Jackie’s Story

When I found out I was pregnant, I was nearly finished with college and in the middle of my student teaching. I had always wanted to be a teacher and was very nervous about the experience, so I attributed my missed period, mood swings, and nausea to stress. Looking back, I think that I was more preoccupied with the young, slightly arrogant idea that “it just couldn’t happen to me.” My boyfriend and I were careful, using condoms every time. Gotta love that .1 percent.

Though I was teaching far away from my school and my boyfriend, I drove up every weekend to party with my friends. If I had known I was pregnant, I would not have been drinking, but I can’t change what happened. Some days I still feel a little guilty, not about my abortion, but about the harm that I probably already caused our baby. By the time I plucked up the courage to take a pregnancy test, I had missed my second period. I went to a local supermarket and searched for what seemed like forever only to be told they didn’t carry pregnancy tests and called me a whore. Even more scared and upset, I drove the 20 minutes to the nearest drug store and stopped at a McDonald’s on the way home to take the test. I just couldn’t wait any longer to find out what I already knew.

I called the father right away. We had been dating for over a year and were getting serious. Through my difficult student teaching and some family issues on both accounts we had grown tremendously close. We talked for hours about how, (“but we used protection!”) why, (“is God testing us?”) and our options. Adoption wasn’t one of them. I knew I couldn’t go through it, and his mother was adopted so he had seen the pain of an adopted child first hand. We knew that our families would be supportive if we decided to raise the baby, but we also knew that it would put tremendous strain on our finances (both of us soon to be graduating with a bunch of loans and me making very little already as a teacher), relationship, and lives. In the end, we decided together to have an abortion.

I’m sharing my story because of him. After looking at many websites I have read stories (most of them regretful, I was so glad when I saw this site) about what we women went through but very little about the men, and when there is a short blip about one it has usually been negative. My boyfriend (now my fiancé) was incredible. We were both concerned about the religious consequences of our choice, and he worked through it with me. He drove the 4 hours to be with me on the day of my procedure, and shelled out the extra 200 dollars when we discovered at the clinic that I was farther along than I thought. He laughed with me when the drugs made me giddy and held my hand while I waited for the dilators to work. The wonderful staff that helped me that day even commented on him, saying that they had never seen a young couple (we were both 21) so connected. Most importantly, he held me and kissed me that night as if I wasn’t different. When it was safe, he loved me as fully as he ever had. I was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to. I cried because I knew how lucky I was.

My choice was our choice, and it cemented our bond. I wouldn’t have asked it to happen, but looking back I can almost see why it did. Sometimes we talk about the little boy (I don’t know why, I just think that) we gave up, and we know that we made the right choice. We’re not sorry.