Monday, January 23, 2006

Blog For Choice Day: Because Corinna doesn't know where I live any more

So I know I missed the date, and I hear you were supposed to sign up or something? but I decided that, like every other boring small-time female blogger with a story, I'd tell my story of experience with abortion. Don't worry, it's short and comparatively unemotional, as I am a CYBORG!

(The title refers to a crazy anti-abortion group leader who went to the same college I did. Note that crazy is a separate qualifier; we always felt that having her as a spokeswoman undermined her cause. She liked to hand out fetus dolls, and everything in her life was a reference to her political views. She despises Jon and, as he lives with me, with my paranoid imagination, I always pictured her as someone who would smile while throwing a Molotov cocktail into my house.)

All right, on with the show. I was 20. I had been with my ex for 3 years at that point. We had lost our virginity together back at 18, and were planning on getting married after college. But all was not well. Basically, this was around the time that our respective 'crazy's started to really manifest, and we fed off each other, and there was fighting, and crying, and accusations of saying things that the other person had no memory of saying and why the fuck would I say thats and well, bad things. We went on vacation together over the summer, while we were each at home from school with our respective families, which put me a 10 hour drive away from him, and 5 hours from our vacation, the drive to which was an adventure in itself.

When I finally arrived at our destination, I was so relieved and um, excited, to see him, that I forgot all about the birth control I had had to make a detour and buy as I'd forgotten my diaphragm at home, and we spent three days using the wishful thinking method. It was prime time for baby, too, so I found out 10 days later I was pregnant.

I found out the day after my period was due, as I used to go like clockwork. Fortunately, we'd discussed it long before, and I knew that abortion was the best choice, between the situation, the medication I had been taking at the time, and the fact that any extra hormones in my system make me want to kill myself (yes, literally). My mother was with me when I found out, a fact I think he never forgave me for, that I went to her first.

After some debate about logistics (which city do I go to, as I'd have to go back to school six hours away in a few weeks), I scheduled with PPChicago for RU-486.

Then the arguing began.

Both my family and his were aware and supportive - his mom and dad took care of me while the pills were doing their thing. But when I decided that I wanted to change my appointment time so that I wouldn't have to miss the first day of the semester driving 3 hours to Chicago, he flipped. He got it into his head that I wasn't taking this whole thing seriously enough, as I was still going about my life, not freaking out or grieving for a stupid mistake like he was. He didn't think I was acting traumatized enough! He was 100% with me on the choice for abortion, but he didn't understand that I wasn't upset, because he was. I respect his feelings immensely, but there's no reason I should be expected to feel the same way when I don't. I felt like I had an alien life-form in me, and I wanted it OUT. I think if I ever want to carry a pregnancy intentionally, I'm going to need counseling, not because I'm scarred, but because IT WAS FUCKING CREEPY.

Well, words were had, tears were shed, and we made it to D-Day intact. When we got to the building, they wouldn't let him in, because he'd had his ID taken as part of a speeding ticket stop. So in I go, give the lady my check for $450, and head down to the bunker for ultrasounds, blood tests, counseling, and meeting with the doctor. I felt bad sitting in the room with the women coming out from sedation, with me all chipper in my khakis and jacket, just because I had more time and money to avoid surgery. The doctor was vaguely creepy, but in a reassuring way - he struck me as someone who'd been doing abortions for a long time, possibly illegally before Roe, and who would continue to do so regardless of the law, not out of high-minded principles, but just because it was his job. He seemed kind of like he'd seen too much, but didn't quite know the right tone for a perky unafraid little suburbanite.

They gave me the pills and the instructions, and the painkillers and the phone numbers, and sent me home with instructions to expect the nurse's call tomorrow and to return for a followup in a month. Off I went.

Funnily enough, this is the anticlimactic part. Everything went to plan; I didn't even need the codeine they gave me - the heavy-duty ibuprofen was enough. I saw a small bluish shrivelled balloon emerge from my vagina, thought, hey, that's what I saw on the ultrasound, didn't expect it to be blue, wrapped it up and set it in the trash. Gave a prayer (or as close as I come to it) that I've repeated almost every day in the 4 years since: Thank you, God, for not making me carry this child.

My ex and I broke up 4 months later, and finally separated almost a year to the day after.

I see children, or think of how old mine would have been, and I feel an incredible sense of relief. I wasn't ready to carry a child. I don't know if I ever will be. And thanks to being a white suburban middle-class girl in America, I didn't have to. I'm not sorry.
And I'll be damned if I'll let anyone take that away.

A postscript: Oddly enough, I ended up sharing the fact of it with Jon on our first date. Not something I'd usually do, but it just seemed appropriate, and it was.

2 comments:

  1. Just so you'd know someone followed the link. It's good to hear more positive stories - I think I'd be like you if the same happened to me. Why should I apologise for doing what's right for me? And yes. The idea of a baby inside me is totally freaky!

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  2. Anonymous8:37 AM

    I followed the link, too. I am very wary of this whole "We should all agree that abortion is bad"/"Abortion should be safe, legal and rare" theme. This is the creation of people primarily interested in POLITICS. Its a have-it-both-ways with emphasis on PANDERING to people who want to criminalize abortion.

    Its not sincere. My hunch is that a lot of the people pushing that theme have either had abortions themselves or their girlfriends had abortions and they knew it. And they don't feel ANY remorse or regret over it.

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