When I was 21 years old, I was already an alcoholic. I was also a drug abuser and an all-around wreck of a human being. I had given birth to a child who I had placed for adoption (more on that later) and I was dating a wonderful man, who would later become my husband and the father to my two children. I found myself pregnant and I was in no place to raise a child. I was terrified.
I remember that I knew that I was pregnant because I started getting violently ill when I would drink. My daughter had been placed for adoption less than a year before and there was no doubt in mind that I could a) not do that again and b) that I had not made the hardest decision of my entire life only to have another baby so soon after. My boyfriend and I were living together, but neither of us made a lot of money and we both drank and partied way too much.
The sad thing about my situation was that abortion is such a taboo topic that I sat on my decision for a while. I knew I was going to terminate, but I was scared to talk about it. I knew that I didn't have the money but I was afraid to tell my mother and ask her for it. When I finally did and I called Planned Parenthood, they said that they required a counseling appointment first and that there was a slight wait to get in. By that point, I didn't have the time to waste. I needed an abortion and I needed it right away. I ended up going to a clinic in Denver, Colorado that just took my money, gave me a few valium, and gave me an abortion. Had I waited, it would have been too late to have an abortion.
My boyfriend and I went to Denver and got a hotel room. I had a pre-op the day before and I was prescribed a Valium to take the morning of the procedure. I woke up that morning and did as directed and my boyfriend drove me to the clinic. The procedure took about 10 minutes and it was not painful. I was taken to a recovery room afterward where I waited for about an hour. I remember looking over and seeing another girl recovering. She was crying and her friend was holding her. I remember thinking that I felt bad for her because she was sad about her decision and I remember thinking that it must suck to feel conflicted about it, because I didn't feel that way at all. I was 100% sure that I had made the right choice. When I was released, my boyfriend and I went back to the hotel and stayed an extra night just to make sure that I was close by in case of complication.
I had a bruise on my arm for about a week from the IV that I was given. I bled for a couple of days, but the bruise lasted longer than the bleeding. I didn't cry. I didn't lose sleep. I never had lasting emotional trauma from my abortion. I was not greeted by protestors outside of the clinic and no one ever shamed me for my decision. It does not haunt me. I went home to my life and I knew that I had made the right decision. I don't believe that abortion is easy. I do not believe that it would always be the right decision for everyone. I believe that every decision related to parenting is very difficult. However, I was a 21-year-old alcoholic and drug abuser. I was doing a lot of drugs, a lot of the time, and when I wasn't on drugs I was drunk. I could barely hold a job. I wasn't taking good care of myself. I was not capable of taking care of another human being.
My abortion was the right decision for me at the time. I have never second-guessed it. I hope that it is not a decision that I have to make ever again, but I did learn from it. I learned to take appropriate measures to prevent pregnancy. I learned that I did want to become a mother when the time was right. I learned that my boyfriend was a wonderful partner and a good man. I learned that just because society deems something traumatic and horrible doesn't mean that it will be that way for me. I learned that I can trust my gut when I need to make decisions. I learned that abortion doesn't have to be awful. It can be the best choice. I did the right thing.
If you are interested in hearing abortion stories, learning about abortion, and having the decision and process de-stigmatized please visit https://shoutyourabortion.com/