It was my junior year of college. Easily the lowest point of my life...

“It was my junior year of college. Easily the lowest point of my life. I had the freedom of being away from my family at a large Division I school. I partied with my friends like everyone else (except I never got drunk because I either couldn't drink the Busch Light fast enough or was dancing my face off at the Wayside). I had a boyfriend who I convinced myself that I was in love with despite our incompatibilities and his lack luster personality.

Cue the oral contraceptives. We had been dating around a year when the Pill really made me anxious and depressed so I experimented with some pretty unreliable methods to replace it. I admit I was living in a perfect world with minimal responsibilities and fun everywhere I turned. Then I had a weird hangover that didn't make sense because I didn't even eat anything, let alone drink the night before. I looked at the pee stick before it even hit the one minute mark and there it was, clear as day. I was, in fact, pregnant.

I told my roommate almost laughing because of the shock. Then I called my boyfriend to come over. Then I threw up. Then I called my parents...

Our family drama consisted of my Dad's catholic values pressuring me to not only have the baby but to also have a wedding. My mom was conflicted because she had an abortion herself.

I made my decision with the support of my family and boyfriend to abort the pregnancy. I wasn't ready to be a mother, I wasn't ready to be locked down with my boyfriend for life, I wasn't ready to face any of the consequences that came from either choice really. This absolutely was the "easy way out." But it certainly was NOT easy.

The next days in my regular routine I felt ashamed for making the mistake and my corresponding decision. I had big fat secret to protect and I was scared it was written all over my forehead. One women next to me in class asked me if I was okay because I looked ill. She jokingly said "You're not pregnant, are you?" I almost died.

Walking into the clinic was weird having two or three people standing outside protesting. I couldn't bare to make eye contact with any of them. The waiting room had an odd atmosphere- we all know everyone is here for the same reasons, yet everyone is offering cold glances and sneers while they wait for their names to be called.

The series of sessions before the procedure included a social worker/counseling meeting. The woman was friendly and had big curly hair. She made me feel comfortable for a moment, enough to make it through the next rounds of blood work and ultra sounds. I didn't expect the ultrasound actually. The nurse made me look at the image of the tiny peanut in my uterus and told me I was 4 weeks along. People sometimes get that image printed out, and here I am deleting it. It was hard for me to come to terms with that for a while.

I eventually made my way down to a room with cozy recliners and magazines where they gave me a pain killer and a muscle relaxer. I was pretty freaked out and the drugs helped me relax a little. When it was time for my abortion I went into a large sterile room with a steel table covered in medical blankets and paper. The doctor was nice and seemed a little old school, which made me think about something else for an instant like what type of music he listens to.

I changed into the gown and laid on the table. I was given an IV that made me feel warm inside and another nurse held my hand while I started to cry. Then it went from uncomfortable to awful. The nurse was once a sweet woman is now a stranger. The tools the doctor used were invasive and made noises I didn't like. I didn't like the way anything felt. I was once warm and now I am ice. I am frozen besides the thrusts of my shoulders from the sobbing I can't control.

2 minutes. 3 minutes. 6 minutes. Done. "You did great Samantha. It's all over." All over.

I rested on a different recliner in a recovery area for another hour or so. I don't remember. I was pretty doped up. On the way home we got subway. And everything was "okay." I bled, I cramped, I cried. But I healed.

In a twisted way I am thankful for that experience. Even though something died inside me, something else grew. I became stronger. Nobody could be there for me in during that time like I was there for myself. I was better at standing up for myself. I took sex I lot more serious, especially after I broke up with my then boyfriend. I am SO glad I am not a mother yet, especially a mother of a child who's father I don't like, let alone love.

I think about my abortion every day. Not with remorse. Not with regret. I look back and give myself grace. Because I know I am going to be a great mom someday and this was part of the journey of getting there.” —Samantha

#notready #gratitude

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