I have always been pro-choice but never thought abortion was a choice I could make for myself. Then again, I never thought I would be in the position where I would have to choose.
I am 26. I just finished graduate school and am preparing to start a new career as an elementary school teacher in two weeks. My boyfriend (well, ex-boyfriend now) and I broke up about a month ago. Then a week ago I found out I was pregnant.
I almost fainted when I saw those two pink lines on the home test. My first reaction was "I do not want a baby." I am struggling to support myself financially, and feel like I am overwhelmed with debt - I have student loan repayments, credit cards, and a new car payment. I struggle to have money left at the end of every month to buy groceries and that is while living with two other people to cut expenses. My ex-boyfriend just took a pay cut to make a career change and he is working two full-time jobs just to keep himself afloat. In my mind, there was no way we could bring a child into this world and give it everything that it needs. I immediately scheduled an abortion.
The days leading up to the procedure were very emotional for me. I struggled with feelings of guilt - I am a 26 year old, professional, educated woman. In theory I should be able to raise a baby. Was I being too selfish? I met with pregnancy counselors to learn more about resources out there to help single moms. (My boyfriend was very supportive and wanted to marry me and raise the baby. I argued that getting married only because I was pregnant was not the right reason to get married and declined his offer.) What I learned at the resource center was that even though money was tight for me that my income did not qualify me for any kind of assistance. There was no way I could afford the cost of daycare and formula and food and clothes and cribs, and since my boyfriend's income was less than mine I couldn't depend on child support to get me through. I chose to proceed with the abortion.
I chose a medical abortion, which is basically medication that stimulates a miscarriage. An ultrasound confirmed that I was only a little over 4 weeks pregnant. I took the first pill at the clinic and the doctor gave me the other pills to take at home 48 hours later. I was told to expect severe cramping, nasea, vomiting, and bleeding. Well, thankfully my cramps were only minor and I believe the pregnancy tissue was expelled from my body about an hour after taking the medication. I didnt look at it, I just know that there were several larger blood clots when I went to the bathroom. The cramps immediately eased.
Now its the day after and I am sad. I am sad that the circumstances didnt allow for me to raise this baby. I am sad for the life that was inside of me that I will never know. But I also know that I made the right choice for me and my future. There will be more babies when the time is right, and I know I will be a fantastic mom. For some people, myself included, adoption isn't an option. There is now way I could carry a baby for nine months, give birth to it, hold it in my arms and then give it away.
Although it is a sad situation I am looking forward to a bright future - a solid career, a marriage to a loving man, and more children when the time is right. I know the time will be right when I look at that home pregnancy test and feel elated and excited and over-the-moon happy. And one day I'll be there.
Februray 12, 2007
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