My baby would've been turning 21 - I think about my decision nearly every day and it still hurts

By Laurel

surgical abortion

It’s now 2019 my baby would have been turning 21 this August. I think about my decision nearly every day. I wanted to tell my story because it’s never been told and it still hurts.

I was eighteen and in a committed relationship, and we still are. When I found out I was pregnant I had so many emotions, I had always wanted to be a mom. I was scared though because I knew my mom and stepdad would be furious with me.

My mom and my aunt had just recently told me if I were to get pregnant they would disown me. Not joking, they actually said this to me.

I was in college, living on my own in a small studio apartment. My first thought was abortion. When I told my husband, who was then my boyfriend, he asked me what I was going to do. I didn’t even hesitate, I said abortion.

All I could think of was how angry and disappointed my mom was going to be. I didn’t want to face that, I took 'the easy way out'. I would find out it’s not easy in the least and the pain and regret I feel overcomes me especially the month that the abortion occurred.

Since I was working, I was able to save up the money I needed to have the abortion, at the time it was close to $300. I had to drive out of town because they didn’t have the services in my city.

My boyfriend drove me there and outside was a couple of people yelling, they said they could help me, I wanted to run to them, I really didn’t want to do it anymore, but the thought of going through a pregnancy scared me too.

The two people persisted and I kept looking at them, my boyfriend kept on walking to the door with me and kept me moving, I know he could feel me wanting to change my mind. I don’t remember what he said but he said something along the lines of let’s go or keep going, it really did seem like a long walk from the parking lot to the door, though it wasn’t.

We got inside and he walked me to the counter and said he’ll pick me up afterward. I spoke to the woman at the desk after he had left and paid her the money, I was short a few dollars and after some back and forth she accepted and sent me back.

Then I went 1st to give urine and then to ultrasound... I wasn’t given the option to see, I wanted so badly to see, I actually ached. I had no idea how far along I was but I remember her say yes definitely pregnant. To this day I feel like if I saw maybe I would have left... I don’t know.

She led me to a waiting room where all the other women were. I was surprised at how many there were and all the different ages of women. I put myself in a back corner.

One by one the women were called back. When it was my turn, I got scared and ask someone else to go. So they allowed that and I was finally the last one to go. I still didn’t really want to go through with this.

I slowly followed her to the table where I was told to get into a gown and lie down. Things are fuzzy from here but they gave me medication and as I was getting delirious I heard the nurse or doctor, I’m not sure which say "you better not throw up on me" and I was out.

I remember either I was dreaming while the procedure happened I know I was saying no over and over again and that it sort of hurt.

When I woke up I immediately needed to use the restroom to throw up. I was so dizzy and a little disoriented, they helped me to the bathroom and I got dressed and was told to lay down in the post-abortion room where all the other women were recovering.

I vividly remember one young woman, in particular, say it was no big deal she’s done this before, she was smiling laying on her stomach reading a magazine. I, on the other hand, felt immediate regret and sadness.

The sadness stayed with me for a very very long time, I would want to cry each time I saw a baby and I bought a whole bunch of those Anne Geddes calendars and books. My sibling was the only other person who I talked to about it and eventually, I had to stop because it’s all I talked about and was told I have to get over this.

There are so many times I have asked for forgiveness and I’m okay day to day, I do have children now and I love them so very much. I get sad when I think they could have had another sibling among them and when my oldest says things like I wish I had another brother or sister or even 'I feel like I do have another sibling'. That one really gets me.

I’m sad I took a potential life out of this world who never had a say in it. I guess the reason I wanted to tell my story is to help someone who maybe is on the fence about their decision.

For me, I would take it back and face my family. I know I would have been okay in the end and maybe my life would be different now.

I feel there should have been counseling that went along with the abortion and some follow up too. I think everyone should see the ultrasound. I don’t think there should be any mystery behind what happens. There should be talking about the procedure and people should know exactly what happens when abortions are performed. With the availability of information on our phones now I guess that part is easier. 

I live a very happy and grateful life with my family and I can only do and give my very best to my husband and children every day. I also have to remember to keep forgiving myself and loving myself, even when memories come flooding in and my husband has to hold me till it’s over.

Whatever you chose please look at all options and take care of yourself. My love to you all...

Laurel sent this story in on 20/02/2019

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