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The whole thing was very direct, very simple. My boyfriend asked me what I wanted and said that whatever I chose, he would stand by me. I gave it some considerable thought, but the logical choice was obvious, so I made up my mind and that was it--there was no need for it to be dramatic. Sure, I was a little scared, but I put my Big Girl pants on and dealt with it.

Aside from my boyfriend, the only ones who will ever know are my best friend and her soon-to-be husband, largely because nobody else needs to (and I shouldn't have to defend my choice, except to say that it was mine). She offered to fly in to "be there for me," and I told her that I appreciated it, knowing that she meant it unconditionally and I would do the same for her, but I was fine. That was the truth. The thing had happened, and there was no way to go but forward, so there was no sense in crying over it or otherwise working myself to distress in order to get sympathy.

I hardly even felt pregnant. When I think of early pregnancy symptoms, I think of soreness, bloating, or nausea. I got dizzy spells in too-hot showers, and I was constipated for the first time in my life, but I attributed those things to other natural causes at the time, like more steam building up in the washroom of our new apartment and a bad diet. I craved apples for a week, but that didn't strike me as anything irregular, because I often get milder cravings for certain foods that last for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. When I missed my period, I thought maybe I had ovarian cysts, because I had already developed three other cysts in my lifetime in three different places. My boyfriend thought I was being a little paranoid when I decided to get a pregnancy test kit, but I thought it better to be safe than sorry. All three tests in the box returned positive results.

I got an ultrasound four days later, because the clinic was closed for the holidays. It turned out that I had actually been pregnant since a week and a half before my last regular period, almost ten weeks on the nose. They scheduled an appointment for me to come back in a few days for the surgery, and I spent the time in between researching pregnancy, abortion, and birth control options, for the future. Learning as much as I could about these things helped significantly when I might have otherwise gotten nervous, and it was during this time that I discovered Project Voice. Reading the stories of women who had their abortions before it became legal was especially inspiring, and really put things into perspective for me. I know that those women were strong, and brave, in the face of much greater difficulties than mine. For me to be anything other than calm and confident in myself, when I had so much more than they did (and so much to thank them for), would have been practically disrespectful of their struggles to make the same choice that I made.

So when my appointment came up, I was calm and confident, although it became immediately obvious that they were expecting hysterics of some sort. The woman who led me to the back asked three times if I wouldn't like to have someone hold my hand in the small waiting room. She laughed when I finally informed her in no uncertain terms that my boyfriend had left to hunt down some coffee as soon as they called my name and was probably already at the Starbucks around the corner. (I don't blame him. It was 8 AM. I would have liked some coffee myself if they hadn't told me to eat light.)

The procedure was very clean and quick, and virtually painless. There was no pinching, no excruciating agony, just ordinary cramps made worse by an empty stomach. I spent no more than fifteen minutes in recovery, and they said I didn't need a followup appointment unless I wanted one. I went home to sleep off the effects of the drugs they used, and when I woke up, I almost felt like the whole thing had never happened. It took about a week for the heavy bleeding and cramping to set in, and I had to avoid crouching down/bending over for a while because it made me feel faint, but I was my old self again by the end of the month.

We have moved on without looking back, and we are happy.

I do not feel the least bit guilty or remorseful for having an abortion. Because I had access to a safe and effective option for ending that pregnancy, I can rest easy with the knowledge of my continued health and my ability to have children when we are ready. Of course I would have preferred not to need one, but it is a myth that unwanted pregnancy does not happen to those who are careful, or to those who have healthy, stable relationships. No birth control method is perfect. Having experienced it myself, I will always defend a woman's right to control her body, now and forever.