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Archive for May, 2010

The Difference Between Us

Monday, May 31st, 2010

How I felt at the time…

Really, really scared. Ashamed. Felt like I had really messed up.

How I feel now…

Blessed that I have this right and adamant that every woman should have the right to choose.

My story…

I was overseas when I found out I was pregnant, in a staunchly Catholic third world country. I was going to school, living in a dorm with a hundred other girls my age, all locals. I didn’t want to tell them my fear of being pregnant- I didn’t speak the language well enough to communicate it anyways, but I asked a girl where a pharmacy was. I followed her directions and got to a little pharmacy. I tried to explain what I wanted, resorting to hand signals and facial expressions. The pharmacist tried to follow, eventually sliding birth control pills across the counter. No, I shook my head, too late for that. I didn’t even need to take the test, but I did anyways. Afterwards, i IMed my boyfriend, told him the news. Then, desperate, scared, I walked through the dark streets until I found a phone booth. I called my parents. I can remember the conversation, how quickly I started crying. Two days later I was on a plane back home. The girls at the school asked me what was wrong, why I had to leave so suddenly. I only hesitated for a second before I told them there was a death in the family. It was basically true, or it would be.  The strangest part is, what resonated with me the most, what consumed me at that point,  was the sudden difference between me and these girls. The difference that nationality, and money and choice offered. (more…)

No Regrets

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

How I felt at the time…

Nervous, relieved, disconnected.

How I feel now…

I feel that I made the right decision for me.

Who did you tell?

My best friend and my then boyfriend.

My story…

I was young, and though abortion was a difficult decision, I chose to go through with it without a second thought. A hard decision to make, but I knew it was the right choice for me. Not hard because I thought I might want to keep the baby, but more so because I was afraid of the aftermath. The aftermath of whether or not I would live to regret it when I actually got married and had kids that I was “supposed to” have. How would I feel when I look at my children in the future? Is that when I would feel the sadness? Because though it was a dark time in my life back then, I can honestly say I was not sad about the decision I made, but more thankful that abortion was an option to me as a young woman (who still lived under her parents’ roof). (more…)

My Mother’s Story

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

What year did you have your abortion?

1974, 1976, 1978

How old were you when you had your abortion?

18, 20, 22.

How did you feel at the time?

Fine, relieved.

How do you feel now?

Great and thankful.

My story…

When i was a young woman my mother answered a request by an author who wrote for the new yorker magazine. this author wanted to interview women who had had illegal abortions. while i don’t think the author ever traveled to vermont to speak with my mother and my grandmother, it opened the conversation between my mother, my grandmother and me and my 3 sisters. collectively we had had 12 abortions. we all unburdened ourselves of our stories. i cannot remember gramma mary’s story other than that it was in the 1920′s. but i clearly recall my mom’s; it was 1958 and she had had 4 children and one miscarriage and once again her diaphragm had failed her. (more…)

Sorry Story

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

How I felt at the time…

Awful, confused, but also relieved. sad.

How I feel now…

Like i made the right decision.

My story…

I wish this story weren’t so hard for me to tell. I wish I could shout it at a rally! Or just tell it quietly to a friend. Or, at the very least, sign my name to it here. But I can’t. Or I won’t. I choose not to because it is still too difficult for me to admit. Still too difficult for me to remember, let alone discuss.

I have been staunchly Pro Choice since I understood what that meant. I worked at Planned Parenthood in high school, wrote letters to politicians, signed petitions, passed out information pamphlets, and debated my position in a very conservative state. But when I made the choice to personally institute my ideology, I suddenly shut up. I couldn’t talk about it.

I had an abortion.

Even typing it makes me nervous. (more…)

Grief w/out Regret

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

How old were you when you had your abortion?

17.

How did you feel at the time?

Disconnected.

How do you feel now?

Grateful

My story…

I have never written about my abortion before.
Although I am not intellectually ashamed that I had an abortion – I am on some level because I have only spoken about my experiences with two close friends.

Somehow, I knew I was pregnant for a long time before I ever found out for sure. I ignored the feeling and hoped with all my power that it would just, magically “go away”. It was the end of my senior year in high school and I just wanted to ignore my pregnancy until I graduated and didn’t have so many other things to think about. Unfortunately, time doesn’t wait and I knew that I had to do something.

I started to get depressed and wanted to speak to everyone but was also afraid of speaking to anyone – I didn’t want anyone to judge me and if I WAS pregnant, and then there was no baby… what would they think? So I just kept going through my normal days until I admitted that I couldn’t procrastinate any longer. (more…)

Judgement

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

How I felt at the time…

Anxious, angry, really alone and mad at myself

How I feel now…

I never questioned my decision. I know it’s what was right for me. But I definitely wish I had told the people in my life and asked for support.

My story…

When I found out I was pregnant, my boyfriend and I immediately went to Planned Parenthood. I didn’t even consider other options- I didn’t want a baby and I didn’t want to be pregnant. There was nothing to consider except what kind of abortion I was going to have. I decided to have a medical abortion and we came back to PP three weeks later. They were some of the longest weeks of my life- despite being tired and nauseous all the time, I was so scared of the abortion and all the things I had been reading. I had so many questions but I couldn’t find any answers. I didn’t feel second guess my decision or feel like it was bad or  wrong, but I still didn’t want to tell anyone. Because  I didn’t, I felt like I was lying to everyone in my life. (more…)

The “Talk”

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

How I felt at the time…

I feel that my husband and I made a good choice for two 19 year old students who were in no position to take care and provide for a child at that stage of life. We were incredibly blessed to have as our doctor a very caring and ethical person who although he perforated my uterus, rushed me to the hospital and fixed me up so I would live and also be able to have children.

How I feel now…

As a woman beyond her child bearing years I can look back and think about how it would have been wonderful to have had more children but the abortion was the perfect choice at that time in my life.

My story…

Reaching a decision sometimes happens because of one’s perception of circumstances at a particular time and place. In order to properly share my story so that it serves as an inspiration, you need to understand that growing up in my family, we didn’t sit down to have the “talk.” In fact, somehow it was assumed that we knew exactly what we were supposed to know without ever having really had our parents explain about our bodies and ourselves as sexual beings. I do not blame or point fingers; in fact, I take full responsibility for not having all my facts when I decided to “make love” for the very first time. My lover, who has been my husband for the past 35 plus years, also didn’t have very factual information about sex. (more…)

Santiago’s Baby

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

How I felt at the time…

Was pretty low key about the whole affair, upbeat, felt empowered and privileged to be able to make this choice.

How I feel now…

The person whose ‘baby’ it could have become has negated all contact so I am hella glad that I did not decide to go through with pregnancy, motherhood, etc.  Still, I do wish I had waited to have a conversation with this person before making the unilateral decision, although it was clear neither of us wanted to start a family together.  Also, I wish I had pursued a medicinal abortion, but at the time simply did not want any time to pass for me to get attached to the being growing inside.

My story…

He was wearing a beat up Red Sox cap, which is why I noticed him.  The Red Sox were my grandparents favorite team.  How many nights when I was a girl did I walk up the hill  to their house and watch the game on hard wooden chairs with my grandfather as my grandmother fried tofu for dinner.  It was the games that led up to their winning the world season in 2005 that kept my grandmother up way past bedtime, and though it likely wasn’t their fault, we like to blame them for bringing her leukemia back out of remission.  So the worn-out quality of this man’s hat really tugged my heartstrings, somehow.  Hadn’t seen something that familiar in a while. (more…)

Tell Your Story

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

How I felt at the time…

Overwhelmed by floods of deep sadness, fear, anger, humility and gratitude.

How I feel now…

At  peace with that part of my past.  I know it was what I needed to do and I am glad that I did it.  I still dream sometimes about a baby, a baby who I love and who holds no resentment.

My story…

He was prompt, he was rarely prompt, the king of being late really. We walked together through a patch of woods and into a clearing, resting our voices for the conversation to come.  A rolling carpet of pasture lay down in front of us; quiet, open.  At one time I was aware of the boundless space around and above me as well as my own fragile limits.  “I am pregnant,” I said.  The words fell like a broken piano might fall; hitting the ground between us in a chattering chord.  Once the echo softened into the tree line he said, “I saw the stick.”  That would be the stick I peed on, the one that left a bright pink plus sign embedded in my eyelids for the last week.  John reached for my hand and I watched as his fingers wrapped me in warmth. (more…)