Aborted Women: In Their Own Words

Now I had nothing

by Paula M
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I was 24 years old when I found out I was pregnant for the first time. I felt ambivalent towards my pregnancy and it didn't help that most people's reactions were "Are you going to keep it?" or "What are you going to do? You're not married," or "Congratulations ... I guess."

I was also working as a pediatric nurse and had a good paying job. While this sounds like a good thing, I was also exposed to multiple teratogens at work, and my own OB/GYN doctor advised me that I was high risk for having a baby with birth defects. Often I think that if I was married, had a house and a steady income, I would be ok having a child that was ill. Or maybe I could work it out, being a young mom with a baby at home, but I didn't think I was strong enough to be a young mom with a chronically ill child. So I had an abortion.

I remember sitting in the waiting room with five other girls watching "One Life to Live" and it was about how a woman who had an abortion wanted to move on with her life, but everytime she saw a little girl about that age all she could think about was that was how old her little girl was going to be, and if that was the only little girl she would ever have. I wondered if that is how I will feel someday. Then everyone in the waiting room started crying silently ... except for me. I still couldn't believe what was happening.

I remember waking up and being in the worst state I've ever been in in my enitre life. At least after childbirth, the pain would have been worth it because you have a little baby at the end.

But now I had nothing.

I was wrenching in pain on the stretcher and couldn't breathe. My respirations were 44 per minute and the nurse handed me a cup of pills and a cup of iced tea that I mostly spilled on myself but I didn't care. I couldn't walk. I couldn't sit and it felt like there was a sharp object in my rectum. The nurse said rectal pain was normal and it was ok. I'd never felt pain like that before in my life.

My boyfriend and my sister were waiting for me in the waiting room. As soon as I stepped out I started sobbing softly. I cried in the elevator. I cried in the walk to the car. I started screaming in the car on the way home. Small bursts of torture from the pain, torture from the regret, torture from why it had to be this way.

But I think the worst part is what I've had to live with everyday since. I've quit my job in pediatrics. I can't stop wishing I had walked out of the waiting room while I still had a chance. I can't stop thinking about the baby I would have had. I keep looking forward to the day I die so that I can ask my baby for forgiveness.

And you know something funny? The nurses I worked with thought I had quit because I was pregnant. I thought that they had looked down on me for being so young and getting "knocked up". Well, a friend of mine that still works there told me that a nurse that I thought hated me blurted out one day "You know, she left because she's pregnant. Wow, she's so brave! She's young and she's not married, but she is going to raise that child all by herself. She is so brave." God, how I wish I was.

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Posted 15 Oct 2006

Copyright 2006 by Paula M
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