Kassie’s Story

I met a guy through a mutual friend when I was a few months shy of my 18th birthday, and we began dating almost immediately, and while exclusive, we were not majorly serious either, it was a new relationship afterall. On the condom package, where it says to leave room at the tip? they are so not joking! Just before I turned 18, we found out I was pregnant….and I remember that when I showed him the positive EPT, he smiled and I cried. His whole family were born again fundie type Christians so of course abortion wasn’t a safe topic of conversation at the dinner table, and he did nothing but pressure me to keep it from the moment go.

My mom had the exact opposite opinion…I was going to have an abortion or I was no longer going to have a mother…surrounded by all these angry, big-mouthed people, what was a girl to do? I had never been so stressed or upset in my life, and I threw up constantly before even entering that lovely morning sickness phase. At first, I went with what the guy was saying to me and what he wanted, and told Mom I was not going to have an abortion, although I did not personally have anything against it, and hadn’t honestly given it much thought at that point. I didn’t even realize it was such a hot issue in this country then. I was acting like the average stupid teen girl and not wanting to lose the guy, even though I wasn’t head over heels in love or anything…in another month I couldn’t wait to get rid of him, but that was another matter.

So anyway, between his harping, and Mom’s…and half of Mom’s family, and lots of angry/ugly scenes, I decided I needed to get the hell away from them all, but not before Mom threw money at me, and made me and the guy drive to Vegas and get married…she thought I might keep the pregnancy and was taking no chances…I’m still a little bitter that she made me get married…that wasn’t very nice.

So shortly after, I had a friend from Northern California come and pick me up, and we went back to her house, which was about 600 miles away give or take. I took about a week to just think, without any influence from anyone, and my friend did her best to keep me from talking to the guy on the phone, because all he was interested in doing was saying horrible things to make me feel guilty about even thinking of having an abortion.

Needless to say, that’s the choice I made…and I can honestly say that I made it on my own even with all that pressure, because I left town and did my thinking by myself. I was barely 18 with no job, no house of my own, and no hope of having those things anytime soon. The guy liked to blow his paychecks on beer (the whole thing) and never held a job longer than a few weeks, so I knew better than to think I could count on him. Throughout everything, his only concern was that I continue the pregnancy, he never bothered to ask how I was doing or feeling, or if there were anything he could do to help, so that was a major factor in my decision. The fact that he had a daughter from a previous relationship who he rarely saw (even though she lived blocks from him) and never paid a dime to didn’t help either.

So, with my friend’s help, I located a nearby clinic, and went in for the initial appointment where they did a finger prick blood test,urine test, an ultrasound, and talked with me about my options as well as instructing me about the procedure and giving me a chance to ask questions. I didn’t have too many, even at 18 I knew that an abortion ended a pregnancy, but I have a major phobia of needles, surgery etc, so the main source of my anxiety was whether I would be awake or asleep, if it would hurt, and how many needles would be involved…those were really the only parts that upset me about the procedure.

They scheduled the actual procedure at another location, a few days after the initial appointment, and my friend drove me there and dropped me off, since she would not be allowed past the waiting room anyway. I was sent to a woman’s desk who had me sign some paperwork and asked me about ten times if I were sure, and whether anyone had forced me to be there etc. Then I had to go change into one of those lovely cloth dresses, complete with matching hat, and put in a waiting room with other women waiting to get their procedures done. It was too quiet in there, and I always have to be the smart ass, so I looked to the girl across from me and said “So….come here often?” People laughed, and it got some conversation going, and we all kind of shared our reasons…some had just given birth a few months prior and were just not ready for another child, but most of us were young and couldn’t afford one, and ended up there because our birth control had failed. One lady opted for abortion because she was in her mid forties and just never expected to get pregnant again.

I think I was the third one called into the operating room, and I went in, and I have to say they were pretty abrupt about it, but not intentionally, they just had a lot of women to see that day. I was put onto the table, and had only been to a couple of Ob/Gyn appointments in my life, so I felt bashful and asked if they could wait with the stirrups until I was asleep, but they denied my little request, and the next trauma was the IV I was going to need for the anesthesia. I argued back and forth with the woman who insisted on putting it in my arm, but she numbed it with a small shot of lidocaine first, so it wasn’t too bad, even though she ended up having to relocate it to my hand as I had asked her to in the first place. I was scared because I’d never had surgery, or any procedure done without my mom or someone present, so I grabbed the hand of the nearest nurse and bawled my eyes out, but she smiled at me and did her best to make me feel better, and pretty soon they gave me the anesthesia and I was out.

That was basically it…I woke up still crying, and felt pretty embarrassed because one of the nicest girls from the waiting room asked me why…and I said it was because of the IV. I asked one of the nurses if I were still pregnant, and she said no, I said “good” and remember feeling nothing but relieved…that it was over, and that I was no longer pregnant. They had futon-type beds for the girls to rest on until they were allowed to leave, and so I spent some time on one, then they removed my IV, and made me drink some sprite to see if I could keep it down or not. This was the factor that determined whether you could leave or not, and I passed, so they let me go change and sent me home with instructions and medication for pain and uterine contraction, and also some antibiotics. On the way home I insisted on stopping for a pack of cigarettes and a large slurpee…and the combination of the two made me sick, so we had to pull over a few times.

That was pretty much the worst of my recovery issues..there was not much pain to speak of…what I felt were slight cramps, not even as severe as the average menstrual variety, and I felt tired and had the feeling like I couldn’t get comfortable for the rest of the day, but I think that was my own stress and anxiety over the needles and surgery etc.. I know I felt woozy everytime I looked at the slightly bloody bandage on my hand from the evil IV, but I never cried or felt depressed about the actual abortion.

That was about seven years ago now, and I’ve never had any regrets. The opposite has been true…when my life gets unstable and hectic, I thank my lucky stars I did not have a child back then. I still have no children, and I’m still in no way ready for them. I divorced the guy 4 years later, but we were only together for 6 months, and it was no surprise that didn’t last. I’ve ended another marriage since, and am currently with a man I love madly, but whether that one will turn into a marriage is anyone’s guess. For now I’m happy just being young and starting over from that last marriage…working on education and career, and free to just focus on me and getting my life where I want it to be.