At 22 years old, I gave birth to a little boy, who has absolutely been the light of my life. I was married to my high school sweetheart A, and while we hadn't expected children so soon, we were so happy and excited.
Then things started to change. We were not the people that we were in high school. We were different. We had different interests, different outlooks on things. A was stuck in his early 20's wanting to party phase. He was away all week for work, while I stayed home with our son. I was lonely all the time, and it was nothing to him. So I turned to my best friend C for comfort.
C had been with me through a lot of stuff over the years. He was a good friend to both myself and my husband. They were roommates at one point. All through high school the three of us were inseparable. Over time, while he and I stayed close, he and my husband drifted apart. There came a day where he admitted he had feelings for me, he was in love with me, and had been for many years. And unknown to him, I had felt the same way for a very long time as well. It was shortly after that day that we began an affair.
This happened for quite some time. While I was carrying on this affair during the week, A would come home from work on the weekends, and while we were having issues, and things were already quickly falling apart for us, we were still intimate with each other. My son was 15 months old when I found out I was pregnant again. For whatever reason, I had stopped taking birth control, and wasn't using any kind of protection with either partner. I was being plain stupid. I had absolutely no one to blame but myself for the situation I was in. A at this point had just been laid off from his job as an apprentice so that he could take his first round of schooling, and C was in a relationship with the mother of his two children. After the birth of my son, I was very dead set on the idea that I didn't want any more children. I was happy with one. It was very clear the decision I had to make. Not only because I didn't know who the father of this baby was, but because no matter whose, the circumstances were not good to bring a child into the world. And because quite honestly, I just didn't want another child.
I had no idea what to do. My best girlfriend at the time was pregnant, and had contemplated getting an abortion at the start of her pregnancy, but due to known fertility issues decided to continue on and have her child. So she the women's health clinic for me and made the appointment. I decided to forfeit the optional counselling appointment, and went straight for the procedure. The day of, I drove myself, and my girlfriend to the clinic, which is in a hospital. Everything was very secretive because there are always protesters across the street. We had to use all these secret codes and be let through all these locked doors to get there. I had my blood work done, and my ultrasound. I was given the option of being told if I was having twins, which I wasn't. Then I was given the option of whether I wanted drugs or not. I decided against taking them. Not only because I knew I had to drive myself home, but because I wanted to feel everything. Not as punishment, but as a reminder. I've always been pro-choice, but I knew this is not something I wanted to put myself through again if I didn't have to. I was given some minor pain medication to help take the edge off, and sent to a room with a bunch of other girls to wait. When it came time for my procedure, they allowed my girlfriend to come in with me for support. They first dilated my cervix using these metal rods, which was uncomfortable, but not overly painful. They then used the suction and scraped out any remaining tissue. I then went about my day as I would any other.
Over the course of the next few months, A and I decided to finally end things. We had just grown apart over the years, and had an amicable split. Had I decided to continue the pregnancy, I can guarantee this still would have happened, which would have left me alone and pregnant to take care of a now almost toddler. C and I discontinued our affair but still remained close, he supported me through everything, including my separation from my husband.
Do I feel sad about what I did? Sometimes I do. I sometimes look back and wonder what that child would have been like.
Do I regret what I did? Not for one second. I refused to bring a child into this world that was not ready for it, not knowing who its father was. I don't regret ensuring that my living child had a much better start to life because I didn't have to struggle through my separation to support more than one child. I don't regret passing on one child I was not ready to have, to give myself the chance later down the road to have one that I was ready for.
After my husband and I separated, and my affair with C ended, I met a wonderful man. We fell in love at first sight. He was my soul mate. Even though A is still around in our son's life, and is still a great father to him, my new love also became an amazing father figure. We have been together for three years now, and after a year of trying, are finally pregnant with our first child together. A child that is wanted, was hoped for, and brought into the world for all the right reasons. My picture that I've added is an ultrasound photo of that baby. I gave up one child because it wasn't my time to be a mom again. Now is my chance, and it was my choice.
That is what being pro-choice is all about. Choosing when I am ready.