I always knew I wanted children, I had a list of names chosen since my middle school years.
If only adulthood were as amazing as perceived during childhood…
At 18 years old I began dating, and moved in with an older man. The age difference caused a great deal of problems and we called it quits after 7 years. I immediately began seeing someone my own age. He seemed to be everything I had been missing. We spent all of our free time together. Everything was great, until he began pressuring me to commit to a relationship with him. I was reluctant, and this sparked a change.
He started showing signs of jealousy, and attempted to control the places I went and people I saw. He always acted like these things were only in my head, but friends were noticing too.
He told me he was just afraid to lose me, and if I’d just let him know I wasn’t going anywhere, he’d change. He said we should get a house together, that he wanted to marry me and take care of me. I wasn’t interested in any of those things. I felt bad that I saw our relationship as something more casual than he did, so I ended it.
I ran into him a few months later and we ended up spending the evening together. It was nice at first, but as the night continued he began grilling me about what I had been doing since we last spoke. Where he or his friends had spotted me, and who I was with. I asked him to leave, and again cut off communication with him.
The following month I learned I was pregnant. I knew it was that night. I called my doctor, but they couldn’t get me in for 10 weeks. They told me I could go to a clinic, I’d be seen immediately, and I’d have options at this point. 2 days after learning of my pregnancy I had my first appointment at the women’s clinic.
I went to my appointment with no intentions of having an abortion. I wanted/needed to know this was real. I needed to cross all my t’s and dot all my i’s before telling the father.
For abortions, my state requires that written materials including a workbook be given to you, you receive a counseling session, an ultrasound where you can hear the heartbeat, and have a few days waiting period before you can have the procedure. I had to go through all the steps, whether I decided on abortion or not.
My counselor was great. She explained to me that the workbook intentionally presented inaccurate information, because we live in a pro-life state. She encouraged me to learn more online. I let her know I wasn’t interested in having an abortion. I explained that even though I was pro-choice, I didn’t fit the requirements of someone I thought would need an abortion. I had a job, I could afford a baby. I had a big enough home, with room for a baby. Most of all, I was now in my mid twenties, surely old enough to take care of my own responsibilities. She let me know that if I changed my mind, I could return the following Thursday morning and I could be seen. Otherwise, I was good to go, ultrasound picture in hand, ready to show daddy.
He took the news different than I’d imagined. He held my belly, and he kissed my belly, but the occasion was short and cold. The following evening he asked me to join him for dinner. During our meal we discussed what this would mean for us. He thought this happened because we were meant to be. He wanted me to give “us” a real chance, see how great it could be. I told him that I really just wanted us to focus on being the best we could be for the baby, anything beyond that would sort itself out. He seemed okay with my response.
Three days later, Wednesday night, we were getting along really well. I was laying on the couch in my living room watching TV, and he was sitting by my feet. He started talking about wanting to buy his own home. I told him it sounded like a good idea. He told me I should be involved in the process. I didn’t respond. He told me it was time for us to start making big moves like that. I didn’t respond. He told me that we needed to be married and in our new place before the baby came. I laughed and told him that wasn’t happening.
I don’t remember exactly what occurred, but he snapped. Suddenly he was on top of me, choking me and slamming my head against the armrest of the sofa. I might have blacked out. I was alone. I didn’t see or hear him leave. I called my mother crying and she said she’d come over, but she lives 2 states and 4 hours away so I told her not to bother.
He called a short while later, told me he was coming back. He promised to leave me alone. I called him a psycho, an asshole, a waste of life… nothing that wasn’t true at that moment. He agreed. I told him we should go to the clinic the following morning. My wait time was up, and we had no business having a child together. He said “that’s the only reason I’m coming back, to make sure you go there in the morning.”
We woke a few hours later and were off. Protesters yelled at us, but I really couldn’t hear them; my own thoughts were much louder.
My counselor said “you’re back? I thought you didn’t want this. Is someone making you do this?” I explained to her how my feelings had changed: earlier I hadn’t discussed the pregnancy with the father, but now that I had, we both decided this was the best option. I was 7 weeks, it had been exactly one week since I learned I was pregnant.
I struggled with my decision for over a year. I cried on my due date. I cried every time I saw a baby that would be the same age. I cried when I saw baby clothes, and I mourned on the one year anniversary of my abortion. I thought I’d live like that forever. But I didn’t.
I got back with the guy I started dating when I was 18 and we have a much healthier relationship this time around. We have a 3 year old son together that we absolutely adore, I gave him my favorite name from the list I made when I was 12.
I’m not ashamed that I chose abortion. I know I did the right thing, I know now that there are more factors than just money, age and housing to consider when making such a decision. I try to be open and honest about my experience, because I don’t ever want another girl to feel like she doesn’t fit the “requirements” to have the life she deserves.
My abortion made me a better person, allowed me to be a happier and healthier person. My abortion made it possible for me to be the best mother I could be.