My period was nowhere to be seen on it's anticipated date, but this was nothing new...

“I suspected I was pregnant pretty quickly. My period was nowhere to be seen on it's anticipated date, but this was nothing new... all of last year I had my cycle every other month, like clockwork. My boyfriend would look at the date and raise his eyebrow and ask "Are we skipping this month?" and so when he asked me again this August if we were "skipping" even though I had this sinking feeling in my stomach, I told him yes.

Sometime later that week I made a joke to my best friend over coffee. "Maybe I'm pregnant." I said, and we actually laughed. At this point I was in severe denial -- all I could think about was how just last year I was having dreams about my fears of infertility and trying to come to terms with the fact that I probably couldn't get pregnant. I had convinced myself over the last half decade there was no way I could conceive -- family history, my terrible cycle, and more than a couple of close calls that hadn't put anything in the oven. It seemed solid, but I was delusional.

When my period didn't come again the next month, I got a pregnancy test and made an appointment at Planned Parenthood. My best friend read it all over my face without me saying anything more than I had a "doctor's appointment" and the awful guilt of having laughed about it washed over us like a cold rain. I had laughed about it. I had cried about it. And now I was actually pregnant and I had no way of taking care of another human being.

I have $7 in the bank because our roommate couldn't pay the rent this month. I am living in a loud, obnoxious college town filled with drunk frat boys who scream as they run down the street. My front hallway always smells like weed because my upstairs neighbors are always smoking. Living hand to mouth, I could barely afford to take care of myself and the thought of a child having to suffer through me trying to get my shit together was completely out of the question.

What I haven't told anyone, what only my boyfriend knows, what I couldn't even tell the amazing staff at Planned Parenthood is this: we were reckless. Having convinced myself I was barren was due in part to the fact that we were not using any sort of birth control save checking the date. For years we'd been doing it, without issue, just timing my ovulation and pulling out only when necessary to not actually get me pregnant, if I even could. I said we had close calls... and those close calls were so close; I would convince myself we'd skipped a month only to discover a day or two later that I had my period.

After a while dealing with depression over the fact that so many close calls meant I probably couldn't conceive, our way of coping with it was... well, I said it before. It was reckless. We fetishized "getting me pregnant" even to the point of roleplaying sex to conceive, playing chicken with pregnancy and, dare I say it, kind of asking for it. I honestly thought I was unable to have children.

Now, in the waiting room of Planned Parenthood about to terminate my pregnancy, my boyfriend kisses my temple and says "Well, you don't have to be afraid that you're barren anymore."

The procedure itself was clinical and quick and everyone there was a perfect balance of professional and understanding. I felt very well taken care of. One patient in the waiting room asked me if I had gotten an implant -- she was going in for her Mirena. I was ashamed, instantly, but without telling her what I was there for I had polite conversation about birth control. I was weirdly torn -- part of me wanted not to keep it a secret, and part of me was so ashamed for getting myself into the situation. I couldn't possibly admit that I had gotten pregnant because I was convinced I couldn't get pregnant and now, here I am, terminating the pregnancy that I had cried at night thinking I would never have.

Post-abortion, my biggest hang-up is whether my increased libido is because of hormones or because of some subconscious biological natalistic desire to have another child regardless of the fact that I'm already living paycheck to paycheck, I can't even pay my phone bill from time to time and I'm working nights in a restaurant making milkshakes and banana splits.

I'm relieved, I know I did the right thing. But I am aware that people would judge me and call me selfish for what I've done. I just wish I could tell them how unfair life would have been for that child.”


#collegestudent #relief

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