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I found out I was pregnant when I was old enough to know better. And I knew immediatley that I was not in a place to raise a baby. I had moved back home with my mom, had just started a new job, and had only been with my boyfriend a few months who had also just started a new job. I found out I was pregnant in a Wal-Mart bathroom -- how southern can you get right?! -- before I went to work. But I think that I knew the night it happened. The test only confirmed what I knew in my heart.
I got to work that day not really in a state of shock like a lot of girls out there, but more of resigned ambivalence. I called J (figured his inital would be safe for this story) when I went to smoke on my first break, totally forgetting it was his second day on a new construction job. He answered and I said, "Well, I was right", it took him a total of two seconds to figure out what i was talking about. He said that he wanted me to come over as soon as I got off. I went through my regular routine for the rest of the day and went to J's house as soon as we were both off work. We sat out on the back patio in the summer heat, because he was living with his grandmother who was too ederly to take care of herself, and chain smoked and talked about what to do. I told him that I didn't think that there was any way that we could raise this child. He said that he agreed up to a point. He told me he thought he loved me. And I told him that I thought I loved him too. But that there was no way I was going through with this pregnancy. We had been friends since high school and he was always that guy that said, "If I ever get a girl pregnant I will marry her." Well. needless to say that offer never materialized. I called the clinic the next morning and made the appointment for my first session. (In my state you have to have a counseling session 24 hours before the procedure is done.)
I get there the first day, having told my new employer that I had a dentist appointment, and was buzzed into the front office. They asked my name and told me to have a seat. I sat down in a waiting room with about 8 other girls. They varied in age and race and I am sure socio-economic class, but we were all there for the same reason. They had a video on the TV explaining the procedure to you playing in the background. My heart was racing. What if someone I knew came in? Or worse yet someone who knew my parents? My mom works in the medical field and all I could think was that someone she knew could possibly work here. They gave me a jar and told me to go into the bathroom so they could have a positive urine test. After I did that I came back out to sit and wait. They called my name and I went through another door where they drew my blood and asked all the vital questions as well as doing an ultrasound. I was 6 weeks and 3 days. I talked and laughed my way through them like I am when I am nervous. They then told me to go back out to the waiting room and that the doctor would be with me shortly. I sat back out there again and saw a teenage girl come in. She was so young it broke my heart. she looked so afraid. I didn't have time to dwell on it, though, because the doctor called me back again. I went into his office and he went over the procedure with me. i had only one question: Will it hurt?! he said that it will feel like cramps, but not the end of the world. I left the clinic sure of my choice and went to work. But I barely slept that night.
The next day dawned sunny and hot. The way that southern summers so often do. I woke up and got dressed for work because as far as my mom knew that is where I was going. I drove to J's house and he was already outside waiting for me. We parked my car and took off in his to the clinic, which was about 15 minutes away. When we got there we sat in the parking lot for a few minutes when he looked at me and said, "You don't have to do this," as his eyes were filling with tears. That made mine fill with tears when I looked at him and said, "Yes, I do." I kissed him and told him I loved him and that they would call him when I was done. I was buzzed into the clinic once again where I was greeted by a smiling receptionist. She didn't ask my name because I had been there the day before. She told me it would be ok and to have a seat. I sat there with a thousand thoughts running through my mind. They called my name and asked me to come with them to a room across the hall. I was brought into a room where they took my blood pressure and my temp and gave me two pills to swallow. One of them was a valium to "take the edge off". I went back out into the waiting room of the second room and got into a conversation with the two other girls there. They called the name of the girl next to me. I squeezed her hand and told her good luck. J texted me a few times while I was in that room to check on me. Little did I know he was on the phone in tears with his mom the whole itme. They called my name as I turned my phone off. They asked my to remove everything other than my socks and T-shirt. They gave me a sheet to wrap up in and led me to what looks like the exam room at any doctor's office. I laid back on the table with a nurse at my head. She smiled down at me and said everything will be ok as she pushed the hair out of my face. The doctor and another nurse came in. He was the same one I had seen the day before. He asked me mundane questions about the weather as he got everything ready. The nurse that came with him tied off my vein and said this is gonna help with the pain as the needle slid in my arm. I went to ask, "How long till it works?", but only got out "how long" before the medicine kicked in and the walls started to melt. The nurse by my head held my hand the whole time. I didn't really feel any pain at all and it was over in under 5 minutes. They stood me up and took me to recovery where I got to drink sprite and eat cookies and talk to the other girls in the recovery room, maybe 5 or 6. I bonded more with those brave women than with any I have met before. After about an hour I felt fine and J was there to pick me up. The only problem is I was starving! lol. So we went and got burgers and I fell asleep on the way back to his house. I slept off and on the whole day. But there wasn't any pain. At least not for me. I was back at work the next day. Armed with pain pills and antibiotics but I was there and I felt fine!
J and I eventually broke up. He couldn't understand that I needed a slight break from sex and that was all he wanted. You would think he had learned his lesson! He is now married with a child. And I am happy for him. I know that this experience scarred him deeper than he let on. He said that "damn abortion clinic hellhole" destroyed our relationship. I don't think it did. I think that he and I just weren't meant to be. For all the girls out there that are scared of the pain, mine wasn't that bad. It really wasn't. It takes a strong woman to make this choice. And I am glad that I had a choice. And I know I did what is right for me.
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Posted Aug 13, 2011
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