by M. (Washington)
I was the “good girl” who had good grades, played several sports, sang in choir, did volunteer work. I might have been the last person anyone would have suspected would get pregnant.
I got pregnant by my high school boyfriend, who was the first person I had sex with. Based on the dates of my pregnancy, it was possibly even the first time I had sex. We got caught up in the heat of the moment and didn’t use any protection.
I was 17 years old and scared to death when I missed my period. So scared in fact that I didn’t tell anyone– not my boyfriend, my best friend, my school counselor, or my parents. I kept hoping against all hope it would just all go away. In fact, I never even took a home pregnancy test because I knew I wouldn’t be able to face the truth.
That spring I played soccer and went to school just like everything was normal, but I could feel my life crashing down around me. I contemplated suicide. I considered running away. I wondered if I could do something to end the pregnancy on my own.
Finally after the end of the school year I broke down and told my father. If you are reading this and have a good relationship with your parents like I did and do, please don’t wait like I did. Any disappointment he felt– what had me so worried– made way for concern and love for me. I really had nothing to fear from telling him. My mom was disappointed too, but supportive. We knew it wouldn’t be right for me to continue the pregnancy.
I had to have a more complicated procedure for later pregnancies called a dilation and extraction. It took two days. They injected the amniotic fluid with saline solution, which killed the fetus. I had laminaria placed to dilate my cervix, then a day later they sedated me. I have no memory of what happened, but I had to push the baby out.
It doesn’t sound pretty and I didn’t feel glad that it had to happen, but that abortion saved my life. I might have ended up killing myself or doing something else really stupid.
Fourteen years later I am 31 years old, have a master’s degree, am married, and a mother– this time to a planned and welcomed baby girl who is now six weeks old. I have no doubt I would have none of this had I been forced to carry my first pregnancy to term.
My abortion gave me my life back– the life I was intended to have. I regret the decisions that led me to get pregnant in high school, but I will never regret having an abortion.