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Let Me Die?

October 20th, 2011

Last week the House of Representatives passed H.R.358, or the “Let Women Die” bill. If that bill had been passed three years ago, I would’ve died. I would be dead.

Let me be clear about that. In this great first world nation of freedom and liberty, I would’ve sat outside a hospital and bled to death. Because why? Because I exercised my right to choice.

I was twenty one. I had taken the abortion pill at a Planned Parenthood. In my follow up exam I was told there was excess lining that would shed itself and that everything was fine. For most people, that would be true. But because my hormones are generally wacky – the reason I got pregnant in the first place even though I was using birth control – my body kept thinking it was pregnant and creating and shedding more lining. I would start bleeding and then stop and think it was over. This went on for two months, until I felt a cramping sensation and looked down to see myself covered in blood and a blood clot the size of my fist. I rushed myself to the hospital and had an emergency D & C. Today I am alive and well because of my access to those emergency services.

And if I hadn’t had them? I’d be dead. There is no doubt about that.

By the age of 45, one in three American women will have had an abortion. That’s 30% of all American women who are mothers, daughters, friends and family. And even though abortion is a highly safe procedure, all bodies are different, and so that’s 30% of American women that could potentially die without access to emergency services.

What country do we live in? What does freedom mean? What is our government really here? How could a government pass a bill allowing women to die when seeking emergency care for a safe, legal procedure? What’s next?

It’s time to do something. Get involved. Stand with Planned Parenthood:

http://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/get-involved/2011-congressional-attacks-womens-health-care-1024.htm

Stand with Naral:

https://secure.prochoiceamerica.org/site/Donation2?df_id=17720&17720.donation=form1&JServSessionIdr004=41bkyct8s1.app240a

 

Dragonfly Diaries

August 1st, 2011

How I felt at the time…

Scared, worried if I was making a mistake.

How I feel now…

A bit of grieving, but a lot of relief at the same time.

How old was I when I had my abortion?

21.

My story…

I am 21 years old…I have always wanted a baby, and three weeks ago i found out i was pregnant. I was beyond overjoyed…i told my boyfriend and he was very unsure about the situation. he wanted me to have an abortion from the moment he found out…..
I was devestated. I wanted more than anything to be a mother…to keep the baby. I went ahead with the thought that nobody could take my baby from me and that i could be a single mother. I wasnt going to let anyone tell me otherwise.
So I announced to my friends and family that i would be having a baby, and everyone was super excited. my mother made little dresses for if it were a girl…and my aunt gave me a rockerchair for the baby too. people were planning baby showers and i couldnt help but get attatched and more happy.
I saw an ultrasound of my baby at 7 weeks, and it hit me. i couldnt do it alone. No matter how badly i wanted to be a mother….i couldnt do it alone. Not to mention the fact that my boyfriend told me he was planning on taking me to court for custodial rights if i chose to have the baby. It was too much stress, and no good for my baby. I wanted everything to be perfect, and i wanted the perfect life for my child.
I called planned parenthood and scheduled an in clinic surgical abortion. It was a two week wait before they could get me in. Two whole weeks of wondering if i was making the right choice….or a mistake….a big one.
The wednesday night before the appointment I spent the night over my now ex boyfriends house. The plan was to spend the night, and he was going to take me to the appointment in the morning. That way he could be there for me, at least once through my situation.
I slept very poorly that night. We woke up, and drove very quietly for the hour that it took to ge to the clinic.
There was a very long wait, before the actual procedure. Bloodwork, std tests, counceling and several cigarette breaks. also a woman outside the gates of the clinic yelling about jesus….and that i was doing the wrong thing.
When the nurse came back…it was time. and i was pretty well held together until i got into the room. They try to make it a comfortable relaxing place…..but there is no covering up the death in that room.
I sat on the table with my boyfriend in the chair next to me…the tears started to flow, and they didnt stop.
The shot that they gave me in my cervix didnt hurt at all…It was the tubes they inserted that hurt the most….that and the actual moving and sucking. I cried the hardest i have ever cried, from pain and from the fact that i was losing my child. I had to hold myself back from screaming from the pain and the emotions that i was experiencing. I said i silent “im so sorry baby…” and said goodbye to my child. The procedure was finished in about ten minutes. I was running a fever of 102. and my blood pressure was very high…but as soon as i had the strength they moved me to a room with reclining chair and a heating pad, and the nurse put a cold cloth on my forehead and gave me some gingerale…to ease my stomach.
I didnt cry on the way home. And took a hot bath. I wonder if i made the right choice, and i have cried several times since then. It has only been two days since my abortion….and I know that i have come out of it with a stronger sense of the world we live in. I know it sounds stupid….but I have never believed in abortions, I thought that they were for the poor, girls who were too young….or anybody who had been raped. I know now that abortions are common, and 1 in 3 women will have at least one by age 35. I personally would never do it again….but if you are in a place where you need the help…and you cant seem to decide…talk to someone. talk to several people….get their opinions. many women have different stories to share….everyone has a different experience. I am a stronger woman because of the choice i made….and yes, i may feel regret and guilt right now….that is normal…and in time…i will be ok. Because no matter how it hurt, both physically and emotionally……I know that i made the right decision. and i did not take a life…i saved one. and when i am with a man that i will be with forever, and in love and truly ready…then i will be a mother….but until then, i chose to have an iud put in. now im good for five years. and until i am ready…i will not have to make that decision again. no more surprises for this chica. i wish you all the best of luck…wether you have already had an abortion…or you are simply trying to make a choice. I wont push you either way….but what i will say is that it isnt a joke or something you can just do. Abortion is a very serious decision, and everyone should be totally informed either way.
Good luck and much love
Delilah

Worried

July 17th, 2011

How I felt at the time…

Worried

How I feel now…

Better after reading other stories.

How old was I when I had my abortion?

24.

What type of abortion did I have?

Vacuum aspiration.

Where was my abortion performed?

Little Rock Planned Parenthood.

How far along was I?

7-8 weeks.

Who did I tell?

Mom, sister, boyfriend, grandmother, boss, therapist, doctor.

My story…

I’m 24 years old and found out on June 24th 2011 that i was pregnant, I had a break down in the bathroom after seeing the positive, i was only 4 days late for my period and i assumed if was from all the medications i had been on along with all the stress in my life. Let me explain my stress and my medications 1st my stress like i said im 24 years old, when i was 18 i started working in a 911 dispatch center. i did not know the mental and emotional stress this would put me under. I was able to keep the issues from work buried down deep inside and never deal with them and then in April of this year i had a massive mental break down i cried all the time couldn’t work didn’t want to do anything. So i went to a doctor who told me i had major depressive disorder, anxiety, and post traumatic disorder. So i have been on Zoloft 50mg, then Zoloft 100mg, xanax .25mg, then changed to lexapro 40mg and 2 a day dosage of xanax .5mg. I know that im not ready for a child when i myself am not emotionally or mentally stable to have a child, now before anyone starts saying the wonderful “you should have used protection thing” My gyno did not think i would ever be able to get pregnant my ex husband and i tried for over 2 years and i never got pregnant cause when i was 18 i had callused cyst removed from both my ovaries and endometriosis, but i did get pregnant by my new boyfriend and it was a shocker. I have always been very pro choice in certain situations like rape,incest, baby born with birth defects or being born mentally retarded and never knowing a real life. I’m having my abortion procedure tomorrow and im so scared, i haven’t been worried about it till today the day before i go in, i know this will be something that ill have to think about the rest of my life, but to me i feel like im doing the right thing. i also don’t feel like a baby murder because when i saw my ultra sound they said the baby was the size of a sesame seed, no organs had been formed and they had no heart beat yet, so to me this is not like killing a baby. I just do hope that women know you do have a choice in your life, if you feel like you cant take care of your child due to mental and emotional issues in your life take care of yourself first, my doctor also warned me that since i have depression i have a 100% chance of getting post part-um after the baby is born and that’s just as bad. I hope my story helps someone cause the stories i have read have helped me a lot. thank you.

Parental Consent

June 10th, 2011

This is not a story of my own abortion, but of my daughters. She’s seventeen and she recently, without telling either her father or I, had an abortion by getting a judge to waive the parental involvement laws that, in the state we live in, mandate that a youth younger than eighteen receive parental agreement to their child’s choice to abortion. I only found this out by finding paperwork from a clinic detailing the results of her pregnancy test and pre-op information for her abortion. When I found the paperwork, I was initially livid- why would she do this without discussing it with us? How could she have gotten herself in this situation? I remember thinking- she’s such a good girl- while knowing that “good girl” or not, everyone makes mistakes. After the anger subsided, I was heartbroken. I’m her mother, and I’m a woman. I could’ve helped her, I could’ve made it easier for her and nursed her back to health, emotionally and physically. I could’ve explained to her that she doesn’t need to hide this decision, this huge part of her life- that her father and I would understand. I cried for days and was unable to look at her or hold a conversation with her.

Finally, because I couldn’t hold it in anymore, I sat her down and gently asked her why she did this without telling me or her father. She immediately started crying, which only made me cry, and said that she was embarrassed and ashamed and didn’t want to disappoint us or let us down. It broke my heart and I tried my best to explain to her that we wouldn’t have judged her, that we would’ve supported her decision and that she could’ve put herself at risk by not telling us.

It was a good moment and opened a new form of communication between us, but it also made me consider issues I’ve never thought of before. The shame and embarrassment surrounding abortion alienates people, especially women, and the states that require parental consent for abortion can easily lead to desperate, misinformed teens making bad and dangerous decisions. It’s important that we culturally move past the shame surrounding abortion and learn to speak freely about it- with our daughters and our mothers, but also with the men in our lives, with our sons and brothers and fathers.

 

 

Two days ago

May 18th, 2011

Two days ago I had an abortion. While I am thoroughly pro-choice and always have been, I’ve always had a little voice in my head that told me that if it came down to it, I wouldn’t personally have an abortion. I was lucky to be well informed about sex education and never had to deal with even facing that situation as  teen or in my twenties. But I’m now 31, married and I have a two year old child. I’ve been switching birth controls trying to find a better pill for me (my hormones are messed up from my pregnancy), and believed that my birth control was protecting me from pregnancy when it wasn’t.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was beyond confused. I felt like the world was collapsing around me, but I couldn’t understand why. I have a beautiful daughter, and she’s the most important thing in my life (besides my husband), but both my husband and I only wanted one child. But knowing the highs and emotional attachment to my baby I felt during pregnancy, I had a really hard time and a lot of guilt coming to terms with the decision that I was going to abort my second child. My husband was wonderful throughout and very supportive. We discussed it over and over again and came to terms with the fact that we like our life the way it is, that we only have resources to properly raise one child well and that this is a very sad, unfortunate situation, but that we have to follow our hearts.

I went to the doctor and was told I was four weeks along, but it would be better to wait to have the abortion until I was at least six weeks. Over the next two weeks I did a lot of thinking and a lot of crying, but I knew, deep down, that I didn’t want another child and there was no way I could give my baby up for adoption.

The abortion itself was fine- it was much like any of the countless obgyn appointments I had when I was pregnant. Afterwards, I felt slightly ill or tipsy, like I was drunk- maybe from the anesthetic they gave me- but emotionally, I felt okay. My husband was with me the whole way and we got home and sat with our daughter and talked about how blessed we were to have her and how blessed we were to have the options of family planning and birth control and abortion that could let us create the life we want to have.

 

High-Risk and Scared

April 17th, 2011

How I felt at the time…

Numb.

How I feel now…

Sad but relieved.

How old was I when I had my abortion?

19 1/2

Who did I tell?

Only my family.

I am a sophomore in college – only 19, and had been dating the man I intend to marry for 7 months (he is 28) when I discovered I was 4 weeks pregnant. For 2 weeks I thought I’d keep it- but 2 ER visits, 5 ultrasounds, and 6 blood draws later I had enough. I was diagnosed with a septate uterus- which means I have a septum that splits my uterus. People with my condition have anywhere from a 4-84% chance of miscarrying their child, delivering a stillborn in the 2nd trimester, or a premature birth.

I loved my baby, I even named it. The Dad loved it too. My father was supportive of my decision while my mom practically disowned me as she is a pro lifer while I am pro choice. I never wanted to get rid of my baby. But I didn’t even know if it’d survive and me and my boyfriend can barely afford our house together.

The staff and Doctor were really nice, they put me to sleep for the procedure- I woke up  alone in a recovery room- I had slight amnesia apparently I had taken some pills for pain and had a small discussion but I don’t recall it- the nurse informed me. The pain was the most horrible cramping ever… but the lortab they gave me started working an hour later and it went away. As I write this I got the abortion today. It was the hardest thing I’ll ever do.

I love you, little baby. And I hope that once I get my defective uterus surgically fixed I will be able to be blessed with a healthy child.

No More Crying

February 19th, 2011

Today I read the news and cry. I cry because I hear the attack not just on abortion, but on women’s access to health care. Yes, I had my abortion at Planned Parenthood. Yes, it was a necessity. Planned Parenthood offered me affordable access when no one else would. And it’s been years since then and in those years I get my annual exam at Planned Parenthood. I get testing and cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood. I have not seen another doctor in five years. I can’t afford to see another doctor. I rely on Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood offers me choices when no one else will.

And so I cry, not only because of the dangerous and violent direction this country is heading, but because of the dangerous and violent place the world already is, and always has been, for women. When did we become so deeply backwards? When did we accept the rape, the physical and mental abuse against women as normal? When did we turn a blind eye? Once we vote upon women’s decisions, women’s rights, women’s bodies as something other than their own, we vote upon the chance for others to make them their own. See Haiti. See South Africa. See the whole world, women going to grave and lethal measures to protect themselves, to free themselves of rape and abuse, to free themselves of being someone else’s property and the brunt of someone else’s decision. Today I read the news and cry, for myself and for women everywhere. But then I wipe away my tears and make a promise to myself and women everywhere. Some women don’t have the option to fight. But I do, and I will.

sign the open letter to Congress asking them to protect Planned Parenthood’s funding: https://secure.ppaction.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=pp_ppol_ws_I_Stand_with_PP&s_src=istandwithPP_home&__utma=1.1658403730.1298142382.1298142382.1298142382.1&__utmb=1.3.10.1298142382&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1298142382.1.1.utmcsr=%28direct%29|utmccn=%28direct%29|utmcmd=%28none%29&__utmv=-&__utmk=72308883

Over the Hills and Far Away

January 20th, 2011

How I felt at the time…

Sad, deflated, confused, yet extremely lucky to have a boyfriend that was/is so supportive

How I feel now…

Still sad and at times extremely emotional about it.  Somewhat relieved.

How old was I when I had my abortion?

26

How far along was I?

10 weeks.

Who did I tell?

My boss, my best friend and my sister.

My story…

“In two days it will be 2 months since I had my abortion.  About 4 months ago I fell in love.  Head over heels.  I’ve known Dan for almost two years.  We worked together.  I always thought he was kind of an asshole.  For some crazy reason we decided to hang out, and from that day forward I haven’t looked back.
The night before I found out I was pregnant I got really sick.  I surprised him when he got back from work and ordered our favorite kind of pizza with ice cream and breadsticks and pop.  As soon as we sat down and started eating I got kind of nauseous and odd feeling.  I tried to conceal the fact that I was feeling really weird so as not to ruin our dinner together.  But it got to the point where I couldn’t hide it anymore.  I ended up crouched on the floor.  He didn’t leave my side.  He was very attentive.  I had no idea what was wrong.  Well actually, I did.  I knew I was late for my period.  We finally ended up falling asleep.  He had to work the next day.  Almost as soon as he left, I went to buy a pregnancy test.  I just wanted to clear my mind and just be sure I wasn’t pregnant.  Almost as soon as I got back, and before I had taken my test, he called me and begged me to go to the hospital (because of the night before).  About 15 minutes after I hung up with him, I took the test.  Almost immediately it came back as positive.  I am pretty positive my heart skipped a beat.  Maybe two. 
I cried.  I could not wait for him to get home from work.  I knew I couldn’t sit at his apartment all day and wait to tell him.  I needed to see him.  I needed him to comfort me.  But then I thought about what his reaction would be.  Would he be angry?  Would he break up with me?
I called him and told him I desperately needed to talk to him, but I couldn’t talk to him over the phone.  He said he would call me back in 10 minutes.  He called me back in 10 minutes and he was already on the highway.
Then I started freaking out about what I was going to say.  I looked like complete garbage.  I figured I would try and soften the blow by trying to look half way decent…so I combed my hair, ran the straightener through it and put some makeup on.  It didn’t help much.  My eyes were already puffy and streaky from crying.  I then made the bed and sat indian style on it.  I waited.  It seemed like 5 hours before I heard him come in the front door.  It sounded like he almost ran back to the bedroom.  He opened the door slowly and looked at me.  He took his coat off as he walked over to the bed.  He threw his coat on the floor and sat down next to me.  He looked very concerned as he grabbed my hands in his and asked me what was going on.  I cried into his chest.  I covered my face and just sobbed into his shirt.  I remember when he pulled my face up to look at me, I saw the wet spot that I had left on the front of his work shirt. 
“”I’m pregnant,”” I said as I burst into tears again.  He just held me.  He held me really tightly.  I literally just sobbed for a few minutes.  He caressed my back and kept saying “”everything is going to be okay””. 

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I exercised my right to choose

December 15th, 2010

How I felt at the time…

Stupid, scared, confused

How I feel now…

At peace

Who I told…

My best guy friend, my sister, my stepmom, and my dad

Who came with me to my abortion…

My stepdad

How old was I…

20

My story…

When the word “Pregnant” showed up on that pee stick I thought my world was over. I saw my college and professional careers go down the tube. I saw many of my relationships crumble or strain. I saw the looks of disappointment on many of my family members faces. I saw my world end. All of this flooding my mind in what seemed like ten minutes, but was only ten seconds. Yes, I was probably overreacting, but I’m 20 and in college… It tends to happen. As I put my hand on my belly and put the test up to the light for the tenth time to make sure I wasn’t misreading it, I knew in the back of my head there was no way that I could keep it. It wasn’t the right time in my life at all. I was getting ready to start my junior year of college. There was no way I could financially or academically take off a semester, let alone a year of school to be pregnant.  It wasn’t possible.
I walked out of the bathroom and into the living room to break the news to my dad. As tears began to run down my face he got up and hugged me. He promised me that no matter what my decision was he was behind me the whole way through. He kept his promise, taking me to all of the appointments and supporting me through it all.
Since then I’ve had to deal with friends who don’t know about what happened making comments about abortions and people who get them, throwing around terms like “baby killers” and “heartless” like nothings. I’ve had to walk through the demonstrations by our on-campus “pro-life” group. It’s become easier to brush these aside and not let them hurt me, but it still happens. The thing is I’m not heartless. Hell, I’m going to school to be a teacher! I also practically raised my baby sister. That’s exactly how I knew I wasn’t ready. I just remind myself that those people don’t know me. They don’t know my story. They don’t know how I felt or what I experienced. I’m at peace with myself, and to me that’s all that matters.
What it all comes down to what that It was my decision and my life. I can’t change my decision, nor would I ever. I followed my head and my heart, and my story would have been completely different if I hadn’t.

Never Grow Up

December 12th, 2010

How I felt at the time…

confused, sick, in a false content mood.

How I feel now…

depressed, but at peace.

How old was I when I had my abortion?

14

How far along was I?

8 weeks.

Who came with me to the abortion?

My mom.

My story…

I was 14, and extremely naive. Knew nothing, wanted nothing, except to be a mother. I dreamed of it. One day I slept over at my best friend’s house, and i woke up extremely nauseous. i ran to her bathroom and threw up. At that time i knew. I told her about me and my on-off boyfriend at the time, and she called her cousin to take us to Wal-mart for a pregnancy test. I went home later that day, and took it. Two lines appeared. Two. The test was positive. i called to tell my boyfriend. He was excited, and he told me that he would do whatever he could to support me and the baby. we even decided on names. When I discovered I was pregnant, I was shocked, and excited, and scared. i instanly was attached. When my mom wasn’t home, i’d play music in headphones and press them to my tummy so my baby could hear. Even though my baby’s ears weren’t developed yet, it was a comforting feeling. But as i went along, i started throwing up more often. My mom was worried at first. I knew I would have to tell her, but she had figured it out before i was ready to tell her. She was so mad and depressed, she instantly pressed me to “take care of it”, and shoved the phonebook at me and forced me to call. The increased stress was hard on both of us. She walked about the house, threatening that she wanted to kill herself, and I was terrifed. But i could do nothing more than lay on the bathroom floor, feeling so weak. My strenght was gone, pure gone. I knew it wasn’t the baby’s fault, he was just an innocent victim of a terrible mistacke, and for that, i wanted to make it up to him. i wanted to keep him, and be the best mommy i could. But I didn’t want is to come about it this way. The night before my appointment, i stood up to my mom and told her i was keeping the baby. she threw the phone at me and told me to call my aunt. She was supportive of any decision I made, and asked me many questions to help me untangle the tangled thoughts in my head. After talking with her and my cousin (who had a baby at 17) I knew what i had to do.

I loved this baby, would give my life for him, but i knew i could never give him the life he deserved. my friend and I agreed that I was giving my baby to God. i remember throwing up in a plastic bag before i walked into the clinic, and some guy come to me, shovved a piece of paper at me, and told me i was making a selfish coice. All i could think of, is “You don’t know me, you don’t know my situation, and i feel terrible of what i have to do, but what gives you the right to make me feel worse? I will suffer in my own way. Mind your own buisness.” I was given an ultrasound, and I had pictures of my baby given to me. my mom took them and put them in her purse. I went back and sompleted the procedure, which was difficult and painful, all i can remember is a lady by me that kept saying “take a deep breath; blow it all the way out” I did as she asked. Afterwards, my nausea ceased, and i had put myself into a false content state, to fool everyone that I was stable. I just wanted out. I left the clinic, got in the car, and covered myself with what was supposed to be my baby’s blanked. When I got home, My mother put the pictures of my pretty baby in the filing cabinet. I locked myself away in my room, and slept for 4 hours. When i woke up, she was gone, and I tokk the pictures out of the filing cabinet. I keep them in my favorite book, on the page of my Estimated due date. After that, I cried all night for four weeks. And I still do. But I have come to peace with it, My baby is with God. For awhile i felt like i was forbidden from entering a church, but my good friend told me that i was forgiven, and i belived her.  I’m still learning to forgive myself, but i always come to the fact that i will never really forgive myself. i just wanted to tell my story, because i know that if someone had told me, “I know it hurts, but if you feel that this is the best thing for the baby, god will forgive you, and you can resume living in harmony.” I’d feel a bit better about this whole thing. Last night, i had a dream that i was holding my baby; It was a beautiful girl. She was at peace, but all i could do was cry. I don’t know why i was crying. When i woke up, i closed my eyes and begged my memory to let me see her again. But she was gone. As long as she is safe, i am at a slight peace.