I did it alone

by Viviana

January 15, 2020

I always kind of shrink away when I am in or near a conversation about abortion and women’s rights to have one. Strange, right? I typically (and annoyingly) pride myself in being outspoken about social issues and making my stance clear.

You could say it’s something people anticipate from me.

Why you ask?

Well, I had one. At 21 years old. In San Francisco, California. Four months before graduating college. I didn’t tell anyone but my partner and closest friend.

I felt isolated and alone, but I think telling this story will help the healing process I’ve been avoiding.

I remember being in the campus clinic signing up for CBEST and CSET exams for the summer program I was super psyched about. I was on track to become a teacher and was a little too cocky about it, I’ll admit.

I got called in for the test. I peed. I waited some more. I was finally called in and I sat on the reclining chair with that annoying crunchy paper. My heart was going to come out of my chest because I already knew- women just know (I hate to prove my mom right about it). She came in and with a straight face said, “You’re pregnant. I’m sorry”.

She did not give me much time to process and asked what I wanted to do. Without skipping a beat, I said I did not want to keep the pregnancy and she led from the room into a smaller office setting. We sat down and we started calling San Francisco General and Planned Parenthood.

I decided with SF General. I wasn’t too sure why till I got there a few days later.

The next few days were surreal. That night I called my partner who came down after my night class. We drove to get food and I just cried. There wasn’t much he could say to make this better. I had to sit through classes pretending I cared about what was being discussed when I had bigger issues at hand.

I started feeling nauseous around meat. I couldn’t tell my parents about the nausea for fear of them putting two and two together.

Then the day finally came for my 8:00AM appointment on a foggy morning. The night before had been hell. I was bawling on the phone with my partner who refused to take a day off work to be there with me.

How could he be so insensitive? So cold? Did I really matter so little? It was rough.

You may be asking yourself why I stayed with someone like this. Easy. He was the only comfort at this moment in my life and I was not prepared to let that go.

We’ll get back to that.

So I take a Lyft to the hospital. I walk in, ask for directions and arrive to a literal steel-looking door. I felt like I was entering a quarantined area. I get beeped in and hand over all my insurance information. I get led into a room where they perform an ultrasound..

That was brutal. It made it all the more real. It made me sit with the fact that something was in me. I think that was the worst part.

After, I was escorted into a locked waiting room where I was handed a clipboard full of papers to fill out. I then had my blood drawn and was given someone crackers and juice. I was texting my partner through this entire process looking for some comfort and support through my phone.

A nurse came in to sit and talk. She was obviously evaluating me and trying to feel out my mental state, but she did not make it seem like that at all. She was the best part of the entire process. She was so kind and reassuring. She listened. Nodded. Reassured me of my worries and fears.

I told her I knew I had every right to make this decision, but that did not make it any easier. I told her I felt like I was mourning someone I never met. I felt like my partner would never understand.

She left. I waited some more. Finally, a male doctor came in. He seemed aware of the fact that him being male presenting might place a feeling of distrust within his patients. He was thorough in his explanation and went over all the risks and options.

We talked. I decided on swallowing some pills and dealing with my decision in the comfort of my own home. He came back with the pills. I swallowed one and would take the other two once I was home.

He asked if I had anyone to take me home. I held back tears as I said no. I reassured him it was fine because I can easily call an Uber or Lyft.

I think I said that for my benefit, not his.

I got home. I was relieved that BOTH of my professors had cancelled class. The universe was giving me some sort of a break.

I changed into comfortable clothes. I took both of the pills and sat on the couch. I laid there crying. Crying and waiting for the pain he said I would feel. The rush of blood he said would come.

I waited, crying. Alone in this apartment. I hugged my dog and resented everyone in my life that wasn’t there with me.

Then, it happened. I felt the cramp. I felt the need to rush to the bathroom and…well you can guess what I saw. Blood and lots of it. I wasn’t careful and some got on the shower curtain.

I went back to the couch and continued crying. My partner was not answering my texts.

Over the next few weeks I continued to bleed, but my check-up confirmed that the termination was successful. My partner and I argued more than we ever had.

One night he said, ‘It’s not that big of a deal”. Bitch. I just about had a breakdown right then and there. I never wanted to hate someone so much in my life. I was so hurt and angry that I felt a knot in my throat and just let silent tears run down my face.

I started therapy, but hated being gaslighted and talked to in a monotone voice.

I continued to bleed for months. Every day forced to relive my trauma and remember why I was bleeding in the first place. I felt depressed, angry, betrayed, mournful, and downright resentful.

I walked around for weeks comparing my pain to what others complained about. Resentful as hell.

I finally had the guts to tell my mom everything. I cried. She cried. She apologized for not being there and making me feel like I couldn’t go to her about this.

She now had more of a reason to hate my partner. She wasn’t a fan before, let me tell you.

Fast forward to today. I finally stopped bleeding after months of being on birth control pills and the depo shot to regulate the bleeding. I stopped going to therapy. I stopped pursuing my career as a teacher- it wasn’t for me and that’s okay.

But, I still find moments during my day in the middle of a conversation or during a walk when I feel that pain. The pain of giving something up. The pain of sacrifice. The pain of not knowing what would of been.

I would of given birth this September 2019. They would be about 2-3 months about now. I see babies and am reminded. The anti-abortion rally on campus was another weight. Those last few months of college dragged me.

I acknowledge that I haven’t given my reasoning behind have an abortion. I don’t need to, but I think we need to normalize women who have abortions simply because they don’t want children. I wasn’t ready to have a child, neither was my partner. I wanted to graduate college and pursue my career without the weight of a child on my shoulders. I wanted to live MY life before handing it away to a child.

My reasons were nothing but selfish and that’s okay.

I still think of my experience and my trauma almost every day. I won’t lie and say I think of it every day because that would be a lie. I don’t. There are days where I completely forget about what happened and those are the best days.

The days that I think about it? Those are the hardest. I feel the weight and the pain. I feel the loneliness of this experience and the resentment comes crawling back.

I know I will never forget. The day I ever choose to have children will be hard. The day I find out I am pregnant again will be bittersweet. The day I give birth will also be bittersweet. When I’m 30 I’ll still look back on my 21 year old self and want to comfort her when no one did.

I did it alone and that fills me with so many emotions. Pain. Admiration. Courage. Anger. Resentment. Strength. Loneliness. I did it alone when I did not have to, but felt I did. I placed my faith in my partner to be the only consolation I needed and was proven wrong. He was not there. He did not understand. He was not sensitive to my condition. He was a boy unable to handle the little being asked of him.

How do you forgive someone for that? Do you? Should you?

I don’t think I have. I still hold that resentment and pain. I still look at him sometimes and see a boy who has no idea what it is like to navigate the world as a brown woman with trauma. He has no idea what I went through while he was at work or sound asleep. He has no idea what sits with me every single day.

I know I am not alone in that feeling. Maybe I should of placed my faith in the women in my life rather than a boy.


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