Jessica's Story

January 20th, 2001 was my first born son's 1st birthday. As a joke I said to my husband of 2 years, "Wouldn't it be funny if on his birthday we announced to everyone that I was pregnant again?" Never in my wildest dream did I ever think that would come true. I have had problems with my body and had conceived once back in 1996 and miscarried. Then it took us until May of 1999 before I was ever able to get pregnant again with no contraception over that period of time. I had begun to believe that out of my very fertile family that I was gonna be the one who just couldn't have children.

January 30, 2001
I was late for my period which was normal but I was having some extremely bad cramping. So I went to my Ob/Gyn for a pregnancy test so that we could rule out that possibility and proceed on to what needed to be done to find out what was cramping me so much. As I talked with my husband he told me how he wasn't ready for another child and I totally agreed with him. As I sat with the nurse I told her to just tell me it was negative so that I could get on with my life and resume my birth control. She leaned over once and looked at the test and came back to talking to me. A minute later she takes another look and says to me, "So you don't want to be pregnant?" I just shook my head. All I could think about was the tone in my husbands voice stating how he didn't want another one now. My husband has always been a very caring and never demanding person. This time he was demanding.

She leaned back towards me and looked me in the eyes and told me that I was pregnant! All I could do was laugh. I didn't want to cry in front of her and she knew that and expressed herself to me that she knew how I was feeling. She talked to me about abortion and also about adoption which would never be a option to me since my husband has never met his mother. I had seen what he had went through and would never want to do that to my own child. As I left the office with this piece of paper stating I was pregnant, the nurses and my doctors who had delivered by first born were congratulating me. All I could do is shake my head at them and they knew this wasn't wanted.

I met my husband outside with my son as he was putting him in his car seat. He asked me what was said and I showed him the little piece of paper. We didn't talk much about it. We knew what had to be done. That following Monday after talking with my Ob/Gyn, I made a appointment for a ultrasound just to make sure it wasn't ectopic (a pregnancy inside the fallopian tubes) because of the pain and to check gestational age of the fetus. They first performed a external ultrasound and then a internal. At the end they told me I was at the very beginning of my 5th week gestation which would make me only 3 weeks pregnant. Which made my conception just 5 days before my son's birthday. So my joke of a statement came true. Never thinking it would be so easy to conceive so soon.

Quickly I called my insurance company to make sure it would cover a abortion and the IV sedation. They would. Good! The next phone call was the hardest..... I was so Pro-Life. I never thought I would be having to make a decision that would change my life just three days ago.

After crying and crying I finally brought myself to make the call. I had a appointment for counseling on the 10th of February and the abortion for February 14th, Valentine's Day, the same day I conceived back in 96 and miscarried. After the appointment on the 10th I fell very sick with the stomach virus and since I get morning sickness all 9 months it brought that on too. I was basically bedridden every day that I didn't have to crawl out of the house for something. I also tend to get PIH (pregnancy induced hypertension) and Toxemia very easily. My blood pressure was rising and I was having very close fainting spells. On the 14th I proceeded to drive with my husband to Philadelphia, a hour or so drive. When we got there we waited for about 2 hours before being told my insurance lied to me and I had to pay a $300 deductible when before I was told I had to pay nothing. I had no way of paying since they didn't accept personal checks. So I had to leave.

They reset my appointment for a week and a half later for February 24th, a Saturday. For the next week and a half I cried and stayed extremely sick. I hardly told anyone at this time what was going on. I had a friend trying so hard to get pregnant and I knew that feeling of despair. She was upset that I would even think of aborting. My mother knew and gave me the money to go in and have it done. People knew but thought I was only aborting for health reasons. I was scared of what people would think of me. A baby killer!

Finally the 24th arrived and couldn't of come any sooner. By this time I had lost 14 pounds from being so sick that I was ready to do it. I went to the clinic and arrived at 8am. I was the third person to sign in. Behind me, a thirteen year old on her second abortion in 6 months. Behind her a 16 year old, 16 weeks pregnant. She was so scared. Her mother coaching her along like this was a simple dental cleaning. Her friends telling her how easy it was to have done, "They had done it before....no biggie". One friend still 6 months pregnant herself. Another girl in my situation. A 18 month old son and just not ready for another.

They called me up, I paid my money. I sat and waited some more. I watched and watched the 16 year old. She kept watching me. She was so scared rocking back and forth in her chair. I just wanted to run up and hug her and do what her mother wasn't doing for her. Comforting her! Finally I am called again. So dehydrated from not being able to eat or drink even water for a extensive amount of time this very nice African-American woman try to take my blood. My veins were scariest. Usually so plumped and ready to give. She tried in one vein for about 5 minutes before finally getting a vial full. She took my pressure, 145/90. I went back out to the waiting room ready to pass out. About 15 minutes later another woman calls me to a room. This time for one on one counseling. When I told her I was for it totally and no one had influenced me she looked at me as though she could see right through me. And yes at first I was influenced but by this time I was ready on my own. When she released me from the room she said the next time I was called it would be for the procedure.

At 11:45 am a woman emerged from the back door and called three names. Mine being one of them and the others were the thirteen year old and another girl I had not noticed before. We sat in a side waiting room all dressed in paper gowns. The girl I hadn't noticed before, just 18 and she too was so nervous and scared. I tried to comfort her the best I could like a mother would. The thirteen year old, sucking on a pacifier her boyfriend had bought her just days before, telling this girl how easy it is and there is nothing to it. 12pm the 18 year old is called back. I wish her luck, she nods and walks away. 12:20pm she emerges, sedated still and in a wheel chair. They move her into a reclining chair and place a heating pad on her tummy. Next I am called. The thirteen year old tells me good luck. I just replied, "Yeah!" I followed behind not so nervous as before and came into the room. A man comes in and tells me he is gonna start my IV sedation. He inserts the IV line and begins hooking me up to a heart monitor, oxygen, and a blood pressure pump. Even with all of this I am calm and relaxed and the man was very calming to me. A female nurse enters the room and begins telling me how to position myself. I remember the doctor entering and the IV being started and then being told they were done. I was awake but very groggy. I remember very little except for the occasional talking to me to let me know what I was going to feel. But even that is becoming faded.

They wheeled me into the recovery room and placed me next to the 18 year old. She looked at me and smiled....I smiled back. It was like a sigh of relief between us. There was that look in our eyes of what if we didn't do this but that we both knew it was for the best. She sat and ate some crackers and drank some ginger ale. In no time she was getting dressed and given some antibiotics, some birth control and sent out the door with a date for a check up. In comes the thirteen year old. She leans forward from 5 chairs down and yells, "How ya doin?" I just smiled and nodded my head. Within no time I had my crackers and ginger ale too, gotten dressed, and got my pills and was heading out the door too.

As I left the back room to find about 40 females waiting for counseling and their abortions, I smiled. I smiled the biggest smile I could and looked most of them in the eyes as I passed by hoping that they would realize what I was saying. "It will be all right, it really will!" Some smiled back and some didn't. Some may of thought I was just cold hearted and didn't care what I had just went through but on contrary, I am very emotional. So emotional I cry at birth on TV, other peoples sorrows, and in fant I cried last night for some of the girls I saw the day I was there using abortion as a form of birth control.

I went back to work on Monday, just two days later. And when people asked what was wrong with me, I told them. I told them what happened Saturday, I told them what I had seen. I have no reason to be ashamed of my decision. If they are my friends and they respect me, they will respect my decision.

I am very Pro-Choice now. I believe it is every woman's right. But I don't believe in using abortion as a form of birth control. Even though it was not so long ago, I would like to help others. I would like to let them hear my story and let them see it was hard for me also. It is normal even if you are absolutely 100% positive of you decision to cry afterwards. It is part of life. Some would say you were cold hearted if you didn't but that too isn't true. Some just feel stronger than others. Some are a little weaker but know what they want. I am that weaker one, but I knew what I wanted!

Jessica
28 February 2001, 4 days post-abortion

more stories -- share your story

Birth Control Comparison - alll methods Abortion Info from Feminist Women's Health CenterShare your story
Poetry and Prose - by women about their reproductive lives Teens HealthResources for Women of Color
Feminist Abortion Clinics Real Life Abortion Stories from teens Questions and Answers

 

"I provide abortion because of my commitment to social justice, to freedom and to the highest standards of personal moral responsibility."
-an abortion doctor