"Scene 1979, cold winter night, the stick turns pink. I jump up to pace, only to pass out. No it wasn't the shock of being pregnant. It was because my 5'7, 18 year old body was in physical shut down, as I weighed 104 pounds of nutritionally drained nothing but bones and skin.
But... I wanted a baby more than I could ever want to admit. I wanted loved, to be loved, feel love. But that wasn't to be. My doctor, my psychiatrist, my nurses all knew the viability of my fetus wouldn't result in a happy, healthy child.
That was IF I LIVED. I never stopped being bulemic, nor anorexic through my known early stages of the development. I couldn't even do that simple step for life: eat. A baby? A Mom? Smiles and sadness all at once, grown decisions… terrifying. I needed another point of view.
So I went to my priest, he surely would side with my desire with his religious conviction, rules, values. Nope- he threw the medical reasoning out there- not just babies, but health risks to me. It'd been years of time going without a level head, healthy body. So when I became pregnant I thought it was God's message to me, to be with this man and create my dream family. The priest disagreed - apparently "double effect", was a box into which I fit. The threat to myself and the baby were to great as he saw it.
Damnit, I wanted the baby, child, love. But, I couldn't be selfish, odd isn't, so many people think having an abortion is selfish.
That day, down on Prospect ave, it was with a fogged mind, and heavy heart that I dragged my feet up those steps. Into an office they took me, to speak with a counselor. Checking to see if my decision was being made with sound mind, and respectful to my body, my fetus?
What I didn't do at that moment in time was beat myself up. I didn't judge myself, I don't know what I felt other than the chill in the air as I entered that sterile room. I know as I left the chill stayed, along with the cramps and tears hopeful I had made the right decision. I'm 56, and still don't, won't, can't, ever know for sure the right or wrong answer according to the world's view. But, I don't have to look them all in the mirror, I have me to see, not shame, but love." —Antoinette