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Pregnant with an IUD: The Story of My Abortion

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Written by NW for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

I just had the quite bizarre experience of getting pregnant. Bizarre because for the last two and a half years, I've had the Paraguard IUD - as effective as tying your tubes, they tell me. Then one day my period doesn't come. My breasts are swollen, my back aches, and I have the crazy thought that this feels like pregnancy. Something is definitely wrong, at least. So I head to CVS to get a home pregnancy test, just to rule it out. We have plans for brunch with friends, so I slip into the bathroom to get the test out of the way while my boyfriend puts away groceries. And then I stare at it. For a really long time. Because that is most definitely a plus sign.

Hmm. That's odd. Of course I'd only bought one test, so after a moment of staring, we hurry down the street for more. Another, and then another, and this time the digital ones that say "Pregnant" or "Not Pregnant" clear as day. Every one has the same confusing answer. "Pregnant."

On the drive to the urgent care center, I remember all the mornings in the past month I stood in front of the bathroom mirror, staring at my protruding stomach and half-heartedly thinking: It's like I'm pregnant. How did I know? My boyfriend drives, one hand resting firmly and supportively on my knee. We joke nervously to distract us from the shock.

In the exam room, the nurse is young and friendly. She admits she's nervous for me, clearly shaken by the news that IUDs are not a guarantee. I laugh with her to try to make her more comfortable, that makes two of us. We wait and wait for confirmation that our lives are, in fact, upside-down, while a Nickelodeon sitcom plays in the background. Finally an old male doctor comes in and tells me the same thing as the CVS family planning aisle. I'm pregnant.

It still isn't clear what I should do about the tiny piece of metal inside me. It seems dangerous now. For so long it was a faithful friend, but now it's a foreign object lodged next to embryonic cells inside of me -- I can't believe that's good for anyone.  But the urgent care doctor just says call my doctor and take some prenatal vitamins. And no one else picks up the phone on a Sunday. My IUD is still there, and I'm pregnant.

 

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