My desire to be a mother was strong, but my desire to break generational cycles was stronger

by Anonymous

May 31, 2023

Content Warning: surgical procedure

I had wanted to be a mom for as long as I could remember. But when I found out I was pregnant, I couldn’t believe it was real. Truthfully, I couldn’t believe it was real until I had the ultrasound before my procedure.


My boyfriend at the time was completely unsupportive and only ever pressured me to have it done, which was partly why I waited as long as I did. “We better get rid of it before it becomes a life,” is what he said when I finally mustered up the strength to tell him. I was shattered.


I was 19 and could barely afford rent (money is also a reason why I waited as long as I did). I was in the Army Reserves at the time and they offered me a 5-month job that paid well, so I took it. I took the job knowing I was pregnant, and had no plan, but knew I had to figure it out. When I got to my duty station, I remember wanting to tell someone so that I could hopefully receive medical attention and continue work. However, when they briefed everyone on the procedure to visit medical, they told us any pregnant soldiers were to be sent home immediately. I couldn’t lose this job, my livelihood was at stake. I had no other plan. This was it. The work schedule was hell. Four days on, one day off. Thankfully, I was a medic and my assignment was to provide medical coverage on a shooting range, which is typically uneventful since they’re pretty big on proper safety and handling.


The base we were at received snow almost the entire time I was there, so hiding my pregnancy wasn’t too difficult. I just had to make sure I didn’t spend too much time with people outside of work. I would rub and sing to my belly in private and lived in my own pregnant bubble for as long as I could. I didn’t tell anyone (until I had to). Between the snow, the lack of support at home, and the raging hormones from my secret pregnancy, I felt so alone and isolated.


I remember at the beginning of the assignment, one soldier found out she was pregnant and was sent home, she was elated to tell her husband. I just remember crying, wishing that was me. Another soldier also had an abortion while we were there and I remember hearing all the nasty things people would say behind closed doors.Hearing all the negative things others said had such an impact on how I felt in my own journey.


The state I had my abortion in required two appointments and allowed abortion up to 20 weeks gestation. I was so young and impressionable, but in my heart, I knew what I had to do. The relationship that my pregnancy was conceived in was extremely emotionally and mentally abusive. It drained the life out of me. My desire to be a mother was strong, but my desire to break generational cycles was stronger. He already had a child from a previous relationship, so I saw firsthand what type of father he was, and I didn’t want that for my child if I could help it. And if that wasn’t enough, he was an alcoholic who REFUSED to quit and was even proud that he had a problem. Even aside from that, I was raised between parents who HATED each other.


I always told myself I would do better for my kids and make better choices. So, I couldn’t, in good conscience, bring a child into the awful situation that was that relationship. I couldn’t subject another person to the abuse. I couldn’t put my child through the pain and heartbreak. My heart was so torn, I waited until the very last possible second.


I was 19 weeks and 6 days when I had my surgical abortion. I remember asking my only friend if she could drive me. And I explained to her my situation and finally told someone the whole truth. She was so amazing, comforting, and supportive.


I remember changing in the bathroom before the procedure.

I remember not being allowed to eat anything, which was torture because all I wanted to do was scarf down cheese and ice cream. But they let me eat some saltines and drink apple juice.

I remember the pressure and discomfort from my cervix widening.

I remember them giving me a sedative. That day, they had medical students doing a round so there were 5 or 6 people in the room (which I had okayed).

I remember the procedure itself.

I remember crying in the middle of it and apologizing to everyone for crying because I didn’t feel like I deserved to cry for making such a “horrible choice” as the “protesters” outside had put it.


The sedative made me fuzzy but the people in that room were so supportive and gentle from what I remember. Overall I could tell the staff had their own opinions and stances (likely because of the state we were in). However, they were very supportive and comforting, and I never felt pressured by them. They explained each step to me and reminded me that I was allowed to change my mind until the very end.


To this day, it was the most difficult decision of my life, and looking back, 19 year old me never deserved that type of heartbreak. But I am determined to provide a better life for my children (if I decide to have any). A better life than I had, than my parents had, and than their parents had.


I don’t regret MY CHOICE. I’m eternally grateful that I had one.

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