Submitted by Nicole S
I found out I was pregnant the end of my senior year of college. It’s the classic story of “the one time we didn’t use a condom.” I had a boyfriend who I was completely in love with and knew that I would spend the rest of my life making memories with. A few weeks after this “one time” I started to panic because I still had not gotten my period. After much convincing by my boyfriend and building up a lot of meager courage, I finally took a test. I actually took two and called my best friend on how accurate she thought they were. She only confirmed what I already realized…two pink lines means pregnant. I texted my boyfriend the news. He knew I was taking the test but for some reason I did not have in it me to tell him the results over the phone. A few minutes later he called letting me know the process of getting an abortion. He wasn’t malicious about it, and even though he was clearly freaked out, he tried to be as comforting as he could towards me. I was so numb and so dumbfounded I just kept agreeing with what he said.
The next day I scheduled an abortion near school but the appointment was still a few weeks away. I had to deal with this for a few weeks?! The numbness started to fade and I had the most intense lonely feelings. I was supposed to carry on with life and pretend that nothing was wrong? I was too embarrassed and too ashamed to open up to anyone. My best friend was there to lift my spirits and I had my boyfriend but I didn’t want to lean on them too much. I wasn’t exactly sure how I felt.
The day of the abortion, my car got towed from my apartment complex. I still wonder if this was divine intervention. It still could be. After convincing my roommate to loan me her car, I drove alone to the clinic. There was another girl my age there with her boyfriend. I was instantly jealous that she had someone there to help her through this. All I had were texts from my boyfriend (then on a hockey trip and unable to make phone calls) telling me he loved me and to make sure I went through with this because he was nervous I would back out. After the ultrasound, talking to the counselor, and the Pap smear I was sitting in a little room with a nurse. She came up to me with a little pill and a glass of water and asked me one last time, Are you sure this is what you want?. I nodded, swallowed the pill, and at 6 weeks and 1 day ended the life that I started.
The time after was absolutely terrible. The next day I was bleeding so heavily and in such pain that I stayed on the bathroom floor the entire morning and afternoon. (Thank goodness my roommates were still on winter break.) I was in so much pain and completely alone my best friend kept texting me every half hour to make sure that I was doing alright. I am so thankful for her support that day. It seemed to be lacking with my boyfriend. After the I love you and You did the right thing he seemed to relax and go on with life. He didn’t feel the need to be as supportive or worried about how sick and pained I was. The first time I got to talk to him on the phone after the abortion was the following morning on the bathroom floor. He cut me off after a few minutes saying he had to get lunch with his roommate.
Eventually the pain subsided, after a few days the bleeding lightened immensely. A couple of weeks after I had the abortion I found out that my sister was expecting her first child. As excited as I was I couldn’t help feeling frustrated that I now would have a child in my life roughly the same age as the one that I let go of. I found a due date calculator online and estimated my due date to be September 14, my sister was due August 26. Forever I will have my nephew in my life, just over two weeks older than the baby I let go of. (To be clear, “baby” and “let go of” are very new terms. For the past 4 and a half years it has been “someone” and “gotten rid of”).
Nightmares plagued me for months. I would have dreams of people dying, having a still birth, having a baby that was all broken and in pieces. These were not easy to handle and made for restless days. Still the only people who knew what had happened were my boyfriend and best friend.
About six months later in bed, on no particular special day with no precursor, I broke down to my boyfriend (we were still long distance but he was in town on a visit). I finally cried and shared how hard this was. How I wished he was there. How I wasn’t sure we made the right choice. I wasn’t sure if he looked at me or loved me any differently. I let him know I was still grieving. He gave me all the assurance I needed. He told me he loved me and I believed it. He told me that one day when we’re ready we’ll have kids and it will be a happy occasion. He told me all of this and I believed him.
We stayed together for 2 and a half more years before coming to an ugly ending. I find that I am still not only trying to heal from that relationship but also that I may still be healing from the abortion. I still carry the burden with me. I still feel horrible that I killed my baby. I feel very weird saying “my baby” because I did not give them a chance to be loved. I worry about karma and to this day am terrified to have children in the future. With all the bad things that happen during pregnancy or to people’s children, I cannot take that risk of losing someone as a form of punishment for the life I took. I still tell every new doctor I go to see that I have never been pregnant during initial physicals. I cringe on road trips to Minnesota to see my friends and along the way see a dozen pro-life billboards. I am not sure I can go to church with this secret and am too afraid to confess it. I panic at the thought of having to tell a future boyfriend or even husband about this (I know I will have to tell them if they ever ask why I do not want children). If I acknowledge my feelings… I am still hurting, embarrassed, fearful and frustrated.
Very few people know that I had an abortion- one being a good friend who is a psychologist. She tried to assure me all the time that what I did was okay, that I do not need to punish myself. It is easier said than done. I am still looking for ways to heal, to forgive myself. I hope that writing this out and sharing is a step in the right direction. I do not ever want to forget the decision I made or feel casual about it, I just do not want it to define me.