My boyfriend and I had been using the pull-out method for almost a year since I went off the pill because of side effects. I figured if I got pregnant we were already talking about marriage and it would just be a little out of order. No big deal right? Wrong. I was so very wrong.
About 6 months into using the pull-out method, my boyfriend fell off the wagon with his drinking. Long story short, after New Years this year he finally realized he needed to get his drinking back under control. He still hadn’t quit completely, but things were so much better. I began feeling happy again and he began to be the person I fell in love with again. Things were looking up.
Since things were so much better in our relationship, we were having much better sex. One day we got a little too caught up in the moment and he didn’t pull out. My first instinct was to go get Plan B. I had the car keys in my hand ready to head out the door when he stopped me. He said he really didn’t think it was necessary. I have PCOS and doctors had been telling me since I was 16 that pregnancy would not come easily. Plus, the hormones really messed up my body. We agreed the Plan B was probably unnecessary and moved on.
I thought nothing of missing my period since I was never, ever regular. I thought nothing of the sickness that ruined our Valentine’s Day plans since he had just had a stomach virus the week before. I thought nothing of the cramping I was experiencing, assuming I must have cyst.
It didn’t occur to me that I should take a pregnancy test until I went to the Dermatologist. The doctor prescribed me a medication and he warned “You absolutely positively cannot get pregnant while taking this medication because it causes severe birth defects. Can you promise me you will not get pregnant?” I took a pregnancy test that next morning.
Positive 3+ weeks. I was over 6 weeks pregnant.
After the shock wore off, I became really happy that I was pregnant. This was something I had written off for myself as an option a long time ago yet here was the opportunity to be a parent. Sure, I would have to give birth in the middle of my last semester of grad school and was only working part-time, but he had just gotten a promotion and was making good money. I figured I would just have to plow through that semester despite being very pregnant and giving birth. Where there’s a will there’s a way! I figured after I graduated we’d move out of DC and into another state where the cost of living would be more affordable. He sent me a few listings of houses in the northeast that we might be able to afford.
When we first started having sex, we had discussed that if we got pregnant neither of us would want an abortion. He had a girlfriend who had one years ago when he was 19 (now 31) and he found out later that it actually wasn’t his baby, but he always said it never sat right with him. So, what happened next shocked me.
The day after I took the pregnancy test and before we even knew how far along I was, he called me from the road and said I had to have an abortion. We just couldn’t afford the baby on his salary alone. He also was worried about the state of our relationship. He just didn’t feel secure in our relationship and he didn’t want to “gamble on the life of a child” whether we would work out or not. I had threatened to leave a few times because of his drinking, but we had been moving past it. We had talked about getting engaged once more just a few weeks earlier. HE TALKED ME OUT OF GOING TO GET THE STUPID PLAN B PILL! “But I didn’t really think you would get pregnant”, he screamed.
Two weeks of screaming at each other, fighting dirty, dragging our parents into the mud to gang up on each other and uglier behavior from both of us that I can’t believe actually went on, I was sitting in the office of a therapist with my school telling him how shocked I was by my boyfriend’s feelings on terminating the pregnancy. The counselor said one thing that made my decision for me: “The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior.” I snapped out of it at that moment. I loved my baby already and wanted it badly, but my future happiness with my boyfriend and my child’s future happiness required serious change on my boyfriend’s part. It was one thing to take a chance with my own life, but would it be fair to our child? No. I knew what needed to be done.
The abortion clinic my regular gynecologist recommended to me was old looking and just terrible all around. Is there a reason there had to be paint peeling off the walls? Seriously, why can’t it look just like a regular doctor’s office? I think we have some more work to do on abortion rights in this country. I was the second appointment of the day. Me and 5 other girls in our “group” were shuffled from station to station until the procedure. I thought when it was over I would feel a tremendous sadness. Truth be told, I felt nothing but relief. In the recovery room I spoke with the other girls that were in my group. Most of them had children already and could barely afford to take care of the ones they had. Some of them had stories that made me glad my boyfriend didn’t have a worse reaction. When all was said and done, he drove me to the clinic and then to my parents house so I could rest and tried to support me emotionally while I was a wreck after I decided to abort as best as he could. When we went to leave, the sadness hit him. He still feels the sadness from our decision and will for some time to come. It hit him a lot harder than it hit me once it was done. But I had also done a lot of mourning before the procedure started. I was 8 weeks pregnant.
My mother confided in me that she and my father had an abortion while they were engaged because they were worried about their parents. Actually, almost every person I’ve confided in has “confessed” that they or a partner have had an abortion also. 1 in 3 almost seems a little low to me now.
The abortion was only a week ago, but in that time my boyfriend has gone back in to AA and has sought personal counseling and financial counseling to get his life in order. I have also started counseling to try and make some improvements in my own life. We both have agreed to go to relationship counseling together, but I’m feeling really shaken about how solid I thought our relationship was. Only time will tell what happens but I’ve got eyes wide open and a new lease on life.
I really thought I’d be more sad about loosing the baby. I was inconsolable before but it almost seems like my hormones settled and I’m finally thinking clearly. I’ve had a few moments of brief sadness and there’s a very small voice in the back of my head that says “what if?”. I guess only time will tell how I will feel. I don’t think I would ever do it again if I became pregnant again.
I had someone tell me when I first found out I was pregnant that I had 3 options – motherhood, abortion or adoption – and that all three of these choices would change my life forever. I couldn’t agree more. I am changed, but I am a woman and I am strong enough to evolve and overcome the obstacles in front of me. I’m feeling hopeful for the future and I am ready to take on whatever life has in store for me next.