by Maria (New Jersey)
Growing up, I never had any desire to have children. As I got older, my stance had solidified. The group of girls I was friends with in middle school once joked about who would thought would end up pregnant in high school.
I was not the one they guessed.
It was my senior year in high school. I was a dating a guy who was fun, but not a long term fixture- even at that point. It had been about seven months into our relationship, and we were dumb and skipped a condom. I remember thinking how odd it was I didn’t have my period, but I still got cramps. After the at-home pregnancy test that I took in his Mom’s bathroom came out positive, I showed it to him and told him, “I’m pregnant and you’re paying for my abortion.” I had never had any doubts; it was 2 weeks before my senior prom, I hadn’t made college plans (outside of community college), and I knew then I wanted my life to be my own. I think it may have been the last time I actually used a phone book. I made the appointment, and at the time, only my boyfriend and my friend knew. They both went with me, and I remember asking the nurse why they had a poster on the ceiling over the chair. She said some people get… emotional. I had no sedation, it was an extra $100, and the boyfriend couldn’t swing the cash. It was only a few minutes, but it was the most painful thing of my life.
I remember being very upset about it the rest of the day- like my true innocence had been taken. This was a week before prom.
As time went by, I felt better and better about it. The sex with my boyfriend wasn’t the same, and we eventually broke up. It’s ten years later, and now he has two kids.
I have none, and I am perfectly happy. I still have no desire to have children, and my parents know, too. I told my dad at the breakfast table over coffee a few years later, talking about his stepdaughter who was pregnant with no father in the picture, no full time job, and nowhere to go but back home. He said, “If you ever need one, just ask. That’s when I told him. He was supportive and told me it was the right decision.
And he was right- it was the best decision I have ever made.