As I sit here writing this at one o’clock in the morning, I’m trying to analyze why I’ve left this page until last. Denial isn’t a factor at this point, I’ve come to a realization of what I’ve done. I think a little more about it and I come to the conclusion: I think about my abortion, the pregnancy, and the baby; often, probably on a daily basis. But when I think about all those things, I never think about everything all together. Any time that these scenes play in my mind, from when I found out I was pregnant to the present moment in time, I cry.
It’s difficult to think about any one event, but when they all come together, the pain is immense. So now here is My Story. I am a twenty-eight year old single Mother of a beautiful eight year old son. When I found out I was pregnant with him, I was upset and scared, but I always felt like I could handle things. I did for a very brief time consider both adoption and abortion, but once I told my family, and I knew that I had their love and support, I never thought about it again. The last eight years have not been easy for us. I’ve had to work very hard to give my son the life that he deserves. I put myself through college while I cared for him. I graduated on my twenty-fifth birthday.
In early September of this year, I wasn’t feeling well. A few days before I’d eaten at a picnic. I assumed the nausea and vomiting was from some food that was cooked improperly. Near the end of the week, the vomiting had subsided. I had dinner with a friend. The nausea afterwards was vaguely familiar. I decided to do a pregnancy test, just to “set my mind at ease.” My menstrual cycle can be irregular so, I wasn’t worried. I still remember the panic when I saw the second line appear on the test. The tears started rolling down my cheeks immediately.
In hindsight, I don’t think I even gave myself enough time to think. I opened the phone book that night and found a phone number for a clinic several hours away. This clinic offered a procedure called a non-surgical, or medical abortion. The woman on the other end of the phone was very nice and caring. She explained the procedure to me. She told me the pain and bleeding would be like a heavy period. I would get a sonogram at the clinic and if my pregnancy was early enough, I would receive a shot to “stop tissue growth.” A few days later, I would use some vaginal suppositories that would cause me to miscarry. She made it sound so easy. I made my appointment for the following Saturday.
I confided in my sister-in-law, and she arranged an appointment for me at a local crisis pregnancy center. While I was there, I had a sonogram that told me I was about six and a half weeks. I really couldn’t see much on the sonogram and I really couldn’t see how deep in crisis I was. I was not thinking as clearly as I thought I was. I remember telling the woman there my hundreds of reasons why I couldn’t have this baby. I didn’t know then that they had heard them all before. Finances, marriage, health, work; I had so many reasons. I really needed someone to pull me aside and tell me that they knew I could do it, but no one did.
As I told my boyfriend about the baby that evening, he was just as upset and confused as I was. After a few days to think things over, he told me that he didn’t think we should keep the baby. I was devastated. If I would have had his support, I would have continued the pregnancy. The thought of raising two children by myself terrified me. I kept telling myself that I couldn’t do it alone. As I kept my appointment, my drive to the clinic that day was the longest of my life. I was scared. When I arrived at the clinic, I had all the normal blood work done. My counseling session was short. They never really discussed any of the possible physical and emotional complications. I had a quick sonogram and then received a shot of methrotrexate. This is a drug that is used for cancer treatment, it stops cell growth. After the shot, I came home.
In the next few days, I really don’t remember. I tried not to think a lot about what was going to happen. I spent the day on Thursday in a fog. I knew I needed to use the suppositories that day, but I tried not to think about it. I went to bed that evening around 9pm. I used the suppositories as soon as I went to bed. I remember feeling the contractions start about half an hour later. In the beginning, they were mild, but within an hour the pain was severe. I continued contracting and bleeding most of the night.
Around three in the morning, I went to the bathroom. I had been passing a lot of clots most of the evening. I assumed that the pain and pressure I was feeling was from more clots. When I stood up, I noticed that the pain and the pressure was not from clots, but from passing the placenta. When I looked in the commode, I saw laying in the center of the placenta my baby. I saw the baby’s perfectly formed hands, the little fingers. I remember the scream that came from my mouth. My actions were final at that point. Up to that moment in time, I had always considered myself pro-choice.
The last few months have been tough. The grief, depression, and anger at myself have been at times overwhelming. I’ve vowed to help other women who also know this pain. Maybe someone won’t hurt as much as I have. I’ve started healing. A wonderful woman who understands women and the awful grief this experiences leaves behind has come into my life. God has led me to her and I only hope I can be as helpful in someone else’s life. Thank-you Brenda. You will never know how deeply your compassion and caring have touched my life. For weeks after my abortion, every time I closed my eyes I saw the vision of my aborted baby. I have been able to replace that difficult image with a vision of a beautiful blonde haired, little girl. She has blue eyes and long hair, up in a ponytail with a big contagious smile on her face. When I see her, I tell her how sorry I am. How much I love her. I beg for her forgiveness. Emily Rose I love you, and I am so sorry.
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