I think I am finally ready to share my abortion story. It has been one month since my abortion. And it is true what they say…you will think about it every day. Every single day. Just like I think about my children every single day, and just as I will think about them every single day after they are grown and out of the house or go off to college, or start families of their own. I know now that I will never stop thinking about the baby that I aborted.
I had a medical abortion which involves taking a pill at the abortion clinic, and then another pill 24 hours later in your own home. The first pill “stops development” of the baby, meaning… it poisons the pregnancy. The second pill (which is actually a pack of 4 small pills of Cytotec, which is what they give you to induce labor) causes you to have contractions and expel the remains of the baby. If you are queasy about such things, ask yourself how you will possibly be able to go through with this in real life? It is very traumatic. It is heartbreaking. It is the most horrible thing I have ever gone through in 26 years. I’m not going to sugar coat it. I can’t.
So, I sat on the table at the abortion clinic. To the right of me was the suction device and canister that I’m sure had aborted babies in it, covered up with paper so that you couldn’t see the contents inside. I thought to myself, “I would NEVER do that. Ever. I’m only 5 weeks along. I’m taking the pill, just like you would take medicine. There is no heartbeat. This is NOT an abortion.” I guess when you are in shock, and you WANT to justify what you are doing, you will tell yourself all kinds of things. I can only look back at that thought, and that canister and suction device sitting there, the silver surgical instruments on the table neatly ready for the next woman in line, and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Laugh – because how could I have possibly convinced myself that taking the abortion pill wasn’t the same as an abortion? Cry because I cannot believe someone like me, someone who loves their babies with all her heart and proclaimed to be passionately pro-life forever, would end up in that cold sterile room.
The elderly doctor came in and handed me my “medicine”. The nurse handed me a paper cup of water. I can still feel it, see it, smell it all – the feel of that wafer of medication and the cool water as it traveled down my throat. I told the doctor “Thank you” as I got up to leave. He looked startled. It was an automatic response as I have always been a very polite person. Now I know why he was startled.
Twenty-four hours later I was staring at the embryo in the palm of my hand.
After hours of painful cramps, there the baby lay. It was concealed inside a clear yellow gestational sack, about the size of a dime. I could see the tiny embryo inside, clearly. It was just like out of a pregnancy book. When it happened, I turned to flush and saw it in the toilet. It was an instinctual reaction – I wanted to grab it out of there, to “save” it. And I just stared for a few moments. I wanted to bury it. I didn’t want to flush it down the toilet, and watch it spin about like my little boy’s pet goldfish. I didn’t want it to be thrown out with the waste. I just stared a bit, thankful that at least the gestational sack was in tact. That it would have some “dignity”. I opened the bathroom door. My ex, the baby’s father, was in the living room. “Do you want to see it?” I called to him. He came to the door. “No!” he replied in disgust. “Just flush it.” The look on his face was as if he was saying, “What’s wrong with you?” And then I felt it too -“What is wrong with me?” I thought to myself. It’s just a bunch of cells. No heartbeat. No formation. Then why did I feel like it was a baby. My baby. Why was I scared to pierce the yellow gestational sack and see the embryo for myself – if I was so sure it was a lump of cells? I placed the sack, which contained human remains of my baby and all the things my child would have needed to grow and live until birth, on a piece of tissue paper, turned my back, and flushed. I felt a piece of my heart going right down with it.
It would be days before I could even use my own toilet. After cleaning it excessively with bleach, I still made excuses such as going to my mom’s house for the day so I wouldn’t have to use it.
I developed a high fever a week later. I was experiencing pain and chills. I had to go to the emergency room. It was horrible. I had to tell the nurses and the doctor why I was there. The doctor was very professional. I had to have a pelvic right there in the ER, by a doctor I had never seen in my life. It wasn’t very painful but devastating to know that I did this to myself. I could have been having a pelvic to check on the baby. But instead there I was, at the same hospital where my baby girl was born, to check for the infection from killing my baby. They had to make sure all of the “pregnancy” was gone. They injected saline into my bladder so that they could examine my uterus. I couldn’t look at the ultrasound screen. It would be an empty womb. It could have been a living, moving baby. It was now an empty, black expanse of nothing. Except a slight infection. I was sent home with antibiotics and told to check back with my doctor. I’ve never felt so alone, so heartbroken, in my entire life as when I was walking out of that hospital. So empty.
I refuse to let people in my life tell me to “move on”, that it was “no big deal”, that I should be thankful for the two children I already am raising as a single mom. Yes, I am so thankful for them. Yes, it is hard to raise them all by myself. But nothing would make me happier than to be pregnant with my baby again. I miss the child that could have been every day. All those things they say, about not being able to see babies in the store without crying, about wondering what life would have been like if the child had gotten a chance to live, about thinking about it every single day – it isn’t “nonsense”. It isn’t “Pro-life propaganda”. I’ve lived it.
One night, which was particularly devastating, I wanted to end my life. My mom told me that if I committed suicide, I may not go to heaven to be with the baby. That really hit me. I couldn’t end my own life. I had named the baby Avery, for a boy or a girl, and I pray that God is looking over Avery for me until I get to heaven. Just because I ended my baby’s life didn’t mean God wanted me to die. If God wanted me dead he would take my life. It was not my decision to make. I had done enough “playing God”, and had to stop. I had to keep on living, keep on being there for my other children. I am all they have.
I sat them down and told them that I had a baby in my tummy once, and it died. And sometimes it made Mommy cry. They don’t know when it happened, as I do not want them to become confused. But they know it died, and sometimes it makes me cry. My kids hugged me and told me if hadn’t died, it could have shared their toys.
I just don’t think I need to say much more than that. This is my account, 100% true. This is the reality of a “pill” that changed everything. This is the reality of a very wrong decision, which I knew was wrong and did it anyway. I was selfish, I was scared, Ii was “caught” in my behavior and I didn’t want to stand up to the consequences. And now I will have to live with it every day of my life.