I was 21, just getting out of an abusive relationship, and nearly 5yrs on HRT as a transmale…when I became pregnant

by Kris G.

January 18, 2022

In late April of 2020 I had a medicated abortion at 9wks and 3d.

Oh, I should mention before I go any further…I am a 21 yr old transgender man. I had been taking testosterone, combined with estrogen blockers, for the better part of 5 years at the time I became pregnant. I thought it was damn near impossible that I could be even remotely fertile. But, alas, that little plastic stick wasn’t lying.

Before I received that news from said plastic stick, I had been experiencing what can only be described as constant, all day “morning sickness”. It started at the beginning of April with just subtle cramps and bloating, with a hint of mild nausea during meals. And as the days passed, it progressed to not being able to hold down any food and very few liquids. I was nauseous 24/7. I was dehydrated. I couldn’t work or even get out of bed really because I hadn’t eaten any solid food in days. My body was so weak and I was dizzy anytime I was on my feet. The cramping and bloating was still there, however, but had grown exponentially in severity. One night, I couldn’t take it anymore and I had my boyfriend (now fiancé) drive me to the hospital. They took me back relatively quickly and started an IV and drew blood to begin running routine lab work. Seeing as, despite my flat chest, facial hair, and deep voice, I still have a functioning uterus…they decided to run a pregnancy test right then and there. The nurse came back looking confused and asked if there was any way I could possibly be pregnant. I knew what he was going to say next…and my stomach bottomed out…I felt like I was chewing on cotton…and the world seemed to turn into nothing but white noise around me. I learned later after another 2 hours at the ER, 2 ultrasounds, and a painful vaginal swabbing, that I was estimated to be roughly 7 and a half weeks along. They sent me home with nausea meds and Tylenol for my pain…along with a little packet of papers discussing the results of my ultrasound: 7.5wks, 2cm, 165bpm. I read that over and over again on the car ride home. My boyfriend held my hand as I struggled to comprehend my reality.

I had no intentions to be a father. How on earth could I support a child while still learning to be an adult myself. I scheduled my appointment with PP for 11 days from then.

However, prior to my appointment, I was forced to go back to the emergency room after waking up one night covered in my own blood, and feeling as though someone was taking a pitchfork to my uterus. I proceeded to spend the next 7 hours in the ER, hooked up to monitors and wires and tubes. I received morphine and IV fluids, along with other meds. They informed me later that my body did not appreciate the invasion of this foreign mass…so it was trying to get rid of it…and I had ended up hemorrhaging inside my uterus. They told me that if I were to choose to continue this pregnancy, that I could be putting my body and my well-being in great jeopardy. That information just made that trip to PP even more crucial.

The day of the appointment came and I made my trek down to the clinic. I passed protestors in the opposite side of the street and could only stare at how oblivious they were to the humanity of the people walking through these doors. I got myself checked in and sat in the waiting room. Everyone was so gentle and kind to me. They made me feel like everything would be ok…like I would make it out on the other side of this. That was something I’d been unable to tell myself up until that point. They performed another ultrasound while I cried into the pillow underneath me. The tech told me I was actually closer 9 and a half weeks pregnant instead of 8 while she stared into the screen at alien-looking mass sitting there inside me. I opted for the medicated abortion and the kind nurses gave me one pill then and there, and told me to take another 8 tomorrow at the same time. They also sent me home with nausea meds, 800mg Tylenol, and hydrocodone, and informed me that this was really gonna hurt.

Cut to the next day, I do as I was instructed. The pills made me want to puke. I took one Tylenol and laid down in bed and braced myself for whatever was about to happen. Roughly 45 min later, I was curled up in the fetal position with tears in my eyes, biting the sheets so I wouldn’t cry out in pain. It wasn’t unbearable pain but those nurses did not lie to me…they knew I was going to need those painkillers. I took another Tylenol and stumbled my way into the bathroom. I closed the door behind me…for some reason, I wanted to be alone for this part. The meds did as they were intended to: my cervix opened and my uterus contracted…and it purged everything into the toilet below me. I felt just blood at first…a lot of blood. Then came the clots. And then I felt something a lot bigger than a clot…I screamed before I had time to stop myself…and I just cried. I cried harder than I ever have in my life. I wasn’t sad, however. I couldn’t even tell you what I was feeling in that moment. I just sat there, my body quaking with emotions I could not discern. As per my instructions, I stood up and looked to see what had come out of my body. I won’t ever forget that sight. I cried out and dry heaved into the sink beside me. I kept muttering, to no one in particular,”I’m sorry…”. I felt guilt and shame in that moment, I will admit that. I cleaned myself up and walked back out of the bathroom. My boyfriend was sat on the bed, tears in his eyes. We didn’t say anything for a while, I just laid back down in his arms, silently crying once again, and he held me as I tried to sleep. My body was relieved and I was exhausted.

When I was telling people my intent to terminate, they reacted as if I was a monster. And in that moment, as I sat there on the bathroom floor staring down at what I’d just done, I felt like one. I really did. It took me a long time to realize how blind I was to my own worth. I always heard, “you shouldn’t kill your baby…”, “you’ll regret it some day and feel traumatized…”. And honestly, the only thing that traumatized me was years of hearing people all around me that “fetal life/potential life is precious…”. But what about me. What about my current life. Isn’t that much more “precious”? Isn’t that worth taking into account? Shouldn’t that be worth fighting for? Even after my abortion, I still had to unlearn that engrained shame and guilt for wanting to live and experience my life.

Abortion was something I’d never thought I’d have to experience…I’d expected to be avidly pro-choice from a third-person perspective…from the outside looking in. But on that day in April, I shared the same discomfort, pain, and, ultimately, relief that so many other people have felt. I feel no shame anymore, and no guilt. I am not afraid to tell people I have had an abortion. It shouldn’t be made into something so evil by those who have never stepped foot in that clinic and sought out abortion care. Abortion is in no way easy or pretty at times. Do you know what it is though? It’s vital…it’s necessary. Without it, I would’ve most likely put myself in the ground if the mass of tissue growing inside me didn’t do it first. I wanted to live. I wanted my life and to pursue a future that’s much gentler, kinder, and happier than my past. I was given the choice between seeing that future or a misery-filled, wrongful death. It was obvious what my preferred option was. I chose me. I am no monster for doing that.

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