As a child my biggest dream was to become a mother. All of my Barbie’s and Polly Pockets were married with children and all of my baby dolls were my own. I would change their clothes, feed them, and teach them important lessons of life I had learned in my few years of living. I raised them until I reached an age where reality sets in and informs you that, no, an 8 year old cannot be a responsible mother.
Despite growing up and reality setting in, being a mother was still a dream of mine. I became sexually active when I was sixteen, when I was in my first ‘true-love’ relationship. The fear of getting pregnant was always there, but deep down, I felt if it happened, it happened and it wouldn’t be a big deal. Because I would be a mom. Plus, I went to a high school where a good chunk of the student body was either pregnant or already parenting a newborn. It never crossed my mind how incredibly sad it is that the numbers of teen pregnancies were so high.
Well, I didn’t get pregnant in high school with my first love. Thank god! I went to community college to get my associates degree and continued my college education at James Madison University. I loved my college experience. I was away from my parents and had my own apartment. It was an exciting time for me to be alive. I met my boyfriend Brandon my first semester there. We hung out frequently and he took me out for my birthday (I thought he would kiss me that night, but he didn’t). I was falling head over heels in love with this charming, blue-eyed, beautiful creature. He asked me to be his girlfriend December 27, 2015 and of course, I said yes!
We dated for almost a year when it came to my 22nd birthday. The year was great, but of course there was some disagreements, fighting, and problems between us. In no way were we a perfect couple. But the Sunday before my birthday. None of that mattered; because I was pregnant. I took the test with 100% confidence that I was not pregnant. I thought my period was late because of health reasons, I don’t know. I had taken tests a couple weeks prior and they were negative. So I was sure that I was not pregnant.
Too bad that wasn’t the case. I was pregnant. I was just at 7 weeks. And let me tell you, there is no moment more terrifying than seeing a positive pregnancy test (when you’re not trying to be a mom yet). I immediately drove to Brandon’s’ and cried my eyes out as I told him. I knew my options and he knew what there were. He knew I would want to keep the baby and I knew he would probably want me to get an abortion.
Abortion is a topic I was always against. I thought it was completely wrong that a woman would abort her baby and I probably said awful things about any woman who would. But to be honest, I knew nothing about abortion. I knew a lot about keeping the baby and I knew a lot about adoption, but nothing about abortion. Every sex education course I’ve had to sit through, and every Hollywood movie I saw, nothing prepared or informed me what abortion was really like. I can understand that, it’s not an easy topic to discuss especially when everyone has a different opinion.
I got an ultrasound of my baby the day after I found out. The heartbeat was 96rpm and was only 10 cm big. I couldn’t help but love the baby. He/she was mine and surviving off of me. It was a powerful feeling. But I couldn’t be a mom. I have health matters that need my attention, I was already doing poor in school and only had a year left, I had zero dollars to my name, and my family would have looked down upon me and my child for as long as they saw me.
My family hasn’t always been the finest. My mother, father and brothers are amazing. It’s the rest. I have been disrespected by my family for 20 years and I would never want to bring a baby in the mix to be insulted either.
After a long process of thinking, I made the hardest decision of my life that I was going to get an abortion. I had to drive three hours to the closest clinic (which surprised me because I live in a college town, I know I couldn’t be the first JMU student to experience an unwanted pregnancy). I cried the entire trip. Imagining what color my child eyes are, or if they have Brandon’s nose. I couldn’t help but imagine my life with my baby, but I knew abortion was the smarter decision for my life.
I waited at the abortion clinic for 9 hours until I went in to see the doctor. I had 9 hours to express to Brandon or the nurses that I wanted to keep my baby. But how? Or why? I had no money. I had no education. I had no job. I had no support. I had nothing you need that is essential to keeping a baby. I tried several times to stall the process or say something to the nurses, but everyone was exceptionally rude and insensitive to the fact I was about to ruin my life.
When I was being put to sleep, these thoughts in my head were “just say something… say something….speak up…stop them” but those are my last memories before waking up in a recovery room. It didn’t hit me that I got an abortion until I was home that night and the high of the anesthesia wore off. That night I began crying, and I didn’t stop for about four months.
I was not informed in the slightest about abortion. I was told to expect bleeding and cramps. No one told me to expect a depression that almost took my life or anxiety so bad I can barely leave my apartment. My decision to get an abortion was the hardest decision of my life, but in no way, did I think it was going to have such negative effects on me. When I reached out for help, I quickly learned there is not many resources for women post-abortion. The only support groups that existed for abortion, were extremely religion based and like many, that’s not how I am going to heal.
I felt very alone and I still feel alone, but I am stronger than I was in November. I have come a far way since then and want to reach out to any other girl who has received an abortion, thinking about abortion, or just someone who wants information on the topic. As I said before, I used to be uninformed about the topic and close minded to anyone who would go through it. However, I am here to tell you; you do not know what you will do in a situation, until you are in that situation. Sure, I’ve always wanted to be a mother and the thought of becoming one didn’t scare me, until it happened. I wasn’t ready and it was my time.
My time will come one day and I will be the best mother I can be to that child. I vow to protect that child and give them all they need. I vow to teach them the world isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, that there’s a lot of hurt in this world, but I will give them the strength to fight through any battle they come across; just like the thousands I’ve fought before becoming their mom.
The sex education system of America needs to change. Young women need to learn that abortion is not the easiest decision when an unwanted pregnancy occurs. Abortion will not make your life easier in any way. Information needs to be given on the topic to prevent women from feeling this depression. The statistics show 1/3 women will get an abortion before they are 40. Any women I have met who has received an abortion, went through a severe depression afterwards. I’m lucky to say that I didn’t commit suicide when I wanted to and my depression was so bad. I’m lucky I had a boyfriend and best friends who stood by my side to help me heal. I know every girl isn’t as lucky as I and I hope I can save any girl who suffers from depression.