I found out that I was pregnant in March. I bought three different brands of pregnancy tests and sat in a restaurant bathroom staring at all three of them at once-- a plus sign, two blue lines, and two pink lines.
I'm 28 years, so this wasn't a tragedy. (At least it wasn't on that day.) I was in love with the man whose baby was growing inside of me, and, while this added stress to my life (I was married to another man), I didn't feel the kind of panic that a pregnant 16 year-old might. Of course, my heart pounded loud in my chest, and I worried about what the father might say and what I would do about my marriage, but I was okay.
That okay-ness left me the next day. While the father and I were on a run together, I got sick and threw up my blueberry bagel in front of him. He asked me why I was sick all the time, and when I didn't answer, he asked me if I was pregnant. I said yes, and he quite literally ran away. He said we'd talk later, and he ran down the trail next to the Deschutes River.
For the next couple of days, I took care of myself. I didn't drink alcohol or caffeine. I took vitamins and got my rest. I went online to read about what was going on inside of me. There was even a little part of me that was happy about the little person inside of me. I was nervous, but I was going to be a mom.
But then it happened. The father sat me down and told me that he didn't want to be a dad. Maybe ever. He said that this baby would ruin his life. He said that the baby wouldn't make him love me more or be happier with me. (I never said it would, but the words still stung.) And he said that his "vote" was for me to terminate the pregnancy. He said he couldn't believe I was "even considering keeping it."
I fell apart. My world crumbled. I didn't have a partner in this. I was pregnant from a guy who wasn't my husband and who didn't want to be a father. I couldn't tell anybody. I was absolutely alone in a way that I have never felt before. I couldn't tell my mom. I didn't want to tell my friends. And the only man who knew just wanted me to end it and never speak again.
Five months later, I see that I made my decision too quickly. I see now that I was only thinking of the father. But I did make the decision to end the pregnancy on March 30, 2010.
I don't want to talk about that experience. I hated it. Every. Single. Second. I hated sitting in the clinic. I hated seeing my little baby in an ultrasound (I was 7 weeks, 5 days along). I hated watching the video about what my body was about to experience. I hated it when people would use the word "abortion," and I hated it when it felt like they were avoiding the word and calling it a "termination of pregnancy."
And I hated the abortion itself. The pain was intense, and knowing what my body was doing made it worse. I hated feeling the contractions in my uterus as the drugs forced everything out of me. The bleeding scared me. My whole body shook. The drugs made me throw up and dry heave so hard that it felt like my eyes were going to pop. It was nothing like the video said it was going to be.
The father was good to me on the day of the "procedure," but I think it was because he felt guilty. And I think he wanted to go to the clinic with me to make sure that I followed through with "our" decision. (As I type this, I feel my teeth clench, and I obviously feel residual anger toward him.)
Five months later, I still feel alone. I feel regret for the decision that I made even though, in many ways, my life is better and less complicated.
And I am sad that I can't talk to anyone. My abortion is my dark secret that I will just carry around for the rest of my life. The only one who knows what I did was the father, and I am pretty sure that he is just glad the whole thing is over... if he even thinks about it at all.
But it is not over for me. I still check pregnancy websites at work to see what date my baby would be due. I look at pictures of fetuses at different stages of development and catch myself massaging my empty uterus. I dream of my pregnant self. I look at the father - whom I still love - and wonder how he could have been so sure that an abortion would be best for us. I look at pregnant women and feel embarrassed at my own anger towards them (and the men walking next to them). I cry when I hear songs or stories about men who change their mind in the clinic, hug their frightened partners, and go home together. I am having trouble forgiving myself.
And I don't know how to make things right with myself or the world. I don't know how to stop thinking about the baby that will never be born. I don't know how to ease the guilt and sadness. Maybe I'll always feel like this... but I hope not.