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Roller caster and relief

by Amandine

November 9, 2020

I’ve started seeing this guy. It’s going well. He’s kind, caring, adventurous. We are falling in love fast and hard. And sometimes, because we are a bit silly, we use the withdrawal method. I am 29. I have stopped the pill many years ago because of health problems related to hormones, and was advised against copper coil because my periods were already insanely painful. Contraception has always been a bit tricky for me. My partnters were usually always very careful with condoms, but after years of sexual life with occasional vigilance drops, I had sometimes wondered if I was fertile at all. Anyway. 2 months into this new relationship, I move in with him, and I’m late on my periods. I didn’t even really notice it at first: I have an irregular cycle so I just let them come and go. My partner was actually more worried than I was. He would ask me everyday if I was on my period yet, and his worry started to get to me. I also realized that this week my boobs had been big and hurting, that I had been tired and emotional. I had put everything on the account of stress: I have just been traveling for a week and I am starting a new job soon. But the dreadful thought is now in my head. What if. It took me a few more days to dare to take the test. As if I couldn’t quite accept the idea. Until not knowing became unbearable. My partner went to buy a test and I took it. I took a shower whilst waiting. Glimpsed at it. Of course it was fucking positive. Emotions started to rush on me, very slowly. Denial, fear, panic… I couldn’t face my partner. I was so overwhelmed. I just sat on the floor, crying and on shock, for a long time. Until he came to me. He looked at me and didn’t even ask what the test said… He took me in his arms and spent the afternoon taking care of me.

After a few hours, I grabbed my phone and messaged a close friend who had been through abortion some time ago. Texting the words “I am pregnant” feels absolutely unreal, as if I couldn’t quite believe it. She told me that no matter what I decide, it will be okay. Whatever I decide? I hadn’t even realized I had a choice to make. Before taking the test, I had told my partner “if I’m pregnant, I’m not keeping it.” But now that I am facing the situation, I don’t know what to do… Doubt creeps in. What do I want to do? I realize I have a choice to make. A hell of a choice.

That night, as I am in his arms, my partner asks me if there is a little part of me that wants to keep it at all. I say yes, there is a little part of me that does. And you? Yes, he says. A big part, in fact. It leaves me questioning my decision even more. Shall we keep it? Is this a sign? Could we make it work? We haven’t known each other for very long at all, but it’s going well. He lives in a house with a garden which would be a good place for a family. I know he wants kids, he loves kids, and he loves me. Images of us with a kid flood me. Images of me holding a baby… But I’m not sure i want a kid right now… I am recovering from a burn out and trying to find out what i want to do for a living. I am an expat in this country, unsure how long I want to stay here. And I just don’t feel ready for this adventure, as beautiful an adventure as it could be. I tell him all that, he understands. “Whatever you decide, i’m there 100%.” He says. Could he be more perfect? We cry a lot, that day and the next.

In the few days that follow, i=I make my decision. I am not keeping it. We’ll have kids when we’re ready. I slowly start telling my closest friends, and telling them unburdens me. It makes it more real, less dramatic. I call the abortion center, everybody is kind and judgment-free. I have an appointment in the hospital in a week. During that week, I try to stay as sure as I can about my decision. I write myself a letter to read after the abortion. During that week, I find the website shout your abortion, and all the stories help me a lot. I felt surrounded by all these powerful, beautiful people, as if they were all holding my hand. During that week, my partner had a call from his brother, who told him he is having a second baby. My partner takes the hit. During this week, occasionally my partner would have a wobble, and would tell me he really wants to keep it. He’s so keen that I doubt my decision. But  am sure enough and quite at peace about it. I don’t want him to creep doubts in my head. I tell him that. He doesn’t quite understand. During that week, I feel my body changing and I am not enjoying it one bit. I am starting to have morning sickness, I feel really tired, I am not enjoying my partner’s smell nor touch… and all I want is this nightmare to be over. I am actually looking forward to the abortion, and thankful to have that right. I do not want to be pregnant.

My partner drives me to the hospital. I take the first pill. I swallow it as if I was taking an aspirin, numbing my emotions, afraid they might crush me. He cuddles me all night. A few days later, I take the second pill. And go through intense pain. Everybody’s abortion is probably different. Mine was physically painful. I thought I was dying. I hated this sexist world, who hasn’t created better contraception and abortion ways. My partner stayed with me through the whole thing. Trying to be as present as you can be when you see the person you love agonizing on the floor.

In the evening, I start coming back to myself, and I feel relieved. As if I was coming back from the dead. Exhausted but relieved. I thank my partner for having been amazing. I go to bed and he hugs me but he says “I’ll join you later, I want to stay up a little”. I fall asleep and when I wake up in the morning, he isn’t next to me. He slept on the couch.

The next day, I feel eager to live, as if i had finally my life and body back. I suggest that we drive to town to see some friends. Through the day, my partner is short, aggressive, and I suddenly feel tearful. Instead of hugging me, he tells me to stop crying because people will find it weird. Thankfully our friend, who knows the whole story, is very gentle to me. We drive home and my partner’s driving is fast and brutal, and it hurts my belly. I hold it with my hands, he looks at me angrily. He says “I find this all really hard for us…”. I look at him, touch his hair gently. “I know… it is”. And then in blurry words, I start to understand that he is thinking of breaking up. At home, I crumble on the bed and cry my heart out. I can’t take that hit. Not today. He brings me a cup of calming tea and hugs me. I cry myself to sleep on my own.

The next day, he goes out to meet up with a friend. He comes back in the evening and tells me he is now sure he wants to break up. He gives me a list of reasons. Main one: he still loves his ex. It’s actually with her that he has spent the afternoon. I tell him that a week ago he was trying to convince me to keep that kid… I am confused and in shock. I tell him his timing sucks. He says “best time to take a blow is when you’re low”. I don’t recognize this man. Where is the gentle, kind man I had been seeing lately? I call my mom in tears. I haven’t told her about the abortion yet, and I don’t manage to tell her tonight. I cry myself to sleep on my own.

The next days have been hard. I felt crushed. I realize i will have to look for a place to live, I am starting  new job in 2 days, and i am not in the best emotional state for any of it. My friends and family surround me with love.

Under the pressure of common friends, my partner/ex accepts to let me stay at his until I find a place to live… It took me a week, during which sometimes we had fights, most of the time he was caring. I started work, was tearful the first day but then it lifted me up. I like this job. I found a place to live. I move out of my partner/ex, and we are both emotional.

It’s been 3 weeks. Yesterday I took the control pregnancy test, and it’s negative. I spend time with my friends, I phone my family, I try to focus on work, hobbies and projects. I write this story. I take distance from my ex and all our common friends. I try to be caring with myself and to get on with life. I do yoga, take baths, go for walks and eat well. I’m not quite there yet, I have nightmares and I cry sometimes. Occasionally I still wonder what it could have been like to keep it. But I am relieved to not be pregnant. Deeply relieved. And I know that in time, my joy for life will come back. It’s already starting, actually. I am lurching towards happiness, one step at a time.

I think abortion should be normalized. It’s not an easy thing to go through, but it shouldn’t be a traumatic event either. My abortion story was difficult, but because of the whole situation around it than abortion itself. It made me much more aware of what it’s like to be pregnant and, of course, what it’s like to have an abortion. I am everyday more confident to talk about it, when at first I was incredibly ashamed and scared people would find out. I would like abortion to be seen as a solution to an undesired pregnancy. Nothing more, nothing less. I would like people to be always as caring and judgment free as my friends and family have been. They all have been so, so incredible…

I am relieved. I will be fine. Thank you. To you reading me, whoever you are, wherever you are, i love you.

This a a poem i wrote after my abortion:

Normal

I feel powerful
Unstoppable invincible
I write the lines of my own life
I am the master of my soul

But underneath
There’s a sadness.
Life is tasteless
The joy is gone
My fire is burning low
My heart is beating slow

Crossroad after crossroad
I drew the lines of my life
But today the signs are blurry
I have no directions
And the world is crazy

One drop of blood at a time
Saying goodbye to a life
Grieving homes, grieving love
Renunciation after renunciation

Normal

Waiting for the sun to shine again
Waiting for life to taste again
Waiting for music to play again
Waiting for the sun to shine again
Waiting for life to taste again
Waiting for music to play again

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