I got an abortion
I am 20 years old, living in Canada for the next couple of years. 2 weeks before I turned 20, my life had a blip in it like I couldn't think to expect.
A miracle I told myself, that I could love someone else so consistently and it not eventually consume my time, to a healthy level. my boyfriend and I had been together for 6 months when I decided to take a pregnancy test. a miracle I wrote to Instagram, (about the 6 months that was) updates for friends and family on a communal scale, one open truth, one secret truth.
what we are told is a miracle, I wanted to rid my body of as soon as I saw the dreaded lines across the piss stick.
my boobs were way big, my period hadn't arrived for weeks on weeks, and my emotions were going stir crazy.
I was going to have an abortion.
a miracle I really thought, this happens to other people, but not me, but now me. the day my boyfriend and I were together for half a year, was the day I discovered I was going on the most bizarre hormonal trip known to myself for the next month or so. we held each other and i cried for a while, thinking i was in shock for the last time. this was the first of many moments of shock for me to be paralysed by tears and sudden realisation.
pay day eventually rolled by so we could roll on, a booked doctor appointment meant we could have confirmed by a professional that I, in fact, was carrying a wee sprog. most of the appointment was spent putting maths together to gather a rough guesstimate of how many weeks i was at. I started this pill packet here (stick to your pill taking times friends), went to Mexico then, last had my period here.
my boyfriend and I arguably made the funniest jokes we've ever pieced together, keeping a smile going across my face, they were jokes we couldn't tell all our friends. one of the things that hurt us most was not being able to tell every important person we knew about what was going on, especially our families back in our home lands.
after the doctors appointment, came booking the abortion day, which ended up having to be 3 days after my 20th birthday, the turn from teenage hood to adulthood they say. a special wish from my uterus. I chose the surgical option, the one where a mild vacuum would suck the tadpole out of me. soon to be $920 out of pocket, the day crept up in slow motion. fees for being out of country, out of province, zoomed in without a moment to process the wad of cash we would hand over. my appointment was to be for the afternoon, which meant I couldn't eat 8 hours ahead. the procedure came in four steps for me, or what i could keep track of as four steps. first came the ultrasound, to double confirm how many weeks i was at, followed by waiting, a visit with the in-clinic counsellor, more waiting, a medical check in with a doctor as well as pill taking for helping to mellow down and for pain killing. soon followed another bunch of waiting, and finally came the procedure. An IV was inserted into my left arm, right below one tattoo and a few paces above another. the whole experience is now a dreamless blur.
I woke up sitting in the recovery room which I apparently walked to, juice and cookies to my right, a heating pad sitting on my tummy. I gathered my thoughts over the past few hours, the last tears I shed with my boyfriend in the waiting room, I remember dampening the arms of the brown leather chair. i had a bob dylan book which i pretended to pay attention to. there were women passing in and out of the waiting room all day. the only words i shared with someone who wasn't a staff member, was to ask about felt pens.
on the wall was a poster reminding us we were doing the most loving thing in the world, choosing not to bring a soul into the world we knew we couldn't support. i get chills thinking over it again.
I'm writing this now, about a month later. the worst of the recovery passed through via the strongest of tears and cramps, the heaviest of blood i've seen my body produce. the most emotionally painful release, and i'm patching up. i've been taking more photos of the sunset, swimming more, stopping what i'm doing to write - just for the sake of noting down, and talking more openly with my dear boyfriend. through recovering i had the canvas to be able to communicate my emotions so openly, it helped me get through. i never want to forget what i went through to get here, it won't hold me back, but i have a new vision ahead of me. to appreciate the journey i end up being thrown on. i am so very grateful to my friends who listened, my boyfriend for the patience, support, and endless love. i am so damn grateful to be in the place to be able to continue so easily, to eventually - one day tell my story to my family, and to understand this entire experience in a way where it won't hold me back from continuing to live the life i wish to live.
seek out support where you can, you know who you can trust. remember to know, and believe that you aren't alone in this. i'm rooting for you too.