My Abortion Story

by Anonymous

June 12, 2019

I remember when I first learned about abortion. I was 12 and at school we were having some sort of “sex education” talk. I remember one of the teachers talking about her opinion of abortion, which happened to be very anti abortion. I remember being confused and later that night I was eating dinner with my mom. We were sitting in a booth at an old bbq restaurant. I remember saying in girls chapel we were told that some women kill their babies. Why would they do that? The look on my mom’s face was priceless. She very passionately began to explain what it means to be pro choice. She explained that being a mom is scary, deliveries can be traumatic, postpartum with a screaming baby is extremely difficult. She further explained that some women choose not to be Mothers and up until she was 29, she was unsure that she wanted to be a parent. My mom laid out other reasons why people get abortions, like rape, or issues with the pregnancy/or health of the woman. Mom also talked to me about Roe v Wade and what it was like in the 60’s before abortion was legal. She recalled hearing several stories in high school of girls dying from unsafe abortions. This conversation has stuck with me over the years. I honestly never imagined that I would some day make that decision myself, I mean I was definitely open to it if was needed, but who ever really intends to get an abortion?

At the age of 30 something I had an unintended pregnancy and honestly I  had always been unsure if I ever wanted to be a parent, I was working 2 jobs about to move in my boyfriend now husband and had also been birth control for years. So here we are, positive test and a melt down. We love each other and we are in our 30’s, however, I didn’t feel I was in a place to be a parent. I struggle with anxiety and depression, I was on medication that I seriously needed. We were about to move in together AND I was not where I wanted to be in life with my career. Plus, part of my mental illness is telling myself you can barely take care of yourself, how can you possibly ever take care of someone else. You know that lovely negative mental tape that plays when you are hit with a crisis. Well, we went back and forth with what to do, knowing deep down what I really wanted/needed to do. We talked and talked and discussed the future and we decided together it was best to end the pregnancy and wait a few years before starting our family. So I called a clinic in Dallas and was told I had to come in for at least 2 appointments and wait at least 24 hours before being able to actually have the procedure. Oh and actually they are completely full and I have to wait another week to even be seen for the first appointment/ultrasound. Well the sickness set in very early, which was not easy to hide. We didn’t tell anyone. I was ashamed. Due to the stigma. We get to the appointment, we sit in the parking lot and give ourselves a pep talk. We walk in and it is shoulder to shoulder in the waiting room. Everyone looks absolutely miserable and sick. We wait and wait and wait. Finally I get called back for the ultrasound and to meet the Dr. I was told a variety of scary facts, I say that loosely, that was required to be read by the Dr and was written by the state of Texas. Then I had my first vaginal ultrasound, awkward is all I can say. Then I was asked if I wanted to see the sonogram, sure why not. I look at the screen and all I see is a teeny tiny spec like a grain of rice. He said was 7 ish weeks. I remember thinking that is what is making me feel so awful? Like wow. Then I signed some papers, was given information on both the medication abortion which can be done at home, similar to a miscarriage or the 3-5 min procedure done in the office. Well, I don’t really like the idea of being exposed, alone, in a clinic having the procedure. So I opted for the medication abortion. I had to wait another week before I could get back in for the appointment to take the medication then had to wait another 24-48 hours to take the medication that allows the pregnancy to pass while at home. That week was brutal. I felt so bad, here I am in my 30’s still figuring out life, my relationship, my mental health was a mess and I had terrible job that was going nowhere and I was definitely not in a place to be responsible for another thing. It literally took half of my paycheck to pay for the abortion as my insurance did not cover it. What a gut check. Then the shame cycle not about the actual abortion but that certain things need to be re evaluated.

We make it back, wait another few hours for the dr to give me a pill they give me a bag with instructions, nausea medication, Tylenol 3 and a mandatory follow up appointment in 2 weeks. Ok seriously, now I’ve taken off 3 times from work. So there were no side effects from the first pill that stops the growth of the pregnancy. I wait, I read all of the instructions like 10 times have everything planned out. I take my pain meds and nausea meds wait the allotted time and then proceed with the medication that allows the pregnancy to pass. It was not fun, it took a few hours but I got through it, and I had the support of my partner while in the privacy of my own home.

I still continued to beat myself up over the fact that I was not where I wanted to be in life, so my partner and I talked and we started to make future goals and plans. Having this abortion gave me an opportunity to choose when or if I wanted to parent. I felt so relieved once it was over, having an unintended pregnancy put me in a really dark place, having the choice to terminate a pregnancy at that time brought a variety of feelings after. Mainly relief and kind of a kick in the butt to get my shit together.

About a month later I’m on the job hunt, I see a post on indeed for an options counselor at an abortion clinic. Omg this is it! I must apply. I get the call for the interview and I walk in, this clinic is so nice and so busy. Well, needless to say I got the job and have been there about 7 years minus a recent  9 month hiatus to attend to my mental health. It is my passion. I walk people through the process and from ultrasounds to relaxation and support during the procedures. The opportunity to be supportive, compassionate and respectful on what could possibly be someone’s worst day is what I’m passionate about. Empowering people to make the best decision for themselves at that time.

This is a decision no one wants to make, however, things happen, guess what? Sex is normal and healthy, bc doesn’t always work, it can also be difficult for some people to take. OR they can’t afford to actually get any birth control. It doesn’t really matter what your reason for having an abortion is. We should all have the choice to decide when and if we want to parent. Parenting is hard, I now have a 4 year old and I feel so fortunate to be able to provide the important things for him, that I know I did not have the ability to do before. A lot of people that we see are mothers, but having another is just not doable and being there for the children that are here now is what is best.

1 in 4 women have had an abortion, the issue is that we don’t talk about it enough. Most women do not know they are pregnant by 6 weeks, which is when cells are forming to what will be the heart eventually. 6 weeks pregnant is only 2 weeks after a missed period. These bans force people to parent when they may not be ready.

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