55 periods

by Ceilidh

July 5, 2019

Content Warning: physically painful abortion

I’ve written and rewritten this number of times it really comes down to this. I HAD AN ABORTION. Thankfully I live in a place where it was easily accessible but it was a mystery to me. School had never educated me on the process and the internet is a very scary place filled with misinformation. Honestly I’ve had one and I STILL can’t tell you that much about it. What I can tell you is that it hurt. It hurt so much that at one point I begged them to stop.

Before I continue I need to explain something. It’s a common misconception that women will “trap” men with pregnancies. However I personally know more men who have trapped their partner than vice versa.

My friend and I had spent the summer doing mass amounts of drugs and having casual sex when the condom broke. I wasn’t aware but he was. Instead of stopping or saying something he continued and never told me. He said later he felt that was the only way I would stay with him.

I was unaware for the first 12 weeks. I know that seems like a long time but when you’re working 10 hour days in the kitchen and then spending an additional 10 hours a night doing sex work time flies pretty fast. Drugs kept my weight down and I have a condition that makes me feel sick all the time so I was very surprised when a nurse at the hospital told me I was pregnant.

I’m not going to glamorize this because there was nothing glamorous about it. Two kids in a cockroach filled apartment working just to make enough money to pay for their drug habit is not an environment to bring a baby into. I was scared and he wasn’t so I let him lead me. He was gung-ho about keeping it. He wanted us to be a family.

I got clean, not for me but for the baby, I couldn’t bring myself to keep using knowing there was someone else that didn’t have a say being affected by it. I started to save up some money and really thought for a minute we could make it work. At 22 weeks I was told we were having a girl, who we had already named, and then I was told something else. Because of all the drugs I had been using during my first trimester she was deformed. They didn’t know how serious or to what extent yet but I had exactly 5 days until I would no longer be eligible for a physical abortion and would have to carry the pregnancy to term or risk miscarriage.

I had a lot of thinking to do and before I spoke to my partner I wanted to figure out how I felt. I was 23 I still felt like a kid myself I wasn’t ready. As I was just figuring this out in my head I got an email notification from my bank saying I had withdrawn a large amount from my account. I immediately logged on and saw my bank account empty. When I got home I saw my partner had taken out all of the money and spent it on drugs. Despite what he was saying he wasn’t ready either. Neither one of us could do this even if we didn’t have the added challenge of special needs.

I believe that if you’re going to commit to having a child you are committing to do the very best by them, to give them the best life possible, and responsibly I knew that I couldn’t. Despite the love I felt in my heart for this baby and the life that I had started to paint for us I could not give her the life she deserved. I was not going to bring a child into this life if I couldn’t do right by them and at that point I wasn’t even doing right by myself.

5 days later on January 3rd 2018 at 2 p.m. I had an abortion. I sat on that table still unsure of the choice I had made and unsure of the procedure that was about to go on. I wish I had prepared myself more I wish I had been educated on the abortion process. I don’t know if they did it right or not I don’t know if it’s supposed to hurt as much as it did. In fact it physically hurt so much that I was screaming on the table.

I bled for 6 weeks after that. Using the whole time. My head was sick there is no other way to put it. My partner demonized me for my choice. My workplace would not give me any time off and was not understanding at all in fact after telling my employer, who happened to be pro-life, they shamed me for my choices and stop scheduling me. I took the last of my money and OD’d with it.

That was my rock bottom. Laying in bed 9 grams of cocaine in my system feeling the start of a heart attack I made that little girl a promise; I would never do this again, I would never be in this position again, that I would be self-sufficient and able to provide for me and my choices so that I never had to make THAT decision again. I also made myself a promise; that I wouldn’t waste any more time, that this loss and this pain would not be in vain, I promised that I would do more with myself become something better and that every year on January 3rd I will take the day to see how far I’ve come from that point and to look forward to where I’m going.

So far I’ve kept my promise.  I’m clean and sober for over a year, I got a better job, quit sex work, and moved out. I’ve also been abstinent since the abortion. My head isn’t as sick anymore I’ve found you just have to take it day by day. Some days are better than others but  everyday it gets a little bit better than the day before. There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t think of her.

It took me 55 periods to explain to you how missing one changed my life forever. Regardless of what outcome I chose that choice was  to make.

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