by a nony mous
I was so excited to find out about this MTV special, because a few years ago, I too became pregnant, unexpectedly, and I chose Abortion. To this day (close to three years to the day) I think it was the BEST decision I’ve ever made in my entire life. I don’t ever regret it.
My unplanned pregnancy was not a result of a ripped condom, or antibiotics neutralizing my birth control — I was just really stupid. My boyfriend told me that he had had sex with his ex with no condoms or birth control for three years and she had never gotten pregnant, so he must be sterile. (Later I learned that this had in fact been true, but that she had had an abortion a couple years before she dated him, and she had been well into the second trimester, and… I guess there were complications, I’m not sure she went to a “legitimate” clinic — anyways, clearly she was the infertile one).
Regardless, I believed him! I don’t know why, I’m smarter than that. I just… I didn’t think I would get pregnant.
But I did. I was in denial for quite awhile when I missed my period. I had been sleeping ALL the time, and complaining that my boobs were hurting really bad, and of course, there was the period that never came.
I thought nothing of these symptoms but my boyfriend and my roommate were both positive I was pregnant and urged me to take a test.
Take a pregnancy test! I was not pregnant accidentally! I was not even a teenager anymore! I was 23 years old! A college graduate! 23 year old college graduates do not get pregnant accidentally!
But they do. And I did. I was pregnant. I bought a pregnancy test at a drug store, and took it when my boyfriend was at work. (When I told him, he said I should’ve waited for him, so I wouldn’t have been alone).
I don’t know why they make you wait 1 minute or 3 minutes or whatever it was, because that line showed up, brightly, the second I peed on it. I was mortified. I don’t remember if I cried or not, probably. I kept the stick, on my nightstand (on a tissue) for a really long time. As if to prove to myself, over and over, that I was in fact pregnant.
Here I was, 23 years old, I had dropped out of grad school, I had been laid off from my full-time, corporate job, and I had only been with my boyfriend for… not even a month when I got pregnant. It was probably just about a month when I finally took a pregnancy test!
I knew I could NOT tell my family. At least not until I had made a decision, and then only if the decision was to have (and keep) the baby. But I told a lot of my friends (at which point, I realized, not all of my friends were Pro-Choice like I was). I was not sure what I wanted to do. But I needed support. I had always been fervently Pro-Choice, but I’d never imagined I would be in this position. Ever. I was a “good girl” — good grades, honors classes, the works.
At first, I thought I definitely had to get an abortion. My boyfriend supported abortion. My roommate supported abortion. One friend (with a baby) wanted me to keep the baby. One friend sympathized and told me about the trip she made to Planned Parenthood the previous year, after the condom broke, and another friend was mortified for me. As the news sunk in, I started to think about staying pregnant and having the baby.
I stressed over it, which decision is the Right decision? There are sooo many factors to consider: your current living situation, your future situation with/without a baby, the situation a baby would be brought into, the life that could be provided for that baby… I simply could NOT afford a baby. My boyfriend could NOT afford a baby (and didn’t want a baby). I said fine, my decision is completely 100% nothing to do with you, if I decide to keep the baby, I will do it alone — which was fine with me, I thought I could do it with the help of family. But then the baby would not have a father, and I did not like that. I think having two parents to raise a child is ideal, not necessary, but… preferable. I also considered if my boyfriend didn’t stick around, it must be nearly impossible for single moms to date. And, being realistic, my family did NOT have the means to help me support a baby. I had already seen from my friend who WAS a mother, how expensive it is to have a baby.
My life was not “stable”. I would not be able to provide “stability”. I briefly considered Adoption, but realized how incredibly hard it must be to carry a baby to term, delivery that baby, and then have to give it up! I am, and always have been a strong advocate for Adoption, but I realized it was not a choice for me. It was either Abortion or keep the baby.
Everyone wanted to help, but no one knew how. No one knew what to say. My roommate strongly urged me to have an Abortion, because her older sister got pregnant as a teenager, and had the baby. And life became 5,000 times harder for her. In fact, the father ended up with custody of their son. It was just a horrible situation. I felt she was trying to pressure me and I got really mad at her, but while her delivery was not the best, she was just trying to make sure I was considering the future.
I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to have kids at ANY point in my life! I had never been one of those girls whose ultimate goals in life were to get married and have babies.
I don’t remember the exact tipping point (I think it was just really thinking of the financials), but I decided on Abortion. My boyfriend said he would go with me to any and all appointments (which he did), and he volunteered to pay for it (which he did).
I was still very early in the pregnancy, and when I looked up info online (Planned Parenthood), I found that it was early enough to just take some pills at home, and not have to have a whole medical procedure. It was early, but it was close, I believe it had to be before eight weeks.
At the time I lived in a large college town. While there were a number of Planned Parenthood clinics around, NONE had appointments before the eight week deadline. So, my boyfriend drove me about… I think 150 miles each way, to a Planned Parenthood clinic in my home town (my choice). So we went… I was really nervous, I think they said I was about six weeks along.
There was tight security, but everyone at the clinic was really nice. It was PACKED, as I’m sure the clinics where I couldn’t even get an appointment were. Most people in the waiting room (mostly young couples) looked Freaked Out — I’m sure my boyfriend and I looked exactly the same. There were others there, too, before this experience I didn’t realize Planned Parenthood clinics provide many services, not just abortions.
State law required that I had to come back for a second appointment to get the medications (thanks to lobbying from anti-abortion supporters hoping women will either change their minds or not be able to get time off work again or not be able to afford the gas or even childcare for children they may already have). Coming back for another appointment was fine for me , though. My boyfriend drove me (his car, his gas money) each time.
I was really glad I was able to do the early abortion, because I was able to be at home, resting in my bed, through the horrible cramps, though they gave me prescription-strength pain killers. My boyfriend was really supportive through the whole thing, which I was and still am grateful for.
There was only one thing that bothered me through the whole experience, the nurse (or whoever) that did an internal/vaginal ultrasound asked me if I wanted to see a picture… I was stunned and quickly said no. Later, I read that this is a common tactic used by anti-abortion supporters who infiltrate abortion clinics, to try to change the minds of women who have already been under so much stress and had come to this difficult decision.
When I think about it I still get really mad, and the only regret I have of the whole experience is that I didn’t complain about that one nurse. I’m sure it must be too late now.
Today is just about three years (it was early in January) since my Abortion, and I do not regret it. And I doubt I ever will. It was the Right decision for any and all involved.
Had I not had an Abortion, I would have a boy/girl a little younger than two and a half years old. My life is still unstable. I’m still trying to figure out what exactly I want to do with my life, and how to do it (I’m 26). My boyfriend and I have had a turbulent on/off relationship. We’ve both been affected by the economy. I cannot even fathom how stressful my life would be with a child right now. But I can fathom what a horrible situation I would have brought a child into, and how everything about my situation would be shaping my child and his/her future. Everyday would be a struggle, every bottle, and every diaper would be a struggle.
Planned Parenthood set me up on birth control to prevent any unplanned pregnancies from happening again. I’ll throw it out there, for anyone still reading or wondering, after I was on the pill (I wanna say it was Ortho-Tri-Cyclin, not positive) for about a year, I switched to the NuvaRing, which is Amazing! I had a really hard time taking the pill at the same time everyday, and I’d miss days (both risky) — I was scared of the NuvaRing at first, but you don’t feel it, and it really does stay in there! I had it come out once with a tampon, but never during sex. On the website, I was able to get some coupons, too. When I talked to my doctor, I really wanted to get Mirena, but it’s really for women who’ve already carried/delivered one baby (my friend with TWO girls now — both unplanned pregnancies (yes same father, yes they’re married — had her doctor put in Mirena and she loves it). My doctor urged me to try Nuvaring, and she had a sample to give me to try. She said a lot of women are apprehensive about it, but once they try it they love it.
(I’m not affiliated with Planned Parenthood in ANY way, other than being a customer/patient. I’m not affiliated with NuvaRing (or whoever makes it) in ANY way, other than being a customer. Just passing on my opinion and advice.)
I can’t wait to watch the show tonight! And I shared on a link on my facebook page. Good Luck to ALL the women who participated in this special! Always remember you made the Right Choice. <3