Speaker's Age: 33
Story Told In: 2009
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I've had severe endometriosis since I was 14 years old. I was told by a doctor that it was very unlikely that I could get pregnant without fertility treatments. However, as I do not want children and am not in a position to support them financially even if I did, I always used protection. I was on the birth control pill and used condoms as a back-up method. I had an endometrial ablation done in an attempt to relieve the endometriosis. I was told once again, following that procedure, that I could not become pregnant. The doctor said there was "no chance."

One time, one month, I had a condom break during sex. However, since I was not only on the pill but had been told that the ablation would prevent conception from being possible, I wasn't too worried. The friend I shared sex with was clean and disease-free, as am I. So I didn't think about it again until the following month when I realized my period was two weeks late.

I bought a pregnancy test but told myself I was being ridiculous, that it was just a late period. After ablation you can have very erratic periods and endometriosis does the same thing. But when my period still didn't come three days later, I took the test. It came up positive almost immediately. I did another test, just to be sure, and it also came up positive. I was pregnant.

I didn't feel any joy or sense of wonder. Only fear and dread. While I've always been pro-choice, I never imagined being in a position where I would be forced to make a choice of that nature. I knew that I didn't want a child and that pregnancy is extremely risky and dangerous to the health of the woman following an ablation. Even with those reasons, I still felt like a cold-hearted monster.

How could I ever reconcile my willingness to end a defenseless life that was already a part of me and my body with my devotion to caring for the animals I've rescued over the years? I've spent many nights getting up every couple hours to care for a baby animal, or one who was sick or injured. And I'm fiercely loving and protective towards my friends. I'd do anything for those I love.

In spite of the difficulty, I made the right choice for me: the choice to end the pregnancy. I called around and found a very good clinic. I was six weeks pregnant and chose to have a surgical abortion with local anesthetic. The staff at the clinic were all very warm, friendly and supportive. The pain was considerable but not intolerable. I felt very relieved when it was over. A close friend and partner went with me and also paid for the procedure as it was very expensive.

While I have never regretted my decision I was struck a few days following my abortion by feelings of sadness and, for the first time in my life, deep depression. When the thought that suicide would be a way to relieve the unrelenting sadness, I woke up to the fact that this was more overwhelming than I realized. I spoke to a wonderful doctor who diagnosed me with post-partum depression.

I was given antidepressants but have chosen instead to ride it out, knowing I have the meds to fall back on if it becomes too much. With the support of loving friends I'm slowly getting back to myself. I don't regret my choice and I'm grateful to live in a country where that choice is mine, and mine alone, to make. My heart goes out to women living in places where the only options to end a pregnancy are dangerous, illegal surgeries or herbal remedies that can be just as risky.