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Live your Truth. Celebrate your Strength. Cherish your Freedom.

by Allison

June 7, 2019

I was 27, in Florida, with an abusive partner and only semi-steady income. I caught it at about 4 weeks – my periods are very irregular so I took lots of pregnancy tests just out of sheer uncertainty and terror. I cried after I got the positive result, then wanted to go immediately to Krispy Kreme and eat hot n ready donuts…

I felt depressed, anxious, terrified, irresponsible, alone….  I knew that financially, there was absolutely no way I could support a child, even with a partner’s help. I did all my research on the costs of having and raising a child, and even tried to write a budget. There was simply no way I could earn enough at that time.

The estimated cost of raising a child from birth through age 17 is $233,610 — or as much as almost $14,000 annually.

That statistic, which I saw over and over from many sources, sealed the deal for me.  I was not prepared, and the sweet life inside me should not have to suffer due to my lack of responsibility and poor financial planning.

 

I counter-protested the pro-birth protestors outside the clinic the day of my appointment. They screamed in my face, called me a murderer, threw holy water on me, etc. Zero other women were harassed during the 2 hours I protested. My mistake and the abortion were not in vain. I significantly improved the lives of the women that walked in that day.  All the other patients, staff and doctors of Planned Parenthood were very kind to me. It was one of the most positive medical experiences I’ve had, actually.

 

For a few weeks afterward, I was very sensitive to seeing babies, hearing children laughing, etc.  Your ego will creep in with the “what ifs”, like you gave up a magical, fairy tale motherhood story.  We both know that’s not how it would have worked in reality.  It’s helpful to keep in mind that motherhood is not romantic. It’s one of the most difficult, disgusting, and thankless jobs
around – and one that costs YOU extensive time and resources! My experience with caring for newborns in a nursery full time for 6 months taught me what I needed to know about the ins and outs of caring for babies.  It was an exhausting, lonely job – although I loved all the children dearly. I still remember my favorite <3

 

My gratitude practice got me where I am with this today.  If I hadn’t had the freedom to remain childless and leave that toxic relationship, I would not have moved back to Birmingham. I wouldn’t own my own thriving business. I wouldn’t be a certified yoga teacher. I wouldn’t even know what acro yoga was!  I wouldn’t have been able to teach, help, and inspire all the wonderful people I’ve met in the last 4 years.  I wouldn’t know my best friend. I wouldn’t have 4 ridiculously cute and funny guinea pigs. I wouldn’t have a healthy relationship with my parents.  I would have been so consumed with keeping my head above water and eking out a meager existence for me and a child that I’d have only brought frustration and resentment into the world.

 

I am so outspoken and honest about my truth and my story because stigma is toxic. Women that should get abortions feel unnecessarily full of shame and guilt for making what is actually a compassionate medical decision.

One half of all pregnancies in the US are unplanned. Of those, half end in abortion.  Essentially, 25% of all pregnancies end in abortion.

That is a staggering number! If more women were honest about their experience, maybe women like you wouldn’t be agonizing over what could be a straightforward medical decision.

I also think of the millions of women that came before us that were forced into childbearing. The millions that died in childbirth. The ones that had child after child, knowing there wouldn’t be enough food to go around. Seeing their children starve to death, one by one… I think of how grateful I am that no woman or child should have to suffer like that EVER AGAIN.

 

In my 31 years, this is the best decision I have ever made for myself, my friends, my family, my community, and this beautiful planet I call home.

The second best decision is getting my non-hormonal IUD, Paraguard. Under BCBS silver plan, it cost ZERO dollars. I am 99.9% unable to get pregnant for the next 12 years. There are few, if any, side effects.

 

I hope this helps. Remember your gratitude practice. Remember all the women that have not had the freedom you do. Do not hide in shame. Live your truth and celebrate your strength.

Remember that our stories are ours to tell. We’d love to hear your story too!