A few Saturday nights ago, I had a dream that I was pregnant.
In it, when I found out, I had mixed feelings. I felt I was old enough, responsible enough, and financially stable enough to care for this child. But, I of course didn’t want to actually BE pregnant for 9 months, didn’t want to give labor, and didn’t want to give up the fun parts of my life (I kept thinking, “What am I going to do with this child when I want to go to the pool and drink with Marcy?”).
I know, bad.
When I woke up, I cannot express to you just how happy I was to realize that it was just a dream (or a nightmare) and that I indeed, was not pregnant (that would involve having sex).
Now would be a good time to share with you all, something I never intended on sharing, but why the hell not?
In just a few weeks, it will have been 4 years since I had an abortion.
Only a few people know this, as it’s not something I am proud of. However, with each passing day, month, year, I am coming to terms with it, releasing the guilt, and trying (in small ways) to break down that stereotype of people who have abortions.
I had been “dating” BEX for about a year when it happened. Basically, we were just sleeping together. I had missed my period, was very sick, so I took the test. When I saw the YES on the stick, I told one person: my friend Leslie.
There was pretty much no question that I was going to…get rid of it. BEX didn’t love me, I already knew that, he would be embarrassed by me, the pregnant me.
Leslie, being the awesome friend that she was, didn’t judge me, and told me she would take me. The following morning, I called the clinic that I had found online. They told me the first step was a counseling session to make sure I knew this was the right decision.
I went the following day. The clinic was in a bad part of town, a part of town so far removed from my life, that today, if you put a gun to my head and told me to drive there, I’d have no idea where to go.
I needed to have an exam, to make sure I was actually pregnant. I was led to a standard doctor’s office, and dressed in a paper gown. When the doctor came in, he told me I looked terrified. I certainly was. He did the exam, followed by an ultrasound. The screen was turned away from me.
“What does it look like?” I asked. He asked me if I wanted to see it, and I did. It was really nothing, a small dot. But I gathered that most women on that table had no desire to see it.
I was about 8 weeks along.
The counseling session followed, full of questions, and when I was positive about the procedure, she told me how it would work. I scheduled it for the following week, and asked for the day off at work.
In the meantime, I didn’t tell anyone. I was working full-time, getting sick in the office bathroom. I was bartending at night, refusing shots (the smell made me ill) and shoving saltines down my throat in the back room. I was still sleeping with BEX.
The night before the procedure, I was nervous, and very sick. I was told not to eat, which made me feel worse. Leslie picked me up in the morning, greeting me with a cup of lavender tea. She drove me to the clinic, where there were protestors outside.
I paid in cash, there was no paperwork.
Inside, the room was packed, full of women, a few men, and none of them looked nervous. I had the feeling they’d done this before. They took me back to my room, gave me 2 mystery pills, and I laid there. The doctor and nurse arrived, there were needles and random tools I’d never seen. The nurse held my hand. I felt drunk, so drunk I almost told her I loved her, in fact.
We talked real estate.
It was over quickly, and they gave me a sucker. They told me to rest, there on the table. Much later, they told me I could get up, and get dressed, remembering to use the pad they told me to bring. I was told to clean up the table, which consisted of a pool of my own blood.
Leslie walked me out and we drove to iHop, where I ate like a king. We picked up my prescriptions—a pain killer, an antibiotic, and birth control—and I went home. I slept for hours, and when I awoke, I was shocked I was even alive.
Over the years, I’ve opened up about it with more and more people. And every time I do, I find more people that have been through similar situations, or if not, they understand why I did it.
And today, I know I made the right one.