The semester just ended and I was looking forward to winter break. All of December I was exhausted but I thought it was from finals and the holiday season. I expected my period to come mid-December but it didn’t come, so I waited another week and then bought a test. I took five just to be sure.

At the time my boyfriend and I were off an on as we have been for months. It wasn’t a healthy stable relationship. We argued when the results said positive-- he blamed me and I blamed him. I was scared. How could I let everyone down and announce that I was pregnant, unmarried, and just 23? How could I support a child in a healthy environment when my (ex)boyfriend and I couldn’t get along? I never thought I would be in a situation like this. I never thought this would be my first pregnancy. For weeks I thought constantly about what was the right choice. When I decided to go with the pregnancy, my ex would argue with me. Then I realized that this isn’t the kind of relationship I want to have in the future, and having a baby right now would keep me involved with him.

I first went to a clinic when I was seven weeks. I sat in the waiting room filled with many girls and the men/friends they brought with them, and waited until they called my number. I then had to watch a movie on the abortion procedure and the risks involved. Then came the blood testing and the sonogram, which they kept from my view and they didn’t say how far I was. I looked at the paper instead. This whole experience made me really upset. I waited four hours until finally it was my turn to walk into the room where it would be done. I undressed, the nurse came in, and I asked if I would feel anything since while I was waiting I heard a few girls screaming. The nurse couldn’t reassure me on anything. I saw a red bucket filled with medical waste, stared at the clock and accepted that I could not do this if I didn’t feel comfortable, and if I am having doubts, I shouldn’t do it. I met with the doctor who told me he does general anesthesia if I was just concerned about the feeling, and he gave me his card. I left the clinic and got most of my money back.

I thought about calling to make an appointment with the doctor for two weeks. I would even dial most of the numbers and then decide not to. Every day I kept thinking I would have an answer I would feel absolutely comfortable with. I finally called the doctor and was able to ask questions, and made an appointment without being sure if I would actually go. I told him the waiting part was the worst and asked if this would be like that. He informed me it wouldn’t, so I was relieved. The morning of the appointment I still wasn’t sure if it was the right decision. I was worried the place would be like the first place I went to and that I would be treated like a number again. This place was clean and friendly-- the staff complimented you and called you "honey." I felt much safer thinking about having it done here and also knowing the name of the doctor and having had the opportunity to talk to him and ask questions.

After the sonogram was done they let me sit out in the main waiting area with my boyfriend until the doctor came in. When the doctor came in they brought me into a waiting room for his patients, it was a room with two beds/tables and a TV. He came in and said he was just waiting for the operating room to be free and then he would be able to start. I was then moved to another waiting room right in front of the operating room with another girl in there as well. When I was brought into the operating room, I was nervous. I met with the anesthesiologist and asked questions to feel more secure about general anesthesia since I was really scared of it-- I never had it before. I felt safe that nothing was going to go wrong. The doctor and anesthesiologist informed me that they have been doing it for decades.

When I was laying on the table I was wondering if I was going to leave, I told myself if I could stay five more seconds I could go through with it, then five more seconds. Then the anesthesiologist told me I would be asleep in twenty seconds and I fell asleep. I woke up when it was done and they injected me in my thigh and I woke up in another room. This was only a day ago, so I am still wondering if it was the right decision.

I am upset that I had this done, that I didn’t prevent pregnancy as much as I should have. But having a child before marriage with someone where the relationship isn’t steady and stable isn’t the environment I want a child to grow up in. I don’t think I will be okay with this decision until I have children when I am ready and in a healthy environment that a child deserves. I want to get my life ready so that one day I will be ready for this child. I look up sonograms online and feel really sad that I had something so wonderful growing inside me. Right after the abortion, I felt really empty and for a second I was relieved and free that I no longer had to think about what my decision would be, but that was replaced quickly by uncertainty.

I wish everyone reading has a happy outcome with the decision they have chosen and to know that some places could be really great and others really awful, that it's okay to walk out and try it again.