I got pregnant the first week of dating my then-boyfriend. A couple of weeks later, I took a test out of normal anxiety. I was stunned when the lines were both there. I had been spotting and didn’t think I had been anywhere near ovulation. When I told him I was pregnant, hoping for kindness and support, he instead told me that if I kept it, he would disappear and I would never see or hear from him again. It broke me.

I called my gyno immediately and asked for resources for abortion. They directed me to a private practitioner who let me keep my scan and held my hand while I sat catatonically in the waiting room with tears streaming down my face. I felt the most harrowing sense of dread, and felt that my world had ended. I contemplated suicide. I was about to graduate law school and was preparing to take the bar exam. The timing couldn’t be worse and unfortunately, I didn’t have a support system I could turn to because I felt so much shame and sorrow I punished myself by taking on all of my pain alone, in hiding, in secrecy.

I am proud of the strength and courage it took for me to survive my abortion. I feel only empathy and love for the version of myself that had to make that decision, and I stand by her every day since. I passed the bar exam, becoming the first lawyer in my family. I went to therapy. I finally confided in my friends that I had hid all of it from. They cried with me. I began healing.

I’ve since met the most wonderful man and I am now pregnant again. We are over the moon to welcome this new life. I still think of my first baby often, I still grieve, I still mourn. I did what I knew I needed to do, and I will never regret that. I am so excited to experience motherhood now that the timing is right and with a partner that loves and celebrates our baby just as much as I do.