Ashley’s Story

I woke up on this ice cold morning around 6:30 a.m. Had to get up and felt rushed from the alarm screaming in my head. Knew I had to hurry to grab the last essentials to make this day happen. I hurried and hopped in the shower to be done in time to rush my son off to school by 8:00 a.m. I seemed to be taking my sweet time walking him into the building. I bent down to give my daily morning hug, and found myself not being able to let go of him. Just a little boy at almost four years old. Seemed to be the longest hug we have ever shared. I said “I love you very much.” He said “I know, Mama, and the baby too”. I knew I was going to be making a life-changing choice for the both of us. He ran off to the block area as normal and I found myself gazing at him standing there holding a medium-sized block. Walking out of that room this day was most likely the hardest thing I would ever face.

I don’t remember much about the walk back to the car but must have taken an hour. I drove the couple blocks home and gathered the last things I felt were important for this trip. Mom and I loaded the car and went to fill up with gas. I had to eat something since my deadline for food was 10:00am. I was sick feeling and nothing sounded good. I found myself pulling into Sonic when the phone rang … the baby’s daddy … should I answer or let it ring? Answering the phone with what little excitement my voice had left to give “Hello”. The first part of the conversation was just as it had been for the previous two years. Picking my way through the bullshit, explaining I was on my way to have an abortion. The voice on the other end sounded bleak and almost as if I was not being taken seriously. The conversation ended well with an “ok, I’ll talk to ya later” attitude.

As we pull out of town to take the back way to the clinic, my mind was in 6 million places. Just waiting and wishing the phone would just ring and I would hear “I love you, Please turn around”. The miles raced on and phone was silent … too concerned with the sinful life he led too busy, too stubborn, too stupid to stop this, he was in control and had no idea. We made a quick stop for a pop at the convenience store about a half a mile from where I would soon be spending the next 5 hours of my life. Walking in the door with so much and later coming out with nothing. As I’m sitting here typing this tears streaming down and not being able to catch my breath for a second it all seems so clear in my mind. I want to go to sleep and try to forget but I need to tell this story while it’s so fresh and vivid. Driving into the lot, I see people standing there holding signs and wanting to convince me other wise. The parking lot is completely empty at this time. The guard at the Clinic checks the Id’s of both my mother and I, letting us through the door. Explaining to me I need to walk to the counter and go no further at this point. The ladies at the counter are all too helpful and hand me a clip board with papers, papers and even more papers. As we grab a seat, I start to get nervous and scared and the tears won’t stop building in my eyes. All I want Is for him to be here sitting next to me telling me it will all be fine. I laid the papers down to grab a Kleenex. Almost passing out, I tell my mom “Maybe I should not be here”. Before I was done with the paper work, I was informed I needed to go to this little room to watch a 15 minute video on the procedure. There were two other couples in the room with us. Neither one shed a single tear, but I was the whole time. Trying to sign my name but my hand was shaking with all its might. After the video I returned my paperwork to the counter and took a seat. By this time there was 14 couples waiting. A lady, tall and slender with light grey hair walked out and called my name. I proceeded to follow her into a solitary room around the corner. Crying the whole time, she asked if I wanted to be there and was making sure I was not being forced to have this done. After returning to my seat another lady came to get me close to an hour later. This time it was for blood work. I was given and goodie bag full of antibiotics and two condoms and 5 months worth of birth control pills…Ok, I get the point. Thirty-seven minutes went by and I was called again to the business office, this time it was to pay the amount of $400.00. I explained the situation to the lady collecting the money. After she picked her jaw up off the desk, she calmly wrote me a receipt, a receipt for a $400.00 abortion. Shortly after taking my seat again I was called to a much scarier set of doors on the other side of the clinic. My mom pats me on the shoulder and says “You will do fine”. Not knowing what was behind the doors I slowly approached. Taking a right and another right turn to small cold silent dim lit room. The doctor came in behind and said “Hi, I’m doctor Sella and I’ll be doing your procedure today”. I lay down on the table and the tears began to roll again. She said “Honey, are you sure you want to be here today because we can reschedule”. I answered “Yes, I have too, he don’t love us”. Looking in her eyes just as they began to water and i noticed, the silence was what was killing me. I wanted her to say something, anything and fast. She says “Well, I’m going to do your sonogram real quick and you’ll be back to your seat before you know it”. “Yep, you were right, exactly 11 weeks” she says. I cracked a smile to break the chill and was out the door and back to sit and wait. Mom was surprised to see me back so soon.

The day grew longer and 3:00 was here. I decided to go smoke one last time before it was officially over. Checking my phone for a missed call from him hoping I could tell them to keep the $400.00, and make my way home with my baby. Turning the phone over on my seat to find a text message. A text message is not a missed call…For what I did not know at the time, was it was the last time my name would be called and I would be complete. Going in the same door I just came out of I now took a left and went to the very last room on the end. A much older lady came in and told me her name was Mary Betty and she was going to be my hand holder. The doctor told me all the steps and was prompted to give me a shot in my arm to relax me. I was not impressed, I told her I did not want the shot and she was going to have to do this without it. She advised me that beings I was so nervous and scared, she preferred I take the shot. I refused. After getting undressed and crawling up on the table she explained each step. First I was going to feel and poke… My ass the god damn needle was 10 inches long and was full of what they call a local anesthetic. This needle was then placed in the lining of my cervix to numb it and to help it dilate. This was by far the most painful part. She let the local take effect and exited the room. The “hand holder” stayed until the doctor came in with another lady. This new lady now going to hold my hand and the devise that is used for a sonogram. The doctor explained how she was going to insert things to slowly stretch the opening of the cervix open. That hurt too, these people were nuts. The last thing the doctor said was “ok, now you are going to hear a suctioning noise while I extract the contents of the cervix”. This noise did not bother me at first until…. I heard the noise it made when the baby itself was extracted. The whole thing took only five minutes. I was thinking this is a good thing cause it took way less then this to make the baby. This noise will never be forgotten. I then was instructed to lay on the table and Mary Betty would be back in to help me get up… Well this is great news…. She comes in and I slowly replaced the paper blanket with my pants and was wheeled out to what they call the recovery room. This was where I was stuck watching some talk show bullshit while everyone I saw on the other side was wheeled in one at a time. Doped up from the shot I refused to take, Everyone in there was drooling and snoring and I wanted to go home. Finally I was told I could go if I could go to the bathroom and I did with glee. I looked up on the security camera and could see my mom and the friend of the other girl that was watching the video with us. The door was opened and I thanked the nurse and was out to the car in no time flat. Hurrying to check my phone, even though at this point it did not matter. Nothing, just like I figured.

The ride home was not bad I drove as far as my aunt’s and could not go another mile farther. Since I did not take that shot I had No problem driving and talking on my phone over half the way home. I made plans to go for a beer when I got back town. I needed some social interaction with my cousin Aaron. This is the day after and is all fine I feel great. Some people are pissed and not happy with my choice but key word being MY CHOICE. The father never came to me one time and said “I want this baby.” He never said this means everything to me. Nothing. I got a couple text messages and that was it. But this was a human life he created and if it was that fucking important, one would think he might have made an effort. I’m so happy with the decision I made. I feel almost as if I was given another chance at life. He wants me to feel bad and terrible and I never will.