Submitted By: Alicia
I’m writing this now, because I’m taking a class in OB and so much is going on right now in the news about abortion. I had my abortion just over two years ago, at 27 years old. I know we all process it differently, but I’m still processing mine and I hope sharing this will make me feel less alone.
Two years ago, November I had just ended a toxic relationship with a narcissist. I was already a single mom to a beautiful, 2-year-old whose father left us. I was leaving a bad rebound situation and deciding to go back to school to better the lives of my son and me.
I’m not sure why, but I had the feeling I should take a pregnancy test, even thought I wasn’t even late. I had one and took it. The positive line was so faint, I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t been pregnant before. My heart sank and I went into shock. The first couple of days, I would weep, then stare and think about a million things. I started taking prenatal vitamins and walking and dropped my closet-smoking cigarette habit. In my heart I was conflicted, that I couldn’t keep the baby. I held my abdomen and cried a lot.
The last time I’d seen the baby daddy, he said, “I guess I’ll never see you again.” Things were bad between us and I was terrified of having his child and giving him any custodial rights. I was afraid that our embryo already had chromosomal abnormalities related to his past history of meth use, but I couldn’t find much research about that on the internet.
I was terrified and alone and talking to my best friend. The second person I told was a family member whom I interrupted at work because I needed someone to listen. She kept working instead of listening. She said, “Well, looks like you have to go to school and you raise a baby”, and something like, “We’ll help you.” I left the conversation thinking, okay, I’m already a single mom… you can’t even stop working to talk to a friend in need, and I definitely can’t even remember the last time you offered to watch my child.
After a week I was still on the fence about the whole thing, so I sat my conservative-republican parents down and forced out the words, “I’m pregnant.” I was shocked because they told me, “God can forgive you of anything. We will be here for you, whatever you choose.” We talked about my worries and the father’s rights.
The next night, I told my mom I was keeping it and she held me and I cried. Then I left and kept thinking: if I don’t have the baby, my ex has no rights. If I do have the baby, then he does have rights. I thought about my previous struggles with postpartum depression, and the fact that I lacked financial stability. I decided I needed to protect the son I already had.
I decided to take the abortion pill.
I was about 7 weeks, when I went to the clinic. They did a vaginal ultrasound and detected no heartbeat and said I had to come back in a week. I thought maybe it was my out…maybe I shouldn’t go ahead with it. But inevitably, my control-freak side didn’t want to play chance.
A week later I was back, in a room full of women, with nobody looking at each other. They asked me if I wanted to see the ultrasound? I said no. Then they called about twelve of us into a room and handed out the pills and told us to take them and gave us at home instructions. But that was it. Right there. I wish I’d pocketed the pills and taken them later. I didn’t like the pressure.
To this day, it’s the strangest thing I’ve done with a group of women. As far as the affects of the medication, I got nauseous driving home and pulled over and threw up. But the cramping and bleeding was not painful. I might have been a bit allergic to the medicine: my skin got some hives: maybe it was psychological or stress. Even though it still makes me sad, I don’t regret the abortion itself; I do regret my choices leading up to it.
After that, I started my pre-requisites for nursing and took Life Span Development, A&P, had one of the worst summers, and one of the best summers, and now I’m in OB class. I’m painfully aware of what I did. The embryo was about the size of my thumb, to my first knuckle. The videos and the replicas make me tear up in class sometimes; I try to look away so nobody sees. We learn how to answer questions related to abortion for our tests, and we’re instructed to use Therapeutic Communication and that it’s, “Not our place to judge.” Still our tutor is sure to add, “Murder is murder.” I’ll overhear, “I mean just get a hysterectomy, if you don’t want to have kids.” I’ve cried a lot these last few weeks.
Even though it’s hard right now, I know I’ll be a better nurse for intimately being acquainted with grief. I’m not sure how yet, but I know I was drawn to nursing to support women where they’re at. One of the most healing things anyone has told me is, “It’s our God given right to have autonomy.” Also I wrote down Exhale Cofounder, Caroline De Robertis’s words, “It is love that pushes us to face the journey toward justice without flinching, love that impels us to keep going on the long, hard road, love that provides the moral compass and map.” I’ve been feeling really alone, but I know I’m not the only one and these words encourage me. Much love!!