This month will mark 1-year since I had my abortion at Whole Woman’s Health. Having my abortion was one of the hardest decisions my partner and I had to make, granted I was 27 and he 29. It was real life, life changing and something I can say was the best decision we have ever made for our lives, our future, and the child we would have had.
When I found out I was pregnant I was working a part time job for $11.82 an hour, he was in between jobs and we lived in a place my parents owned and we could barely pay our bills. The soul reason for us choosing what we did even though knowing our child would have all the love we could offer, was we knew he or she deserved so much better, we deserved better for ourselves.
My partner and I both have Bi Polar, I was living in misery being un-diagnosed and he in denial of my disease and it was to a point that we weren’t happy as a couple anymore. He decided he wanted to spend the summer away and I would spend it finding stable ground for myself and my mental illness. When we terminated the pregnancy it became a battle for both our happiness. It weighed on me with the “what ifs” constantly and was only making my depressive phases worse. We needed a break from each other to find each other as well as ourselves again.
“We will support your life and always love you, if these are your reasons then make sure they are not just words.”
My parents being the Catholic Republicans they are were disappointed with our decision. I kept telling them that we wanted better for our child, that I wanted to go back to school and graduate and have a house, financial stability as well as mental stability. I can remember looking at my mom after I found out I was pregnant and made my appointment for the abortion, she looked me in the eyes and said, “we will support your life and always love you, if these are your reasons, then make sure they are not just words.” I have heard that over and over in my head since then.
When my partner and I drove into the city for our appointment it was the longest hour of my life. We drove in silence. When we got about 15 minutes from the clinic I looked at him and asked if he was scared and he looked away from the road and at me and said “yes”, then looked back at the road. The entire eight hours at the clinic was like a movie, I was numb. I answered the questions and had no emotion. Going through the procedure was painful, I opted not to be medicated because I wanted to go through the process with a clear mind, and was not scared of the pain.
Driving home, I went through the motions of my life and had no feelings, no regrets, no happiness, just flat. When my partner moved away I took time to heal, I enrolled in school, I rescued a puppy, I got a new job and found new hobbies. My life completely changed. When he came back we were both different people. We didn’t get back together until about two months after he moved home. With us having the time apart and growing personally it was completely different. It was happy. We were happy again.
The support and comfort and acceptance we received from the women at the clinic was something I have never felt before.
The clinic experience was such a blur, what I remember most was during the procedure I spent crying so hard and biting my arm through my sweater. It was physical, emotional, mental, and spiritually crippling. I had three nurses standing around me, petting my hair, holding my hand, and trying to soothe me. I glanced at my partner and he was staring at the wall with no emotion on his face. I felt worse for him than myself, it was me going through it physically but he felt every ounce of pain I felt, if not more. He saw my hurt and could do nothing about it, i saw his and was equally powerless. our lives changed forever.
The support and comfort and acceptance we received from the women at the clinic was something I have never felt before. We had already made our decision when we walked in but I was assured it was OK by them. I was going to be completely OK. I can happily say I will graduate in December as a Medical Assistant. When my instructor asked where I want to be employed after I graduated I told her a woman’s health clinic. I have always been a feminist, a believer in equal rights and an advocate for that equality. This experience has only fed that fire. I am an empowered, intelligent woman who is in control of my own destiny and that to me is beautiful.
I can never repay anyone for this second chance, all I can do is support the woman and men in my position and advocate for our choices.
We have a house we can afford, we have two dogs and two cats, we wake up with a river in our backyard, we have our bills paid, sometimes we have arguments, sometimes we nit pick at each other but I can safely say that at the end of the day, are are in love and are truly happy. I can’t say we wouldn’t be if we hadn’t had the abortion, but I can honestly say that I am doing exactly what my mother told me I needed to do. I was blessed to have my partner, who shows me things I could never see. He has always supported me, sometimes not up to my expectations, but those are just that, expectations. He truly is a gift in my life and some day him and I will have a child, we will be amazing parents, it was just not the time. We needed a second chance.
So, to wrap it up, I want to say thank you, thank you for giving me, us, this opportunity. Thank you for the support, thank you for allowing me to make my own decisions with my body, thank you to the incredible employees and thank you for everyone you have helped get to the same place of happiness as I am, being able to advocate for their own future and body. I can never repay anyone for this second chance, all I can is support the woman and men in my position and advocate for our choices. Writing this has been part of my healing. I think about our child often, it still hurts sometimes. I know the tiny “what if” will never go away, I accept that and also embrace that because like I said, I got a second chance to make my life the beauty that it is today. Again, thank you for the second chance at being the best woman I can be.
This letter was published with permission from the author.