- Posted February 10, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Have you had an abortion?
The story of my abortion
Since I started this blog – I’ve wondered when I would take the time to tell my story as it were. I’m not sure why I’m moved this morning to tell it, maybe because it’s Independence Day and this will be another step toward my independence of the impact this story has on my life today. I apologize for the grammar and structure as with this story - I have to just let it flow out as it comes without going back to edit. I don’t think my story is that unique or “special” in any way. I’m simply one of millions of women out there with a similar story and even though there are so many of us hurting from a past abortion – it’s still a very lonely thing. It’s still a lonely place to go in one’s mind even with a supportive and loving husband, even with loving and kind counselors, even with gentle and compassionate Priests … and even with our ever merciful and loving Lord who is with me always and for everything.
I remember my mom saying, well “good, that gives me a few days to find $300” and “Don’t tell your father.” Saturday came and off I went early that morning. My Dad was at the kitchen table with coffee - my behavior was nothing out of the ordinary to him. My mom came in my room and gave me $300 in $50.00 bills and told me to not lose it. She told me where to park and walk to the clinic. And off I went. She didn’t offer to come with me – she would have to explain to my Dad where we were going.
I parked on the North Shore close to Three Rivers Stadium. It was cheaper than parking in town. I walked across the 6th Street Bridge clutching my purse and checking the pocket of my skirt from time to time where the money was. My mom said not to put the money in my purse because it could get snatched.
I walked up to the Fulton Building. I don’t remember there being any protestors outside at all and Pittsburgh is basically a Monday – Friday kind of town so it was pretty quiet. I gave my name at the window and sat down. I wasn’t used to being in the City really except for the Arts Festival and the Regatta and other big events. They took me back to give me a pregnancy test. About 10 minutes later, it was confirmed that I was indeed pregnant. And “just in time” too – because it seems like I’m about 12 weeks along and one week more and I wouldn’t be able to have an abortion at all or I’d have to pay extra.
Looking back I wonder why my mom didn’t get me a test to take at home just to be sure before sending me downtown? I’ll never know I guess. There was no wait time after the confirmation of your pregnancy to the procedure – except for a quick stop in a “counselor’s" office. I do remember her. She was blond and cute and most likely just out of college and trying to save the world. We talked for a few minutes, she asked about my boyfriend, and then it hit me like a hammer, I wasn’t sure if my boyfriend was the father at all. I hadn’t even thought about him in the few days that this all happened. I had no intention of telling him because my Mom told me there was no reason to tell anyone. But, thinking about it, it could have been him or it might have been another boy. I’ll never really know the answer to that question either.
I remember her asking if I wanted to talk about adoption, etc. I said no. Next was the procedure room. I had never been to a gynecologist before or had any kind of pelvic examination of any kind so I didn’t know what to expect. There was a nurse and the counselor who stayed with me. The nurse explained the procedure to me and I saw the stirrups for the first time. The room was bright and cold. I didn’t change into a gown of any kind – now I know why they said to wear a skirt. There wasn’t much to do before the procedure because at that time there was no anesthesia given at all.
After I was “prepped” the doctor arrived. He never looked at me. He never told me his name. He never talked to me – he talked to the nurse. The counselor talked to me. If you are a woman, you know how horrible a speculum can be even when you know it’s coming – but when you don’t it’s a torture device. Then a clamp on my cervix. I really didn’t even know what a cervix was. The tears start to fall; the counselor held my hand and told me it’s going to be alright. I stare at the ceiling. The doctor is poking and prodding. I feel the cannula. The machine is turned on. It sounds like a vacuum cleaner. On and off. On and off. Checking. Back on. Checking. Back on. More tears, but I don’t make a sound. I don’t talk. The doctor says, “Almost done, I’ve got mostly everything.” The machine shuts off the final time. I remember hearing the gurgling sound of wherever my child is now being deposited. At that time, it’s not a child to me; it’s just tissue because that’s what the counselor told me. It’s not a baby yet, it’s too early.
I know now what a 12 week old baby looks like.
The doctor leaves the room, the counselor helps me to sit up and fix my skirt and I’m walked to the recovery area. A room full of reclining chairs, about 10 or so. Some girls are crying, one is filing her nails. One is getting scolded by her mother in some other language. I am the only one who is alone in my chair, curled up, feeling the cramping starting. I’m given something to drink and a cookie or two. I’m given some birth control pills and some other pamphlets that don’t fit in my purse so I keep the pills and toss the papers on my way out the door. I walk back across the bridge, in pain, with a bulky pad between my legs. I remember where I parked my car. I get in, start the car, and blast the air conditioning and drive home.
I get home, my Dad is now on the deck outside. I say hi and go to my room and lie down. My mom comes in, pulls down my blinds and before she closes the door she asks if I need some Tylenol. I nod yes. Before she goes to get it she says, “We will never speak of this again.” She brings me some Tylenol. I sleep for what seems like a day or so. The next day, I’m off on a day trip to Ohio with my boyfriend who I’m back together with. The day trip gets cut short because of my cramping and bleeding that I’m trying to manage. My boyfriend thinks it’s my period so no questions there. I let him drive my car back home and I go back to bed. My life is changed forever. I have killed a baby, my baby. I take that fact and all the feeling s with it and stuff it down as far as I can. The feelings lie in the darkness of my soul for years. That’s the story of my abortion as I remember it. I remember it every day.