I gave birth to my second child, a son, when I was 20 years old. Promptly following the 6 week check up, I went on oral birth control.
3 months after his birth, my period stopped. Thinking it was just adjusting to the birth control, I figured it was nothing.
A month passed and still no period. Curiosity peaked, I bought a cheap 1 dollar pregnancy test from the store thinking it would be negative and my fear would dissipate.
Man, was I wrong.
After seeing the second line, I stared at the cursed stick in denial for probably half an hour, willing it to disappear. I drove back to the store and bought a more expensive one because surely the positive was from the bad quality of the cheap test. I was on birth control, hadn’t missed a day… ay I was pregnant. After 4 more trips and tests, the evil second line stuck. I was pregnant. Again. So soon after my son.
To say I was upset is an understatement. I was devastated. What was I going to do? I couldn’t afford another child financially let alone emotionally at that point. I decided an abortion was the only responsible action. I called the clinic close to me and asked for pricing on a surgical procedure along with an appointment. I was counseled over the phone about choices I had besides abortion.
My sister drove me down the following Thursday morning. I made sure to get the earliest appointment around 8:30 am. “Sidewalk counselors” were already gathered. My sister pulled into the parking lot and we both braced ourselves for the comments. Immediately after stepping out of the car, people started trying to convince me to not kill my baby and to come speak with them. I won’t lie, my heart raced and I said some pretty harsh comments about where they could stick their help and faux concern for my wellbeing.
When entering the clinic my sister and I had to pass through a metal detector and have our purses searched along with my ID verified for the appointment. Thankfully no one was in the waiting room. After filling out the medical forms, I was taken into the back to have my blood drawn, urine sampled, and vitals taken. After confirming my pregnancy I was escorted to the ultrasound room to properly date the pregnancy for legal and medical reasoning. The doctor that was to perform the procedure, if I continued, came in to conduct the test. She was nice. Extremely nice. She asked me how I felt not just physically but emotionally as well.
I will never forget that conversation. I was a wreck. I felt betrayed by my body. I had been on the pill. How could this have happened. She explained to me how after birth you’re more fertile and how I wasn’t alone in birth control failure. She grasped my hand before moving on to the ultrasound telling me her own BC had failed and resulted in her seeking an abortion.
After our moment, she did the ultrasound quickly with no need for a transvaginal. She asked if I wanted to see to which I said no. She dated me at 7 weeks and said the surgical would be the procedure type as planned. She asked if I still wished to continue. I did. When she left I was escorted back to the front to pay the clinic the produce fee. My sister was allowed to come back into the pre-op room where I changed clothes and waited. A counselor for the clinic came in to discuss my options and to clarify I wasn’t be coerced. After she left I broke down and balled harder than I had in my life. My sister held me. I was so upset for having to go through with this after doing all I could to not be there. My own body failed me in my mind.
After about 30 minutes, a nurse came to collect me for the procedure. I walked down the hall from the room I just had a breakdown in to the operating room. It looked like your average OB/GYN office with a little extra. I was asked sit on the table and place my legs in the stirrups. Two nurses asked me if I was so okay and ready. I was and they put the mask on my face.
I don’t remember much of the procedure. I opted to be put to sleep. I remember waking up in the recovery room to my sister starring at me. I felt crampy and groggy. The nurse came and checked on me taking my blood pressure and the works. The rest is a haze. I remember my sister getting the car and being given the exit information about what to expect and when to call or go to the hospital. A follow up visit would be needed.
The car ride is again a missing spot. What I really remember is being home later that day and laying in bed thinking I would cry and be upset but it isn’t what I felt. I felt relief. I thought guilt would come in the coming days but it never did.
It’s been 9 years since my abortion and I don’t regret it. It was the best decision for me. I will not be ashamed of my choice.