My Abortion Saved Me From A Mental Collapse

by Robin

August 16, 2022

In January of 2020, I was a full-time student in my final year of college working as a waitress, a caregiver on weekends, and an intern at a local non-profit. In the midst of all of this, I was severely depressed. I go through my little depression spells here and there but this time was different. I had no energy, no will to get out of bed, nothing to pinpoint why I was feeling so blue. It wasn’t until I started having random back pains and a conversation with a friend about birth control that I realized: I hadn’t had a period in over a month.

On February 1st, I discovered I was pregnant in my bathroom and instead of being scared, all I could do was laugh out of shock. I remember the exact words I uttered when I flipped the test over, “Well shit”.

It was a Saturday night. Before that test, I was starving but afterwards all I could do was sit with this discovery. Eventually I made an appointment with a random OB/GYN on Monday morning at 8AM sharp as this was the first appointment I could get. I knew my decision almost immediately but I needed confirmation that I was not being too impulsive. Later, I told my roommate/best friend when she got home and we hashed out quick options. Keep it? No, I’m a broke college student who’s about to be out in the world in a few months. Adoption? No, I didn’t want to continue the journey of pregnancy now or have my first child just exist in the world without me. None of this was how my first pregnancy was supposed to go.

That Monday, by my adamant request, two doctors hovered over me with an ultrasound machine beside me to confirm that there was a heartbeat and I was about 6 weeks along. I discussed options with them and they gave me referrals. It all felt so surreal. I skipped class that day, went home and picked up the phone to dial a Planned Parenthood clinic. I told the receptionist I needed to book an abortion and by the time they asked my name, I was bawling. The shock had worn off and my delayed reaction kicked in while on the phone with a stranger. This was not supposed to be how my first pregnancy was to go and yet there I was.

I decided to drive home and tell my mother. I talk to her everyday so there was no way I was going to do this in another state without her knowing what was going on. She understood being as she’s had two abortions herself and she was nothing but supportive. I also told my older sister and she reaffirmed her support as well. Then I told the father of the fetus (who at the time was just a hometown fling of mine; he’s now my boyfriend of almost 2 years) and he just wanted to do whatever I needed him to do. It was definitely a lesson to us both that the pull-out method was not effective at all. Nonetheless, I had a rally of friends and family around me who just wanted the best for me, no questions asked, and after going through this experience, I’ve realized how very fortunate I am.

The next few weeks, I mentally and physically deteriorated. In the state I lived in, it was protocol for abortions to consist of two appointments. The first one was a counseling session to confirm if this is truly what I wanted and the second one was the actual procedure. I was annoyed that my procedure was so far out. I wanted this to end. I wanted my body back. My mind was all over the place. I had finals to think about, jobs to work, money to save, and an impending medical bill to hide from my father and stepmother as I was on their insurance policy and was funding the abortion through it. But the oddest thing was, I spoke to whatever lived in me during that time. I apologized, laughed, cried, anything to acknowledge that at this weird moment in time, I was not alone in my body. I called my them “Peanut”. All I simply wanted to do was savor every bit of what I wanted out of my first pregnancy even though it was not going how I wanted it to go.

Then the day finally came on February 20th. Minutes before I had to leave, I rushed to the grocery store and picked up a single yellow rose for some reason. My friend took me to my procedure. She sat with me. Went in the room with me. I put headphones in and blasted the volume. I didn’t want or need to hear what was going on. Shed a few tears quietly to myself as my friend wiped them away. Few minutes later, I sat up and I was no longer pregnant. Then I went home and just felt pure, utter relief. I was 9.5 weeks when I terminated.

I always imagined pregnancy to affect a person’s body only physically with the depictions we see on television and in movies. I never stopped to think about the effects it could have on a person mentally. I was in an internal agony, going as far to having suicidal ideations. That was not me at all so my pregnancy had to end for my well-being. It’s been two years since my abortion and I’ve definitely started thinking more about adopting than going through pregnancy to have the family I want. If my mind can go that dark within those first 6 weeks, I can only imagine what 40+ weeks would look like for me or the eternal period after birth where I would constantly be responsible for the well-being of myself and the individual I’ve given birth to. It scares me to think about being pregnant again. I honestly don’t think I could do it, but I have a whole new level of respect for those that experience pregnancy and parenthood.

My abortion was an annoying physical and mental process for me. But spiritually, I don’t know. I just felt like there was a greater reason for why things happened the way they happened. I want to be a mother someday but on my own time accord, in my own way. It probably sounds insane but I know the spirit of “Peanut” will come back to me when we’re both ready so I don’t look at my experience as a great point of sadness but rather something of beauty. I guess I just choose to believe everything happens for a reason and that gives me an infinite amount of peace.

Later on, I released that yellow rose down the Mississippi River to be free.

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