“Stepping into my power and choice as a woman”

by Anonymous

August 16, 2022

My partner and I have been together for nearly 10 years. I decided to go off of hormonal birth control about a year ago to allow my body the chance to “regulate itself” as I approached my late twenties. I had been inundated with negative messages about birth control and decided to take a step away despite not personally having any issues with it.  I always had the mentality of “if it happens (meaning a pregnancy), we will be okay and it won’t be the end of the world” but continued to be very careful and track my cycle to the best of my ability.

I quickly realized that while it may not have been the “end of the world” it certainly was the end of the world as I had ever known it. I mistook all of my early pregnancy symptoms for the usual period symptoms but knew after a few days of being late I needed to take a test. Looking back now, my breasts have never been that sore leading up to a period and I wish I would have taken a test sooner. You know that raw gut curling scream/cry that involuntarily exits your body after you find out news you weren’t ready to hear? This type of noise is what came out of my body as soon as I saw the positive test (and the other 3 I subsequently took). It turns out my mentality of “if it happens, we will be okay” is something I wasn’t really able to predict until I was actually in the situation.

Once I found out I fell into a deep depression, crying each day from morning until night, and I was in my own mental torture chamber about my decision of how to proceed. Unfortunately, I had to wait an additional three weeks for my appointment at Planned Parenthood. Although those weeks were agonizing and emotionally painful, I am thankful that I had the time to reflect, research, prepare, and come to peace with my decision. I ultimately decided on the medication abortion since the pregnancy was still very early and I wanted this process to be as minimally invasive as possible. I was incredibly thankful to have the support of my partner and a couple of close trusted friends. We had been talking about having a baby and starting a family in the recent months, but unfortunately it took this experience to open our eyes to the fact that we weren’t in fact ready emotionally or financially. We were living far from our family and support system and realized we wanted that before we started our family. My mental health had just improved dramatically in the past year and falling into that depressive episode made me understand that I had more work to do and wanted to be at my best mentally before bringing another human into our family sphere.

The medication abortion went as expected although the pain and bleeding was definitely a stark reminder of the choice and the loss. My experience with the providers at Planned Parenthood was nothing short of amazing humanity and kindness. I felt blessed to be in their presence for such a vulnerable experience. The pain I experienced that day and following week was difficult, but again exactly how I expected. When I chose abortion, I felt I was stepping into my power and choice as a woman. A power and choice that should never be taken away from any woman. For the first time in my life I was making a decision for ME and MY best interest and not for others. I was listening to my own intuition and body and not letting society’s narratives about what womanhood, pregnancy, and motherhood should be like or feel like cloud my mind. I never expected to feel this, but I did at the time and still do. Making this choice was the best decision for me and my partner for this time in our lives. It will allow us the ability to finish grad school, become financially stable, travel, and be our best selves physically and mentally before starting our family. To honor this experience and the lessons and love that resulted from this pregnancy, I bought myself a necklace with a meaningful symbol that serves as a reminder for my own strength. I know our time to become parents will be filled with joy despite the hardships we endured to get there. After going through this, I learned that two of my closest friends had also had an abortion before and again this is a testament to the power of women supporting women and the many nuanced reasons for abortion.

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