I almost had an abortion, but I miscarried first.

by A

February 18, 2020

When I was 18 I got pregnant. My dad had just died due to his alcoholism, I was poor and on disability, and was struggling with a severe eating disorder. I had only been dating my boyfriend for 5 months. At first, when I saw the positive pregnancy test, I wanted to puke. I didn’t even think I could get pregnant,  my periods were so irregular because I only weighed 70 pounds.

My boyfriend was ecstatic when I told him. He said he was beyond ready to be a dad. His excitement got me excited, I guess. Suddenly I didn’t want to puke anymore, I thought maybe I was ready. Where I’m from, teenage pregnancy is basically the norm. Almost all of our friends had kids. I tried to rationalize that since almost all my friends had kids, it must not be so bad.

But then I was scrolling through Instagram and Facebook, and noticed some of my other friends. The ones who had graduated college. The ones who were on their way to university. The ones who partied and did normal 18 year old things. I wasn’t a normal 18 year old. I had spent most of my teenage years starving myself, so I never graduated high school. I didn’t have any real job experience. I was poor. I was mentally ill. I didn’t even know if my 70 pound body could manage a pregnancy and birth. I knew I didn’t want to be a mom yet.

I also knew that if I told my boyfriend he would be devastated that I changed my mind, so I called my mom and asked her if she’d come with me to get an abortion. I would tell my boyfriend I miscarried.

Except three days before my appointment, I miscarried for real. Honestly, I was relieved. I was happy. My boyfriend noticed my excitement, and we had a long conversation and worked through it. He admitted he wasn’t ready to be a dad either.

As I’m writing this I am 24 years old, and have my 18 month old sleeping in the other room. I still have the same boyfriend. I found out I was pregnant again when I was 22. I was unsure again, and I heavily debated getting an abortion. My boyfriend was understanding this time, he told me he would never be mad at me for using my right to choose. I’m Canadian, so there are no limits to when a woman can get an abortion, she can choose at any time. The thought that I could choose was comforting in a way, as I progressed through my pregnancy. I spent the entire 1st trimester making pros and cons lists, but I couldn’t help but feel love for the lil embryo, something I didn’t feel when I was 18. I knew he was a boy, and I was right.

Pregnancy, giving birth, and motherhood are all hard. They are harder than I can put into words. My son has made my life better in a lot of ways, he finally pushed me to conquer my eating disorder and go back to school. (I start nursing school soon, also yesss I finally have a high school diploma 🙂 !) These are all things I don’t think I would have done if not for him. He motivated me to live again.

He also makes my life harder in a lot of ways. Pregnancy was tough on my body, and giving birth was brutal. Having to deal with school, work, and a toddler are hard. Knowing that I had the right to choose while I was pregnant was almost comforting in a way, and I don’t know how I would have reacted if I had been forced to give birth. I also don’t know what would have happened had I not miscarried the first time, If I didn’t have access to abortion. If I had been forced to birth that child it would probably be in foster care, and I probably would have never been able to accomplish recovery from my eating disorder, and all the things that come with it. I needed those few years to grow & learn & get my shit together.

I am thankful that I live in Canada, a country where we have the right to choose without any limits, and I hope my sisters in the United States & around the world get the same freedoms one day. It is not murder, and you should not feel bad for using your right to choose. No one should ever be shamed for seeking medical care. I know that for me, if I ever got pregnant again in the near future, I would get an abortion without hesitation. I wouldn’t feel guilty about it. And you shouldn’t either!

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