2 abortions, 2 very different circumstances

by A.

November 22, 2019

My first abortion was when I was 24. I was on the pill but had missed two doses that month by accident. But I was on my period when I got pregnant.  Used a condom but it broke, and took Plan B a little too late. The perfect storm of circumstances. I found out I was pregnant when I took a test at a friend’s insistence. I was so sure I wasn’t pregnant until I watched the second line appear right in front of me. I panicked. I took 12 tests hoping one would be negative. They were all positive.  The father was a one night stand with a ton of emotional baggage. We barely knew each other. I knew right away I would be doing this alone. I was fresh out of an engagement that ended badly when I met him. I hadn’t spoken to him in weeks. I was barely making ends meet. I knew my decision immediately. I was terrified but the whole process was smooth. The doctors were so comforting and kind. I think back with no regrets except for one. I wanted an IUD put in so this would never happen again until I was ready. Until I was stable and wanted to be pregnant. But the clinic did not have any on hand that day. I was not too concerned about it, I would just make another appointment when they did and get one then. But the abortion, that I did not and still do not regret. I wanted my first child to be raised with a set of parents, with financial stability, with an emotionally stable childhood, I knew I was in no position to offer any of those things. My decision was clear to me.

Fast forward exactly 10 months after my first abortion. I never made that IUD appointment, I lived 4 &1/2 hours from the clinic. I kept forgetting. But now I found myself feeling those same symptoms I felt before. I was tired, moody, aching, and late. I knew before I even took the test. I was pregnant again. I counted back. I got pregnant almost 9 months to the day of the first time I got pregnant. But now I was in a different situation. Now I was in a stable, loving relationship. Now I had the financial stability. Now I had the time, the space, all the things I didn’t have before. I thought about my options and every time I considered not having an abortion, the panic was so strong I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I told my now husband, that I just didn’t want this. I couldn’t explain it, I couldn’t find the right words to describe it, but I just didn’t want this. He understood. He never pushed me in either direction. He left this decision up to me entirely. He made it clear. Whatever choice I made was a choice that only I could make, that he was in for the long haul with me, he would be 100% behind me whatever choice I made.  He only told me afterwards that he was relieved by my decision as well, because he also did not feel ready but he wanted this decision to be something I had chosen for myself. He knew what I didn’t know at the time. Whatever decision I made needed to be a decision that I felt was right for me, that I could emotionally accept for the rest of my life.

He drove me the 4 &1/2 hours to the clinic, and held my hand in the waiting room. And then he held me everyday for the next week. I cried a lot. Not because I regretted it, but I cried because the relief I felt after my abortion was just so intense. The panic that had taken my breath away before was gone, I could breath deeply again now.

But I learned something about myself that day. I learned that I don’t just not want children because I’m not ready for them, but because I don’t want children at all.

I asked to have an IUD that day so I would never have to go through that again. Now I have that IUD. I do not regret that second abortion, but it took a long time for me to work though the emotions I was feeling surrounding the situation. I look back on it now and realize how fortunate I am to have had the ability to make those decisions for myself. If I did not have that choice, I would be in a different situation now, and one that I now know is not a situation I ever want for myself. I see friends around me make the decision to have children. But I have stayed mostly quiet about my decision to not have them. My only regret now is that I felt I was not allowed to voice that. But no more. This is me, shouting my abortion. And it’s relief to finally do so.

Remember that our stories are ours to tell. We’d love to hear your story too!