Submitted by: E
In May of 2017 I had my first abortion, I was 20. I was new to New York, I had fallen in love with someone and become completely blind to everything around me. Being young and new to a big city and in love for the first time made it very hard for me to focus. I didn’t know how to be in a relationship. I acted out a lot and didn’t really understand the why some of the things I would do weren’t the right things to do in a relationship.
I never cheated on him, but I did a lot of shady things that made him lose trust in me. But still, we had already fallen in love at this point. I didn’t grow up in a home that taught about contraception or sex at all.
My parents kind of just did that with my brothers and then just assumed by the time I was old enough that I could google my questions. The problem is, I didn’t have questions, but that didn’t mean I knew everything. I didn’t know anything about birth control besides the fact that people use it to avoid getting pregnant. So when I did, I was shocked. I was on birth control, but I had just switched birth controls and wasn’t told to wait 14 days before it was 100% effective. So in that time, I got pregnant.
My boyfriend was kind of supportive, but also just always kind of made me feel like he wanted me to get an abortion. He was passive about it, but still constantly told me that he was there for me every step of the way. When I decided that I would get one I quickly made the appointment and applied for medicaid. I was terrified, but I tried not to think of it.
For the first couple weeks before my actual abortion, I kind of fantasized the “what if?”, he called me his pregnant girlfriend and smiled at me differently, he was extra careful and protective over me, and overall I just was treated better in those few days than ever really. Day of the appointment, he drove with me there and waited in the waiting room the entire time, with the exception of stepping out for a card and some chocolates. The appointment was about 6-8 hours. I walked out and he was asleep with everything in his hands.
He took me home, carried me up 5 flights of stairs and sat next to me while I slept for the remainder of the day. He even called me roommate prior, to ask her to clean up my room a bit and maybe have some fluids and healthy snacks for me. Thank you Aili. I never really thanked you for that, and we aren’t friends anymore so I don’t know if I ever will be able to.
He asked me if it were okay with me if he went over to his friend Liam’s house for a little bit (Liam lived right down the street). I felt bad for him, I knew he needed a little bit of time and wanted to respect his needs like he had done for me throughout the whole thing. He came home later and just got in bed, not saying a word. The next day, he was watching something on my computer and I asked if I could use his computer to check something.
When I opened it, I really wasn’t prepared or mentally stable enough to see what I had. His messages were up on the screen with Liam from the day before. They were talking about inviting girls over and my boyfriend was all for it. “Only if they’re down to f—“, he reiterated that twice. His friend said they are and he said he was on his way. My whole world shattered. It was an explosive fight, I started bleeding again, and needless to say, it was just the cherry on top of my weekend full of trauma.
We’ve been on and off for years, it’s been 4 years that we’ve been together. He doesn’t like to talk about the abortion so I don’t bring it up, but I’m tired. I’m tired of suppressing this feeling of wanting a child so bad. I’m tired of not feeling okay to talk about my experience because he doesn’t want to. I had dreams every night of this baby girl, Echo. That was the baby name we picked out long before I even got pregnant. We used to talk about having babies all of the time and now we don’t. I don’t want to force him to talk to me about it, but the only person I really want to talk about it with is him. I just don’t know how. I want to be respectful of him as well, and I don’t want to push him, but I need my best friend back.
I’ve had thoughts of trying to get pregnant again, but I know it’s not the right thing to do right now. I just can’t shake the feeling of wanting to be a mother. I got a dog, who is my emotional support animal, she’s the best thing in the world to ever happen to me, but I’m projecting. She became the little baby that I didn’t get to have. I treat her like an actual human child, and I sometimes cry myself to sleep with her because of how sad I am. I love my dog, I don’t wish that she were that baby. I just wish that I had them both.
The dreams of her were frequent at the beginning, almost every night, but then as time went on they got less and less frequent and now they hardly happen. When they did though, it felt like a recurring dream, but the story just kept growing and so did she. It was like I was watching what her life would’ve been like if I hadn’t decided to have the procedure. I miss having those dreams. I don’t necessarily regret the decision. I would’ve made the same decision again, but I just wish the circumstances would have been different.
I wish I had been older, was financially stable and living in the right place (in my world) to have a baby. I’m just tired of feeling like I have to hold all this weight up. I’m tired of any abortion things on TV and my parents kind of just getting awkward. My dad told me I murdered his grandchild. So yeah that was hard to live with. He eventually apologized but my story didn’t change his views on it. I’m just tired of feeling like I can’t get my life together because of how sad I am.
I don’t know what to do anymore, but wait for the right moment when no ones around so I can cry about it without people pretending like it’s not that big of a deal because it happens all the time, or on the other hand, that I shouldn’t be crying because I made that choice and now I have to live with it. And yeah, I’m just tired.
Oh E my heart breaks for you! Relationships are so hard to begin with – then you add what the two of you have been through to that equation.
It’s hard to always look for the light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s there. I’m considering getting some therapy after what I have been through. I know it’s something I will have to deal with forever but I also feel like talking to someone else will help me cope, because I haven’t discussed my situation with anyone that can sympathize.
My thoughts are with you.