Suzy's Story
"This is Not An Unhappy Story"

I'm not sure where to start. I'm 22 and I just had an abortion. I'm not upset, I'm not unhappy, I don't feel guilty, and I don't feel ashamed...I'm relieved and more serene than I've been in months. However, the circumstances of this whole situation have made me feel the desire to share my experience with others.

I didn't have any support from anyone. I had been in a relationship for almost 2 years with the father, only to discover in January that he was a cocaine addict. Imagine my surprise- especially as someone who has never done any drugs! While we were struggling with this almost unbearable situation, I discovered I was pregnant. Ironically enough, I've always been the safe-sex maniac- promoting loudly the pill and condoms. Finding my OWN self pregnant was the shock of the century.

This was already bad and when I finally told my boyfriend (now an ex), the first thing he said was, "So you're just going to kill it?" And that was it. As soon as I realized the insensitivity of his comment, I somehow just fell out of love. In that one second.

However, I still needed his support. Emotionally, mentally, financially...and he deserted me. He still lived with me, but he never talked to me, didn't sleep in the same bed and spent every night out doing drugs - leaving me to decide how I was going to do this alone.

Plus, I had the pregnancy from Hell. I was morning sick for one month straight. I was so tired I could barely function. And I was a bike you know how hard it is to ride a bike 8 hours a day while pregnant? I found every private alley in the city to puke in. Oh my goodness was I hungry! I felt like I ate continuously. Especially Life Savers. I CRAVED Life Savers with a vengeance. My friends were no help. I couldn't tell my parents. Not because they wouldn't have helped, but because it was almost too private to share with them. So I did it myself. I made the appointments, I figured out how to get the money and I took a bus to the clinic Friday morning.

Between finding out I was pregnant and having the abortion, I had about a month. And I did a lot of research. I found every web site on abortion I could. I read everything pamphlet and book I could find. I learned more about female anatomy in one month than in 22 years combined! For those of you who are doubting your decision, I recommend you get as much information as you can. It helped me immensely, just knowing what would happen before and the possible outcomes.

I felt fine about my decision - how could I bring a child into this world? What would I say? "Sorry honey, but your daddy has a cocaine addiction and his other daughter is getting no support, so we shouldn't expect any?" I could only imagine the resentment I would feel toward this child - I already resented it's intrusion. I know that sounds heartless and callous, but I simply did not want a child. I wish I could say I doubted my decision, that I grappled with the morality of it, but I didn't. I've always been pro choice. Granted, it's a hell of a lot easier being pro choice when there's no choice to be made. When I made my decision, it was made.

The worst part of this whole thing was the waiting. Did anyone else have this problem? I waited a month to have the abortion. A WHOLE month to obsess over possibly becoming septic and dying, of turning into an emotional wreck, of imagining the agonizing pain...then more waiting at the clinic. Waiting for an anthrax scare, waiting for a bomb, or a psycho. The protesters were outside when I got there at 7 AM! I don't know about anyone else, but I certainly have better things to do at 7 AM on a freezing cold March day. As tempting as it was, I stopped myself from pushing the man into traffic- realizing a homicide charge would mean continuing my morning sickness in prison.

Once I was finally in the room, ready to go, a feeling of serenity washed over me. I won't say divine inspiration because that's corny. Everyone made me feel so relaxed. The doctor exuded "doctorliness". He looked like he should be hiking with his grandchildren- he called me by the wrong name, but it wasn't maliciously...more absent-minded. And I laughed. While I was lying there waiting for the PAIN, I talked to the nurse about the parking situation in Pittsburgh. (which is VERY bad). After ten minutes, I asked if he had even done anything. He said he was almost done. I missed it. The pain and agony passed me right by! Then it was over. I was pregnancy free! I went to the recovery room- and ginger ale has never tasted as crisp and sweet as it did then. I don't think it ever will.

After giving me contraceptives, explaining post surgery dangers, and making sure I wasn't going to freak out, they said I could leave in 20 minutes. MORE WAITING! I couldn't wait to get out of there. I couldn't wait to walk around the city and enjoy my new calm. I will also admit I was DYING for a cigarette.

After the required time, I was released. I went outside and the world looked better than it had in a long time. Everything looked clearer and brighter to me. I had done it. I had done it alone. Not only did I survive it, I survived it with grace and have even gained strength from it.

I am not ashamed of it and I will never try to hide it either. It was a personal experience, not one I expect everyone to go through and that's what makes it unique. It's been a learning experience for me. And I think for my ex-boyfriend. He left for detox this morning. He at least had the good grace to call and make sure I was okay, but he can't look me in the eye. He can barely talk to me. After all this, I feel no anger toward him. More pity, sympathy...if he had been clean and sober, this experience could have brought us closer together. Instead his drug use and desertion only made me stronger - he made me not need him or want him. I'm not angry at anyone. My friends could have left their religious hypocrisy at the door, they could have offered me support, not opinions, but in the end, I'm the only one who feels no guilt.

Lastly, and this is just for a laugh. A little anecdote about the height of bad taste. The security guard who talked to me in the lobby while I waited and escorted me upstairs stopped me on the way out. He wanted to know if I wanted to "get together" sometime. Yeah, sure, let's get together. As soon as I get over this whole abortion experience, I'll give you a call. Hello? People never, ever fail to amaze me.

suzy v.
March 1999

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p.s. Sorry this is soooo long. I am an English Writing major- you know how long winded we are. :)