The first, I was 20, fresh out of design school, found a boyfriend, used condoms religiously. My boyfriend’s other girlfriend apparently poked holes in the whole box of them we kept at his place. I missed my first period and started getting violently ill whenever I ate anything, and I started to hurt, everywhere. If my hair blew in a breeze, it hurt. It hurt to walk, talk, move.
And I couldn’t keep anything down except crackers and water. That went on for a month. During that month, my boyfriend’s other girlfriend wound up pregnant. We broke up so he could marry her. I missed my second period and finally talked to my parents. I couldn’t raise a child. I couldn’t afford it, still lived at home, I needed help. My mother told me that the decision was mine, and all she could tell me was to make the best decision for me. I had my first abortion a week later. It wasn’t a bad experience. The nurses were very kind, the anesthesia was a complete blocker, I felt nothing and babbled throughout to a very kind nurse named Julie. My mom drove me home, tucked me into bed and brought me soup. I could eat again. I didn’t ache any more.
The second I had five years after that. I was in love with a guy who also happened to be a drug dealer. Not smart, but I’m convinced I became stupid for a few years in there. It’s the only excuse I have.
We used condoms religiously, only this time I provided them. It was my stash, I was in charge of the condoms. “No glove, no love. Don’t be silly, wrap that willy.” I laughed at the slogans, but was deadly serious. I didn’t want to be a mother. I’m too selfish to be a mother. Since the pill made me sick, and I was raised in the era of the IUD-fear, it was condoms or motherhood. I’ll take a condom, please. My boyfriend didn’t like it. Gave the usual arguments including ‘I’ll pull out in time!’ No go. No glove, no love.
One night he decided it was time to have sex without a condom. I woke up the next morning covered in the ‘mess’. I hoped, I prayed, I crossed my fingers, I broke up with him… My period had just finished 4 days before, after all. Three days later, I started aching. My brain whispered, “You’re pregnant.” I ignored that voice. One week after we had gotten high, food started to nauseate me. I took a home pregnancy test, knowing it would be positive.
The intake nurse at the doctor’s office didn’t believe me when I told her when my periods were. I had to take 2 different kinds of pregnancy tests at the office for her to sign me in. I drove myself. Nobody I had asked was willing to go with me, and I didn’t want to ask my mom. So I drove myself, and lied to the intake nurse. I told her I had taken the bus. She told me that meant they couldn’t use ‘the good stuff’ and they’d have to keep me for a couple hours afterwards to make sure I was OK.
Not using ‘the good stuff’ meant using a local. The nurses at this particular doctor weren’t kind, they were brusque, and the doctor was non- communicative. Although it was very painful, it was quick. They apparently analyzed the tissue because the doc came in while I was in recovery for the 2 hours. He said he had never had anyone come in with a freshly implanted embryo before. I was literally twelve days pregnant.
I asked him then about the ache, the sudden nausea. He said it was probably a bad reaction to the sudden change in hormones and said he was surprised the stick test came back positive, but that could be the sudden change in hormones too.
I’ve been pregnancy free since then, and that was 16 years ago. I’m looking forward to menopause since I still can’t take the pill. I’ve looked into the IUD and my doc says I’m not a good candidate. I also can’t afford a sterilization. But I do have a wonderful relationship (4 years now) and he’s not in the mood for kids, either. Condoms and spermicide are the contraceptives of choice.
I’m HAPPY abortion exists, and although I cannot agree to using it as a contraceptive method in and of itself, I will fight to the death to keep it accessible for all women, everywhere.