I am in my late twenties, a student teacher, and in a long-term, loving relationship for nearly three years with the only man that I’ve ever had sex with. The reason I am sharing my story is because it has been one of the loneliest, most isolating experiences of my life. One week before my birthday, I found out that I was pregnant a week after my expected period had not come. A visit to the local abortion clinic confirmed the pregnancy but they were unable to view it on the ultrasound. Thus, they could not give me the abortion pills because they had to see the pregnancy on the ultrasound to make sure it wasn’t ectopic.

I returned to the clinic the next week at 5 weeks along (this time they saw it–a grain of rice on the monitor). I swallowed a pill at the clinic to end the pregnancy and the next day stuck the 4 pills in my cheek that would cause a miscarriage. I passed the pregnancy within an hour and had what felt like a two-week long period following that.

The decision to abort was simple. I have one year left in my graduate program, after which I’ll need to look for a job and start working. My partner and I live in an expensive urban area and we’ll need the income and plan on saving for 3-4 years before having a baby. It’s not that we don’t want children, it’s just that it wasn’t the right time.

Although partner supported my decision completely, whether I wanted to abort or have the child, it was still a lonely and scary experience. I went to the clinic alone and completed the termination alone at home, where I threw up, cried, and rolled around from the pain. My partner wouldn’t even answer the phone at work. I don’t think that he didn’t care–it was just that truly think he had no clue what I was going through. He also has no idea of the sadness that haunts me for the child we won’t have, although I believe this was the right decision at this time for me.

In the end, I am grateful that a safe and inexpensive abortion was available to me. Nobody at the clinic judged me for wanting abortion or asked my reasons for doing it. Nobody forced me to look at an ultrasound or go through a mandatory waiting period, which I am endlessly grateful for.