I was 23 and in the worst days of my life. I was confused about what I wanted from life and I was living in a place where those who surrounded me had a great influence on me.

My social life was at full blossom and I was living life young wild and free. I had recently ended a long term relationship out of doubt and focused on being me and being 23. I had partied a bit but usually I was smart enough to know where to draw the line. Not this time. I wanted to have fun…and so I did. Too much, and with someone I barely knew. The next morning, I thought back. I didn’t know if he came or not. He didn’t pull out, and there was not protection involved. Surely he just didn’t finish. There is no way he would have been that stupid. I wouldn’t get pregnant. No way. That doesn’t happen to people like me. So I moved on and forgot about it. He and I didn’t talk much after. We knew it only happened because of the influence of alcohol. I had began to see someone else, casually. After 2-3 weeks I found myself staying up late with crazy emotions about everything in life. Should I have ended that long term relationship? Should I have started seeing some one else so early? Was I where I needed to be in life? More thoughts I had to set aside to move on with daily life. Shortly after, I took a much needed vacation home to see my parents. At that point I had started to notice obvious changes in appetite. I would go from being very hungry to feeling like tossing my cookies. I had noticed my period was late a few days ago, but it always is. And with my job its hard to keep track of the days sometimes. I was sitting on my parents couch- and it hit me like bricks in the face. I had to look back on the calendar to try to remember when my last period actually was. It’d been a while. And I felt sick all the time. And I was emotional. I knew it in that very moment. My mom was religious so this is not something I could talk to her about. I texted my best friend and he calmed me down and told me when I got back to take the test then, so I didn’t worry the rest of my vacation. A few days later, now home, and with a pregnancy test in hand, I paced in my bathroom. I was nervous even though I knew for sure at that point that I was pregnant. I hoped it was negative. I was not in a stable place. I had money to support myself and no one else. There’s no way the father was interested in anything with me- or actually being a father. There would be no good future for this child. Then it was time….sure enough, those two bright pink lines. Clear as day. I had always wanted children. But I always wanted it to be right. This was not. within the next couple weeks I got in contact with a clinic and made an appointment. It was a two stage appointment. The first day, I pulled up to see only 2 protesters outside- thank goodness. They brought me back, did an ultrasound of my now 8 week old fetus, pulled the “I’m legally obligated to tell you there is a heartbeat” on me. Great, as if this wasn’t hard enough. Then asked me if I wanted the photo….. I always dreamed about the day I would become a mother. I wanted nothing more in the world. I took the photo- at the very least, I could learn from it. The doctor talked with me about medical risks and my future and prevention. This was the hardest moment of my life. We made official plans for the procedure the next day. I came in early that morning and they took me and the other women back to a small room. One by one we took turns putting on the fancy gown. None of them were too nervous, but of course none of us spoke. One girl, I’d learned the previous day while in the waiting room for the ultrasound, she was pregnant with twins. Wow. They called my name. My turn! I was terrified. I didn’t speak. I didn’t look at the nurse. I laid down on the table and as my anesthesia kicked in the doctor spoke to me just before I fell asleep “It’s going to be ok”
After the procedure, I bled for a couple weeks. It was tolerable. But I was an emotional mess. I knew i made the right choice, but I couldn’t help think that god would ultimately judge me and not grant me the blessing of children in the future. The guy I was casually seeing noticed my changed mood and took out his frustration on me. I eventually confided in him and told him what happened. He held me and cried with me. But not too long after, I ended things with him. The choices I made over the previous months were uncharacteristic of me and poor judgement. He wasn’t happy about the ended relationship and proceeded to tell everyone I knew that I had had the abortion. And he told them it was his so they would feel bad for him. Now I have lost a lot of friends over it and I am constantly judged, even in the work place. No one knows what this decision is like for a woman. Especially for me, having wanted a child most of my life. Luckily for me, my friends that did stick around are amazing. And I have had all the support and love I need without the negativity in my life. Today, I am happily married, and hoping for kids some day- at the right moment. Some days, I think about the abortion. More than I should. My life is beautiful now though. I do not regret my decision. I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for it.