I was 24 years old...

“I was 24 years old when I became pregnant. My boyfriend and I had only been dating for 5 months. We were in a happy relationship and a good place so far. I was on oral contraceptives when I became pregnant but had accidentally started an expired pack I had forgotten to throw away. My breasts grew about 2 cup sizes pretty rapidly and I was feeling nauseous in the mornings. I discontinued my pack to see if some kind of a period or withdrawal bleeding would come. I waited a week and nothing. I took 5 pregnancy tests and all came out positive. I realized then my birth control pack had expired the year before and my current pack was still in my drawer. I told my boyfriend right away and we went through the pros and cons.

The cons far outweighed the pros of having a child. Financially we were both not in the best place. He was in between jobs and my contract was nearing a close. I was still living at home to save money to return to school and he had just bought a new vehicle. We had only been dating 5 months and while things are great now, we weren’t sure how a baby would affect our relationship and compatibility since we don’t really know each other well yet. Plus, I was smoking cigarettes, drank heavily on a few occasions, did recreational drugs a few times and was smoking weed. Since we were uncertain of how far along I was, fetal alcohol syndrome and other issues were of a very serious reality for us and something we couldn’t do to a child. I spoke with my doctor and she said that drinking at any stage of pregnancy and recreational use of drugs and smoking can very negatively impact the mental and physical development of a child. I booked the appointment and was scheduled in for the next week.

My boyfriend said he would drive and my best friend came as my chosen support person. The day came and my boyfriend and I both decided this was something we still wanted to do. I got to the clinic and filled out a bunch of paperwork and read through the procedure, processes and risks involved. Eventually my name was called to speak to a counselor who asked me a variety of questions and how I was feeling, answered all of my questions and made sure I felt comfortable and confident in my decision. I was sent to another waiting room where I awaited my ultrasound. This is where I found out I was 7 weeks pregnant. I was pricked for my blood type and then given anti nausea pills and anti anxiety medication. I was sent back to the waiting room and called for my IV insertion. They inserted my IV and then drew some blood for a quick STD testing I requested. Then I was sent back to the waiting room. I was finally called in for the procedure and my bestfriend stood by my side.

We went into the room where I laid on the table and the nurse gave me my general anesthesia and pain medication through my IV. The doctor was cheerful and super funny. She kept me so distracted that I didn’t even feel the needle she inserted into my cervix to freeze me. She then dilated my cervix and turned a machine on, and within 5 minutes it was all over. The nurse took the jar out before I even had the chance to see it. The doctor helped me off the table and gave me a hug. Then they sent me to recovery where I was offered a heating pad, snacks and a drink of my choice. I stayed there for 10-15 minutes before I felt I could leave. Then they gave me aftercare forms, numbers for emergency lines, free therapists, prescription for birth control and informational booklets.

I left the clinic and felt okay for the first couple days. Overall I felt a sense of relief and peace with my decision as I knew this was the best option for me for where I am at in my life. However, a series of small events that happened afterwards with my boyfriend and mother lead me to experience a great deal of emotional pain and anxiety. However, after I spent some time alone, read through all of the material I got from the clinic, talked to some friends and cried for hours and fully faced and dealt with every emotion I felt as valid while also reminding myself ‘this is apart of the process as your hormones fluctuate, sometimes some people can be insensitive and you know this, and you made the right choice. Remember the amount of support you got from your true blue friends. You got this girl. You’re a strong person who has survived and flourished in times of strife, trauma and darkness. You will only continue to rise.’ And so I kept this mantra in my heart each time I felt negative feelings wash over me. I honored those feelings but I let them just wash past me and tried not to dwell on them for too long.

This is your body, this is your life, this is your choice. And because pro-life doesn’t just mean being alive. It means having the ability to give a child everything they need, helping their dreams manifest, having a supportive circle for you and your child, making sure they are healthy mentally and physically, giving them a life full of happiness, love, stability, safety, financial security, unity and a warm, loving family and above all, a mother who is ready to take that on. If you don’t feel ready, it’s okay because we all make mistakes as human beings and we deserve to make our lives right when it happens so we can learn, grow and try again. If you can’t do this right now, it’s okay. Because being pro-life means what I said above and you are already here on this earth and if you can’t do the above for your child, you need to do what is right for you. The choice you are making is what your truth is and what is right for you and nobody else. If you haven’t reached all of your dreams, reach them. You will never be a bad person for making this difficult choice. You are selfless and courageous. We are lucky to be living in a place where this is available to us in a safe way. You are strong, and you are not alone. I hope my story helps someone making the decision to abort or not to abort. I want someone to use my story to help them and guide them to a choice that is right for them as an individual person. I want my story to help someone who has gone through an abortion feel like they aren’t the only ones who are going through this and that you can live a guilt free and normal life afterwards that is just as beautiful as it was before.” —Anonymous

#international #prochoice #notready #bestdecision

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