It is a few days away from being a year since I made the choice to have an abortion, I remember how confusing and scary that time in my life was and I hope my story will bring comfort or clarity to whoever reads this. I was nineteen years old when I found out I was pregnant, I was home for the summer after just finishing my freshman year of college. I finished my freshman year with a 3.5 GPA, I made the Dean’s List and more importantly, I made everyone in my life proud of me including myself. I had been feeling weird the past few days and my period was officially a week late so my boyfriend and I went and purchased a pregnancy test.

After we got back to my house I had to sneak the test upstairs and we waited until my parents went to bed to take it. I went upstairs and peed on the test and waited, part of me already knew the answer but I needed confirmation. I bought the ClearBlue test that reads pregnant or not pregnant and sure enough, the tiny black words pregnant appeared right before my eyes. I immediately couldn’t feel my body, I was flushed from head to toe and had no idea what to think, I was in shock. A part of me felt excited, I have always known I wanted to be a mother and all I could think inside my mind was “I’m fucking pregnant. Holy shit. Oh. My. God. Ohhhh my. GOD.” I immediately went downstairs and I couldn’t even say it out loud to my boyfriend, we just looked at each other with wide eyes and stayed silent while we both processed it all. The first thing he said was, “Do you want a beer?” I did want a beer, I wanted anything to stop the panic attack I felt coming on but another part of me didn’t want the beer because I had another life forming inside me, I immediately began thinking of my unborn child’s future and mine, what am I going to do? My boyfriend and I went for a drive to clear our heads but we still remained quieter than ever. I cannot remember all the details of that night, but it was one I will never forget. We went back and forth for weeks after that, I went to the doctor and had it confirmed, I was about 4 weeks pregnant. The doctor was very open, even though I was in a very small southern town he told me I had a choice, his words were “you have a choice to make and that’s what it is, your choice. You can choose to become a mother and raise a child or you have the choice to terminate your pregnancy, many women choose to do this and although we cannot do them here I can refer you to a safe clinic that does.” I was scared, I didn’t know how to talk about it so I didn’t, I felt judged by the nurse that was in the room before he began talking with me and I felt that secretly, he was judging me too. I see now he wasn’t, he was doing his job and I appreciate him to this day, although out of fear I never went back to that doctor, even skipped appointments to avoid dealing with the pregnancy. We went through a range of emotions (my boyfriend and I), we felt excited some days and scared to death the next. We even picked out names for a boy and a girl but a part of me still thinks it was a girl. The pregnancy was sort of miserable, I was having morning sickness that I had to hide, I was always exhausted, dizzy, and I felt so hormonal and out of control some days I thought for sure I was losing my sanity. I also had intense pains that would randomly pop out of nowhere, I had no idea what was happening to my body but still, we neglected to make a decision. A month went by, we still were undecided, I didn’t know if I could live with myself after an abortion, I felt so much guilt and shame everyday. He was very supportive, he was prepared to stick by me no matter what and we both broke down a few different times and just cried together. The night before I made my decision I went for a drive with one of my best friends, I told her and she flipped out. She didnt think I was serious and I could tell she was upset with me, I should of been more careful. I told her I didnt know what to do, what if I couldn’t live with myself afterwards? She told me, “you have your entire life ahead of you, if you have a child now you wont have the future you pictured, you may feel guilty if you have an abortion but either way you are going to have regrets.” I was defensive, she didn’t know how connected I already felt to what was growing inside me, she didn’t know anything about what I was going through. I appreciate her talk more then ever looking back, someone needed to talk to me sternly as we were in a fantasy world at times. We had no financial stability, neither of us were working at the time, and we are in the middle of student loan debt, how the hell were we going to raise a kid? We weren’t ready, we realized this after talking to another close friend and he gave the same advice, it isn’t the right time. I had dreams of giving birth to a deformed, tiny, mutilated creature and woke up crying so much it was out of control, I was literally an emotional explosion. I felt like I was doing the worst thing someone can do, I was selfish and irresponsible. We finally set a date, of course it was a few days before I had to move back to school and it was rushed. We drove to the city to get it done and I puked the whole way there, I was miserable and having second thoughts every few minutes. We got there and of course, abortion protesters were surrounding the clinic screaming religious chants at us and holding pictures of aborted fetus’ up, as I walked out of the car an old man shouted at me through a megaphone “dont do this, you are a young woman, God hates murderers, abortion is murder! save your soul and turn around!” I was furious, shocked, and I think I started to say something back when my boyfriend rushed me inside telling me to just ignore them. We sat in a waiting room slam full of people for hours, so full we had to sit on the floor. I watched girls go in and out hours later some looked scared, some were crying, some were very quiet. When it was my turn to go back I was expecting to do the pill, but I was 9 weeks so I had to do the surgical. I didn’t know that, I immediately asked if I could go speak with my boyfriend in the parking lot and they said I could. I went outside and cried and told him I was scared, he said he was too. We held each other but he told me I should still do it, I can get the sedation and everything will be okay. He told me it was up to me but I decided to go back and go through with it. I went back and went through all the blood tests, ultra sounds, and I took the medicine that you have to dissolve under your tongue. It is the medicine that soften my cervix and starts ‘contractions’, it was painful sitting there cramping in the waiting room chair full of 15 other girls in my same boat, we were miserable and hungry and ready to get it over with, the nurses even brought us goldfish and pink lemonade. Some had been there before, some had even been twice before, I stayed quiet though and took a small nap. It was finally time to go back, I had been in the waiting room 3 hours and I waited in the back for 3 hours in a hospital gown. I went and laid down on the recliners in the recovery room waiting to get my sedative shot, girls that had already had it done were waiting for 30 mins before they could leave, one woman was even hysterical and screaming about how much pain she was in. I was a little scared but the sedative relaxed me, I caught a buzz off of it and was even bonding with the two other girls that got the shot too. I went back finally and laid on the table with my feet in the stirrups, the doctor came in and they told me I would feel a slight pain and slight was not the word, I still remember the pain. I wanted it to stop, I usually have a high tolerance for pain but this was nothing I
I’ve ever felt. After it was over she gave me a pad to put on then I went out into the recovery room, I was already bleeding and walking hurt. The way I felt was so intense, I was scared, relieved, mad, and sad all at once. I finally came out and my boyfriend was still in the waiting room, one of the last ones left. He was making sure I was okay and I was ill as a hornet, I snapped at him and was overcome by so much emotion I just cried and bitched. He was confused but stayed silent, he even bought me pads at CVS and fries and a milkshake from burger king. We got through it, I got through it. I have now finished two years in college and I am still with my boyfriend today and we are stronger because of what we went through together, he doesn’t enjoy the subject but we both know it is the best decision we could have made for ourselves. We live in a small apartment of our own with another couple and we are happy, we think about how different our lives would have been sometimes but we know we made the right choice. We both struggled afterwards, it was hard to move on from. I had to go back to school and he was put on academic suspension, it was a dark time in our lives for awhile but we are both working and going to school now. I can say that I am proud of the choice we made, we gave our futures a second chance. We were not ready to be parents, I was not ready to take on the role of being a mother nor was he a father. There is no shame to be had in doing what we did, our child would have been brought into a a very financially unstable world with parents that weren’t ready for parenthood. Abortion is a choice, like my doctor told me. You have a choice in whatever you decide, it is scary and stressful but you will come to a decision that is best for you. I am thankful I didn’t have to drive hours to find a clinic, I was taken care of by sweet and understanding women and most importantly, my boyfriend. I wouldn’t go back and change anything, I do not plan on having another abortion if I get pregnant, we decided that one is enough and have been careful ever since. We are looking forward to children, marriage, and a family in a couple years when we graduate college and are financially, mentally, and physically ready.