I found out I was pregnant when I was a senior in high school. It was February and things were finally looking up. I had recently gotten back together with my boyfriend of three years, was about to attend senior prom, and most important, graduate from high school and start my first year of college out of state.
The months leading up to my pregnancy were tumultuous. I had broken up with my boyfriend, struggled with my own sexual discovery and freedom, and made poor decisions. I spent the night at a friend's house during winter break, we had been long time friends and there had always been a flirtatious overcast within our friendship. We ended up sleeping together that night. I knew very well that I had ran out of birth control the week prior and the three day miss could potentially cause an unplanned pregnancy. It was funny but the moment I arrived home and finally lay in my own bed, I knew I was pregnant.
The week after I had slept with my friend, I decided I missed my ex-boyfriend too much and asked for him to take me back. He agreed. I never told him about me and my friend and our one night stand. Instead I kept it a secret, something I still feel horrible about to this day. About a month later my fear came full circle, I was two weeks late for my period and there was not a doubt in my mind I was pregnant. I told my boyfriend at the time that I was late and that we needed to go to the local teen clinic to take a pregnancy test and figure out our options.
Before visiting the clinic we discussed our feelings on the situation, we both came to the conclusion that we were both too young, too poor and had too much to look forward to in our lives to raise a child, we thought about going through with the pregnancy and giving the baby up for adoption, but that seemed unfeasible since I was moving out of state in the fall and he had one more year of high school left, so we wouldn't be able to have the support network either of us needed. I also felt like this would be much harder on me emotionally and physically than other options. So our decision together was abortion. I knew it would be hard but I also knew that this was the best decision for me, my boyfriend and the fetus inside of me.
The teen clinic counselors were very helpful; they gave me all three of my options and laid everything out on the table crystal clear for me. They were very supportive towards any decision I wanted to make. When I told them that I wanted to have an abortion, they referred me to several clinics and gave me the phone number to a hot line that would give loans for abortion to women who could not afford the whole procedure.
I scheduled my appointment but I wouldn't be able to get to the clinic for another three weeks, which meant that instead of having a chemical abortion, I would have to have a surgical abortion. I had a phone consultation with a doctor and a call 24 hours before the procedure by a nurse, both laws in my state. Since I was two months shy of my 18th birthday, I also had to have parental notification, also a law in my state. I was scared to tell my mother-- we just dealt with the loss of my father, and I knew she would be very concerned and very disappointed. I really didn't know how she would react. So, I decided not to tell her. This meant that I had to have judiciary bypass. I had to stand in front of a judge with several other girls and tell him why I didn't want to tell my mom about the procedure.
The night before my procedure I told my mother I had a choir trip and needed a note excusing me from class. Thankfully, she wrote me the note. I was excused in time for my appointment. I took a bus downtown from the suburbs, got myself to the clinic, then the counselor at the clinic had me fill out paperwork, and I then had to walk to the courthouse where I had to meet with a judge. I stood with three other girls, two had their boyfriends with them. I had to tell the judge why I didn't want to tell my mother. He agreed to let me have the procedure. It was one of the scariest experiences I have had in my life. I then went back to the clinic where a nurse given a few pills.
The procedure went smoothly but it was painful. There was a nurse in the room with the doctor who was very supportive and helped me through the procedure. Afterward, my boyfriend picked me up and I stayed the night with him. He was very sympathetic and so, so supportive.
I have to say that I never felt much grief about my abortion, I never felt much attachment to the fetus. The only thing I grieved was telling the most supportive person in my life at the time, that he was the cause of my pregnancy. He held my hand through every stage of the procedure, the decision, the aftermath, and yet I was never 100% honest with him. We have not been together in quite a long time. In fact, we have not spoken words to one another in many years. I really wish I could say sorry, and tell him what happened.