So, it happened. I was pregnant. It was a boy from Tinder who worked in finance. He was an Ivy League graduate that was fairly dimwitted, but he had a sweet face, and I was taking a vacation from my psychiatric medicine. I couldn’t believe it. Was the stress of the situation worth it? Was sex with the man who ignored me when I told him about my pregnancy worth it? Would the pain of having to heal my insides be worth it? No, but it happened. I knew there was only one solution: abortion.
I found out early on because I had decided to get my six-month check up with my gynecologist. After a spat of spring fever and the slip up with said tinder bro, it was time. I was off my birth control for a month, so I planned on retrieving a new pill prescription, getting my pap smear, and heading out on my merry way to celebrate Memorial Day. I entered the office like a bull in a china shop carrying three tote bags and my cell phone. I felt like I was PMSing too the fullest. After my examination, my doctor said in her thick Russian accent, “Okay, you want pregnancy test?” I agreed, just for good measure.
“You are pregnant.” The words sounded so heavy and intense with her accent.
I waited for a minute for the nurse to come out. She nodded her head at me and said, “You are pregnant.” The words sounded so heavy and intense with her accent. I was ready to run to Planned Parenthood but it was a holiday weekend so this was impossible. I had to wait until Tuesday. When I finally contacted the facility, I made an appointment for that Friday. I was going to be examined, retrieve the abortion pills, and induce a miscarriage the next day. I’d have Sunday to recover. A seamless plan except I had to go through the week until Friday still pregnant, still cramping, and still angry with myself.
I was surprisingly blasé and dismissive of sympathy. I didn’t need it. I needed to not be pregnant. I was told over the phone that my insurance would cover the cost of the pills. This was a plus side, as I didn’t want to inform my one-night-stand that I was in fact carrying. I wouldn’t have had to tell him either way because my mother would have helped me. I told him anyway. I felt nervous. Very amicably, I asked for half of the cost if I had to pay for it myself. I was ignored after texting and calling him. How convenient.
I had been told that it is difficult to have a surgical abortion being only 4 weeks pregnant therefore I chose to take the pills. On the day of my appointment, I met with the midwife where I took one pill in her presence, an antibiotic later on, and would take four the next day. She gave me prescriptions for painkillers and anti-nausea pills then told me to treat myself well. Her thorough explanation of the procedure made me confident in my choice.
I took the remainder of the pills at my best friend’s apartment. Her place looks a harem’s den for Victorian witches, and she is a comforting soul. It was 8 p.m. I put on a maxi pad, my pink negligee, took my pain meds, then let the four pills dissolve on each side of my cheeks as instructed. We each read the packet over and over again. Two full maxi pads in two hours-call a doctor. Blood clots the size of lemons for two hours-call a doctor. We had this down, now I just waited for the storm to begin.
By putting this into words and speaking up about my abortion, I realized that I am not ashamed and I don’t want anyone else to be.
When it started I sat on the toilet and had gone into a meditative state, but the pain would persist. I coughed at one point and felt a few large clots. This went on for an hour. After that, I had one consecutive cramp. I had a feeling this was right before the eye of the hurricane and I was right. Suddenly it started again, this time, worse. I went back to the toilet and sat to perform my ritualistic meditation. At one point my friend came into the bathroom and said I looked like I was in a voodoo trance. Is this was giving birth felt like? I almost passed out. Then at 3am, it was over. No pain, no clots, just some minor bleeding. I couldn’t believe it.
The following week before my follow up, I thought about how great everyone at the facility was. This prompted me to read up on any opposition the organization faced. I wanted to vomit a few sentences into the articles, and not from any side effects of the abortion. Texas cutting their HIV program and hosting facilities where it is near impossible to perform an abortion. Michigan GOP State Rep. Lee Chatfield, is cosponsoring a state anti-abortion bill. The shooting last year, the bomb threats, the shaming, it was sensory overload, and there I was: complaining that I had too much sympathy for my insurance covered procedure. New York really has a way of placing people in a bubble until the reality of the world sets in.
After going through the physical pain, and bleeding for a week afterward, I couldn’t believe there was still a government trying to take away my agency as a human. The thought of a woman with no support having to do this is awful. I couldn’t believe that while I sat in pain, I was ignored by some dismissive guy who seemingly fetishized me as a fat, party-girl. By putting this into words and speaking up about my abortion, I realized that I am not ashamed and I don’t want anyone else to be. No one should feel wrong for doing the right thing. Us lucky ones need to be the voice for the voiceless and never feel devalued for sticking to our choices and embracing our liberties as women and Americans. I feel unstoppable and in touch with the world, and I hope every woman can feel this power at some point in her life.
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