17 and Pregnant

by Alex

September 27, 2019

Content Warning: later abortion, attempted suicide

I was going into my senior year at a small private high school.. I had many friends and a long term boyfriend at the time; however, our relationship was very rocky and not the most stable. I was an active athlete throughout my childhood and teens years; always outside, playing hockey, soccer and running track; being goofy, laughing with my friends and being adventurous. But, that all stopped when I was 17. Everything I knew about myself changed that year, and i did not know then, but also would change the course of my life.


A back story that led up to my situation, started with an eating disorder I was battling. When i was 16; the boyfriend I had at the time, instilled in my mind that “I was fat.” I have a strong personality and am independent when I want to be, but that stuck. I began throwing up my food. I went from a healthy 135 lbs athlete to a 100 lbs bulimic. The torture of an eating disorder is very secretive and plays with your mind, you start to believe very bad things about yourself-you escape from reality. At any rate, I was sexually active at the time and on birth control. Yet, I became pregnant.


When i found out, I was 5 1/2 months pregnant.


Due to the eating disorder – I believed I lost my period and because I was small, I did not notice the baby growing inside of me… but one day I did. I was laying in a tanning booth at my best friend’s work, when I felt something “strange” in my stomach. Because I was laying flat, I pressed my hand on my abdomen and felt a very hard “ball,” I knew immediately. Pregnancy test after pregnancy test, all read Positive. I do not know what my initial reaction was when i read it, but I do remember the exact moment and where I was and what i was doing that day-sitting in my upstairs bathroom at my parents house before I went to visit my older sister at college.On my way there, I had called my then boyfriend and told him the news, he was anything less than supportive, and told me to figure it out.


I was on the phone calling Planned Parenthood and scheduling appointment for an abortion. I did not think much at all about my decision, my parents instilled in my mind that getting pregnant young would “ruin my life” and I was going to Catholic high school so I couldn’t walk the halls like that, nor was I in a healthy mind to be a mother. I believed that an abortion, at that time, was my only option.


When I went to planned parenthood, the sonographer did an ultrasound on me and rather judging, said “you are too far along to have an abortion here, and I think you knew that.” I did not know that; I had no idea what was going on. I was young and I was scared. She told me that there was a place in Minneapolis I could go to that did late term abortions, but I needed to see a judge to grant me the ability to do so as I was a minor. So I got in touch with two female lawyers who helped me stand before a judge and grant the “emotional capability” of making the decision to terminate my pregnancy.


I made an appointment at the clinic downtown for my abortion. It was a two step process due to how far along I was. I forged a note for school to allow me two days off during that week from school for “medical appointments” I think I wrote I was getting teeth pulled – wish I would have much rather of been doing. Meanwhile my family had no idea this was happening to me, I did this all on my own.


When I first got the clinic, the staff were extremely nice, comforting and non judgmental. I felt safe. I was being escorted from one exam room to the other. Every room was purple and I wont forget that, because it gave me some sense of comfort. The ultrasound was first, then I needed to be seen by the gynecologist who did an exam by inserting stents into me to dilate my cervix overnight for the procedure the next day. It was very painful and remembering laying there wondering, “why, me?”

I came in the day of the procedure, it was October 22nd at 8 am. I barely slept the night before, but I just kept telling myself, “this is almost over, you are going to be okay, this is almost over.” I did not realize the excruciating pain and despair that was before me. There were about 6 nurses and a doctor in the room, with a very large and loud machine. It looked as if I were in a surgical room, white and bright. A black nurse held my hand, and she told me “we’ll be done soon, honey.” In less than 20 minutes, it was over.


I cant describe how it felt without disturbing the readers, but a feeling and a memory that I think about every single day, twelve years later. I am 29 years old today. I have battled addiction, alcoholism, depression, anxiety; been in and out of treatment, hospitals, and two suicide attempts. Do I blame this all on my abortion? No. Am I writing this to make abortions sound terrible? No. I needed closure. I needed to break the silence I have held onto for nearly 12 years. I have never told details of my story to anyone. But today, I look at myself different. I am grateful that I survived what I thought would kill me. I am learning to forgive myself today and appreciate those who helped me, which is a big reason I have fought so hard to be a nurse, I want to give back.


The last few weeks, I have been trying to locate my records from my abortion, I wanted to answer the question if it was a boy or a girl? Because it has been so long, the records have been destroyed and I will never know for sure, but I am coming to terms with that and….

“I will always wonder who you would have been”


Love, Alex


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