Speaker's Age: 43
Story Told In: 2006
162

I think I was 32. I had two little kids and was having a love affair, which was my escape from a tormented marriage. I had trouble getting pregnant in my marriage and so I was lax about birth control. I knew the second I got pregnant. I really did. Just like I knew the sex of each of my children—it's true, sometimes you just know.

I was scared and sad but there was no question about having this child. We were both married to other people. We never even discussed it. I just called my doctor and he told me to wait till I was six weeks along so that there would be no complications. I had a friend who had to go back— I didn't want any of that. But waiting was hard. I was sick and wanted this to be behind me.

I was surprised that one of the doctors in the practice would not perform abortions. I never really thought about someone being opposed to terminating a pregnancy. I grew up in a liberal household where women's rights were considered essential and normal. This was a sort of rude awakening for me.

I went to my homeopath who gave me some remedies. I was very focused on these remedies and I think that helped me. I didn't bleed—not one drop. I had no pain or discomfort. I left the doctor's office and went to work. During the procedure, I did cry a bit actually and sort of explained to the doctor and nurse and office manager who were all with me, why I made this choice. They were all in there because I had known them since I was 16. Looking back, I realize how much they all really cared about me. They knew my husband and my life. The office manager told me about her own abortion experience and I was so comforted by her sharing her story with me.

Although I have freely stated that I had a safe and legal abortion, I have never let myself feel anything about the experience and what it meant to me. I am crying while writing this and these are the first tears I have shed since I was in the midst of the procedure. I was too afraid to feel before right now. All these years later I am no longer married but still involved on a certain level with this man and G-d forgive me, I am so relieved we do not have a child together. But I do sometimes think: what right have I to think that way....we were irresponsible. And I do sometimes feel guilty—although I would not have made a different choice—and I never took another chance again—that's what I would have done differently.

My children's lives would have been even harder if another child had come into what was already a truly crazy household. Thankfully, I was able to make the choice that I felt was right for me and my children. But I wish we had talked about it and had more of a sense of what it all meant. He drove me there and offered to stay, but I wanted to be alone. And I have been alone with all of it ever since. But not anymore. I feel like I will sleep well tonight.