No regrets

by Kiara

June 3, 2019

I had an abortion when I was 23. My partner (now husband) and I had only been together for six months at that point, and neither of us envisioned having a child this early in our lives. Even though we were confident in our relationship, there was no way we were having a kid! He was still in school and I was working for minimum wage as a cashier. So I booked the appointment for two weeks later. Which meant I was pregnant for two weeks! And, oh boy did I take advantage. I ate all the food. I acted all the crazy. It was a strange feeling though. Kind of like this how I felt after Election Day; it was just so surreal. Crying for no reason, literally not thinking about anything but the fact that there was a cluster of cells that could develop into a baby. 

I felt different too, physically, I mean. It was like nausea, but I didn’t hate it. The two week wait went by slowly, and when the appointment finally came my thoughts and feelings had been everywhere. I thought, maybe I could carry to term and give it up for adoption; maybe we could manage with a baby. After all my mother did, as did my grandmother. Both as single moms, and I had my boyfriend, right? I doubt we’d be married today if we hadn’t had an abortion. So, we went to the clinic. I remember it being difficult to find. It was in a neighborhood in Toronto that I wasn’t too familiar with. We walked into a convenience store and asked the cashier where the clinic was and he said he didn’t know, and asked what it was. In my anxious state I hastily replied ‘an abortion clinic’. He knew exactly where it was. We got to the clinic. It was very discreet and had a good amount of security; you couldn’t enter unless you had an appointment and your name was on the guest list. It felt very exclusive.

We went into the waiting room and there were maybe 4 or 5 other girls with either a parent, friend or partner. It was a very quiet, solemn atmosphere. We didn’t wait too long before my name was called. First we were brought to the onsite counselor who just made sure I was okay, that I was in the right frame of mind for this. She also gave me a lorazepam to calm my nerves before going in. We went back out to the waiting room for a little bit longer. Then I was called to the next stage, my partner wasn’t allowed in. I changed into my gown and waited for the nurse to come in. She had me lay back on the bed and rubbed jelly on my stomach, preparing me for the ultrasound. I asked if I could see it. She said of course and pointed it out. It was a speck. I felt like Rachel from friends when she can’t find the baby on the ultrasound. She wiped off the jelly and sent me to a secondary waiting room. This wait was shorter. Next came the room where it all happens. The doctor who performed the procedure was an old white dude with glasses. There were two nurses, one held my hand and the other assisted the doctor. I was given a light sedative in my arm. Truthfully, I didn’t feel it. Then it started.  I remember telling the doctor that my cervix tilted to the left and he said ‘don’t worry about that’ in a very calming way – unlike the OB that told me in the first place. And let me tell you, It hurt. It was like he was scraping my uterine lining with a dull knife. It was so brutal, that I had to ask if it was almost over and that it really hurt. The procedure itself was barely two minutes and after it was done I had to put on a very basic pair of disposable underwear with a giant pad built into it. I couldn’t leave right away because of the sedative and to make sure I didn’t start hemorrhaging. I was brought into another room where there were about a dozen hospital beds and some recliners. I had to wait there and drink plenty of water for about an hour, until I felt I could leave.

We had a very silent cab ride home. I just didn’t know what to say, and neither did he. I don’t remember the rest of the day all that well. I think we just went home and watched tv. The following few days were like having a really heavy period, with a particularly specific set of cramps as my uterus contracted back to it’s normal size. For the next year, there wasn’t a day that I didn’t think about May 23rd, 2012. Of course I wondered what might have happened if we kept it. But I have never regretted my decision. Seven years later and we’re happily married and I’m not ashamed or regretful of my abortion. It was the right decision for us and I’m so lucky I had the ability to make that choice for myself.

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