I had an abortion today, and it’s the last thing I ever thought I would do. I have two sons who are soon turning 5 and 2, and I co-own and operate a business in the health care industry.
I track my cycle. I know the day of my last period and my ovulation signs. My husband and I usually use condoms, but we didn’t on day 30 of my cycle, and that happened to be one cycle when I ovulated very, very late.
Before, I thought I wanted a third child, but I envisioned myself as a different mother than who I have discovered myself to be. As the pregnancy progressed from week 4 to 5, 8 to 9, I came to realize that a third child would have thrown off much of our family balance: I would have to stay at home more, sacrifice many of my working hours, shift much of my business responsibilities to my partners. As a result, we would be living with much narrower financial margins, and we are already living on a tight budget with no local family support. I personally would have struggled to keep centered as a care-giver: to the many people in my practice who are ill; for my husband and children; and for myself. When I started to spot and bleed at 10 weeks into the pregnancy, and have back pains and cramps, it really hit home.
Not now. I spent the last trimester of my second pregnancy nearly incapacitated with nausea and vertigo, and it took a huge toll. I need my body to be at its best working capacity because there is so much to do already. I want my body to be healthy, to be available to provide care for myself and others. I want the time and presence of mind to enjoy the absolutely wonderful sons that I am so honored to mother.
It has been a lonely two months, and a roller coaster of self-doubt and confidence. When I finally scheduled an abortion, I landed in a more stable place than I had been in the whole pregnancy. A solid grounding in knowing myself, my own limits, and my love for my family.
The procedure itself feels traumatic right now. But I feel that I made the right choice, and I feel really really lucky to live in a time and place where this can be done so respectfully and safely.