by Sunstorm77 (WA)
At the end of 2006/beginning of 2007, my short-lived marriage was falling apart. Not that it had ever been idyllic, but now it was just disintegrating and nobody seem to have the energy or desire to do anything about it. We decided by the end of January that we would take a break and see what we wanted to do in a few months. We also decided that he would be the one to move out of our apartment because he had friends he could stay with and I did not ; he also made more than me and could afford to move if that’s what it came down to. Despite the fact that I was the one saying it wasn’t working (he didn’t seem to realize it yet), I was devastated. We’d moved to Washington to explore and conquer this place and make it our own together and even though I’d know our relationship wasn’t perfect, I’d thought the adventure we’d have together would be enough for us.
During this time, I was also dealing with a recent diagnosis of acute scoliosis and osteoarthritis through most of my body. I had (and still have) spinal chord deterioration in my neck and lower back and stomach issues related to nervous system problems, and was told that I have the bones of a 60 year old (I was 29 at the time). Also, though I did not yet know it, I was dealing with post traumatic stress from an abusive childhood. I was making, at the time, about $800/mo and could not live without a roommate. On top of all this, I had never wanted to carry a child; a lifelong proponent of not bringing new children into the world when there are so many already here just waiting for loving families, I’d always thought I would someday adopt or foster, but giving birth had never been part of the equation.
So when I found out I was pregnant, I freaked. I knew I was late and at first kept trying to blame it on the extreme stress I was under, but even so, I knew the truth and finally, after two weeks, I bought a home pregnancy test. I was IMing my best friend, who lives in Oregon, and she was encouraging me to get the test so I would at least know for sure and could figure out what to do from there.
Sure enough, the test came back positive and I knew it wasn’t false. I went into panic mode. She almost instantly threw her 10 month old daughter in the car and drove five hours to come sit and stare at the wall with me for an entire weekend.
Deciding to get an abortion was not a difficult choice for me. I struggled with the idea of a surgical abortion, but as soon as a friend mentioned the abortion pill to me, I knew exactly what I was doing and didn’t think twice about it. Not having any money, knowing that I was not emotionally stable, that I didn’t want a baby and the toll that pregnancy would take on my skeletal structure made it clear to me that this was the absolute best thing to do.
I went to Planned Parenthood and I won’t say that my interactions with some of the staff there wasn’t frustrating (at one point, I said something one of the NP’s didn’t like and she went off and left me alone in her office for 30 minutes before I finally went looking for her, only to be snapped at and instructed to return to my seat), but the abortion itself went more smoothly than anyone could have expected. They had warned me that I could bleed for a month, yet when I went back for my follow up appointment a week later, I had been done for two days with a minimum of cramping and not a single complication of any kind. I was also fortunate to have had a lot of support – in fact, not a single person who knew what I was doing judged me harshly for it. My boss, who is like a mom to me, gave me an entire week off work to deal with it and sat me down and told me “Don’t you regret this – I never regretted mine when I was in almost the same situation as you and this is the only thing you can do. It is the best thing for both of you because there is no reason you need to go through hell to bring an unwanted life into this world. We already have enough of that, don’t you do it too.”
Getting the abortion gave me back the right to focus on making myself a whole, functioning human being. This is an opportunity I would not have had if I had chosen to keep the baby because I would have had to put the priority on them instead. No woman should ever be forced to have a baby when they’re busy coping with their entire lives falling down around their ears. Thanks, abortion!