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'My Friends Helped Me'

Illustrated by Radha Raulg'kar


City: Mumbai

Age: 22

Number of Abortions: One

Marital Status during Abortion: Unmarried

My Abortion Story
I was still hooking up with my ex almost two years after we broke up. I had started working at a new
internship just a couple of months prior to getting pregnant. I was really happy with life so when I noticed I
had gained weight, I thought it was just ‘happy weight’. I was wrong. My period was late by almost 10 days
when I decided to get a pregnancy test done with a ‘pee stick’ and it was inconclusive. This was super
suspicious because it had never happened to me before. There had been scares but I had never actually got
pregnant. I waited for a few more days because, hey, periods can be late, right? Four days later, on my
birthday, I took another test and lo and behold - I was pregnant.
Mission incomplete
I found out at 3:30 am and freaked out for an hour. Then I slept and woke up on time for work. But first, I went
to the doctor who was totally non-judgmental. I got a blood test done and then finally went to work that
afternoon. During the ultrasound I found out I was six or seven weeks pregnant and I bought a pill abortion a
few days later. It was the most painful thing I have ever gone through. I don't think I have felt that kind of pain
ever - it was literally tearing my insides apart. When I did the next sonography, it showed that the abortion was
incomplete. There were small tissues remaining in my womb, still getting blood supply from me. So I got a
vacuum procedure done. It was quick and painless. During this whole debacle I had to rely heavily on my
friends for money and I had decided to not tell my ex about it. But the vacuuming procedure was expensive so
I had to contact him and he said that the cost should be split equally.
Go Guilt-free
I would like to say that during this whole period, from getting pregnant to getting an abortion, I was
completely chill. There was a moment when I looked at its heart beating on the sonography machine and I
didn't feel any connection to it. For a second I had a "oh **** this is getting real" moment but that passed
quickly. This whole getting pregnant thing didn't feel like we see in the movies - as if my life was going to end
or something very truly terrible was happening to me. It simply felt like a small mistake which wasn't a big
deal. I felt super calm and chill because I knew what had to be done. There were no roadblocks on the way
except for the money which my friends helped me with. So a massive shout out to them. The only thing I truly
hated about this experience was that it really messed up my skin. It has been four or five months since my
abortion and my skin is still pretty messed up. It's so bad that I have to visit a dermatologist. Apart from this, it
feels like a distant memory now and definitely isn't something that defines me. I like to crack jokes about it
with my inner circle and can look at the sonography pictures without feeling guilty or weird or any other
negative feelings.

What I wish was Different
I wish there was a pill that was completely, one hundred per cent effective. The one I had wasn't. I also wish it
had caused significantly less pain. I am not kidding when I say it was tearing apart my insides. I was crying,
puking and shitting, all at the same time. It’s like period cramps but a million times worse. I couldn't sit, I
couldn't stand, I was constipated but also had diarrhoea. The pain was horrifying.

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