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Archive for December, 2015

The Choice I Never Thought I’d Make…

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

I have always wanted to be a mother someday. Always. In fact it’s the one thing about myself that I’ve always been sure of. If you had asked me at any point before I found out I was pregnant, I would have said that if I ever had an unintended pregnancy, I’d have the baby and make the best of it. A funny thing happens when what you always thought meets reality for the first time – your entire perspective shifts in the blink of an eye.

My period was about 2 days late, which isn’t terribly unusual but I knew this was different. I knew the night before I took the test what it would say but I waited til morning anyway. There they were, two little pink lines staring at me. I lost it. I started sobbing as silently as I could manage so as to not wake my boyfriend. I apologized to the tiny life growing inside me. I went to the store on my lunch break that day to buy another test, just to be sure. Yep, definitely pregnant.

That evening, I got home before my boyfriend. I nervously waited for him to get home. When he did, he began putting some things away and I mustered all of my courage and said, “Babe I need to tell you something.” He furrowed his eyebrows and cocked his head silently asking, “What is it?” I had only two words, the rest were stuck somewhere in the back of my throat. “I’m pregnant.” And then I shrugged my shoulders, looked down and wept. He came over to me immediately, put this hand on my knee and waited for me to speak again. “I took two tests.” Why am I suddenly so bad with words? We talked for a long while. He asked me if I had been on birth control. I lied and said that I had been. I had been using the Nuva Ring for years. My prescription ran out two months prior and even though I had back up pill packs, I kept forgetting to take them. I didn’t do it on purpose, I just wasn’t in the habit and didn’t make it a priority. Maybe that little fact doesn’t matter, so I pushed it out of my mind. He said he didn’t think we were ready to have a kid. I didn’t disagree. He said that it was my choice – “It’s your body, it’s your decision.” Did I mention how horrible I am at making small decisions? How am I supposed to make this one? Whatever I do, my life is irreversibly changed. I’ll carry this with me for the rest of my life.

I made an appointment at the Women’s Health Clinic in town to talk to an abortion counselor and to find out exactly how far along I was – 4 weeks at that point, barely pregnant at all. I had the luxury/curse of time. I gave myself a deadline to decide. 2 weeks. I have to decide in 2 weeks or I’ll drive myself insane. I changed my mind at least a dozen times within a week and then I wrote my boyfriend a letter – I’ve always been better with words written down rather than spoken. I said that my instinct was telling me to keep the baby and that I hoped he could forgive me. I said that I believed in us and even though it would be difficult, we’d have each other and the support of both our families. After I gave him the letter, I was overcome with anxiety. Already second-guessing my “instinct” before we’d even had a chance to talk about it. When I got home that night, he gave me a big hug and said that he needed some time to process before we talk about it. I understood of course, I had just dropped a bomb on him after all.

I couldn’t sleep a wink that night. I called my sister in the morning and she took me out to lunch. I explained my thoughts up until that point to her. She asked me to consider my future… “think 10 years into the future, which decision would you regret more?” I spent the weekend really thinking about it. Which decision would I regret more? The answer I didn’t want became increasingly clear. This was the first time in this whole process that I really considered the fact that this was an easily preventable mistake. It was all my fault. Not only had I been lazy and negligent with my birth control, but I then lied about it to everyone in my life because I didn’t want that to be a factor. I was ashamed. I considered my life as a whole. I am 27 years old and only just getting my life together. I am in the process of fixing years of big financial mistakes. I have a lot of debt relative to my income and I’m barely making ends meet as it is. I have fairly regular emotional breakdowns about money and how bad I am at making adult decisions. I am trying to be healthy physically and emotionally, but I’m not there yet. I’m not ready to be a mother and it’s because of the choices I’ve made. I would regret more bringing a child into the world and into my life under false pretenses. I would regret more creating a life of struggle and possibly resentment for myself, my child and the father of my child. It’s the hardest thing in the world to acknowledge harsh truths about yourself.

So I made the appointment.The clinic only does abortions on Fridays and the next one would be Friday the 13th. I would never describe myself as superstitious but there’s something very off-putting about having an abortion on Friday the 13th. So I’d have to wait almost 2 weeks before the appointment. I no longer felt anxious about my decision but the next two weeks were pure emotional hell. This was the deepest and most sustained depression I’ve ever experienced. I didn’t want it to be this way. I never thought I’d be here. I wish I was ready, I want the baby. But I knew deep down that I wasn’t ready. That I wouldn’t be able to provide the life my first child deserves. I don’t want to just make it work. I want more than that for myself and for my children. I’ll be a better mother a few years from now.

This is a huge wake-up call. I’m not getting any younger and I simply cannot keep drifting through life as though the future is some distant place where everything magically works out for me. The future is here right now and it’s up to me to better myself to make my life more welcoming for my future children. I have some big changes to make within myself and it’s time to step up and put in some honest hard work. The next time I get pregnant, I will be ready.

I am so lucky to have a lot of support in my life. My sisters and boyfriend and friends have all been incredibly supportive and encouraging. The abortion counselor told me something that really stuck with me. She said, “No matter what you decide, know your decision is coming from a place of love.” It might not make sense to some people, but I terminated my pregnancy because I love my future children, because I’m not yet ready to be the mother they deserve, because I want a better life for them. I made my decision with love. This was the single most difficult decision I’ve ever made. Sure, a small part of me will always wonder what might have been, but I don’t regret it. I made the best decision I felt I could and my life and my family will be better for it.

With love,