I unexpectedly got pregnant two months ago at 19 years old.

I have wondered my entire life what it would be like to see two lines on a pregnancy test. The emotions that would come with it: happiness, excitement, curiosity, longing. But instead, I felt nothing when I saw those two lines. I was instantly numb. It was unplanned, completely wrong timing, and an accident. I knew exactly what choice I wanted to make from the beginning.

I was terrified of it all. I spent weeks in and out of doctor’s offices, alone, desperately trying to close a chapter of my life that I never meant to open. I couldn’t tell my parents because of their religious background and the father ran the first chance he could get. I have battled anxiety and depression for years, but I remember feeling more alone than I ever have during that month.

I tried to mentally and physically prepare myself for the abortion itself, but now after the fact, I know there is no way I could have prepared myself. I never swayed in my decision and that was the one thing that brought me peace. I knew I was making a decision that was right for me and I knew I had every right to do so, which is why I never expected to grieve, but it hit me out of nowhere. I found myself wondering if it would’ve been a boy or a girl, or what he or she would look like and then I would remember that I would never get the chance to meet them. I felt guilty for even grieving because I was the one that made the decision to not meet them. I felt irresponsible and ashamed for putting myself in such a situation. One thing I knew for certain was I could not raise a child at 19 years old. If I had decided to bring it into the world, I would have given them a life that no child deserves.

It has now been a month since my abortion, and I am thankful every day that I had the ability to choose. My life would be incomprehensibly different if I was not able to choose. I still think about who they would have been, and I think I will for the rest of my life, but I do not regret my decision. I have learned that there is no “right” way to feel after an abortion. It will cause you to feel things that you never knew you could feel. You have to be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to feel everything-the good and the bad. Healing is not linear and it never will be. You are not your mistakes and you have every right to decide what you want your future to look like.