My story is not the norm. It happened in December, 2013. I was thirty, engaged to be married, had a well-paying job and a lovely house with plenty of privacy in a nice neighborhood. For all intents and purposes, this time in my life should be when I have children. But that life is not what I want.

I stopped taking the pill due to some unwanted side effects, so we were using condoms and I was tracking my cycle. I had been tracking my cycle for a year and a half, but I experienced some fluctuations in my cycle the previous two months leading up to the pregnancy, so I’m not sure if the timing was off or the condom failed, but I became pregnant. I do not want to procreate for many reasons. So my only choice was abortion. My significant other already has a child and he agreed with my decision. So I went to my local clinic, confirmed the pregnancy, got the ultrasound and found out I was 5 weeks along. I opted for the medication method. The other method was only performed in a clinic about 45 minutes away at certain times, and I couldn’t take off of work to go, so I opted to take the first set of pills on Thursday and the second set on Saturday. Pain started about 30 minutes to an hour after taking the pills. It was pretty painful. Actually, it was the most pain I ever felt. I felt dizzy, almost passed out at one point. I stayed in bed most of the time, with the occasional bathroom trip. I should have eaten more. I think I would have felt better if I did. And I probably could have used more NSAIDs. Bleeding was very heavy, and I saw the aborted remains. Just a couple inches long whitish lump of tissue. I bleed heavily for a few days. I don’t remember how long. My hormones were crazy. I was very emotional. I didn’t want to have sex, I withdrew from my very supportive partner. But my levels adjusted over time. However, during the crazy hormone time, which lasted a few months, I felt depressed, embarrassed, but never regret for the decision, just regret for getting pregnant in the first place. If anything, it solidified my conviction to not having children. I was able to fully realize parenthood was not something I wanted. It took a while to trust my body again. I told a couple of friends, but not my family. Six months later a friend of mine, who was 41 and already had two kids, also had to go through with an abortion. She just couldn’t afford to have a third child. But I shared with her my story and gave her the support group I sought out. Sharing my story with her also helped. Now I am on Nexplanon, which will last three years. So my now husband has three years to get a vasectomy! I feel fine now. No depression, no hormone issues. It is really amazing how much hormones can mess with you! I am very grateful to live on the east coast where my local planned parenthood is just 10 minutes away. They are the kindest people. Better than any private OBGYN. When I told my private doc, she was rather cruel, so I go to a more open minded doctor now. I hope I never have to go through that again, but my beliefs have not faltered. A year and a half later, I can say that I feel confident in who I am. I wish the shame and stigma didn’t exist. The world would probably be a bit better if such shaming wasn’t the norm. Women shouldn’t be forced into having unwanted children. Every child should be a wanted child.