I was 31. The age where one would think you are in a place in your life – ready to have a child. But I was 31, and I wasn’t ready. I had just met my forever person, and by just I mean 3 months into dating. I had a few weeks of sickness, thought to have been something my body was just fighting off. I am a nurse and work overnight shifts. One of my night shifts I was so ill. I ate chicken noodle soup and ran to the bathroom. I entered a patient’s room, and I remember this distinct smell – I ran to the bathroom. I tried to sip some coffee to stay awake – I ran to the bathroom.

I got home that morning, after pulling over because for the first time ever I got car sick. I decided that maybe I should just take a pregnancy test to rule it out. Not even 1 minute later, two pink lines appeared, and I went numb.

I immediately called my sister who had a 4-week-old infant, struggling with postpartum. She cried, and I cried. I was lost, I felt alone, and I felt this immense feeling of fear. I knew in that moment, I wasn’t ready. I have wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember, but not this way.

As a week and a half passed, I had multiple doctor’s appointments. I had blood work, ultrasounds, and long talks with my doctor about my decision because my guilt was already eating me alive. I remember my mother and father came to my ultrasound, and the ultrasound tech said congratulations to me as I lay on the table. I burst into tears and I remember her saying “Oh honey, what’s wrong”, as she came over to comfort me. I told her that I was contemplating this decision – and she just held my hand. I felt accepted, and seen for the first time in this whole journey. I had asked her to turn the screen away from me so I did not have to see the image because I feared seeing the fetus would completely change my mind. Then I heard the heartbeat and that is a sound I will never forget.

I was 11 weeks pregnant the day I had my abortion. I opted to have a medical abortion, and my mother and boyfriend came with me that day. I remember every single moment leading up to this, and every single moment and feeling after it.

Today is my due date, a date that has been long awaited in my mind as I go to all my close friends’ baby showers, and celebrate their new journeys. I realize today mine comes to an end. An end that will have a new beginning someday, with the same man, when I am ready. Today I feel sad, I feel guilty, but more importantly, I feel thankful to live in a State that allowed me to make the choice that was best for ME. The noise of pro-life vs pro-choice, to me, is just noise. At the end of the day, this is our journey, our bodies, our choice. I chose myself, but I also chose my unborn child. I chose to protect them from a life of uncertainty and for that, I do not regret my decision.