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Abortion During a Global Pandemic

August 7th, 2020

My Story…


I was five days late, which isn’t uncommon for me. I kept having cramps, the normal cramps I get before my period, but days passed and still no period. Something didn’t feel right though so I grabbed the last pregnancy test under the sink. I honestly just thought I was wasting a pregnancy test, but both lines showed up right away. I cursed under my breath and stared at the pregnancy test waiting for one of the lines to disappear, but of course, it stayed there.

More cursing happened once I remembered we are in a global pandemic and medical services are limited to only essential. I remembered reading about abortions being restricted in Texas and Ohio, how awful I felt for the women being affected by these restrictions and wondered if I now would also be affected by these restrictions.

Decisions are not easy for me, I second guess myself too much, overthink things, etc; but this was one decision that was made as soon as the test said positive. No weighing pros and cons, no talking to my husband, discussion with friends or family – it was the right decision for me.

I grabbed my phone and scheduled an appointment with Planned Parenthood, which was for the following week. At the same time, I texted my husband to tell him I was pregnant. He was in physical therapy and would not see my text for another hour. During this hour, I thought “I have health insurance. Do I have to go to Planned Parenthood? Can I go to a doctor? Who performs abortions?” I called OB/GYN offices that showed up under my health insurance when I searched for abortion. One wasn’t taking new patients and the second replied “we don’t do that” when I asked about terminating a pregnancy. Then I just searched for abortion providers in my state. A clinic 30 minutes away showed up on the search, I had passed this clinic multiple times when I lived in that city so I called.

I explained I needed to terminate a pregnancy and they started asking all the necessary questions. After I answered everything, they said they could schedule the procedure for the next day, but first I had to speak to a provider who would call me later that afternoon. I was extremely relieved and thankful to live in my state. Here I am in need of an abortion during a global pandemic and can chose between two clinics near my house.

My husband saw my text and called me, when I picked up he sounded excited. My heart sank and I started crying at this point. This would not be an “us” decision, this was a “me” decision. When he came home, we sat down and talked. He explained he sounded excited because he didn’t think I was serious when I sent him the text. He had married me knowing I did not want to have children and would still love me no matter what I decided. I told him I was afraid I would lose him for terminating the pregnancy, but I could not become a parent to make him happy because I did not want to become a parent; as I had told him months before he proposed. He continued to reassure me it was my decision and he would not resent me for it. Even if this decision ended my marriage, I was not going to turn back on it because I knew it was the right decision.

The provider called me, asked me all the standard questions – if anyone was forcing me to make this decision, if I needed counseling, and then the medical questions. They explained what a medication abortion was and what to expect during the appointment and after. They also explained the precautions they were taking at the clinic due to COVID-19; which meant I would not be able to have anyone accompany me.

My sister was due to have her second child in about two weeks, but the doctors had told her she might go into labor earlier. She had four miscarriages prior to this pregnancy. I mourned the loss of the pregnancy every time. Though I do not want to have children, I love being an aunt. My nephew is my world and was beyond ecstatic for my sister’s second child. I struggled whether or not to share what I was going through with her. I was not looking for support, as I mentioned before, I knew my decision was right no matter what anyone said. I finally told her I was pregnant and terminating the pregnancy.

The next morning I woke up earlier to get some work done prior to my appointment. Due to the pandemic and lockdowns, I had been working from home for about two months. I made up an excuse about not feeling well and that I’d be on and offline that day and would make up my hours at night when I felt better. I told my husband he did not need to come with me as he was not allowed to be in the clinic with me and I was only allowed to be in the clinic for the procedure, the rest of the waiting had to be done in the parking lot. Most of the time I spent at the clinic was in my car. I filled out all the paperwork and waited to be allowed back inside. During this time my sister and husband continued to check on me. Once I was allowed back in the clinic, the provider explained what each pill would do, when to take what pill and how. I took the first pill exactly 24 hours after finding out I was pregnant.

Eight hours later, I took the second set of pills and braced myself for cramps and bleeding. I had one bad cramp that made me go into fetal position, but nothing else happened. The next day, I kept waiting for pain and bleeding. I would get a cramp here and there and brace myself for pain, but again, nothing happened. I called the clinic and explained nothing was happening. They told me to take the backup set if nothing had happened at the 24 hour mark. So I did and again braced myself for pain and a lot of bleeding and again, nothing happened. My sister had had an ectopic pregnancy and was concerned I was having one too because nothing was happening. Finally, 48+hours after taking the first set of the second pill, I started bleeding.

I felt relief and kept reading about what to expect at this point. Everything said to expect blood clots, but I wasn’t expelling blood clots. I was bleeding less than during a normal period, but it had just lasted longer than a normal period so I brought this up during the 1-week check up call from the clinic. The provider thought it was strange it took so long for the bleeding to start, I wasn’t feeling pain and I wasn’t bleeding much. They were also concerned the pregnancy could be ectopic. I went into the clinic right away for bloodwork and an ultrasound. The ultrasound did not show anything and the bloodwork came back low. They said the procedure likely worked and to come back in a few days for more bloodwork to ensure the procedure had worked and the rule out an ectopic pregnancy.

A few days later I went back for bloodwork which showed the procedure had worked. Throughout the week after the procedure, I went on with my life as normal. I kept biking, but couldn’t run because my breasts had swelled up so much it was uncomfortable to run. Everything said not to exercise, to take it easy, but since I didn’t feel much pain, I continued with my life as normal. I was only two or three weeks pregnant, which is probably why I did not feel pain or much discomfort from my abortion. I am a married woman in my 30s with a husband, a house, a dog, a stable career and I had an abortion. I am grateful I live in a state where I could have an abortion as soon as 24 hours after finding out I was pregnant, even during a global pandemic.

He didn’t tell me…

December 23rd, 2019

How I felt at the time…

Scared, alone.

How I feel now…

Haunted yet not regretful.

My story…

I was 19. It was 2012. I thought I was in love. I was very vulnerable at 19, I just wanted love. I never had a conversation about sex or protection with my Dad who raised me. My stepmom only said “if you get pregnant I’ll kill you. I started dating a guy that I hated at first. I just got terrible vibes from him and now I know. He was a bad boy and I slowly fell for him. He had previously gotten a girl pregnant and told me how he attacked her online and in person because she got an abortion. Me being stupid and young brush it aside. I had sex before with boyfriends, but it was different with him. He never used protection and I couldn’t get birth control because I still lived at home on my parents insurance and my stepmom said no birth control no sex at all. I didn’t have anyone to talk to and honestly didn’t think I could get pregnant. The pull out method worked right? But he always was ripping my pants off to have sex and then would stop because he back hurt. He said he couldn’t finish because of the pain. I believed him. I should have realized it was a lie. He was trying to get me pregnant. He would say he couldn’t finish when he already had. I couldn’t feel it, I couldn’t tell. Is it my fault for trusting him? Is it my fault for being stupid? I found out I was pregnant and attacked me too. He broke up with me and said I was lying. He had all of his friends attack me online and in texts. I had no one to turn to. My own best friend said it was my fault. I couldn’t tell me parents because my stepmom always said “I’ll kill you.” Lost and scared the only thought in my mind was abortion. I made an appointment and didn’t show. I called the one person I thought I could trust, my high school sweetheart. He took me to the abortion clinic, past the people screaming at me for being a murderer and held my hand as I cried slient tears. I went into the room and sat on the table. I will always remember the single spot of blood on the floor. A permanent mental reminder of what I’ve done. I laid back and looked at the sunset poster hanging on the ceiling. I had to be held down by two nurses as I screamed in pain. When it was over I went to the car and cried. Cried for what I did and mostly because the shame I felt about how relieved I was. I never talked to the coward who got me pregnant, but three years ago he had a son with another girl. That was his goal. His family left him and he wanted to create his own. I still haven’t told anyone except for my husband. It’s a scar I live with, but don’t regret. It kills me, but it was meant to happen so I could find myself and a healthy life.

One, Two, Three…

March 3rd, 2018

How I felt at the time…

Nervous, ready, scared

How I feel now…

Grief, relief

My story…

Next week I will be going to the Women’s Clinic to have my third abortion. I need to tell my story because the truth is, for the first time I am starting to grieve from the two abortions before. I start to wonder if there is just something totally screwed up in my head because I continue to not use protection and here I am pregnant for the fourth time, getting an abortion for the third. The first two definitely were nerve wracking and emotional but I was ok. This time I’m terrified out of my mind.

To start my story… I do have one beautiful little boy who is 5 years old. I am 29. First: Summer of 2015, I was off to rehab for 3 months for my drug addiction. When I got to rehab, I was told I was pregnant. To keep this story short, I had a surgical abortion at 11 weeks. I knew that the substances I had been putting in my body and the medication given to me at rehab had caused severe developmental issues already for the fetus. I also knew I was going to leave rehab to come back home and try so hard to stay sober and be the best mom I could be for my son who was 2 at the time. I was scared but I knew having a child while trying to stay clean and raise my son was my number one goal.

Second time: Fall 2016, I started dating a guy much younger than me. He was on a completely different maturity level than I was. I found out I was pregnant. 4 weeks along. My father was very sick and was in the process of dying this exact same week. I was not financially stable an neither was he. I took the pill for this abortion and I knew it was the right decision at the time because knowing my emotional state already having my father pass, my past drug use, I would have gone downhilll very fast trying to have another baby. The pill was so much worse for me than the surgery. I woke up after taking the pills and had to buy a new mattress. Third time: Next week 2018, I don’t even know. I’m about 6-7 weeks. I don’t know if I want to go through with surgery or pill, I have relapsed with drugs, I’m scared out of my mind this time.

Both times before I was so sure and had no doubt. Number three just seems so crazy. I feel like a bad person and I know I’m not. I make bad decisions. I worry what people will think even though only two of my close friends know about this. But I put myself in other peoples heads and wonder what they would call me or say to me. I’m just not in a good place mentally about this time and I’m scared.


Surgical termination at 12 weeks update 3rd day

February 3rd, 2018

Just writing another update. My last post was three days ago after I had my abortion, which I wrote about the details of, the procedure itself was painful but I was well cared for and consider it overall very positive. I have gone through many emotions since then including a lot, I cannot stress this enough, a LOT of learning and reflecting that I am so grateful to be experiencing although it has been hard.
Physically I have been fine, some cramps and lower back pain I took an ibuprofen just once but I mostly feel fine so far. Bleeding only the first two days. We will see how that goes as time progresses. I do have a ton of energy back which is nice.
Emotionally I have felt many things. Relief about not continuing a pregnancy that didn’t feel right and from feeling uncontrollably emotional, scared, depressed and stuck. Realization that things would have been okay and some regret that I didn’t see it though, although not really because I never would have been able to learn these things and have this perspective, which I am grateful for. Gratefulness for a new appreciation for life and the gifts it bestows on everything, for the opportunity to address my emotional challenges and forgive myself, and for all this learning and support of people who love me. Sadness for the opportunity I did have to lose because of this choice. New determination and hope for a future and the life I want to make. Some anxiety and sadness over seeing my boyfriend feel sad, although his support through this has helped me feel a love and a trust for him that I wasn’t able to feel before. And also just today a very acute sense of loss of confidence and a feeling of not being “special” anymore. That was a weird one. But those are all the things I’ve felt so far. For me it HELPS SO MUCH TO TALK, feel my feelings, and let them pass. Sometimes being alone just to recognize what I’m feeling and accept it helps, and then afterwards this is usually followed by a sense of gratefulness, peace, or comfort. I have realize there is no right choice there is only learning from your choices. I would like to be pregnant in the future and am currently working on the self care I so much need before I’m ready for that. I’m much more tender and gentle and appreciative with myself and others now. Every smile feels like a gift. Just so many changing emotions and reflections. I consider this pregnancy to be a gift and a lesson I will never, ever forget. I am a different person now, and I do feel proud. I know this is long but hopefully it helps someone. I’ll write another update in a week probably. I will say also that finding supportive from people who love you or can understand even if it’s just online or through clinic counseling helps immensely. It can change your whole outlook. Kindness and love for yourself and others really is everything. Thank you for reading this.

At peace with surgical abortion

January 24th, 2018

I recently got out of a four year relationship and also quit a job that I’ve had for five years as an RN. I had money saved up as well as on the side income to give me a few months of exploration, taking care of myself, taking care of my 1900’s era house that I now owned by myself, and an old cat, plus getting into many creative and personally fulfilling pursuits, and finding a better job for me. Well in the middle of all this I found out I had gotten pregnant with a man I had been dating casually, although I had been using the forms of prevention that had worked for me for the last 12+ years. It was unexpected but the baby’s dad really wanted me to go though with the pregnancy, he wanted to be with me and wanted a family. This all seemed too much too fast for me, as someone of divorced parents could probably relate, that is a lot of commitment to someone I had only just met after just saying goodbye to my last relationship which took a lot out of me. I felt I was beginning to get myself back again and didn’t feel emotionally ready for a pregnancy or child. After a few weeks of thought and talking, I decided on an abortion. The surgical procedure really scares me but at 12 wks it was my only choice. The day of the procedure I brought a friend which made a WORLD of difference, I couldn’t have done it alone and I couldn’t have done it with the baby’s father. I had a pain reliever and an Ativan, and the procedure was quick and not too horrible, other than the dilation. That part really was so painful I didn’t think I could do it, but the nurse and doctor were so kind and made it quick so it was over before I knew. Immediately after it was all done maybe ten min, I felt great. The cramps subsided and my friend took me out to lunch. It’s been a few hours now and I will probably post another update in a few weeks to see how I’ve been feeling. So far I just feel relief and happiness, proud that I did it. I am looking forward to get periods again and having my monthly cycle and returning to the things I love doing that I lost interest or energy for while pregnant. I have learned so much from this experience that would help me be a better mom in the future or at least helped me learn more about myself and what’s important in life.

The Choice I Never Thought I’d Make…

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,



Still the right choice

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

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


Grief Without Regret

April 29th, 2015

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.

I bought myself a pregnancy test without telling anyone and found out I was pregnant without telling anyone. I still didn’t know what to do. I thought my next step would be to find a doctor and pay for the abortion. I wasn’t even going to tell my boyfriend. At the time, I didn’t think I knew anyone else who had ever had an abortion – I later found out this was far from true, but in the moment I felt completely alone with my choices.

The same night my mother asked me what was wrong. I said “nothing” even though I wanted to tell her everything. She looked at me strangely and said, “Are you pregnant?” And I started to cry. We made an appointment at Planned Parenthood for a consultation and to find out how many weeks along I was – I called my boyfriend.
Luckily, my family and boyfriend were all incredibly supportive. No one judged me. And everyone asked me what I wanted to do.
I loved my boyfriend deeply and would have had a child with him – in fact I WANTED to – just not yet. We agreed together that the best choice at that time was for me to get an abortion. I had known since I first “knew” (suspected) I was pregnant that I would have an abortion, I felt lucky that the people around me supported that.

My boyfriend drove 5 hours to be with me and we went to Planned Parenthood for a consultation together. The woman there rattled through our options and then proceeded to push for us to consider having the baby, paid for by some patiently awaiting adoptive parents. I left feeling judged and shamed.

At some point during all of this I graduated from high school – a moment that was supposed to be full of joy and expectation for the future but which for me was mostly just surreal. I felt far away even from my closest friends and didn’t know how to explain myself to anyone. I ached to talk to my friends and the teachers who had been my guides for the past four years, but hesitated to open to anyone for fear that they would disagree with my choice or blame me for ‘doing something wrong’.

A few days after my graduation I went to the doctor’s with my mother to get a surgical abortion. Although the doctor explained everything to me, I don’t remember much of the actual operation except that we went down some stairs into what felt like a basement and it was definitely painful. Everything went as it should, and the abortion was completed successfully. My mother drove me home. I remember thinking, “How would I have done this alone?” I was in no state to drive, it was hard enough to be in the car.
My whole family was supportive and gentle to me. My boyfriend drove to be with me again but it was hard for me to communicate with him. I felt upset that I had had to have an abortion, that we hadn’t been careful enough and I had ended up getting pregnant. I was angry at myself for getting everyone involved, part of me was ashamed and still wished I could have been totally independent through it all. I felt physically violated – even though I had chosen that route, it had still felt like a surprise to me how ‘serious’ the operation was… maybe because no one really talked to me enough about what to expect.
The emotion that surprised me the most though, was grief. Some part of me had wanted that baby, I loved the man who would have been the father, and I knew that one day I wanted to have children. The sadness that came over me was unexpected, and I was unprepared for it. I didn’t know how to talk to anyone about it. It seemed strange, I had CHOSEN to have an abortion, but I was SAD that I wasn’t going to have the baby. I knew that wouldn’t make any sense to anyone.
I realize now that a lot of that was due to the drastic hormonal shift, one minute my body was pregnant, and the next minute it wasn’t. But no one ever seemed to talk about that part of abortion – maybe people feel it would hurt the argument for pro choice.
For me, that was the hardest part of the experience, and the time when I felt the most alone. Now I know that all women who have abortions (and there are a lot) experience some kind of grief. I can only imagine how helpful it would have been to have someone to talk to, to assure myself I wasn’t crazy. I never doubted my decision and I have never regretted my abortion – that was part of what made the emotions of grief and sadness so confusing.
We are tied to our bodies in more ways that we understand, going through something like an abortion can affect us – and those involved with us – in more ways than we expect.

How I felt at the time…


How I feel now…



I dont know what I want, but I know I wish this never happened

February 17th, 2015

My story…

i never wanted kids, i don’t even like being around children. I look at new mothers with strollers and wonder why the hell they feel like they have to show off their kids like they made some kind of accomplishment in their lives. I resent children and people who love children. I unfriend people on Facebook when they become pregnant because I just don’t care to hear how “difficult their lives have become” and how “amazing” their children are. Who cares? Definitely not me.

I love my boyfriend more than anything, and the only reason why I have been feeling better about children is because he wants children. His two young nieces are a complete joy to be around and I love them to death, but when those girls leave, I am back to hating kids.

I knew I was pregnant before I even took the test. It was a strong gut feeling. Both tests read positive before I even finished urinating on the stick. Once we knew I was pregnant, everything made sense. My stomach had been hurting, I had been feeling nauseous, my boobs have been swollen for three weeks, my crazy cravings are even crazier, and my hormones are out of control.

My best friend is pregnant. She got married about a year ago and was finally able to conceive a baby. I have never been happier in my life for someone to have a baby. This was the major reason why I was excited about my own pregnancy. How amazing is it that we both would be having children at the same time? She got me so excited about having a child of my own.

My boyfriend and I have always wanted to get married and have children after college. While we are well into our twenties we both still have not completed our Bachelors yet and therefore we have deemed ourselves to be not ready. So despite our excitement to start our family a bit earlier than expected, we have ultimately decided that we absolutely cannot be ready for a child at this time.

And for some unknown reason I am crushed.

I know we can’t do this right now. We just bought our first home, we are swimming in bills, student loans, credit card debts, and all sorts of financial issues. There is no way for us to financially support a tiny human. I know this and I have come to terms with this.

So I scheduled my abortion. But now I can’t stop crying.

I am so terrified of the protesters, the pain it will cause, the conversation with my mother about using our health insurance, talking with my boss about taking time off of work, everything about this is so terrifying. This is so scary. I am so scared. I have never felt so wrapped up in fear and that makes me feel so sick.

I am worried that I will have to go manage my store the day after I take the second pill and that I will be bleeding everywhere as this embryo exits my body. Will my associates know? Will my clients know? Will it hurt? Do I even have to tell my boss? What if she’s against abortion and makes me feel uncomfortable at my amazing job until I quit?

What is going to happen?
Will I be okay?
When will I stop being so afraid?

I wonder if having a baby would be less scary.