I think about it almost every day. It's been almost 6 years. Of the few people who know, half said I'd get over it. The others said it would haunt me forever.
The day I found out was unseasonably warm. It was beautiful. Maybe it was a sign.
Scared half to death, I went to a local clinic that offered free testing and information on options. Less than an hour after I walk in, I now know for a fact that I'm pregnant. For the first time in my life, I am truly frightened.
A quick glance around the room they usher me into reveals nothing of their intent. The lady is friendly. She gently explains methods of adoption, what I should do if I decide to keep the child, and the best pre-natal pills. Not a word about abortion. So, naturally, I ask. Mistake. Her pretty face contorts slightly with a poorly masked disgust.
"Is that an option that interests you?"
Already sorry for bringing it up, I don't meet her gaze, but stick with the truth.
"I'm 17 and still in school. This happened as a result of a scary experience. I'm not ready for any of this. Yes, it's an option that interests me."
She asks me to join her in another room. It's much smaller. Darker. There's a tv on a stand in front of a small table that's home to a booklet, note pad, and a pencil. She instructs me to sit down. She'd like to educate me on the consequences of the risk I may potentially put myself in.
35 minutes later, I am terrified. After having read the booklet cover to cover and watching the most disturbing video I'd ever seen, I wanted nothing more than to go home and cry. They wouldn't let me. "Good Christian" after "good Christian" came into the room to pound into my skull that God would forsake me for killing an unborn child, I would never be able to bear children again, and think of how many people want to adopt a child. I finally learned to smile, nod, and agree so they'd let me go home.
A few days later, I stop at Planned Parenthood to get some unbiased information. Two hours later, I'm loaded with information, phone numbers, and a slight feeling that I might actually make it through this.
At this point, I still haven't told anyone. I need someone to talk to. My mother is the wrong choice. She asks me what I planned to do. I explain abotion was the most likely path. All Hell breaks loose. Seemingly out of nowhere, I'm everything evil and all that is unholy. I bring up that she had an abortion when she wasn't much older than me. Somehow, that's different. Once again, I say what someone wants to hear until I can get away.
Within a week, I have an appointment scheduled at the clinic. I have to drive myself. No one out of the 3 people that know can be there or simply won't be there. As a result, I don't get pain killers.
It is the most painful experience I've ever had in my life. I mean that in every way that pain can be felt.
I lived almost two hours away from the clinic. I had to stop three times on the way home to thow up. The third time, I laid on the grass next to my car and cried. My dad was on his way home, saw me, and decided to stop to make sure I was ok. I told him everything.
He held me and rocked me as I sobbed and rambled about nothing. He cooed and comforted me through his silent tears.
That evening, my mother decided to make an unannounced visit to my father's house, where I lived. She had planned to drop the bomb on my father in an attempt to gain his support for her cause. He supported me and talked her off her soap box long enough to get her out of the house.
"No, matter what she tries, I'll always love you and support you, kid. I may think you're doing something stupid and may disagree, but you're growing up and it's your choice to make. I just wish you would've told me sooner. I would've taken you. When you do decide to have babies, you'll understand, I hope, that it's not all about what you want or think. You look like Hell. Go to bed. I'll make you breakfast, you won't go to school. Tomorrow we need to do some serious talking. I love you."
To this day, I remember his exact words. I appreciate every single bit of it.
Every time I see happy children, my heart hurts. I still don't know if I did the right thing. I never will. Somedays I regret it. Others, I don't. Mothers' Day still kind of sucks. My baby would've been due on my brother's birthday. Nobody knows that. I think about it every year.
I will never be able to forget it.