I remember the exact moment I fully
realized I was pregnant. Sitting on the exam table in my doctor's office, a slight
smile moved across my lips as I heard, "Yes, you're pregnant." My first
thought was, "I'm having it."
I had not spoken to the possible
father to be. I was thinking as a young woman who once very much enjoyed babies
and children. A woman who fantasized of a wonderful husband and four beautiful
children to someday complete her life. A woman, who once she faced reality, would
come to the conclusion that fantasies are just that.
* * * * *
He insisted I have an abortion. "I'll take you tomorrow,"
were his exact words, I believe. We weren't by any means an exclusive couple,
though I thought we were special to one another. He had one child already and
wasn't "about to have another one." "I'm having it whether you
want me to or not," I cried. A hateful, "I'll see you in nine months
then," was his reply.
Many tears I shed in the next few hours as I
sobered to the delicacy and exactness of my situation. This wasn't even close
to my fantasy. I was supposed to be happy. I wasn't supposed to feel so alone
While I wanted a child, I did not have any of the resources
I needed to be a good parent. Not to mention damage I had already done. I had
points against me and against the being growing inside my body. The main reason
I became pregnant was a complete lack of love and respect for myself. I foolishly
relied on a relatively non-effective method of contraception. I was delusional
in half believing I wouldn't get pregnant because I smoked pot. Somewhere I had
once read that marijuana use could cause a woman to not ovulate. There's the kicker.
I didn't care about myself and was actually in a vicious cycle of self-abuse.
I may have known some of what I was doing to myself, but rarely considered the
consequences of my actions; immediate or long term.
* * *
* * * *
I never considered adoption. I knew I get attached too easily. I
could not carry a fetus to term only to give it to someone else as it takes its
first breath of life. I was going to raise a child or have an abortion.
was lucky. My mom is strongly pro-choice and raised me to be the same. I learned
much about abortion long before it ever became something I'd have to personally
consider as an option. I believe that helped me immensely in my decision making
I wrote out a pros and cons list for both options I faced. At the
time I became pregnant I was taking prescription drugs which could have an adverse
effect on a fetus, smoking cigarettes and marijuana regularly, and drinking alcohol
occasionally. Not to mention I was struggling to eat enough for one. All of these
factors supported abortion.
Even before I became pregnant my emotional and
mental health was at about the worst it has ever been. I was having problems with
anxiety and depression. My performance in school and at work was declining. I
was having financial problems and lived from paycheck to paycheck. Another group
of factors supporting abortion.
The only reasons I could find for carrying
to term and raising were relatively selfish. I wanted someone to love. I wanted
someone I could take care of who would be able to depend on me. I would maybe
have a chance with the father. Mom and Dad would have a grand baby.
now my Grandma would see a great-grand baby. Grandma would also be upset I got
pregnant outside of marriage and had a multicultural baby with no father to model
While I felt lost, the signs became apparent. It was not time
for me to have a child. I was not ready. I didn't have enough love for me, surely
not enough for another. I began to come to grips with the fact I was going to
terminate my pregnancy. I had mixed feelings, but felt that the choice I made
was the best for me at the time.
* * * * * * *
gathered information about abortion clinics in the area - the closest one was
over an hour away. After doing my research, I chose a clinic that offered general
anesthesia and claimed to have no protesters. They advised me I would not be able
to swim for at least two weeks after the procedure. This caused a problem. I was
traveling to Arizona to visit my Grandma in less than two weeks. I planned on
swimming. I chose to wait until I returned.
While on vacation I especially
noticed physical changes in my body due to the pregnancy. I can't say I enjoyed
the constant fatigue or vomiting every morning and evening. Trying to avoid anything
touching my tender breasts was quite a task, not to mention trying to hide my
sudden lust for extra garlic pickles.
Intense emotions hit when I returned
home. The would be dad made no efforts to contact me, making it obvious he felt
his monetary contribution was enough. I felt very alone again but scheduled my
appointment for the following Wednesday morning. My roommate and good friend,
Ang, was going to drive me since I was having general anesthesia. No food after
12 the night before, that includes water.
And no smoking.
* * * * * *
We arrived just a few minutes early, thankfully to no protesters.
Oops, I had a cigarette in the car. That's okay. Paper work, more paper work.
Chairs lined up and formed into conversation areas. A plant in the corner. Magazines
and pamphlets to read. A TV if you'd rather watch something.
I walked back to the end of the hall, urinated in a cup as instructed, and made
my way to the ultrasound room. "Ten weeks." I was surprised. I thought
I was only seven or eight. Tears poured down my face as I sobbed and made my way
to where Ang was sitting, waiting. For some reason that made everything much more
real. Someone had actually seen something inside of me.
I was called in
for counseling. I saw the picture from my ultrasound. The fetus was the size of
a bean. I could make out no features. I cried and said I felt this is what I HAD
to do. Valerie, the counselor, talked with me and told me if I was not sure I
had time to think about it. Two more weeks until it becomes more dangerous. I
knew I wouldn't do it if I went home to think. I had thought in excess about this
decision. It was now or never. Now.
I told Valerie I wanted to be asleep
before the doctor came near me. She assisted me in getting properly situated
on the table. Barry, the anesthesiologist, started me counting. I fell into unconsciousness
hearing the doctor say, "Good morning, Senorita Amy."
Very blurry. I awoke in the same room we had earlier seen a video. It had been
rearranged into a recovery room. I watched a nurse bring a girl to a recliner,
no doubt she'd just had it done, too. I wanted to leave. Forget the juice and
cracker. I started to see a little clearer and made my way to the nurse. A bag
with prescriptions, follow-up care information, clinic emergency phone number,
etc. If you bleed through a pad in less than an hour or run a fever of 100.4 or
more, call immediately. No insertion of ANYTHING into the vagina for two weeks.
I slept most of the ride home.
* * * * * * *
almost a year ago. Actually, in three days will be the "anniversary"
of my abortion. I am almost 23 years old now and have grown considerably since
that life changing day.
I spent a lot of time very depressed. I constantly
wondered if I was a murderer, if what I had done would scar me forever. I felt
awful at times. Life seemed unbearable. I pushed myself to go to work and attended
school only when necessary.
It wasn't until a few weeks ago I realized I
was missing the point. In a moral problems course I am taking we started discussing
abortion and all of the controversy surrounding it. Since I enjoy philosophy I
chose to stay in the class, hoping to define my position even more. It forced
me to examine myself; what I had done and how I really felt about it. I had to
look the thing I feared most in the face and not look away. I've done just that.
am currently in the process of forming a Pro-Choice group here at Central Michigan
University. I was lucky to have a safe and legal abortion available to me when
I needed it. I commend the women who have died and fought for this right and I
will continue the crusade. I believe women should always have safe, legal access
The point I was missing during all of my down time was this:
I empowered myself by choosing to handle my pregnancy in the way I saw fit. I
made my choice based on MY beliefs, values, and opinions, not those of others.
I made the decision. ME. I finally did something myself, in love and respect FOR
myself. It was the most difficult decision I have ever made. I will not look on
this anniversary of my abortion with regret. Instead I will look on it with a
mended heart and an evolved self; it has changed me for the better, forever.Amy C.
more stories -- share your story
we really have a right to be direct and say what we need to say?
What we really are matters more than what other people think of us...
Take care of YOU." - Amy C.