Just a little over a week before Christmas I walked into the local PP with my beloved beside me. This was my third trip through clinic doors, third trip to end a pregnancy that was unplanned, unwanted, that I'd tried to avoid (some of us are just super fertile, I guess!) I have three children who need me, and I knew I couldn't handle another one-- not now, not ever.
The first took place when I got pregnant as a result of rape. Silly me, a woman can't be raped by her husband, right? That's what the US Army told me when I called them for help. Of course their soldier would never do that! Divorcing him was so hard-- I blamed myself for years for that abortion. I let him abuse and degrade me, because I felt like I was worthless. Over and over my mind punished me. The abortion itself was acceptable, it was the reason for it. He didn't really force me, right? But he did, over and over. But, if only I'd been more clear, then he would have understood what I was saying; even though Id' shouted "No", fighting the whole time. If only I'd have called the cops. If only I'd been a better wife. If only...
A broken condom years later, and Plan B that didn't work (hooray for being one in eight?) precipitated a second trip into the loving, comforting clinics of Planned Parenthood. My partner was supportive, drove me, pampered me and held my hand as I went through the medical abortion. Surgery terrifies me, and a medical made me feel as though I had control of an uncontrollable situation.
It's hard to explain, really, the relief I felt taking that first pill at the clinic, knowing the other four were in that cute little white bag, ready for me to take the next day.
Never again, I said! Never again! We were super careful, obsessively careful! I was more worried I had a cyst or some kind of cancer when my period was late; thought I'd take a test, set my mind at easy and call my doctor. However, I knew when those little pink lines appeared on the pregnancy test that I would make the appointment the next morning. I knew my partner would go with me, and help me any way he could.
What was the hard part was never the decision. Three times I was in a place where I needed to decide, and three times I chose quickly, with all the information I needed at my fingertips, thanks to the internet. I knew what I needed, what procedures were available; I knew what the medications would do, how long it would take to be myself again; all of those things they'd tell me at counselling, all of it.
The hard part is talking about it. Being able to say, I'm not sorry; being able to admit that I wasn't sad or sick, or upset. That the decision was so easy, that I knew it was the right thing to do. I was relieved! I was beside myself with relief, almost crying with happiness that it was over with. How do I explain that feeling, that ocean of amazement that covered me when I knew it's going to be OK, that I wasn't pregnant any more?
How do I tell people I'd do it again? That's the hard part.