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Archive for the ‘Surgical Abortions’ Category

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,

Rachael

 

Still the right choice

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

How I felt at the time…

Resolute and full of remorse at the same time.

How I feel now…

Its still the right choice for me.

My Story….

In my senior year of college, I made a lot of choices. Most of them, looking back now, were made because I wasn’t preparing myself mentally for what lay ahead after graduation. Instead I made short-term, instant gratification my priority. This involved a lot of partying and hooking up with guys that I didn’t care about emotionally. I wanted to rebel, to reject the status quo of growing up and getting a job and being responsible.

Well, one of my nights of partying led to an encounter with a guy who I had been hooking up with for a while, quite exclusively. We were both so drunk that either the condom slipped off or was just not put on in the first place.

I started feeling the symptoms of pregnancy pretty immediately. I went to a wedding the following weekend and my appetite and emotions were so out of whack that my best friend and I both deduced that I should probably take a pregnancy test.

Seeing that plus sign on that white plastic stick made my heart sink. The little bathroom stall in my college dorm was a pretty claustrophobic place to begin with but I really couldn’t breathe when I first saw the proof that I was pregnant. There wasn’t really a thought in my mind that I should keep it. I just wanted to get the abortion over with as fast as possible.

Timing was tricky. It was just over two weeks before graduation and I also had final papers and tests to take in order to graduate. I’m grateful for Planned Parenthood – even though I still had to wait a week and a half for my procedure, at least I could get the medical care I needed and there was no red tape to wade through. I was still in the middle of final exams when I went in to get the procedure done on a Friday morning. No protestors were around when I entered the building and I remember being surprised that the facilities were located in a strip mall alongside a 99 cent store, a lavanderia and an auto-supply shop. How do these mundane conveniences work alongside the complex and vital role that a place like Planned Parenthood plays in society?

I pondered questions like this while waiting, with my two best friends, in the waiting room. When I was taken into the medical office, the whole experience could not have been more understanding, non-judgmental, and professional. I think I was in and out within two hours. My mind has since blocked out the whole physical part of the procedure but I do remember thinking that it was not as painful as I had anticipated.

After it was over, I was very woozy with medication and my friends drove me to the house where we were going to be living for the summer. This was the ultimate convenience at the time: our rent had just started on the new place, and that made it possible for me to recover in anonymity for the weekend, before returning to campus and the full throttle of finishing finals and all the graduation activities. Without the support of my close friends – who never once questioned my decision or my needs, I don’t know if I could have adequately recovered enough to be present the week of commencement.

It was a surreal time that week. Going through the motions, as everyone else around me was so excited for what was next. I tried hard to act like it was all OK but when I look at pictures from that time I see a very unhappy person who was so uncertain about what she had done and what she was going to do.

I’ve thought a lot about justification for my choice. And it turns out, that path doesn’t really work for me. At first I told myself that I would “make it worth it” and that instead of mothering a child that I didn’t want, I would devote my life to making the world a better place in different ways. I’ve done that in small contributions along the way. The best thing I can say is that when I start to think about how old the child would have been or what their contribution to the world would have been, I take a deep breath and remember that this was my choice. At the time I got pregnant, I was in no emotional or monetary place to raise a child and that is that.

I’m much older now and I have built a life that I love very much, sharing it with a partner who also had a similar experience during college. We both agree that having children may not be the way we choose to spend our time here on earth. As our friends begin to couple off and have children, I’m getting the same old resilient feeling that I don’t feel like the status quo is my calling. And the choice I made when I was 21 has helped me to stay true to that.

Thank you to all the others here who have shared their stories. The chorus of voices is comforting and uplifting. To anyone reading this story, thank you and I hope that you find the choice that is best for you.

Just get really quiet and you will know in your heart.

Valentine’s Day

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

My Story…

It all started on Saturday morning, Valentine’s Day. I woke up after a long night of partying with my friends and very little sleep. Took the dogs to the groomer’s and picked up a pregnancy test at the drugstore.

I had taken a pregnancy test three weeks prior. I was exhausted, on edge, constantly hungry, my boobs were killing me and inexplicably growing…along with my ass. The result had been negative. But my friend had urged me the night before to take another one as my “symptoms” had not subsided. I wasn’t complaining about my new bountiful breasts. I was, however, really upset that I had to start wearing a bra. They’re so restricting. I don’t like that.

I grabbed a breakfast taco at the taco stand and some coffee with horchata. Your average Saturday morning in Austin. Took a quick bite of the taco and went to the bathroom to take the test.

Result: Positive. Fuck, shit, fuck!!!! BUT wait…there was still hope, one line was way lighter than the other. Maybe that means maybe? I thought. I pulled out the instructions. FUCK!!! Turns out that happens and it’s still a big fat POSITIVE.

My heart started beating like mad. I freaked out and start pacing around the living room like a crazy person. I decided to reach out to my best friend, my sister, my soul mate, and someone who very much understands my current situation. And I did so by sending her a picture of the pregnancy test and a FUCK!!!!! Ah, the digital age.

She immediately calls me and walks me through my options. An angel. There will be a reoccurring theme of incredible women guiding me through this difficult journey with love and acceptance. I am eternally grateful!

After speaking with her, I decided I would get the medical abortion. The pill. It sounded painful, and lonely, and traumatic. You basically lay in bed cramping and bleeding out. Apparently VERY painful. But it sounded FAST. I felt awful for feeling this way, but I needed it out of me. PRONTO!! I figured I could call up a clinic, walk in, get the pills, and get it over with.

Oh wait…I live in Fuckin TEXAS!!! I call up the only two abortion clinics in town. One can’t see me until 13 days later and they won’t do the medical abortion because they deem that I am more than 7 weeks pregnant, which is the cut off for medical abortion in Texas. They consider you pregnant from the first day of your last period, which doesn’t make much sense to me, but I was too busy losing my shit to ask for clarity on this. The other clinic, Planned Parenthood told me I had to call back on Monday. The waiting begins. There is a lot of waiting…anxiety filled waiting, that occurs throughout the abortion process. At least in my experience.

My long distance boyfriend of three months was flying in that evening. Things were not going well with us. I was on the verge of breaking up with him and this weekend was kind of a test to see if anything was still there. It’s the wildest thing. I was in love with him there for a minute and really saw us having a future together, but I didn’t really know him. As things unfolded and I learned more and more about him, I quickly realized it wasn’t going to workout. And bam, not only was I out of love, but I was so frustrated and angry with him I could barely look at him. In hindsight I know that some of this was hormonal, but I wasn’t in love with him anymore, that’s for sure. “Take things slowly”, is really very sage advice.

He was about to give notice at his job the following Monday and move in with me. So now I had two very heavy situations to deal with. There was no doubt in my mind that the right thing to do was have an abortion. I was in no place to have a baby by myself. I couldn’t count on my boyfriend. He already has a daughter he never sees. And really, I wasn’t ready to have a child. I would love to, under the right circumstances, but that wasn’t the present scenario. I also knew that I had to break up with him. The feelings weren’t there anymore and the pregnancy news and his reaction were only adding to what had now become disgust. So the decisions were made, which really was half the battle, if not more. But the feelings around the decisions…what a roller coaster!!! He didn’t take the news of the pregnancy or the break up well. He called me a sociopath, and egomaniac and accused me of killing his baby, only strengthening my resolve and affirming my decision.

I called Planned Parenthood on Monday and they confirmed I was only eligible for a surgical abortion at this point. They could see me for the mandatory ultra sound on Wednesday. They told me I couldn’t make an appointment for the procedure until I had had the ultra sound and that the abortion would have to be scheduled for 24 hours after the ultrasound. Texas law. The woman told me they should be able to fit me in Friday for the procedure. A tsunami sized wave of relief rushed over me.

Life is pretty amazing sometimes. I had recently started spending more time with my friend’s girlfriend. And by more time I mean, we went to the movies once to see The Secretary the Thursday before I found out about the pregnancy. Her boyfriend is one of my good friends and I see her often, but always in big groups. Anyway, we had a nice girl date at the movies and swooned over young James Spader. When I told her boyfriend that I was pregnant and getting an abortion, he advised me to reach out to her. She would understand, he said. So I did and she turned out to be the second angel that held my hand through this journey. She opened up to me about her experience, which was really so invaluable. The hardest part about getting an abortion, for me, was not knowing what was gonna happen, and not being able to talk about it. I was so frightened and anxiety ridden over what to expect. Are they really gonna make me listen to the heart beat? Will it hurt? Will I be depressed afterwards? What’s the recovery time?

She took me to get the ultrasound on Wednesday. There were anti-choicers outside, with their rosaries and pamphlets. What is this, 1970? We parked and walked up to the building where we had to talk to someone through an intercom before they buzzed us in. They were behind bulletproof doors. Then we waited…for a long, long time. Hours went by. We watched a movie. I went back and answered some questions. Sexual history. Was I sure about my decision? Was anyone forcing me to make this decision? Etc. They took my blood, and gave me an STD test. Then I was sent back into the waiting room. We waited some more and then they finally called me back for the ultrasound.

The ultrasound was exactly as you see in movies. They informed me that due to Texas law they would have to play me the heartbeat and show me the fetus on the monitor. I can’t tell you how much additional anger those Republican mandates were responsible for during this already angst filled time. Luckily, the women at Planned Parenthood are empathetic and understanding and have workarounds in place. They provided me with headphones and music to listen to when they played the heartbeat in the room and they warned me before they angled the monitor towards me, so I was able to look away. Unfortunately, they were obliged to inform me that it was a twin pregnancy, I was 8 ½ weeks along and suggested it was a girl and a boy. This news destroyed me. To this day I am not completely sure I understand why it made it so much more difficult for me. I mean, logically, two babies is way harder than one, so the decision to terminate made even more sense. On the other hand, I do want to be a mother, very very badly, and I was a month shy of 35, so being pregnant once and having a beautiful baby girl and boy was a very attractive proposition. I told myself I couldn’t think that way. I was in no place to be having a baby, let alone two. By this time I also realized that I in no way wanted to be tied to the father for the rest of my life. And despite the strong desire to be a mother, it was not something that I wanted to take on alone. The Dr. also told me that due to my small frame, carrying twins would be very hard on my body and that I would most likely not be able to carry them to term. Again, something I would have totally been down to take on had I been in a loving, supportive relationship, but it sounded like a very lonely and terrifying existence to pursue solo.

Thursday came and went, I swam laps, had dinner with friends, and basically tried to keep myself busy. My parents returned from a trip and I told them about the twins and my decision to have an abortion. My parents and I are very close and while I toyed with the idea of not telling them, I knew it was ultimately impossible. They were already wondering what was going on with me and knew something was up when they were all the way in NYC. My hesitation in telling them was increased by the fact that my brother was about to have his first child, their first grandchild, and the last thing I wanted was to tarnish that experience for them. They were very understanding and said that although they would support me regardless of the decision I made, they believed I was making the right one in terminating.

Friday morning I went to Pilates, trying to approach the day as I would any other. My friend picked me up and we went to Planned Parenthood equipped with iPad, blanket, pillows…ready to camp out and watch movies for what was sure to be a long time. And no surprise, it was a long wait, but I spent half of that time waiting in another waiting room, wearing a robe and bundled up in a blanket along with about 14 other girls. The TV show, Friend’s was playing on a small tv in the background, a chaperone did paperwork and made sure nothing inappropriate was said or appeared on the television. We all just sat there, knowing we were in the same boat, but not speaking except to verbalize just how hungry we were and fantasize about our post-op meals (you’re not allowed to eat for 12 hours prior to the surgery). It seemed strange to me that we all avoided talking about the elephant in the room, especially since, at least for me, loneliness was the prevailing emotion at the time, and we were all in a position to ease that particular feeling for one another. But then again, it’s not like I spoke up and initiated a dialogue either. I do think this waiting period would have been a great time for interested parties to participate in a clinic organized group therapy session. But let’s not get crazy…we’re in Texas after all, and according to the state, we are horrible people who are voluntarily killing their offspring, so we don’t deserve any kind of emotional care. Instead, we all spent the time waiting for our names to be called with our faces in our phones, napping, passively watching Friend’s, and I myself spent a lot of time looking up at the skylight and taking pictures of it. I got one picture that I really liked and later posted it to instagram. I called it, Enter the Void.

Once they called my name, I followed a nurse down a long hallway into an operating room, they gave me a sedative and the Dr. started the surgery two minutes later. I don’t know if they didn’t give me enough sedative or the Dr. began the procedure too soon after the injection, but I felt everything. I was gripping my hands really tight from the pain, so the nurse gave me her hand to squeeze, a gesture that really touched me. Nonetheless, the whole thing was pretty traumatizing. It wasn’t so much the pain, but feeling every little thing and knowing what she was doing and then feeling it a second time for the second fetus that really messed with my head.Then I heard a vacuum like noise for a minute or two and it was all over. 8 minutes tops. I started crying when they told me they were finished and they slowly got me up and took me to the recovery room. I felt devastated, confused, traumatized. But I told myself I had to keep it together, I was in a room with a few other girls who were in recovery and they weren’t crying, so I needed to stay strong too. I sat in there drinking my apple juice and eating cheez-its, which had never tasted as good as they did after 16+ hours of no food.

I went home and chain smoked. My parents came over with dinner and tried to comfort me. Once they left I smoked a ton of pot mixed with some liquor and the vicodin I got from the Dr. Nothing was helping. The depression had started and I was entering the void. I really was so sure of my decision and still was despite the feelings afterwards, but I felt so much grief, guilt, and regret. Not so much regret that I had terminated the pregnancy, but regret that this was my life and that I had made poor decisions that put me in a situation where I had to have an abortion. No matter how strongly I felt that I had done the right thing, what I did went against nature and my body was as confused and pissed as I was about the whole thing. I imagine it is similar to post partum depression, but I can’t be sure. I assume that the trauma from not being properly sedated played a big role because I would cry and curl up into the fetal position often at the thought of the surgery or having sex again. I kept visualizing the twins, my babies, and  going into boughts of hysterical crying at the thought of what I had done to them. Even just looking at my two pugs or my teacher friend mentioning an adorable thing one of her 5 year-old did at school would throw me into a fit of despair. And the father of the twins certainly did his part to make the whole thing all the more challenging and emotional.

Going back to work was extremely difficult. One of my coworkers insisted on talking to me about her twins on a nearly daily basis. I couldn’t ask her to stop, of course, because that would be rude, but it was killing me inside. I was a walking zombie, crying all the time and unable to tell anyone what was going on out of fear of being judged or worse, losing my job.  My daily tasks and projects seemed so futile in the grand scheme of things. It was very difficult for me to give a shit and it was very apparent. The insurance company that had told me they would cover the procedure was now saying that they had made a mistake and would not be covering it, which caused me to go into a fit of fury that probably frightened me as much as it did them. I vacillated between numb teary zombie and raging angry bitch. I knew no other states of being. I wanted to die.

Luckily I have an amazing family and wonderful friends who supported me throughout. I was very disciplined about going to therapy and acupuncture, which was immensely helpful. And my therapist recommended a Pranic Energy meet up which changed my life. I don’t think I would have recovered so quickly had it not been for that. A month of weekly healing groups and I was a different person. My thoughts were no longer spiraling out of control and I was able to meditate again. There was hope and I could see it. I decided to quit smoking pot and cigarettes and stopped drinking for a while to aid in cutting out nicotine. All things that had needed to happen far before the pregnancy. I decided to start loving and nurturing myself.

3 months later I am still very much dealing with the emotional repercussions of the decision that I made. But, I am happy to report that with time I am able to see things differently. The spiritual journey that I am now on is one that I so desperately needed to arrive at and I do not know that I would have done so had I not reached the depths of despair. I am learning a lot about myself, the decisions that I made repeatedly in life that have led me to many difficult times, this being just one of them. I am choosing to learn from this and put an end to these behavioral patterns, so that one day I will be ready to be a nurturing, loving, and mindful mother. I realize that it is a blessing that I was aware of my inability to take on such a responsibility and that I had the foresight to see that the father was not the partner with whom I wanted to embark on the journey of parenthood. I see that despite the pain I endured and will continue to feel for some time to come, it would have been so much worse had I decided to have those twins.

Trust your soul. Regardless of your choice, there will be hardship, but it is precisely these moments that teach us who we are and what we are capable of. You are much stronger than you think.

 

Let everything happen to you

Beauty and terror

Just keep going

No feeling is final

Rilke

It’s hard to do the right thing

Monday, October 21st, 2013

To those thinking about abortion- everything is going to be okay. Take one day at a time. You are not alone!

My story….

When I was 15, I fell ill with the ‘flu’. It never even crossed my mind that I could be pregnant. I was attempting to be responsible. Was on birth control pills (which I had a very hard time not forgetting) and my boyfriend used condoms. The day my mom took me to our doctor and he requested I take a pregnancy test, I felt like I was going to faint. When they came in with my results confirming that it was indeed positive, I didn’t know what to think. So many things crossed my mind when I was getting up the nerve to tell my mother that I was in fact nearly 3 months pregnant. I finally confessed. She flew off the handle. I was threatened that if I didn’t abort then I could find a new place to live and have a “happy life in poverty”. Devastation set in. But I knew in my heart she was right. My life would be hell if I went through with having the baby. The baby’s father was absolutely worthless. He was 19 and doing nothing for himself. He didn’t even have a place to live. Automatically, I agreed to have it.
The night before my appointment I felt so sick that I thought I needed to go to the emergency room. There was absolutely no sleeping. I had fears that I would die from the abortion or die from remaining pregnant. I felt alone. Once we arrived at the clinic early in the morning, I sat and filled out paperwork. My mother hovered over me, watching me write down each answer. My heart was about to explode. Finally after all the bloodwork and exams, it was time. As I laid there waiting for my abortion to begin I knew I was doing the right thing. I was 15 after all. They doctor was very calming and caring. She walked me through the whole thing. The procedure itself wasn’t even close to being as horrible as I imagined. By the time I was in the recovery room doubt set in. Thankfully, two other women were ushered in. Once I knew I wasn’t alone, I knew I did the right thing.

To this day, I don’t regret my decision. The only thing I would change is to have someone more supportive there with me. Although I know now that my mom was just as scared as I was. I forgive her for being so harsh. That particular boyfriend ended up getting another girl pregnant a couple years after our ended relationship. To say the least, I’m happy I didn’t have his child!

To those thinking about abortion- everything is going to be okay. Take one day at a time. You are not alone!

How I felt at the time…

Scared, anxious, sad.

How I feel now…

Peaceful.

How old was I when I had my abortion?

15

How far along was I? 

3 months

Who I told…

Mom, younger sisters, dad, grandma, boyfriend

My Silence

Monday, April 29th, 2013

If you’re a woman, and maybe also if you’re a man, you’ve at some point been in a conversation about abortion. Come that time, maybe you felt everyone rushing around to find their role. There are the women and men who will talk about their abortions without shame. Good for them – it’s harder than it might seem. Then there will be those who nod and lament – they never had to make the decision and are uncertain what they would do. Then there are those who never had to make the decision but despite being pro-choice do not think abortion would be their choice. Then there are those who will sit in silence. I am one of those and I’m not proud of it.

Dr.King, ever so wise, said “In the end we’ll remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” I’d say that in the end we’ll remember not our friends silence, but our own. I had an abortion. I was seventeen and uneducated about sex and got pregnant. Home was unstable and I was working hard to be the first in my family to go to college. I didn’t want a baby. I wanted a college education and a good job and, when the time was right, a family. I had an abortion and it allowed me the freedom to educate myself. It allowed me the freedom to, as an adult, have the stability I wasn’t given as a child. I didn’t want to bring a child into more instability. I had an abortion and it was the right choice for me. I had an abortion and I don’t need to justify that choice. So why can’t I say that out loud?

I wish I could now tell a redemptive tale about that time, in a conversation about abortion, that I joined the loud and proud and said yes, I had an abortion and yes, it was the right choice for me. Yes, I am willing to risk stigma and judgement to protect that choice. But I haven’t. Not yet. What I’m afraid of I’m not sure.

I’ve heard the statistic that 1 in 3 women will have an abortion in their lifetime. But how many will admit to this? I’m realizing that if women like me, and me, can’t forward and stand behind our choice, then soon there might not be a choice. Abortion was the right choice for me. Now I just have to say it out loud.

And p.s. no MLK was not anti-abortion as some say.

My Procedure is Scheduled in Two Weeks

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

How I felt at the time…

Anxious, low, upset, sure

How I feel now…

Haven’t had the procedure yet.

Who I told…

Mother, sisters, and two close friends

My story…

I’m 27 and have a teaching career. I was always either unsure or certain I didn’t want children. I’ve dedicated my life working with children and youth, but I wasn’t sure having kids was right for me. I had moved cities for my job, teaching trouseled youth, I was so excited. It was a smaller city and I the thought of meeting someone was low on my priority list. But a week into my dream job, I met him. He was funny, caring, and worked with the same population of kids I did! He made me feel so special and I felt I could be myself with him, no holds bar.

Things moved quickly. He told me loved me, and I loved him too. He spoke of marrying me, eloping in Vegas in 6 months time. He would daydream of having kids with me- tell me beautiful things about our life , love, and kids. I felt so lucky to have someone like him- my family fell in love with him too, they all said , he’s the one, something is different and special about this relationship! He had me choosing styles of rings. And started telling me how he wanted to get me pregnant. He wanted us to be a family. He had a four year old girl already; whom he saw every two weeks. He adored her. And so did I. Then things started to get weird. He would withdraw for 6-12 hours at a time, when any issue would arise or when i would bring up my feelings. It got to the point I was very careful of what I shared or told him. He stopped saying the word love and stopped talking about our wedding, or kids. I found out I was pregnant. His reaction was neutral and he spoke on the phone to my sister about our pregnancy news.

Within a week I knew something was wrong. I was scared to talk to him and upset most of the time, he never mentioned the pregnancy…. And when I did it went unacknowledged. He played the boyfriend role still but I knew it was wrong/not goin well. We told my whole family while he didn’t tell his. I gave him time and space to process everything. But unfortunately it wasn’t a little time and space he needed. I decided to tell him one day his actions one night hurt my feelings and that it meant a lot to me when he kept me in the loop of our lives together. (The incident isn’t really important) he started to detach and shut down like he typically does in these situations. He didn’t come home that night…. Or the next. Didn’t answer my calls or texts. The first night I thought something had happened- I was so worried. 5 days later when he finally agreed to speak to me, he explained that we weren’t right for each other and we fought too much and that he wouldn’t run away from this child and would help when he could.

I was ready for news of this nature. I had cried for days on end and was staying with my parents for support. I felt abandoned and alone. I felt ashamed and disgusted, I felt stupid and foolish for believing him, for loving him, for allowing myself to be in this situation. Then a friend told me “it’s a never a bad thing to trust and love someone” it made me realize I wasn’t a fool. It took a few days of deep thought and meditation , and seeking the support and guidance of close friends, my sisters, and the staff at planned parenthood, that I made my decision to get an abortion. Even despite being in the position of having a baby alone, I was not ready to have a baby, it was not the right time. My appointment is in two weeks. Ill be 12 weeks when the procedure date arrives. The support of my family, my friends, and the support from myself. The waiting is difficult, but I am sure this is the right choice for me and I am grateful my country allows this right for women… It’s not an easy decision. It’s something that is difficult beyond words and has caused pain… This website has given me hope and made me feel less alone in all of this. Thank-you.

29 year old Professional

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

How I felt at the time…

Disappointed, Sad, Guilty.

How I feel now…

Content, Relieved, Empowered.

How far along was I…

7 weeks.

My story…

I was 4 months into a wonderful relationship with an amazing guy. After 29 years I had never been in love before this relationship and I was VERY excited and everyone could tell because things were moving extremely fast for us. My boyfriend was a professional basketball player overseas and he left for 4 and a half months to play ball. Well, when he finally returned I was ecstatic and couldnt wait to show him how much I missed him. After a night of food, laughs and a movie….we had sex unprotected for the first time. He attempted to pull out, but at that very moment I knew that he ejaculated inside of me and there was a possibility I was pregnant. After being 3 weeks late for my period and praying to God that I wasnt pregnant, I got the courage to go to a local grocery store and buy a test. The test read positive in less than 2 minutes and I screamed and cried….”Please not me!” My sister ran in my room at our apartment and she was the first I told. My boyfriend was on a business trip in Los Angeles and I texted him. He was just as scared and confused as I was. My sister encouraged me to keep the baby, but I knew that even though I was 29, established and in an amazing relationship….I wasnt mentally or emotionally ready to be a mother and I would regret the pregnancy and not take care of myself through an unwanted pregnancy. My boyfriend and I decided back and forth on either pregnancy termination or to raise the child. We decided to end the pregnancy after 7 weeks and become parents when we were married and emotionally ready to love and be parents to a child.

Not My First Rodeo…

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

How old was I when I had my abortion?

20 and 35.

What year did I have my abortion?

1996 and 2012.

How I felt at the time…

Fearful and unprepared.

How I feel now…

Mixed emotions.

My story…

11/26/1996 – 20 yrs old, in a casual, non-committed relationship, I was in no way financially or emotionally ready to care for a child, let alone share custody, etc with a college “friend” for 18+ years…additionally, I was taking anti-convulsive medications that weren’t recommended for use during pregnancy. He left his half of the cost of the procedure in an envelope on my pillow, my mother & best friend drove me across state lines & I had a surgical abortion. I believe I was 6-8 weeks.

Fast forward. 11/12/2004, 28 yrs old, the best day of my life, my husband, whom I’d been with for nearly 7 yrs, welcomed our first child. A planned pregnancy. The day I truly believed miracles happen.

And finally, today. 6/25/2012. I’ll be 36 in 4 days, still married to my wonderful husband, our 7 yr old son is the light off our life. Due to poor economy and unforeseen circumstances, we are financially unstable, our credit ruined, I’ve recently lost my job, we are feeling emotionally beat down by life and struggle to keep it all together for our son’s sake, and I found out I’m pregnant a week ago. We are scared to bring another child into this world of uncertainty and chaos. I’m so conflicted now that I know how much of a gift a baby is, especially with someone you love, having an incredible child together already. But still more afraid to go along with the pregnancy than to abort and not add any more irons to the fire off life we are already fighting. Tomorrow, I will surgically abort my 6 week old fetus, never telling a soul for fear of rejection. I’m trying to convince myself that this is the best for our son now. We don’t need to add to the instability in our life now. Not to mention outer ages once the baby goes to college.

 

Not Alone

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

How old was I when I had my abortion…

18.

Who did I tell…

Boyfriend, Roommate, Brother, Few Friends

How far along was I…

7 weeks from LMP

My story…

I’ve always wanted to be a mother, and still do. Birth, parenting, and motherhood enchant me, so much so that I eventually want to become a Nurse Midwife, and be able to give every woman the opportunity to bring her child into the world with as much support, love, joy, and knowledge as is possible. I want women to make informed decisions about when and how they will have their children; to offer them access to information about their own bodies which schools often refuse to teach due to politics. I want them to be able to give as much to the next generation as possible, when they are prepared.

Before I even took the pregnancy test, I had a lurking suspicion that I was not just myself anymore. In January my period had been irregular; I had it on the 6th, then again on the 26th, much shorter than my usual 30-day cycle. I am not sure whether this made the boy and I less careful about our usual pulling-out/condoms routine. I had not been on birth control for over a year and a half due to poor side effects, and felt oddly invincible against pregnancy. Plus, all of the scientific journals supported us: sperm, when even found to be present in pre-cum (they were not found in some studies), were minimally motile, and their levels only risked at most 2.5% possibility of pregnancy. That’s better than condoms! Better than regular use of the pill! We were backed by peer-reviewed journals, the iron shield of all well-educated researchers like ourselves.

Yet we must have been careless, for my physical symptoms all pointed to the springing forth of new life. I kept telling myself that they must just be menstrual cramps, even though I had never felt this type of tugging and pulling ache before. My boobs were absolutely perfect, approaching a full cup size larger. I just wanted to live with my love in my arms, constantly embraced, and ignore all obligations of school, work, and volunteering. Sex enabled me to get out of my head for an hour or two, and I appreciated feeling like something in the world was able to feel so right; that I was made for something.
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Staying Positive

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Saturday, July 24th 2010 I found out i was pregnant, I was 21 years old and a week late on my period. My boyfriend and I had broken up the same week I found out I was pregnant, only a few days before. I was still coping with what had happened in my relationship with him when on the way to work one day I felt the need to take a pregnancy test. I went to the drugstore and bought a box of 3 pregnancy test. I stopped by my grandmothers house where she, my mother and brother were visiting her because she had just got home from having a hip replacement. I snuck in the bathroom and room and took one of the test…before I could get my pants back up the test read positive, my heart sank into the pit of my stomach but somehow i held myself together long enough to get out of my grandmas house without any of my family knowing there was coming wrong….

On the way to work I called my ex boyfriend to let him know the news, which I was scared of how he was going to react and the support that he was going to offer me. Suprisingly he was very nice and told me we would figure it all out and for me to stay calm, not even a minute after we got off the phone he called me back demanding I have an abortion and proceeded to tell me that the child was probably not his anyway…we hung up the phone and had to face a 8 hour shift at the hospital where I work. During work I did all that I could to keep myself together, I went to the bath room randomly to take my other two test, I just wasnt believing that this was happening to me, and that I was all alone. Being a coward, but needing my mother to know, i sent her a text message and told her that I was pregnant. After I got off work I went home and my mother and I stayed up all night talking about the different choices that were available to me, and talk about what the outcome of each one would be… I was so lost, didnt know what to do. I have always been the type that loves kids, all ages…and they all seem to love me… I always dreamed of being a mother. My mother left it up to me to make the desicion and told me she would support anything that I decided to do. I talked to several other people in my family trying to help me make the best choice for my child, myself and my family.. it was an emotional roller coaster, one day I was bound damned and determined I was going to keep the child, the next I was all for abortion. (more…)