I got pregnant at twenty seven. I was in a stereotypical affair with my married best friend, and after years of being as careful as we could be with my inconvenient allergic reactions to almost every form of medication I’d been prescribed for birth control, we opted to simply use condoms and the rhythm method as described by the mayo clinic. It worked for several years, but one not so special night, a condom broke and even though we replaced it before proceeding, the damage had been done.

I knew I was pregnant before I should’ve known, and the test merely confirmed what my instincts were already screaming. I was pregnant. The first thought I had when the plus sign appeared was “you can’t do this right now.” It was so certain, so adamant that even when I questioned it, that was the answer I came back to.

I researched everything from laws, to access, to locations, to prices and fetal development. I had a very precise cut off date that was beyond my comfort level and was determined to have the abortion done before I reached twelve weeks and it looked more like a person than a sea monkey.

Despite two back to back snow storms that almost delayed me from making the trip the morning of my second appointment, I made it in there. Calmness and poise in the face of such judgement and slut shaming as I walked in, even cracking jokes with the security guard (armed) that rushed out to my aid about the snotty nosed, bad acting kids the pro lifers had brought with them and were allowing to play unchecked in the fairly busy roadway. Too distracted with my “sins” to notice their own negligence I noticed.

Once it was done, I remember sitting in the recovery room feeling so relieved and peaceful. And hungry. I’d lost twenty six pounds from having such horrific morning sickness, and had been able to keep even water down most days. My body was turning against the fetus, rebelling at the invasion, angry I assumed because it knew I’d decided in second grade to never have children.

I listened to the women sobbing, some softly, some loudly with no care who saw or heard, mired in their shame. I felt guilty because I wasn’t sorry, that it wasn’t the burden for me it was for them. My lack of upset drew comments from one of the other girls and her mother. Not that I felt they were owed it, but I explained anyway. My mother was disabled and living with me as one of her primary caregivers, the father was married with four children anyway, and every instinct I had, had screamed at me not to carry this child.

I started having doubts over the next few weeks, and my hormones were out of control, but less than a month after the abortion my mom and sister were nearly killed in an accident and my mom was in critical condition for six weeks and came home completely non weight bearing on a busted hip. There was absolutely no way I could’ve physically provided the level of care she required upon her arrival at home pregnant. Too much lifting, too much stress.

This choice isn’t the right one for everyone, I know that, but I’m certain to my bones it was the right one for me and I’ve barely lost any sleep over it. I’ve lost more friends and people that claimed to love me than sleep, but to this day I’ve never regretted my choice, and am so grateful that I live in a state that hasn’t made it next to impossible to receive this service.