My abortion, Immediate relief

by Kathleen

April 7, 2020

About a year before my abortion I dropped out of graduate school, moved back to my hometown, and was working in a grocery store bakery. My partner worked at the store too. After a couple months of him generally being a jerk of a boyfriend -cheating, lying, pointless drama-  I broke up with him, quit my job, and was waited to hear about some interviews I’d had for jobs in my field of study.

I don’t remember what made me think I was pregnant, I’d never had a regular cycle… I’d go a year or more without a period so  missing that didn’t tip me off. I told my former partner I was pregnant and planned to have an abortion. I assumed he’d be relieved and contribute financially. I was wrong. He tried to get me to reconsider- saying we should get married or just that he would help. When that didn’t change my mind, he used the 72 hour waiting period required by the State to berate me via text and voicemail. “Baby killer” “I’ll tell your parents” I don’t know what the voicemails said- I just deleted them.

My best friend had a miscarriage a month prior, a pregnancy she really wanted. She supported me through my abortion anyway. The day of she found a sitter for her kid, picked me up, and took me to the appointment. We both made a lot of sarcastic dark jokes that day dealing with the situation. We were ready for protesters but it was raining so there were none. They checked our ID to get in, the waiting room was packed. I remember one young woman crying – it hurt to see her not being comforted. I couldn’t connect with that emotion at all though. I was so concerned something would go wrong and I and WOULDN’T be able to get an abortion.

They did an ultrasound and asked me a lot of questions, making sure I wasn’t being coerced into having an abortion, quite the opposite.

The only time I second guessed my choice was on the surgery table, there were so many people and I’ve never been in such a medical facility. The lights and everything just scared me, but I thought, “If you don’t do this a lot more people are going to see your vag giving birth than what’s happening here.”

I “came to” and walked to a recovery room with a row of chairs and other women who’d also had abortions. I had been sedated during the procedure itself and it seemed so fast between looking up at those lights and waking up, the nurse had to reassure me they’d really done the procedure.

My friend picked me up outside of the backdoor and drove me home. My mom brought me flowers and my favorite snacks. Literally the next day I accepted an entry level job in my field of study.

Ten plus years later, I have a successful career, am happily married, and we’re attempting to mindfully parent a toddler. Before the emergency c-section I needed to have my now toddler, I laid in a hospital bed pushing the pain button on my useless epidural and the most clear thought I could muster was -omg, abortion has to be legal. No one should go through this who doesn’t want to, this must be a choice!

I have had many more moments of appreciation for choice since becoming a parent. When I choose empathy with my distraught toddler or have the flexibility to take off work for story time or practice patience with my little “helper” or afford to keep buying broccoli even if it’s refused 9 out of 10 times it’s offered… those are the times I am most grateful for abortion choice. I wouldn’t be the mom I am without it.

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