TH's Story

This wasn’t suppose to happen to me! I was only 16. Sure, it can happen to every other girl in my school, but I was different from them. My parents are happily married and wealthy, I’m on the tennis and golf team, and I just got a new car. Those girls at school are just opposite of me! I have to worry about whether I should attend Duke or Brown, not if I should keep my baby or have an abortion.

I met my boyfriend in January. He attends a local college and he’s the captain of the tennis team. I was single at the time (actually, I was just getting over a harsh break-up) I wanted to find a prom date that would make my ex wish he had never broken up with me. Prom was in April and my best friend thought this guy would be perfect for me. I met him on a blind date that my friend had set up for us. He was so cute, funny and charming!

After we had went on a few dates, he told me that he had a little boy that was two. I was shocked at first, but in a way found it kinda sexy. I thought that he was very mature and it was so cute how his little boy would call him daddy. I didn’t tell my parents (of course). My mom was just starting to like him. My dad was still skeptical of him. Within a month we were having sex. I hadn’t really planned to go steady with this guy, after all I just wanted a prom date. I knew better, my older friend had told me to wait a least 6 months before having sex with a guy, my parents told me not before I was married, my church said the same, but I went against everything I was taught. It felt so good to have someone be so close to you. He told me he was falling in love with me and I think I was too.

It’s so weird, one night we were lying in bed and had a strange conversation about me getting pregnant. I told him how awful that would be, for one thing my parents didn’t even know I knew how to kiss. He told me how beautiful of a baby we’d have and I agreed. The conversation ended with a knock on wood and if I ever did get pregnant I’d have an abortion.

Prom night (April 30th) came and my ex boyfriend’s mouth dropped open when he saw me with my new guy. It was a great feeling. I lied to my parents and told them I was spending the night at a girlfriends house and would be home the next day at 9am. After prom my boyfriend and I went to a hotel a stayed the night. It was great! We cuddled and talked about our future together. Plus had some pretty good sex.

The next morning we over slept. I didn’t get home till 10:30 am and by that time my mom and dad had called everyone in town and found out what I had done. I was grounded for three weeks and couldn’t see my boyfriend again. I was crushed! I secretly called my boyfriend and we planned how we could sneak around and see each other.

In the first week of the month I usually get my period, but this month I didn’t. I really didn’t worry, I told myself it was stress from getting caught and from my final exams at school. On the 14th of May I bought a pregnancy test. I told myself I would take it just to prove I wasn’t. I had kinda hinted with my boyfriend that I thought I was, but he reassured me there was no way I could be. The test was positive. I was pregnant!! I called my boyfriend and told him. He was shocked and told me not to tell my parents. He was going out of town that weekend, so I would have to make the arrangements myself.

I called an abortion clinic the next morning (after a sleepless night) to find that because I was under age my parents would have to sign a consent form. As soon as I hung up I went outside to the garden where my mother was. I asked her to come inside because I had to tell her something. She came in and sat on the couch and I began to cry. I told her everything. She had no reaction, she just sat there. I think that made me feel even worse. She got up and started calling clinics to make an apt. for me to have and abortion. I didn’t talk to her the rest of the day. The next morning she told my father and he pulled me outside and started yelling at me. I felt awful! That night I was going to kill myself. I felt so alone and knew that I couldn’t live like this. My parents were going to ground me the summer before my Senior year and in just a week I would turn 17 (May 23). I’ve never cried so hard, in fact I passed out and didn’t wake up until morning. I think God played a part in that.

The following week My dad didn’t talk to me, mom made an apt. for Tues. the 25th , and I had to go to school pretending I was perfect. During the week, Mom made sure to throw in comments such as, "I wish I had a perfect daughter" and "you’re the one who did this to yourself, so stop crying". It just made me feel even worse. My mom told me I couldn’t tell anyone of this because we were a highly respected family in our community.

I threw-up during a math test during the week and was so embarrassed. I talked to my boyfriend about everything and he was very supportive. Sunday my mom bought me a cake and that was all the celebration I got for my 17th birthday.

Monday night I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t feel like I was pregnant, sure I was fatigued, but I couldn’t come to terms with the facts. I decided that I would name my baby Emma May. I prayed that I would be forgiven for what I had done and what I was about to do. I knew that if my little Emma had a soul, she would go to heaven and maybe one day I would be with her.

Tuesday morning came and I had to get up very early in order to drive the 3 hrs it would take to get to the clinic. When I got there I saw about two other girls walk in with there parents and I didn’t feel as alone. I filled out a bunch of paper work and waited quietly with my mother who was just about in tears. I was called into the lab to get my finger pricked and the lady was very nice! I started to feel more comfortable there. My mom was then called in to the business part to sign forms and to pay (she took the money out of my college account.) She then went back to the waiting room and I was sent into another waiting room with about ten other girls. We all sat in there without saying a word and then one by one we started sharing emotions. I felt so much better knowing that they felt the same way I did and that it wasn’t going to be that bad after all.

One by one we were called into a private room to get an ultra sound done. I found out the I was 6wks. and 3 days pregnant. The lady had the monitor turned away from me, I guess so I wouldn’t have second thoughts, but I asked if I could see my baby. She looked surprised, but turned the monitor around and pointed to a tiny white line and said it’s less than an inch long. It didn’t look at all like what I had seen in the pictures. I went back to the waiting room with the other girls. We shared the new information of how far along we were and I just about started to cry. Another woman came in and handed us all papers to read and sign about risks and stuff.

After that the nurses called patients in the rooms. I went into my room where I was told to take of my pants and shoes and place them in a wheel chair and to take my panties and put them on the counter. The nurse told me to hop up in the stirrups. I’ve never been to a gynecologist, so it was very weird to be in that position. After about ten minutes a doctor and nurse came in. The doctor shoved two gloved fingers inside of me "trying to locate my uterus" it felt funny. This nurse wasn’t as friendly as the others had been. She gave me the ‘twilight sedation shot’ and the only thing I remembered was the light being turned on, the bed being raised and me saying "ouch" once.

I woke up in a room of girls in blue recliner chairs and realized I was in one too. A nurse gave me some medication and helped me to the bathroom. I don’t remember how I got to the room or how my underwear was back on me, but I was too out of it to ask any questions. I put my pants and shoes back on and the nurse escorted me to the front waiting room where my mom was. Once I got to our car I threw-up and went to sleep. I kinda remember telling my mom things that I had really not planned to tell her. Such as how far along I was and what I named my baby. I vaguely recall her telling me that she got a manicure while I was in the clinic and that I didn’t know the gender of my baby and I should just forget about it. I really don’t remember the rest of the day.

Wednesday I woke up late in the after noon and my mom told me I had a tennis lesson that I couldn’t miss. I called my boyfriend and told him everything. He made me feel a lot better by telling me how much he cares for me and how he’ll find a way to be with me. I know I’m na´ve, but I just needed someone to hang onto.

Now it’s May 29th and My dad just started talking to me. Mom pretends like nothing happened and I’m still bleeding. I cry every night and talk to my unborn baby’s soul. I know it sounds morbid, but it makes me feel better. I have to go to a tennis camp next week for four weeks and then I go back for my check-up. I hope I get to talk to a counselor because I feel like someone should hear me.

Writing this has lifted a heavy weight off of my heart. Maybe, for those of you who took the time to read this, will understand a little bit more of the emotional pain and the process of an abortion. I don’t regret doing it. I knew I couldn’t go to school pregnant and I knew I’m to selfish to give myself/my life up. It was the best thing for me to do, but it’s the worst thing I’ll ever go through.

T.H.
28 May 1999

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"It's 1999 already; a woman should certainly be able to have a career, sex, or a baby at 22, 32, or 42 (or never) without female pundits taking her down, telling her she should keep her legs crossed and her ambitions at home."
-Glamour Magazine, Aug. 1999