By April S. Kelley
It must have been four years ago when I terminated my pregnancy. I remember it fondly. Yes, fondly.
I was living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I had a two-year-old daughter. I was on the pill — the fucking pill; never trust the goddamn pill. I was having unprotected sex — not as much as I do these days, because the Mirena is fucking awesome — but enough to wind up pregnant for the second time.
I cried a lot that day, not the day I got the abortion, no, the day I found out I was pregnant. I bought one of those shitty little tests, pissed on the stick in my tiny bathroom and found out the awful news.
I begged my lover at the time to fuck me as hard as he could, you know to try to fuck the pregnancy out of me, to induce a miscarriage. And boy did he try. I cried while he fucked me, not from the pain but again because I had wound up pregnant again. Poor guy, it couldn’t have been fun for him. Or maybe it was, I don’t know. I don’t care. We fucked till I bled.
I then took a long, hot bath, listened to Another Side of Bob Dylan and sobbed. When I got out, I trekked to the hospital with my two-year-old.
I explained to them that I had found out I was pregnant earlier in the day and that I was now bleeding, probably from a miscarriage. To my major disappointment, I had not miscarried, not even a little bit. They did a vaginal ultrasound to discover that I was very much pregnant still, about four weeks along.
I knew right then that I’d be having an abortion, even though I was not looking forward to forking over the funds to do so. In fact, now that I think about it, the only bad part of the actual abortion was paying for it.
The next day I set up an appointment with the local clinic. When I arrived, there was the inevitable group of pro-lifers picketing on the corner of the street. I smiled and waved.
On the bench out front, a security guard sleeps sitting up. I walk in the through the first set of doors and say I have an appointment. They unlock the second door without any real proof. At that point, the only fear I had was that somewhere inside lurked a crazed pro-lifer with a gun or a bomb in her purse. Luckily, that did not end up being the case.
I walk in to find a relatively empty waiting area, with only two other people filling out forms. I tell the second receptionist my name. She smiles and hands me a few forms to fill out.
I was relatively shocked that there were not that many forms to fill out. I think it was five pages, front and back. After filling out the forms, I took out my copy of Afternoon of an Author and began reading.
Twenty minutes later, I was called back for the initial consultation. This included receiving information about the medical abortion I would be receiving as well as an ultrasound to determine pregnancy.
As I was only four weeks pregnant, I was still early enough in the pregnancy to receive a medical abortion during which you are given oral medication. The medication causes your body to expel the pregnancy within the next 24-48 hours.
After the consultation, the clinic was required to wait 24 hours before giving me the medical abortion.
The next day I arrived to the same scene. Protesters on the corner, sleeping security guard, easily entered facility. I read more of Fitzgerald’s Afternoon of an Author.
They call me back, make me sign a couple of forms and provide me with a pill which I must take on the spot. They give me another pill to take the next day and some pain pills to help with any discomfort.
I take the pill and go down the rabbit hole, so to speak. The next two days were not near as bad as I had anticipated. There was some mild cramping, but nothing too extravagant. I believe the cramps I had when I got my first period at age 11 were much worse than anything I experienced during my abortion.
Besides, I had an excuse to do nothing but laze around and binge-watch Friends and finish Afternoon of an Author, all while high on pain pills. Not too shabby in my book.
Sure, I bled a lot. But I had no idea when I actually passed the aborted embryo out of my body. I still don’t know but I am certainly glad that I did.
I had a follow-up appointment the next week to make sure everything went as planned. Another ultrasound was performed and no embryo was found!
To say I was happy was an understatement. I had never felt so elated, so completely free, so completely empowered.
Having an abortion is a choice women should be able to make and feeling good about that choice should be okay.
I never hear women talk about how happy they are because of their abortion, but I know I’m not the only one to feel this way.
All I see in the media or on television and movies is women struggling with the decision and sometimes being traumatized deeply by it afterward. And while that may be the case for some, it certainly was not the case for me.
In fact, dare I say it, I am damn proud to have had an abortion. I wouldn’t change a thing. I would do it all over again.
And if ever I am in another situation where I am not ready to have another child — which shouldn’t happen because, I must say it again, Mirena is fucking amazing — I would definitely have another abortion.
I am in no way saying women should get pregnant just to feel the joy and empowerment of choosing abortion, but goddamnit, if you are in a sticky situation, go ahead and make that choice if you feel its best for you. And feel okay about being happy about it.
You are not a psychopath, nor am I. We are women. We made a choice. And that is a reason to feel proud.