I was his third one and he doesn't even know it. We were 21 years old--you'd have thought he'd have gotten the picture by then. But we were partying and having a good time and the condom came off. I took the morning after pill. I did everything right.
I knew, just knew, instantly, from the moment it happened that something was up. After not sleeping for two weeks, I let myself take the test--three times. It was horrible and I was hysterical. I was a senior in college, just getting my life together and now this. I called Planned Parenthood and I was in such hysterics when I asked for the name of a clinic that they put me through to a therapist. I hung up-- I wasn't ready to talk to anyone. I wanted to talk to my mom.
The agony was deciding whether I could say the words to my parents. In the end, my best friend told me I had to. And it was ok. Actually, it was one of the best moments of my life. My mother accepted it with her general sarcasm exclaiming her joy that I was fertile and enjoyed sex and that she would one day have grandchildren. The acceptance and the love that came in return of my admission-- that her baby girl had had sex and was pregnant-- was incredible and invaluable. My aunt had had two. My mother had worked in a clinic. It all came out. It was such a comfort.
For the first time, we really discussed our views on the matter. Raised as a Conservative Jew, though never religious, it brought me comfort to know that my religion not only tolerated but supported abortion if the pregnancy's detrimental to the life of the mother. I was 21. Yes, it would be detrimental to my life and the life I would some day like to lead. With everything on the table, I got through the next 6 weeks with as much support (and chocolate) as possible.
I was the only one in the waiting room with both of my parents. Yes--they both came. The women went in and out, most of them were alone. One woman came out crying, her boyfriend ignored her while he was on the phone. He walked out in front of her without looking back.
I got through the procedure and barely bled. I remember wondering if they actually did it. The tears afterwards were worse than before, but I knew they would be. It seemed like wherever I looked, there was a baby or an advertisement for baby food or someone telling a bad fetus joke. But it is a fact of my life and I have dealt with it. It's hardened me a bit, yes, but so does everything in life.
In the end, I know it made me a stronger person. My convictions and understanding of my own body are stronger than ever before. I think my gynecologist put it best: "You did nothing wrong. Shit happens, and I'm so sorry you have to go through it."