In the twelve years of being sexually active, I found myself in a position that never crossed my mind. There were a few times I could have easily gotten pregnant, but didn’t, due to luck and/or PCOS. But, one night, I made the mistake of not using a condom.
I didn’t think much of it as my cycle often lags. A few weeks later, I started feeling what I thought was PMS. But, my period never came and the symptoms remained, along with random bouts of vomiting. On a day off, I bought six pregnancy tests, all of which were positive. As an adult student, living below the poverty line, I financially would not be able to provide for another human being. So, I spent the next 24 hours scrambling for an appointment and trying to shift around my work schedule. Because an ample amount of time had passed, it was very scary trying to get an appointment. The lady on the other end of the line was amazing and made sure I was able to get in. She was able to get me an appointment, unfortunately (but fortunately) on the very last day that I could legally have a medical (nonsurgical) abortion. I had to wait almost an entire week, and I was extremely anxious. I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone and I didn’t. I was told to have someone be with me, to wait for me, and to stay with me for the next couple of days. But, I didn’t. I went through this completely alone. I remember taking the train to the clinic and crying quietly the whole way. Sitting in the waiting room surrounded by people, not knowing if a few of them were there for the same reason, I felt lonely. During the whole process at the clinic, I was cared for by the employees, but I still felt distant. When the nurse did the ultrasound, the screen was turned away, but I kept my eyes locked on the ceiling away from it. She asked me if I wanted to look. Wiping away a tear, I shook my head and quietly said “no.” The pain following was the worst pain I’ve felt. I emotionally shut down. I couldn’t bring myself to be myself anymore… Just over two years later, I am still trying to heal. I’ve told a few people, but never really talked about it. And, when I hear people I thought were close friends talk about abortion, I feel helpless. How they view abortion and how they react to the topic is somewhat jarring and I feel that if I share my story with them, they’ll think less of me. I’d like to live in a world where we shouldn’t feel shame for our experiences. Instead, we should be accepted with love.