I have had two abortions and I experienced each one in tremendously different ways.

As a girl, I always imagined the day I would find myself pregnant for the very first time. I imagined an elated husband, calling my mother and bursting at the seams with happiness, plans of a nursery and a name, a bundle of joy arriving nine months later. In late July of 2013, my girlhood dream was crushed. I remember peeing on the stick as my best friend tried to calm my nerves, then feeling complete disbelief when the faded pink line showed I was pregnant. I literally had no idea what to do, all I knew was that I did not want to believe this was my reality. I had managed to go through years and years of unprotected sex with no consequences and now I was pregnant with a guy I wasn’t even dating. We had been sleeping together for six months at that point, and despite our casual relationship, we shared a close connection and I knew what I felt for him was love, so naturally I felt inclined to keep the child and hope everything worked out. He shared the same acceptance of the pregnancy at first, but then (for reasons I still do not know) his acceptance and support turned into an anger fueled campaign to get me to the abortion clinic. I was crushed.

For a month, we vacillated between outright ignoring each other or full blown screaming arguments. I leaned on a friend who was a single mother and had gone through the same thing with her partner trying to force her to get an abortion. She encouraged me to protect my decision to keep the child because she felt I would feel immense regret if I didn’t. I knew I loved him, therefore I loved the life growing inside of me and had imagined it hundreds of times in my arms, in my life, in my heart. I wanted that baby. But I also understood the logic. We were both young trying to graduate college, not only did we not have the money but we didn’t have the emotional stability. By early September, my love and respect for him outweighed the love I had for what was growing inside of me. I chose to get an abortion and face the consequences of making that decision when I wasn’t sure of it. We didn’t need our lives to be any harder than they already had been.

I don’t remember much about the days before and after the abortion. It was a traumatic experience and I let myself go into shock. He drove me to the clinic, which was two hours away, and talked me through my fears, promising to be there for me. I spent the next three days in his bed, but I don’t really remember anything besides that. I know he has sounded emotionally cold and callous up to this point, but he’s not in any way. He has never left my side since the abortion. We’re actually together now. Though he felt differently than I did, he too experienced grief and his own sadness about it. I thought after the abortion we would go our separate ways, but it only made us closer and he’s really the only person I can talk to about it. The baby’s due date was 3/31/14 so as the due date approaches, I’ve felt especially sad but the regret never goes away. I shouldn’t have done that for my own personal reasons. I love him and I loved that baby.

My second abortion happened just a week and a half ago. For about a month, I had split from the guy I had got my first abortion with (for anonymity purposes we will call him “Paul”) because I didn’t feel he was meeting my needs. I wanted to be wined and dined and we had grown into the comfortable relationship period of sweatpants and TV marathons. So, I started seeing someone else. This new guy wasn’t necessarily my type but we really hit it off and the sex was amazing. I never stopped loving “Paul,” but I was enjoying this new relationship. About a month into it, though, I felt used for sex by this new guy and truly began to regret leaving “Paul.” “Paul” took me back, and about a week after, I found out I was pregnant. I knew it wasn’t “Paul’s” and I was crushed, but for a different reason this time…I didn’t want to have a child with this guy I barely knew, I wasn’t in love with him, I was in love with “Paul,” I wanted to be with “Paul.” I went over to the new guy’s house, we talked about it, and I told him that I was firm on the decision to have an abortion and wanted one quickly. The new guy was nothing but supportive and kind. “Paul” left town to go visit his mother and I left town to get an abortion with a guy I barely knew while trying to keep it a secret from “Paul” and everyone else in my life. I didn’t feel regret with my second abortion, I felt nothing but relief. At first, I was confused by this, as I was still feeling sadness and regret about my first abortion but eagerly sought out this second one and had no second thoughts or even slight feelings of sadness. I knew it wasn’t because of my feelings on abortion or anything, it was because of love I have for “Paul” and the life we created.

Abortion is different for everyone, I have always known this, but it also different each time if you’ve had multiple. The man I love still doesn’t know about the second abortion, and I probably won’t tell him for some time, but it is nice to get my stories out there, to give a voice to something society urges us to suppress. Yes, I have a supportive man who I can always talk to about my sadness regarding the loss of our child but that still doesn’t make it any better if I can’t share my story with someone going through the same thing. The good thing about abortion is there is no right way to feel, just experience your feelings and take care of yourself. I’m lucky to have a great man to wipe my tears and listen, I know everyone doesn’t have that, but you do because you have other people who know exactly what you’re going through and who know about living with difficult decisions. Take care of yourselves sisters <3