Medical abortion is easy, provides instant relief
2017 South Korea
It was shockingly easy and simple, all said and done. I suspected I was pregnant when I didn't get my period on time. After a few more days of waiting, I kind of knew but I took several home pregnancy tests to make sure. They quickly came out positive, so I immediately came online and order the medicines from Women on Web. I found this website in an online women's group years and years ago and remembered in just in case. As I waited, I began to experience more and more pregnancy symptoms such as contact morning sickness. I could barely eat anything except soup, and kimchi made me feel so sick. After waiting two weeks for the medicines and having nothing arrive, I contacted Women on Web who told me the package had been lost in the mail and asked if I wanted them to send another. I was really concerned because time was of the essence, but I had no choice and just had to wait. The new package came after about one and a half more weeks. I took the first pill (Mifepristone) Friday evening after work. Nothing much happened until the following day. On Saturday, I decided to run to the store to grab some supplies before taking the first four tablets of Misoprostol. I picked up some orange juice, Gatorade, Powerade, dried mango, bananas and two packs of pads. **The following will have some graphic descriptions of blood, etc.** While I was walking back from the store, I felt a little bit of moisture come from my vagina but didn't really register it. As I walked the moisture grew, as if I was starting my period. I began walking faster, and then I felt a LOT of moisture as well as a large substance that clearly had a solid form gush out. I felt very panicked but could only continue hurrying home. It had not yet been 24 hours since I had taken the first pill, and I still hadn't taken the Misoprostol, so I didn't expect anything to start happening. I had never heard of anything like that happening to anyone else. At home, I put down my packages and stripped off my clothes. Everything was soaked in blood, and there were even some large, solid pieces (of tissue?). I'm not sure what it was, but I cleaned up to the best of my ability, changed and crawled into bed. I emailed Women on Web about what happened, but they only sent an automated response and didn't address my concerns. Anyway, I figured it was already too late to stop there. After about an hour, I put the four Misoprostol pills under my tongue and put on a movie as they dissolved. After taking the first dose, not much happened. I would periodically feel like blood was going to come out, so I would have time to go to the bathroom and sit on the toilet before it did. I took painkillers right away, so I only felt some slight cramping and nausea. Most of my discomfort was fear rather than actual pain. I was scared I was going to start dying suddenly, so I would bring my phone every time I went to the bathroom in case I needed to call for help. The bleeding was much less than I expected, as was the pain. After about three hours, the time for my second dose of Misoprostol was nearing, and I began to feel really sick. I felt extremely nauseated and vomited up all of my Powerade and bananas. The cramps intensified (although I've still had worse pain from just my regular period). I was lying on the bathroom floor feeling nauseous and in pain, and I was worried I wouldn't be able to keep down the last two pills. Finally, I crawled back out of the bathroom and into bed. I felt a bit more calm, although still definitely cramping. I put the final two pills under my tongue to dissolve. By then, it was getting quite late in the night. I had been setting my alarm as a reminder for my next pill dosages. After taking the next two Misoprostol pills, I considered taking the final two that come in the package just to make sure. I felt like I'd had a weird experience and hadn't bled or felt as much intense pain as I expected. I wasn't sure the abortion was complete. But I was so exhausted and physically drained from the experience that I just wanted to go to sleep, so I did. **End of the graphic abortion description.** I continued to bleed for about a week after taking the pills. I wore pads, and it seemed to be a lot less blood than during my regular periods. I felt fine afterwards and no longer experienced morning sickness or other pregnancy symptoms. After about a month, I got my regular period again. I haven't gone to see a doctor or taken a pregnancy test since, but I'm pretty sure I'm no longer pregnant. It was very difficult to even work up the courage to buy the first pregnancy tests in a Korean shop. I honestly feel really stupid for a lot of the things I did along the way and for getting myself into this situation in the first place. I made a lot of terrible mistakes and KNEW I was making them while continuing to do it anyway. I hope I have learned something from this experience. But the abortion process was so simple and easy. I've always been a supporter of women's rights and women's health, and I am so grateful that Women on Web exists to help women who are in situations like mine and situations much worse than mine. After going through this experience, I find it so hard to believe that there are people (men, even!) who have such an issue with it. The experience I had, bleeding in my bathroom, was nothing like having a baby. The tissue that I expelled was so far removed from being a baby. It was not my time. There was no baby here, not even a potential baby. I was never meant to have a baby at this point in my life, living alone in a foreign country with no career or home of my own. I feel great knowing I did the right, responsible thing. I took care of myself and did what I had to do although it was scary and painful and unpleasant. I feel so much better now. I feel happy and relieved. I wondered if I'd feel guilty or sad at all, but I don't. I only feel grateful and at peace.
Did the illegality of your abortion affect your feelings?
No, not at all. I have heard the law is not strictly enforced in Korea, especially regarding foreigners and it may still be possible to have an abortion in a clinic.
How did other people react to your abortion?
I haven't told anyone about it.
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