I don't know where to begin with this story, so I'll tell you three things about myself: I'm almost 26. I don't have children. And the story I'm about to tell you didn't happen too long ago. I'll also tell you something else: the man in this story is not my boyfriend. I won't start from the beginning because I can't locate it. I'll just tell you that the beginning must have been a mistake and this story is about its consequences.
We were in a Planned Parenthood in Brooklyn. They made me wait for two hours before they called my name. I was seven weeks pregnant; I was one of the few white women in a full room with even fewer men.
By instruction, I hadn't eaten anything since the previous night. I didn't feel so well. Finally, after I was beginning to think they had perhaps lost my file, the nurse called my name and led me to a small room with a small machine. I watched her smear a gel-like substance on a rounded plastic knob attached to a wire, attached to the machine. She slid the knob inside my vagina; it was cold. The picture appearing on the screen was turned away from me. So I asked Am I really pregnant? She smiled,Yes, honey, you really are. Seven weeks, in fact. And then she led me to another room where my blood was taken and questions were asked. I don't remember the questions or my answers anymore. I do remember feeling relieved when I wasn't lectured on how to have safe sex.
Following this I was taken to yet another room. They gave me a cloth gown. They also gave me paper slippers. When I walked to the bathroom, my toe tore a hole in the front of one slipper. That embarrassed me a little. In this final waiting room there were only three of us; somehow we all knew we were there for the same reason. The woman next to me had a sheet with different options for birth control. After she couldn't get the TV in the room to work, she leaned over to me and explained,I've tried almost all of these. I hate them all. I nodded, except that I couldn't really agree because I had barely tried even one.
Then it was my turn. The doctor was young, even cute, I somehow noticed. I learned that day that an abortion could only take four minutes. It started like a pap smear. The doctor told me he was inserting sticks inside my cervix to dilate it. Next he inserted a tube inside me. It will hurt, he said, but only for thirty seconds. I quickly counted to thirty, twice. Then it was over.
I waited in the recovery room. I sat in a chair covered with a big pad for me to bleed into. I left with instructions to swallow two pills once I had eaten.