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19 February 2011 @ 07:31 am

Hello everyone. This is going to be very long winded. I don't even know where to begin. At the beginning, I guess.

I've been married for quite a few years. My husband had a vasectomy many years ago. Recently, we seperated for a while, but have decided to get back together. We weren't seperated for that long, but while we were, I had a feeling that I might get involed with somebody, so I started back up on the pill. I had some lying around because I've used it to skip periods for certain events, and such. So I start on the pill using a sunday start, waiting the 7 or so days and all before sex. For about a week and a half I was involved sexually with someone. So, cut to now, a few days before the placebos. My husband and I decide to work things out. I just so happen to notice the other day, my pill packet. Engraved in it, by the manufacturer, is the expiration date.  October of 2010. I started this pack at the end of January/beginning of Feb. That means it's about 3 months past expiration. Fuck. I was in such a hurry to get back on the pill, that I didn't even check this. It was of course in the original packaging (it was a sample from the doctor's office) and stored in a drawer, but still. How could I have been so stupid?
Even though my husband and I have decided to get back together, this is not something that I am going to go through with him. We've decided to let what happened during the seperation be what it was, and just move forward. Even if he would be supportive, I am not comfortable sharing this experience with him, as in having him go with me for the abortion, if there needs to be one. It's my cross to bear now, and it's something I am doing alone, as much as that thought terrifies me. I have absolutely no one in my life I can talk to about this or have go with me, because all of our friends are mutual. My family lives in another state, and also would probably not support me at all once they found out what I did.
I just don't know how I am going to hide it. I do have money stashed that is not "ours" so that's good, because I can't have an abortion showing up on our heath insurance statement.  I am worried about hiding it physically. and just worried about doing it "awake" and "alone". I have an anxiety disorder so as it is, so for me, not going under twilight anesthesia is a VERY daunting thought. I also don't have a high tolerance for pain and cramps. My normal periods sometimes have me out of work for a few days. To be honest, a medication abortion scares the crap out of me. The last thing I want to do is sit through it at home and bleed. Not to mention, I KNOW he would be suspicious of that, because I NEVER use pads, and the amount of blood there would be....it just can't be done that way. So I need a surgical. and I need to do it awake.
I live in Pennsylvania, but I was thinking of driving to NYC to that early options place. I know it could very well be crap, but they claim they are "different" that their procedure is gentler and more relaxing. plus, they say the waiting time in the office in minimal, as in, it's not like a regular clinic where they do it like in an assembly line. Another good thing, because sitting there amongst all those people, I know I'd loose it. They also say that you are right back to your normal self afterwards, would be no problem driving home, etc. I spoke to them on the phone yesterday to find out all the details. I've also seen a few posts on here about them. So I guess that's what I'd do. I know I could say that I am spending the day in the city shopping, or with a friend. I do have a friend in NYC but truthfully we are not close anymore, but it would still work.
I know I don't even know if I am pregnant yet, but I really should have known better, and checked those pills. When I started them, I did feel most of the normal side effects that I am used to getting when I am on the pill, but they weren't as bad as usual. This was a brand of pill I had never been on before, so I just thought I got lucky and it wasn't bothering me as much as some others have. I mean, that could still be the case, but The thing that really scares me is that I could have sworn I saw a bit of cervical mucus one day that was stringy, and could have sworn I felt ovulation pain. When I called my doctor about this she said to ignore it, because mucus when u are on the pill means nothing, and that lots of things can feel like ovulation, etc. So she told me I did not need to get EC. But come to find out these pills were expired....Now don't get me wrong, the mucus wasn't anything like my normal fertile stuff not on the pill, nor was the pain. I definately KNOW when I am ovulating when not on the pill. I also know that expiration dates printed on meds probably aren't an absolute, like, they didn't just BAM go from being perfect on october 31st, to completely useless on November 1st. I tried calling the manufacturer and also the FDA to see if anyone could tell me just how "expired" they were, but of course, no one will give you that info. They just say they don't know, because they have not been tested beyond that point......So here I am. Just looking for support I guess. Just looking to get this out of me. Just need someone to listen.


paul_babypaul_baby on February 19th, 2011 01:47 pm (UTC)
I'm really sorry that your in this situation. However I don't think it's fair to panic just yet. How long ago was the sex in question? You can take a pregnancy test 19 days after it, and see what it says.
serenadasa on February 19th, 2011 01:52 pm (UTC)
about a week ago. I need to wait longer, I know that. I'm mainly freaking out because the pills were "expired". I'm not even done with the whole pack yet. Very soon to be freaking out, but freaking out, nonetheless.
[LISA] No Ka Oimorning_stand on February 19th, 2011 03:21 pm (UTC)
Not all abortions are painful and scary. I had a medical abortion (taking the pill) and it was not even bad at all. They also give you pain medication if you want it to help with the pain from the cramps.

I think you will be okay :) Hang in there, and let us know how everything is!
start jeté-ing and stop je-terrorizingweareunderused on February 19th, 2011 05:06 pm (UTC)
You're worrying a bit prematurely, and it's possible that you're totally fine. I don't know anything about that clinic in NYC, but if you're close to Philadelphia I can recommend some great, caring clinics in the city. But no matter what happens, you'll be okay and we're all here for you.
serenadasa on February 19th, 2011 05:56 pm (UTC)
I am close to philadelphia. I'm curious to know more about which ones you are talking about. Thanks for the responses.
start jeté-ing and stop je-terrorizingweareunderused on February 19th, 2011 06:29 pm (UTC)
I used to work at a non-profit that worked really closely with the Philadelphia Women's Center. I also have a lot of friends who worked there as counselors and nurses and have volunteered as a clinic escort there. I can't say enough good things about them.
Non serviamcbackson on February 19th, 2011 05:09 pm (UTC)
Take a look at this link (from Harvard) for some reassurance: http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update1103a.shtml (for the link-phobic, the upshot is that expiration dates are very, very conservative). Given that you're talking about an October 2010 expiration date, I don't think you need to worry at all.
serenadasa on February 19th, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC)
::hugs:: thank you!
Leeshersleeshers on February 19th, 2011 05:28 pm (UTC)
I browsed a little and it seems like even "Expired" the pills probably hadent lost much

serenadasa on February 19th, 2011 05:57 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I was browsing too a bit. I really apprectiate the efforts you guys have put through to help me.
no thank youcailin_t on February 20th, 2011 02:11 am (UTC)
I hear you about not wanting to tell him about this; if I was in the same situation (I sorta was once), I wouldn't tell my husband either. But that can be very hard to bear alone. Is there ANYONE you could talk to, an old friend, a family member, someone from work or school or a counselor?

Also, why would you not go under twilight anesthesia? I did and I don't remember anything and that was ideal for me. The place I went wouldn't even perform an abortion without the twilight. I asked because I also have major anxiety (especially pharmacophobia) but it just didn't work out and I was more fearful of being scarred for life of the experience or something. Winds up, I'm just fine because I seriously don't remember anything but being at the place. No pain or even discomfort.

Oh, I was reading this and responding in order, and you don't even know you're pregnant. Honestly, if you don't have a reason to suspect you're pregnant, don't worry about it! You were on HBC that was only slightly expired and probably still quite potent and couples TRYING to conceive only have about a 25% chance of conceiving anyway. You likely don't even have anything to worry about! :) Take a pregnancy test as soon as you're late for your period, which hopefully, you won't be, and take it from there.
serenadasa on February 20th, 2011 04:44 am (UTC)
Hey. Yeah, I am just panicking early I guess. Realizing your pills are "expired" after you've taken almost a whole pack was quite shocking. I don't know what I was thinking. I was so excited I guess, at the time, to get it on with this particular person that I just went back on the pill without even thinking about it, or any consequences. Or that my husband and I would want to work it out in the end.
If I need an abortion, I would LOVE to go under twilight sedation, the problem with this is you need someone to drive you if you do go under, and no, I don't have ANYONE at all. My family lives nowhere near here (and would freak out on me if they knew that I had sex with someone else while still married), My husband and I work together at the same place, so people from work are out. Old friends live states away, and any friends we have together are mutual. Not sure where I would get someone to drive me who does not know him. Having a taxi drive you is not an option at any of the clinics I asked. The person must be with you during the whole process (in the waiting room). Believe me, I'd MUCH prefer twilight anesthesia. much much much, because I do have a serious anxiety condition. But, if I have no driver, it's not an option :/ Oh well, if I was ready to do what I did, I should be ready to face consequences. I do understand this, and do accept it.
If I do wind up pregnant I am also concerned about hiding this fact. I am scared that if I get nauseous and sick, people will realize what's going on. I was nervous about hiding the abortion itself once I got home, but this is getting easier to deal with, especially after reading the one section here that mentions saying you have your period, plus a yeast infection and that's why you are using pads/can't have sex for a week or so. So kudos to whoever thought that up. I really really hope I have nothing to worry about.
start jeté-ing and stop je-terrorizingweareunderused on February 20th, 2011 05:54 am (UTC)
"if I was ready to do what I did, I should be ready to face consequences."
Nope, not at all. Mistakes happen, and no matter what you shouldn't blame yourself or feel any guilt whatsoever. I just feel bad that you don't have anyone you can turn to and can't imagine how hard that must be for you right now.

BUT, I want to remind you: you are not even sure whether or not you are pregnant. Chances are that you're not, and you should really try to calm down until you can take a pregnancy test and know for sure.
serenadasa on February 20th, 2011 01:09 pm (UTC)
I do and I don't feel guilty, ya know? I don't because there were/are a lot of things wrong in my marriage, and I needed to feel alive again, needed fun again. Was it worth all this though, not really. The worst part about it is that before it even happened, I remember asking myself that very question...is this going to be worth the potential heartache it could cause. I wasn't even thinking along the lines of anything else, because I just assumed that I was on the pill again, which is very reliable, and nothing bad would happen because I was taking it with near perfect use. I really should have taken a minute to check the expiration date, but I was in too much of a hurry and just ripped the packet open and didn't even consider it. I was taking my pill the other day and happened to put my packet down for a sec when I noticed the date engraved on the back side of it. :/
no thank youcailin_t on February 20th, 2011 01:47 pm (UTC)
"Oh well, if I was ready to do what I did, I should be ready to face consequences." Eh. We all make "mistakes." There's nothing you need to be punished for or whatever.

Also, women are all different. With my surgical, I barely bled at all because they vacuum out most of the blood along with the embryo. I was doing normal things like going to the store and gardening the same day. It was easy for me to hide, so it might be easy for you too.

Anyway, you might be able to find someone to go with you. Hell, you said you were near Philly, I'm just a couple of hours away, I'd go so you can have twilight. But again, let's not get ahead of ourselves! ;)
serenadasa on February 20th, 2011 03:01 pm (UTC)
that is really nice of you to say, really it is. It means so much that people I've never even met care so much. I'd do the same for someone. I've been many people's "rides" to abortions myself.
I just hope that I don't need one.
I have tons of people in my life that are supportive of me, I just can't tell them about any of this, which kills me because I have to just go along pretending that nothing's wrong.
I really feel it is the best choice to keep this to myself. It's my experience that needed to happen, and so are the consequences of it. I know it may be hard for some to understand but like I said...in some ways it was worth it and some not.
serenadasa on February 20th, 2011 01:12 pm (UTC)
oh and I should mention that I tried calling someone from an anonymous counseling hotline thing, just for someone to talk to in person. They were really not helpful at all, just sort of asking me why do you think you felt the need to do something like that, and all :/
destroyer of clocksjocelina on February 20th, 2011 10:24 pm (UTC)
Hey, just wanted to add my voice to the chorus saying that pregnancy doesn't seem super-likely in your situation. As cbackson mentioned, expiration dates are very, very conservative. I work in the personal care industry, and when we manufacture OTC drug products like sunscreens or hand sanitizers, the expiration date reflects the length of time that we can guarantee, based on active testing, that the product will retain its stated level of active ingredients (and therefore its full efficacy). Most products retain that level of active ingredients for longer than the stated expiration date -- it's expensive to do longer drug stability testing, though, and companies would rather err on the side of caution. I'd say it's very likely that the pills you took were just as effective as they would have been if you'd taken them at the time they were first manufactured.

Sorry for writing such a book! I also wanted to share some personal experience re: surgical abortion. I had a surgical with just a local anesthetic (to numb the cervix), and while it was pretty uncomfortable, it was over fast that even with my low pain tolerance it was bearable. You could also ask about getting (or if you have some on hand for anxiety already, just take) some Xanax or something beforehand, to calm you down. As far as concealing it afterward, that should be pretty do-able. I was able to pass my post-abortion symptoms off as bad menstrual cramps.

Hope that helps! Good luck with everything. :)
serenadasa on February 21st, 2011 12:45 am (UTC)
Hey Jocelina! thank you SO MUCH for that info. I am doing a bit of research now on drug expiration dates and all that. I guess I initially freaked out way too much upon realizing that they were "expired". I really didn't know what that meant I guess. The first thing I did was call the manufacturer of the pills, ortho mc neil or something. I gave them the lot number and she just said well don't use them, use backup, we can't guarantee them...blah blah blah, and I told her well it was too late, I'd already used almost the whole pack, without backup protection. Then she tried to make me fill out some type of customer statement or complaint, but I really didn't want to do that, so I just hung up. Then I called the FDA, and got the same story, only that woman was a little more realistic and said something along the lines of what you just told me, but at that point I was totally numb and in the middle of a freak out. I'm doing better, but still not great. I am still convinced that I ovulated even while taking these pills, because I swear I felt it. Like I mentioned, when I called my doctor about it, she told me not to worry about it, that I didn't know for sure that that's what I felt, etc. When I made that call, I didn't yet know the pills were expired, so I continued to have sex. It was the week after that I made that discovery.

re: the abortion if I need one- I do have anxiety meds around, and will take them. I didn't think you would be allowed to, because I didn't know what, if anything, they would have given me there, but if I am doing it awake then I will take it. Like I said, it's the last thing I want to do awake, but I'd rather do that then explain all this to my husband, or anyone else in my life/our lives that could drive me. Not that they would anyway, if they found out about this. I mean, we were seperated, things happen, but we've agreed to just let sleeping dogs lie, and I know this is not something he would deal well with. If things are going to work out from here, I don't know, but we're giving it a shot. Telling him all this would only add fuel to the fire. Maybe I'll tell him when it's overwith, but I know it would not be the thing to do now. It will only make things worse than they are.
I am feeling much better about hiding it, too. I do get really horrific cramps, so that would be nothing new at all. and I'll just use the yeast infection + period story to explain the pads.
destroyer of clocksjocelina on February 22nd, 2011 04:15 am (UTC)
You're so welcome! I'm glad it was helpful.

I totally understand where you're coming from -- when I'm feeling anxious about something, I often get numb/freaked out like that too.

I guess I would check with the clinic just to be safe, but I don't think that something like Xanax would cause any issues, and it might make things easier for you.

As far as not telling your partner, I understand that too. Maybe someday it will feel right to tell your partner, maybe not -- that's totally up to you.

And I know that it's not the same as having support from people in real life, but for what it's worth, all of us here are here for you. :)
serenadasa on February 22nd, 2011 12:34 pm (UTC)
I know you are all here for me, and even though I don't know any of you in real life, it still means something. It means a lot that total strangers would go out of their way to do some research, or just say a kind word.
I am about to start the placebo pills.....god I hope this pack was effective...of course now I am feeling every pregnancy symptom, but sometimes it's even hard to discern those from starting pill symptoms and all that. I just hope that pack was good enough and not really expired.
serenadasa on February 22nd, 2011 10:55 pm (UTC)
It's not looking good.
As of last night, I've been having pretty bad pregnancy symptoms. Heartburn, bloated feeling, sharp twinges, hunger and upset stomach at the same time. My breasts are tender, but they have been since I started the pills. I dunno...still too early to test.
Peggy Barattopetalla on March 22nd, 2011 01:43 am (UTC)
Breathe. Remember to breathe.
Sometimes, just sometimes, you can convince your body that it's pregnant by worrying about it (or in some cases wanting to be very badly).
Relax. Have a cup of tea. Read a book. Go have some fun. Don't keep up the "panic". You'll know soon enough, doll.

HUGS to you.
kayla1906kayla1906 on February 23rd, 2011 08:49 pm (UTC)
Hi hun I am a little late getting here, but for what it is worth I think I can relate to at least some of your concerns. I have no idea about the effectiveness of the pills you have taken, but like others have said I think they were fine and did the job. Anymore it seems everything has to have an expiration date so manufactures put a date on the package that is very conservative to protect them self. Have you ever bought a bottle of milk and one day noticed it is a week or so after the date printed. You taste it and it is fine, nothing is spoiled, in fact, a few days later it is still OK. As far as feeling like you have pregnancy symptoms I think it is very possible you have talked yourself into feeling pregnant. There are times when many of us do this until we go take a test which comes back negative, but we then think the test is wrong and our brain continues to work fooling us until one day our period finally arrives. If you should be pregnant and schedule an abortion talk to the clinic they may know of a volunteer to drive you. I was 17 when I had an abortion and there was no way I could let my catholic family find out about it. I was so scared I thought I was going to have to run away from home for about a month to have the abortion and recover. Finally I went to the clinic and talked to them. They were very understanding, the lady I talked to said wait a minute while I make a phone call. She called someone who gladly volunteered to drive me and stay with me. Even though she is much older then I we became close friends and are still friends 5 years later. When I returned home later the day of the abortion, I told my moth I had really bad cramps and was going to bed. The next day I was just fine. I am sure you will be too if you are or more likely are not pregnant. Good luck.