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I got pregnant the second time I had sex. I was 18. He had used a condom, but something did not work. This person was someone I had known for a while, but he was not my boyfriend. He was just someone in the crowd I hung out with to party. I had never had sex with anyone else. I did not have an intimate connection with him. Sex was clumsy and painful and quick.

I had been saving my money. I was always good at that. So I had enough for the abortion, but I expected him to pay half. He assured me of this. It did not work out that way. It got very ugly. I had guys going after him and they vandalized his house. He and my old "friends" did the same at my parents house in retribution.

It was easy to get caught up in my anger at him. It was easier than thinking about the abortion and how painful that experience was.

I did write a descriptive paper about the procedure in college. I tried to be detatched as I explained the different rooms, the things said, and the people I encountered throughout those hours. To write about my experience in a paper was inappropriate self disclosure. But like my prior anger at the boy, it was a way of acting out rather than truly dealing with my sadness.

During the abortion, I had squeezed the hand of a woman whose role was to provide comfort. I remember making it through the procedure and getting into the upright chair in the recovery room. Another woman was beside me in another chair. It was so organized. So smooth and routine. That felt callous to me. It did not seem right to be so calm about it all. Once left to sip on some juice and eat some crackers, I cried silently.

I do not regret my decision. But writing about it now reminds me to count back the years. That child would be 20 years old now, but I cannot imagine that person in my life. My life has been what it is and that is all. But that event affected me. It made me very careful.

I have never had a child or another abortion.

I am currently trying to get pregnant.