I had met a guy through a good friend 10 years ago....

"I had met a guy through a good friend 10 years ago. I was 17, a senior in high school. He approached me, but I quickly shot him down. I thought nothing of it. A few years later we were friends on social media. I found myself crushing but never acted on it. Little did I know his feelings for me hadn't changed. March, 2017 he asked me out on a date. I agreed. He brought me a dozen roses that day, my favorite color, pink. They were beautiful.

The weeks following he continued with romantic dates and gifts, from Sunday afternoon picnics to ice cream dates that ended with walks around the a lake and deep conversation. I was finding myself enjoying him, possibly falling in love. He asked me to be his girlfriend during a date night at a winery.

He asked the waiter for a piece of paper and pen, where he wrote, 'will you be my girlfriend?' 'yes, no, maybe.' I jokingly asked the waiter his opinion before checking yes of course.

We began dating and eventually became intimate. I initially mentioned how I was remaining celibate, which he respected. I eventually changed my mind of course. Months pass and as we're learning each other still, I realize my body was feeling weird. My period was 15 days late and my boobs were tender. I thought pregnancy was a possibility but I also knew that I was stressing and I just contributed the late period to stress.

30 days pass and I become worried. I let him know that my period was late and my boobs were tender. He told me I should take a test. I was horrified and pushed it off a few days. I went on to buy a test.

Anxious to take it, yet afraid, I went to his house. I took it, double pink lines quickly appeared. I was pregnant. In shock, I suppose, because I was surprisingly quiet.

We talked about it. The options and of course he supported whatever decision I would make but he definitely voiced that he was not ready to be a parent. I agreed. My battle came from my strict upbringing. I was a pro lifer for years (thanks to catholic school). I would march, I would write letters I was against abortion. As I grew older and attended college my mind changed I realized to be pro life was unfair. I became pro choice for everyone, but myself. I would always say 'I'm pro choice for everybody but myself, but then again, I don't know what I'd do until I was in the situation.' those words haunted me as I was now facing that decision.

At this point in my life, I'm 27, I have a masters degree, a career & I was capable of raising a child, but I wasn't ready. For weeks I struggled with a decision. When I found out, I was about 7 weeks....I didn't make a decision until I was 14 weeks.

I was silent from week 7-13. The only people who knew at that time were my boyfriend and my mentor, who guessed I was pregnant, because of how I was trying to ask for advice in an unsuccessfully round about way.

Discussion about my personal life with my parents and siblings is non existent. There was no way I could tell them. I wanted to tell my closest friends, but I was embarrassed and afraid. I felt so alone many nights. One night I sat in my car for hours, in tears afraid and alone. I was completely unsure of what to do. I eventually caved and told my 2 closest friends.

I made my initial appointment for that weekend. It was for 10am but I never made it. I was to afraid, nervous and embarrassed. Pictures of protesters would pop in my mind which was scary, because that was once me. I rescheduled for that Thursday and told myself I had no choice.

I went for my consultation and I found out I was 14 weeks and 4 days. I cried when she said that as she conducted the ultrasound. I asked not to see the picture and went on with my consultation. As she went on to schedule the next appointment I found myself in tears again.

She asked 'did you not know?' I said, 'I knew.'With the length of my pregnancy the nurse had a nervous look on her face. She said, 'with how far you are I don't think the doctor agrees to perform surgery.' She went to speak with her and came back saying, 'good news this is the farthest she will go we will need you here at 8am Saturday.'

I agreed and went on to finish up and talk with the doctor. I was given 2 doses of meds to take prior to my appointment, when most are given one. I was also told that I'd have to take more the day of. When I arrived Saturday morning with my boyfriend, there were luckily no protesters out yet. I went in and was given the 3rd dose.

The clinic started to fill with a very diverse group of women and their supports. From middle aged white women and their partners, to single black women in their late 30's, to teenage girls and their mothers. I sat and waited for my meds to work.

Cramping was increasing and I was in pain. A bit worse than the first day of your period cramps. I was instructed to take my pain meds that were prescribed as well and I continued to wait. As I sat for an hour in a drowsy pain, I wanted to go to the bathroom. I went to stand and felt a gush of fluid and I sat back down asking my boyfriend to get a nurse. When she came she asked if I could walk I said I'm not sure but I know that when I get up, there will be a ton of something in my seat. I went to stand.

As I stood what seemed like a gallon of fluid leaked from me. Soaking through my clothes and down to the floor and even on my boyfriends shoe. I walked to the bathroom drenched, I still had to use the bathroom, there was no blood, it was all clear fluid. On my underwear and pants. I was confused because it wasn't urine, because I still had to pee. I didn't realize until after that it was because my water had broke. In the lobby, in front of everybody. After I did pee.

They took me to the surgery room to get things started. I removed my clothes and I went to lye on the table. The doctor came in, I was given laughing gas and she began the procedure. I cried nearly the whole time. In fear, in embarrassment but mostly in pain. As it took some extra elbow grease because I was so far along. There was pressure. It was uncomfortable. I had headphones in trying to mask the sound of the suction and forceps. Soon it was over. With many 'good jobs,' 'you did Great' it was over. They found new scrubs and disposable underwear for me since mine were drenched, I went for recovery. At this moment I felt relief.

That morning when I woke up I thought I would feel upset, angry, unsure, afraid and overwhelmed, but to my surprise, I felt a sense of peace, and gratefulness. My experience was a challenge for me but I've gained a new appreciation for so much. I understand how important it is to have a CHOICE. I understand how therapeutic and necessary it is to talk about things instead of suffering alone. I realized that when we make decisions that can be life changing, that we owe it to ourselves to be forgiving. Forgiving to ourselves, especially.

While some things are inevitable, others allow choices and I'm grateful for choice. I want women to be comfortable talking about their pregnancy decisions, rather it be adoption, giving birth and especially abortion. You are not alone. I learned soon after my abortion that someone I admired dearly had one as well. In that moment I cried tears of joy because I didn't feel alone anymore.

As women we catch a lot of flack about OUR bodies and the choices we make, but we have to remember that what others think, feel or do, has nothing to do with us. We have to be firm in our belief of self and do what's best for us!" —Dee

#prolife #prochoice #notready #overwhelmed

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