But I Took My Birth Control Pills…

by Megan Mistretta

August 17, 2022

Disclaimer: This is kind of a long story. So, if you don’t have the attention span for that, just read the last paragraph. Thanks!

At 21, I had just graduated with my Bachelors, was looking for a job in the psychology field, working three part time jobs, and casually seeing a 27 year old man I had met on Tinder. I thought he was so sexy, he managed a high end retail store, had his own apartment, and wasn’t physically abusive. So, I was very much into him and wanted something more out of relationship than just sex. Clearly, my bar was set really high!

We texted regularly, he texted good morning every day, called me “babe’, and invited me over all the time. We typically hung out for a bit, had sex, and went to sleep. I would sneak out early in the morning for work, and that was the extent of our relationship.

Every time we had sex, we used a condom. I took my birth control pill every day, typically around the same time, and occasionally would pick up a Plan B pill if I was feeling a little worried. I thought I was doing everything right to prevent pregnancy or the spread of STDs.

Every time we had sex, he would ask if we could take off the condom. I always said no. He really put the pressure on, and I thought, if he wants it that badly, why not? He’s a really good guy, it would make him so happy, and I am on the pill, so it should be fine. Finally, I let him start having sex with me without a condom. I started doubling up on my birth control pills to be extra safe, and buying more Plan B pills. Sex began to give me such anxiety. But, I thought maybe he would want more from me after this. Maybe this was the key to getting him to take me on dates, to go out with my friends, and show me off to his friends. It felt like things were going well, so I dealt with the anxiety and tried to just enjoy myself, at least as much as I could.

One day, I woke up with horrible cramps in my stomach. Cramps that were far worse and quite different from any period cramps I had ever felt. The pain was so bad, my sister took me to urgent care. When the doctors in urgent care tried to touch my stomach, I retched in pain. I was told that if I was in that much pain, I needed to go to the ER. So, off we went. After practically laying on the floor of the ER waiting room, crying in pain for about three hours, we were seen by a doctor. I provided a urine sample, a blood sample, and was given some pain medication.

The painkiller was working and I was starting to feel better. As I lay there quietly with my sister sitting by my side, the nurse came in. He immediately congratulated me on my pregnancy. My sister and I both said, “What?!” And I quickly added, “I’m not pregnant.” The nurse simply said, “Oh. Okay,” and walked away. I didn’t think much of it. Simple mistake. Then, the doctor came in and confirmed, “Okay so Megan?” “Yes…” I replied. “You actually are about 4 weeks pregnant. “No…” I said quietly, while my sister’s head fell to her hands and all could she say was, “Oh fuck”.

I began to cry and felt a wave of heat overcome my body. The feeling that my body was being violated by this little fetus, that this was not supposed to happen, that this was all wrong, that I needed to crawl up into a ball and just disappear, it was all extremely overwhelming.

Thankfully, the doctor was extremely calm, empathetic, and kind. The doctor informed me that the pregnancy had caused a series of ovarian cysts that were now bursting, causing the extreme pain I had been feeling. He held my hand, reminded me that unplanned pregnancies happen to people every single day, and that this is not the end of the world, even if it feels that way. He reminded me that I had choices. I immediately knew I wanted to have an abortion. The doctor provided me the resources to see an OBGYN who could give me an ultrasound and provide me the pills needed to complete a medical abortion.

My sister and I drove home in silence. When I got home, I locked myself in my bathroom and called my partner. When I told him I was pregnant, he calmly stated that I needed to have abortion. He never asked if I was okay, how I felt, what he could do, if he could come over, nothing. He did however, ask if we could still continue to have sex. Priorities.

The medical abortion procedure was relatively easy, but not cheap. I had to have an external and internal ultrasound. When the ultra sound technician discovered that my pregnancy was safe and not ectopic (which is deadly to the fetus and can be deadly to the pregnant individual) they told me I had the choice to carry out what may have been a healthy pregnancy, knowing full well I was there for an abortion.

When I finally saw the doctor, she had me take one large pill to stop the fetus from growing. She then told me to go home and take the next two pills. Those two pills sit in your gums and dissolve for a while (and do not taste good!) Once they have completely dissolved into your mouth, the process of the fetus detaching from the uterine wall and leaving your body begins.

What I didn’t know was that this process would take about 24 hours in total. 16 of those hours were extremely painful. No amount of painkillers helped. I couldn’t eat. I could barely drink water. I was crying and shaking in the fetal position for hours and hours. It was horrible.

Never did my partner ask if I was doing okay. He never asked if he could help financially. When I started asking him for money to help pay for medical costs, he began to ghost me and make up excuses as to why he could not see me. Finally, he moved out of his apartment, left the state, and I never saw him again.

I wondered why he didn’t care about me enough to be with me? Why did he not care enough to check on me? How could he treat me that way and feel nothing about it? I began to doubt my own self worth and became very depressed.

8 years later, I’ve decided a few things. My value or worth was never my partner’s to give or take. I don’t regret my abortion. I don’t have strong emotions about it either way. And that’s okay! I don’t feel guilty, sad, or wonder what life would have been like. You don’t need some horrible experience to have, want, or need an abortion. For some, abortion is just what is best for their life at that time. Period. If someone decides to have an abortion, there is no reason they shouldn’t. Shout your abortion loud and proud. Never let anyone tell you you’re wrong, shame you, or try and persuade you out of your decision. Finally, if anyone tries to pressure you into anything you are not comfortable with, tell them no! Remove yourself from a bad situation. Set your expectations high and never settle for anything or anyone that is not good enough for you. Your body is perfect and there is nothing, not an abortion, not anything that can take that away from you.

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