Kristen’s Story

At age fifteen I found out that I was pregnant and knew there was no way I could have an abortion. My family wouldn’t approve of it much less sign to let me be able to do so- and if I had found a way around it- I would have lost my family and home. So I was pushed into going through with a pregnancy and a birth not only did I not want but didn’t care much for. As the baby aged, I grew to love him and treat him as a child to me and my family loved him and gave us huge support though things with his father, like many teen pregnancy relationships go, deteriorated quickly. The next several years of my life would consist of resentment towards my family for making me have a baby I didn’t want and even toward the child who couldn’t help but want the love and attention of his mother-that DID love him but knew she couldn’t be the right mother for him. He lives with his father now and I see him a few times a year- I’m okay with what we have- he knows I’m his mom but I’m not there much.

As time went by, I grew out of my self-destructive behavior and settled down quite a bit when I met Bo (my incredible boyfriend and future husband). Though we had talked about having a family- we never thought the time would come so soon to have to make that choice.

in January of 2007 my period was late and I became ill at the sight of certain foods, craved weird foods and mostly my boobies swelled in size. I knew what was happening with my body. So I had my mom take me to get “razors” (she lives in DC and was in visiting my uncle and my son happened to be with her that day) and when I got to my uncle’s house I ran to the bathroom and peed on the stick-within seconds two lines showed up and I shook for what seemed like 10 minutes. I left the bathroom and immediately ran out in the cold night to call Bo and let him know what was going on. He was great the whole time. He kept me calm and came over to my house when he got off work. He was still living with his very strict parents at the time and had a curfew (he was 21 and i was 22) so he had to leave shortly after. We waited two months to get the money (I got a medical card) and make the appointment and to have time to share with “Liza”. We both loved “her” dearly and wanted to commemorate her as much as we could. Unlike my first pregnancy I wanted to have the baby but knew in my heart there was no way I could expose my child—our child to such a bad life. We decided to wait to have our children when he’s out of school and hopefully I will be too. I still can’t believe how caring and supportive he was the whole time even though he didn’t want to do what we chose to do. He was fantastic during every stage of the process… before hand-holding me when i was freaking out or in pain… going with me to the clinic (it had no protesters and most of the women in it were in their late twenties or mid thirties and had a male there with them.) He held my hand and smiled at me and cried a little bit… I never cried while I was there but he was torn.

The process of getting the procedure was the most nerve wracking thing ever. Your name gets called so many times and you wonder if this is it… seeing the sonogram made me feel better about everything. I was 12 weeks pregnant and I know what Liza looked like. I loved her but once again, I got my name called and went to the back. I never knew it hurt so much- the machine- nor did i expect the nausea. But really in a few minutes it was incredible the difference. Directly after that- we drove around looking for a new diner to eat at (in Charleston, West Virginia is a rough thing to do) but we found this cute place that sold the BEST brownies. ever. and I’ll always look back on the day as a milestone-Bo moved in with me that day and I knew what real love was … and devotion. I’m lucky to have had such a great partner and support system in him. he’ll make a great father when we’re ready for the rest of our children. I’m not sorry for the abortion-just the timing of the pregnancy.

As a side note-it has always made me sad to realize there’s only TWO abortion clinics in West Virginia … and they are both within 10 minutes of each other. One is a private practice and the other is a women’s clinic (which is the one I went to) but they both seemed so cold and sterile… I wish that the places were warmer, friendlier, more feminine. Mostly-this is something many women in West Virginia have to face and often don’t chose regardless of how they feel because of the lack of resources near them. I’m lucky I live within 3 minutes of the clinic where I had mine done.