Two and a half years ago...


"Two and a half years ago, 18 days before my 21st birthday, I found out I was pregnant. I was a junior in college and my boyfriend at the time was a sophomore. I took 3 pregnancy tests and went to PP to get tested, where it was confirmed. I had no money, no degree, thousands of dollars in loans already and I worked at McDonalds part time as a cashier to help pay my rent. My parents both worked full time and were helping put my brother and I through college and they didn't have the money to help me raise a child either. I also was dealing with undiagnosed bipolar disorder at the time, and though I was not diagnosed, I knew I didn't have the emotional stability to make it through a pregnancy without harming a potential child, let alone raising a child. I also knew at that age I didn't want kids, at the time or ever. I knew immediately that I really had no other choice but to get an abortion. The wonderful people at Planned Parenthood referred me to three clinics in Columbus, Ohio where I could get the procedure done. I chose the one that was the cheapest and because it was the first clinic in Ohio to perform legal abortions. In Ohio, you have to go to two appointments. One is the where they test you and see how far along you are, and then they make you wait to see if you "change your mind" or to "seek counseling." The week before the first appointment and 4 days between the first and the second were some of the worst of my life. I was grappling with my decision and filled with guilt and horror over what I was experiencing. I had always been pro-choice, but I was the kind who thought it could never happen to me. I told three of my closest friends I was pregnant. They were all wonderful and supportive, which kept me going. All of those days, I skipped class and hung out with my boyfriend, who seemed as scared as I was. He was very supportive, but he seemed distant and guilty. I can't say I blamed him. The day of the first appointment, my boyfriend drove me to Columbus in my car. The whole way, I chain smoked and was silent. We got lost in the city, and I started crying. We finally got there. There were no protesters, which was a great relief, because seeing them would have made me leave. We went inside, where we waited for like 15 minutes before they called me back. I got an ultrasound, and as I suspected, I was barely a month along. The ultrasound tech was around my age and asked if I wanted to see it. I said no. She told me it was smaller than my pinky nail, which somehow made me feel better. Then I went to talk to a doctor about my options. He said I could get a medical abortion (the pill) or wait 3 weeks to get a surgical abortion. I chose a medical abortion, even though it was more expensive, because I knew I couldn't stand to be pregnant any longer. I needed resolution, and I needed it over as quickly as possible. Four days later, I went to my next appointment. I was still sick over what was happening, but I was more confident in my decision. The doctor gave me the mifepristone at the clinic, and I had to take the misoprostol the next day at home. The day I took the misoprostol was very intense. I won't get into the details, but once I knew I had officially terminated the pregnancy, the emotions were overwhelming. I can't even describe them to this day. It was a mixture of elation, confusion and horror. Doing it at home was a mixed bag. I was completely aware of what was happening, which wasn't pleasant, but I also avoided surgery and anesthesia, which was also good. It was also comforting to be somewhere familiar, so the procedure didn't seem so alien. My boyfriend stayed with me, but not during the "bad parts." I was in pain for a few days afterward, but I was able to go to my friends' house and eat pizza and cry. I ate a lot of crackers and took a lot of Vicodin. I felt exhausted, physically and emotionally, and my emotions were up and down. About 5 days later, I went in for the follow-up appointment. The doctor checked and everything had gone perfectly. I was no longer pregnant and the procedure was officially finished. I got back on birth control, because missing 1 month of birth control was what caused the pregnancy in the first place, and I was on with my life. The doctors and nurses at the facility where I went were all really wonderful and gave me the names of counselors and hotlines I could talk to and told me to come in if I had any physical issues. I never saw one protester. Overall, medically, it was perfect. The months following the abortion were difficult for me, emotionally. I had a lot of trouble dealing with it. I knew I had made the best decision for me and for my boyfriend too, but it still took me a long time to accept it. I think I had some form of PTSD or something. I eventually told my mom about it and she was wonderful, which resolved a lot of the issues I had, because I had kept it hidden from my parents, and I am very close to them. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which I know contributed to the absolute roller coaster of emotions I had after the abortion. I started dealing with the issues I had surrounding my abortion in therapy, which really helped me. What helped me the most though was having friends, a boyfriend and a mother that supported my decision and told me I was strong for making it and treated me the same as they had always treated me. Honestly, the person who was hardest on me for it was myself. It has been two and a half years since I made the decision to get an abortion, and I am happy to say that I am completely at peace with myself with the decision now. I won't say I didn't have any psychological trauma, because I did. I know now that, despite this, it was the best decision I have ever made for myself. I am 23 now, I have a degree and a full time job, I live in my own apartment and I recently got a cat, which is the proper first step toward adulthood for someone like me. I am no longer with the boyfriend I had at the time, but he remains one of my best friends, partly because we shared that experience. I wasn't ready to have a child back then, just like I'm not ready now. I am grateful I was able to continue to mature and grow as a person without having to raise I child I didn't want and couldn't provide for emotionally or economically. I am very happy and stable now. Personally, I don't ever want to have children, and I am thankful that I was able to make that choice when I was 1 month pregnant, instead of one year into a child's real life. Going through that experience really forced me to grow up and face my demons. I am just grateful that I live in a country where I have that right and that choice."

—Anonymous

#collegestudent #personalhealth #doesnotwantchildren #gratitude #bestdecision

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