Roar will publish a first-person story about abortion, “My Abortion: A Daily Story,” every day for at least 365 days.
Today’s story is from River and was originally published on the Thanks, Abortion! website.
Let me just say that I was the woman least likely to be found in a Planned Parenthood for the first 25 years of my life! I had a fundamentalist upbringing that definitely forbade premarital sex, and even when I gave that religion up (much to my benefit and happiness), I still wanted to wait for the right guy to be my first partner. Shortly thereafter, I met the man of my dreams, and almost immediately, we started a relationship that went from zero to serious in about two weeks. We talked marriage, talked children, and I was getting ready to move in with him in about month three, when I realized I was pregnant — after a total of two months being sexually active! Things aren’t fair sometimes, but at least now I know I’m *incredibly* fertile, and when we do decide we’re ready, conceiving won’t be a problem. We were using the rhythm method, and from 13 years’ experience with his ex, he thought it was completely safe to have sex two days after my period ended. I, having never tested my own fertility before, trusted this (and I don’t regret it).
Welp, we suspected I was pregnant probably about three weeks in, because my hypersensitive man can sense my period hormones, and knows within a day or two when I’m starting my period. Five days went by, and no period. At that point I got a home pregnancy test, but I just *knew.* So did he. I didn’t even have to tell him, but came home and just looked at him, and he just walked up and put his arms around me and kissed me. We talked. He said, of course, that he would stay, would marry me, would raise a child with me. I said, however, that my friend told me about this pill…and after a bit of discussion, he was intensely relieved. His first instinct had also been not to keep the baby, but he wasn’t about to tell me what I should do with my body. Strangely, having gone through 25 years thinking abortion is the most evil thing a woman can do, I had complete and total peace about my decision. We even joked around about it and took complete advantage of the fact that there was no way I could get pregnant twice at once. (I would like to add that we did NOT take this decision lightly, though, but once we were decided, we tried to make the best and most cheerful thing of it we could.)
Mitigating factors in this decision were 1) I’m very low-income, and while my honey has a little more money, losing my income and adding another mouth would just push us over the threshold to welfare, and 2) we knew we were each others’ perfect partners, and wanted a child together, but three months are still only three months, and I didn’t want to add the strain of a second child (he already has a very challenging 5-year-old from his previous marriage).
Planned Parenthood were all very kind, and my nurse practitioner even talked with me a little bit about the cognitive dissonance between upbringing and current intuition I was going through. In the end, I took the pill, and the pain was very mild, although the bleeding lasted for a few weeks, and certain positions hurt for a while. But strangely, my abortion has only led to positive things for my partner and I. We’re more in love. We trust each other more. He says every day that he wants to create a life with me. He admires my courage to do what we both thought was the right thing. Being “mellow” together in the immediately following days brought us closer.
The only time I thought I couldn’t do it was when I was about to take the Mifeprex pill. I knew there was no going back at that point. At the same time, I knew that I had made the right decision. Any lingering sadness played itself out in the course of about two or three hours, and I did cry a little bit when I started bleeding, but it wasn’t from regret, just the realization of the weight of the decision. I have had no negative emotions in the following weeks, only positive. This has changed my outlook on life, and turned me from a bit of a selfish bachelorette into a woman ready to create a home and a life with the man she loves. I feel calmer, more grounded. And regrets? Absolutely none. In fact, I’m glad I got pregnant so I could go through this — and it confirmed to me that I DO want to be pregnant, by this man, in the future.