’m going to do, I’m going to be happy doing this….
We were able to just deal with the procedure and just move on and make light of it because that’s what it should be. It shouldn’t be something where we’re nervous and tense because, at the end of the day, this is my decision and I feel so comfortable doing it and I’m happy with the results at the end of it all.
D: Great, well I really appreciate you taking the time. I think this is helpful to other women to hear the voice of women who’ve just been through this and I think it’s a lot different from what women think.
P: I agree. I completely agree. I’m happy to do this. If I’m able to help someone change their opinion …not change someone’s opinion but make somebody feel more comfortable in the process it makes me happier.
D: Alright. Great, well again thank you both for taking the time
C: Thank you
P: No, thank you so much. I appreciate it.