Ever since I was a little girl, the only thing I ever knew I wanted to be was a mom. Even after attending college and working as a professional in my field now, I am still unsure of my future – the only thing that was ever a given to me was knowing I would be a mom and have children of my own.

Despite all of that, I found myself crying when those 2 pink lines showed on a test I had taken. I hadn’t been very safe or mindful – and I’ve learned my lesson since then. I had never meant for this to happen ; But that’s just life sometimes – it does happen. And you never know how you will react until you’re actually in that moment faced with this decision where it almost feels like you’re screwed either way.

The procedure I was able to get done was a medical abortion – the pill. Mine was done through Planned Parenthood – I was 21 and a senior in college just going through a terrible heartbreak and breakup. Shortly after we had broken up I discovered I was pregnant. It wasn’t even a question for us – I booked the appointment to terminate that pregnancy immediately. I remember feeling so odd about it ; that I could just go online and book something that felt so massive like it was a dinner reservation.

The next couple of weeks were difficult. I could not tell my family. I relied heavily on my friends to get me through and for them I was extremely thankful. Yet, I found myself already grieving this small thing inside of me, although it sometimes felt I was making it up in my head that it was actually in there. It was isolating – to sometimes feel the only thing that kept me from feeling alone was the pregnancy and knowing my body was protecting such a precious thing.

And yet still, i knew I couldn’t have it, even as much as i wanted it at times. I knew i couldn’t provide a quality life for a baby at that time – at least not the life i always dreamed of when i would become a mother one day. But it felt odd – how could it be that I could feel guilty over a choice I was making? I feared if I made this decision that I won’t deserve it one day when I am ready. I felt guilt, almost like I should have been apologizing to couples struggling with infertility. And yet, here I was, anxiously waiting my appointment to set myself “free” again while getting rid of something others can only dream of.

The boy I was with at the time was there for me as much as he could be and my friends filled the voids when he wasn’t around, but still at the end of the day, I felt so alone. I was unable to sleep at night , everything hurt, I was constantly nauseous, and walking though my daily activities going to class and work felt even more odd – seeing my peers and friends go about their normal lives and thinking about how mine felt like it was silently crumbling everyday and absolutely nobody knew except those close to me.

I was 9 weeks by the time i was able to get the procedure done. It was a very standard appointment – they took me in, sat me down, took my blood, I got an ultrasound and they walked me through everything before finally handing me the pill and a small plastic cup of just enough water for me to swallow it right there in the clinic. At just 21 with a boy I was ~no longer dating~ waiting for me in the waiting area, I felt a weird pressure to mask any emotions I was feeling at that time. I joked a bit, thanked them, and went to pick up the misoprostol and anti-nausea they had prescribed me at my local CVS. The boy brought me to a friendlys before driving me home. I ordered a monster mash sundae and cried in the bathroom – feeling anxiety about what was to come and what I had just done.

I went home and did it all alone. I inserted the pills and tried to take a nap on the couch with my roommates. About an hour later, I woke up and felt some dull cramping. I silently went into the bathroom and turned on the shower. I laid on the shower floor for an hour just letting the hot water hit me as the cramps increased in intensity. Once the cramping had really started, I was sure I had never been in more pain in my life. I couldn’t eat because I was nauseous, so I was unable to take another ibuprofen when it was time for me to do so. There was so much blood , and I remember my roommate just laying with me as I was unable to speak and getting up constantly just to go sit on the toilet. The heating pad helped, but the only thing I could do was wait it out. After about 6 hours, the worst of it was over.

I bled after that for another month, up until my college graduation day. Every time i used the bathroom felt like a reminder of my choice – often painful as i continued to try to enjoy what was left of my college career while also mourning the loss of this “thing” I didn’t even want in the moment.

Despite the pain and loneliness I had endured throughout that time period, I knew I had made the right decision, though a difficult one, I have not regretted it since. I have been able to work, travel, and live unapologetically freely since my college graduation and I’ve been enjoying my freedom. Not to say having a child is the wrong decision whatsoever , but I am thankful I had the choice to make this decision. I am thankful for my abortion – it’s given me everything I am today. Because of my abortion, I will be able to be the mother I’ve always dreamt of one day.