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Happy to be the mom I want, not the mom I was forced to be

by Kate

April 8, 2019

I remember so vividly how quickly the stick turned from blank to a +.  I had known I was pregnant for a few days, like deep down in my gut, I knew, but you need to confirm it.  I remember sighing and feeling overwhelmed.  Thoughts rushed through my head: “I don’t want this, I am on the pill, how am I going to pay for a baby?, why is this happening?, I don’t want this.”  I immediately started googling “odds of false positive pregnancy test” and was faced with the facts that they just don’t happen.  I started praying to be one of those small statistical anomalies where it is actually just cancer.  I literally prayed for cancer.

 

I happened to live a few blocks from a clinic (you can tell because a church bought the property next door and was always out there telling women about how Jesus wouldn’t stand for this and they were going to hell and there were other options, as a Christian this always drives me nuts because that is not the Jesus that I have read about in the good book, but I digress).  I schedule an appointment, learned how much it would cost, and that this would in fact not ruin my future or make me infertile.

 

When I arrived at the clinic I was alone.  I was the first appointment of the day and the clinic wasn’t yet open.  I stood in front of the door as a man about 50 feet from me stood on the sidewalk with his wagon covered in signs and yelled at me.  He yelled about how there were other options, how Jesus loves me, how this wasn’t the path I wanted.  I remember tears streaming down my face, repeating quietly to myself “please open the door, please open the door, please open the door.”  A part of me wanted to run and hide, a part of me wanted to yell back that he didn’t know who I was or my story and how dare he judge me from the safety of his sidewalk and the safety of his gender.  He would never know this dilemma I faced.  Why should I have to give up months of my life, risk my safety and health for something I was actively trying not to have (again, I was on the pill at the time).

 

The procedure was relatively benign.  I had a medical abortion and took the first pill at the clinic.  I took the second pill that night before going to bed.  I had roommates, and I didn’t want to be discovered.  I spent most of the next few hours in the bathroom or in the fetal position.  I have never had such bad cramps in my life.  But then it was over.  When I went back to the clinic for a follow-up, they asked how I was in the quiet waiting room and I said “I’m great!” far too excitedly and loudly for the setting, but I was just so relieved.  I was so thankful to be back there free from this burden.  Free from praying for horrible things to be happening to me.  Free from googling what herbs to take, or things to insert inside myself because if there had not been a legal option I would have risked my life for this.  It was not what I wanted, it was not what I was ready for at that moment.

 

It has been over six years.  I currently have one child and I’m pregnant with the next.  It is so nice to become a mother at a time I am financially and personally ready.  I can’t imagine having that baby and trying to make ends meet working part time, living in an apartment with roommates, unmarried, and just starting out in my career.  I think about it less these days though it will never leave me.

 

I have no regrets about my abortion.  It doesn’t mean I took the decision lightly or that I would put myself in that position again if I can help it.  But I am so thankful that I had the legal and safe means to make the decision that was best for me.  I hope no women has to face the other choices, even though I know many do.

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