Speaker's Age: 39
Story Told In: 2005
24

I was 29 and had just broken up with my boyfriend. I was in the process of buying a house, which I think really scared him... that I was ready to settle down. We lived in a relatively small community and I had closed on my house. Maybe less than a week later my ex-boyfriend did the drunken 2am booty call at my house. And of course, I was home, I let him in.

When I found out I was pregnant, he was really shocked and we had a big screaming match. He was like, I am not going to be a father. I am not going to help you. I am not going to give you money. We really went a lot of rounds over the next few days about what was going on. My first impulse was not to have an abortion but to deal with it-- not to get married but deal with it. But he was not willing to go down that road. He was insulting me, saying "I do want to have kids some day but not with you-- you're divorced, you're not religious..."

So I started to talk to friends and family and got the name of a doctor. It turned out, in Ocean County nobody was doing any kind of abortion, which was surprising to me. There had been a clinic in Lakewood but the clinic closed because there were a lot of protests and a lot of trouble there... so I literally had to go to a doctor 30 or 40 miles away.

My ex-boyfriend and I were still involved. Once I decided to have the abortion, he became very supportive and was around a lot. I couldn't believe how fast it all went. Very, very quick. The doctor's staff was really supportive and sweet. I remember getting upset right after. I got into my car and I just started howling. Like a wild animal. I just started screaming and screaming. I was so upset. And then my ex-boyfriend said the worst thing he could have possibly said: "I didn't think you were going to go through with it." To me it was like it was a big test. What's to say after that? Then I was like, is this the kind of guy I would have wanted to be involved with for the rest of my life?

I remember making myself a promise. I went back to school and got my graduate degree. I make a great living now. I guess along the way I thought I'll find a nicer guy, settle down and have a family. All those things haven't happened to me. So maybe there's more regret attached to it then there would be if those things had happened for me. I'm 39. My life's not over, but...