You can do everything right, and it can still go wrong.

by EJ

April 26, 2023

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to say, and if I should even say it. My story is more of a whisper shrouded in secrecy than a shout, and my thoughts still aren’t linear many months later.

My pregnancy was the shock of a lifetime since my husband had a successful vasectomy many years ago. It didn’t even register as a real possibility and taking a test was more of an automatic response to a very late period.

My initial reaction was briefly excitement. After years of infertility, I’d thought more children just wasn’t in the cards for us. A vasectomy created a hard line that our family was complete and I didn’t need to wonder “what if”. I was content. I love being a mother more than anything.

When I realized how unrealistic it was to have more children, I spiraled hard. Not only is my age borderline “geriatric pregnancy” but we also didn’t have the financial means or village of support to bring another child into the world. Having another child would have meant sinking back into debt and juggling careers with no good childcare.

Day-to-day, I’m still trying to navigate this. My days of regret are more than my days of relief, and while I know we made a decision that was smart for the family we have now and the future we want, I hope that my future isn’t filled with remorse and anger. I remind myself that we did everything right. We opted for the best method of sterilization. I find myself in a daze of not feeling present in life at all, and being really frustrated that the doctor that botched this vasectomy gets to continue on with life blissfully ignorant to the damage he’s caused.

The trauma of this feels too heavy to hold. I live in a state where abortion access is restricted, and while I’m thankful to have a clinic without too much travel, the whole experience was made worse by protesters (mostly old white men), making such huge assumptions about the women walking through those doors on some of the worst days of our lives already. I’ll never forget the clinic escort who shielded me. I’m so thankful for her sacrifice. The way her eyes connected with me felt so protective and reassuring.

I had a medical abortion and even though I was thankful to have the option to do it in the dignity of my own home with a supportive partner, the experience is something I wish I could permanently remove from my brain. Even though I’ll grapple with my choice the rest of my life, I’m so thankful for the women who have come before me to pave this road for me to have a choice.

For now, I’m working through this one day at a time. Most days I think about how pregnant I would be, my due date, if this will always feel so heavy. I have days of really intense sadness, waking me at night and making me wish I could just have a brief coma, and I have days where I remind myself that I’ve created a sustainable life for my family. There will be happiness again. I have lived through trauma, and I know I can again. To everyone grieving, you have a community here. You did the best you could with what you had when you had it, and you will find a way to rise from the ashes.


Also, f*ck the GOP.


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