Ruth’s Story

I have never really been able to take birth control, it makes me very ill. I was dating and living with a boy, (for his privacy, we will call him ‘Guy’) and we, like most couples, were sexually involved. I was 17 and he was 20, neither of us had children. For the most part, we always used protection and were very safe. But, like most couples, we broke up in February of 2005. I moved out of our apartment and in with a friend of mine, Louie.

Within a day or two, I started feeling very tired and sick to my stomach all the time. After a week, I was very irritable (especially towards Louie) and was puking occasionally in the mornings. I passed it off as a stomach virus. I even drunkenly took a pregnancy test, it turned up negative. Naturally, I thought it was the flu.

Two weeks after moving out, things got worth. I was sick and hungry all the time. I was gaining weight and my breasts were swollen and just feeling horrible. Honestly, in the back of my head I knew I was pregnant. I just never really wanted to believe it. Every day on the way home from work I passed a sign that read “Free Pregnancy Testing”. The place was called the women’s health center or something. I can’t remember.

I’m almost positive it was a Thursday, and I was driving home from work when I actually had to pull over to vomit. I came up to the sign and figured I might as well get my free pregnancy test, still wanting to think it was just the flu. And I didn’t want to shell out another 20 bucks to get a negative result again. They were open. I walk in to find Jesus country. I told the woman what I was there for and she had me fill out all sorts of ‘voluntary’ paperwork. Then she asked me what I felt about abortion and I told her, if pregnant, that was probably my path. I knew I could’ve taken the easy way out and said that I was against it, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I knew the whole entire idea of the place was to convince young girls that abortion was wrong and blah blah blah.

The woman said she would give me the free test if I were to just watch this video for her. I agreed. I still wanted that free test so I could prove to myself I wasn’t pregnant and get out of the damn place. I took the test and she put the video in. It was AWFUL. Pictures of back alley abortions, stories about girls who had died after infections result of abortions (which, by the way, were most likely all fabricated. at the end of the video, there was a disclaimer that said: all testimonies based on true stories. copyright of some church), and horrible horrible pictures. I played Tetris on my phone for the most part, but it was like a train wreck. I couldn’t stop watching. After the video was over, the woman let me look at my test results, after she looked. She had the hugest fucking smile on her face and she showed me the thing and screamed “YOU’RE HAVING A BABY!!!” I almost pissed my pants. I never wanted a cigarette worse in my whole entire life.

After she spent an hour showing me all the baby supplies she had and giving me brochures about how birth control and abortion was bad, and how Jesus and God and Christians can save me, she asked if she could pray for me. I was probably a good foot taller than her, and I looked down at her and said “Honestly, I’m probably a lost cause”. But she prayed for me anyways, and prayed that ‘Guy’ would be a good daddy and all that stuff. She even gave me a little pin that was supposed to be my baby’s feet at so many weeks because that’s how long we figured I probably was based on my last period. Long story short, it was the most awkward and uncomfortable experience of my life.

So, now I’m pregnant. This was May 2005. I drank myself retarded that night. I almost hoped I would drink and smoke enough that the thing would just give up and get out. Horrible, I know, but I was terribly overwhelmed and had know idea what to do or how Guy would react to all this. Or how I would react in the long run. I was crushed. I knew I would have an abortion from the very second I found out. That wasn’t it. I was just so disappointed I had put myself in that situation to begin with. That I had even allowed myself to get pregnant in the first place. I told my boss and Louie and Lias, and that was about it.

For the next couple of days I tried calling Guy to tell him I needed to talk to him and he just never called back. He probably thought that I was just wanting to cry and get back together or something stupid, who knows. After a week or two of him not returning my calls, I finally called and left a voicemail that said “Guy, this is Ruth, I’m pregnant, go ahead and call me back. Thanks.” It worked and he called back. He asked me what I wanted to do and I jokingly said that I was going to have the baby so we could start a nice little family and he almost believed me for a second. We met up at my new place a few days later to really talk about it.

Guy was really mature and good about it. He said he would pay for the whole thing and all I had to do was make an appointment and he would get off work. When he came to my place, we really barely looked at each other and I cried and he just apologized. It got really weird and I got very emotional, which at the point in time, I was ALWAYS emotional. It was hard seeing him for the first time under those circumstances because I was still a bit hung up over him AND on top of that I was pregnant with his kid. About 3 months pregnant. He left and I sat and cried forever and eventually passed out.

I made my appointment the next day. Cape Coral hospital, Dr. Waterman. I told my boss what days I needed off work. I called Guy and told him. He said he would get off and he would take me and pay and everything would be okay. The appointment was about a week or two away. By then, I was REALLY getting sick all the time and just feeling awful. All I wanted to do was eat and sleep. Everyone hated me because I was so irritable. Every once and a while I thought about not going through with that, but I dismissed those thoughts pretty quickly. I had no right to have that child. I drank A LOT. I got horribly depressed. I felt like all the time there was this alien inside of me and all I wanted was to get it out. I didn’t move or talk or think properly, I hated everyone and everything around me. I gained close to 20 pounds and I wasn’t even four months pregnant.

The day before my appointment Guy wouldn’t answer his phone. I was paranoid. Lias and Louie spend the day with me and I just didn’t know what to do. I was so worried he was just going to bail and I was pretty much at the point were another week meant that legally I might not be able to have the abortion. I was scared shitless. That night going to bed I wrote a long letter to Guy without the intentions of ever really giving it to him. I cried and cried and cried. I’ve known fear, but this really was the worst.

I woke up bright and early that morning but never left my bedroom. May 30, 2005. I kept my phone right by my face so whenever/if ever Guy called, I’d be ready. My appointment was at 1:30 I think. He finally called at around 10 and he sounded just as nervous as I did. He would be at my apartment at 12, asked me if I needed anything and we hung up. I put some sweats on and lay in bed until he got there. Louie answered the door when he got there. He sat in the living room while I washed my face and brushed my teeth and we left. It was a little weird in the car. We asked each other how we were doing and blah blah blah, talked about our jobs but really avoided the situation at hand. It took us a little while to find the place and eventually I had to call and get directions.

When we finally found it, it was in the ob-gyn and birth ward or whatever and I started freaking out. There were a few other girls in there, mostly older women, for pap smears or whatever. I checked in. I had to fill out 5 different pages of stuff, health problems, whatever. I was shaking. Guy constantly asked if I was ok and I nodded my head. Gave the paperwork to the woman behind the desk and sat down in the waiting room. One woman alone in the waiting room and one couple.

The called me back to take a blood sample from me to see if I was RH negative. That was it. I started bawling. I wasn’t sad or regretful, just terrified. Absolutely terrified. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Right before she drew my blood, she asked me if I ever had problems with it and I cracked a joke between my tears. Guy stepped up and held my hand and kept rubbing my back and telling me it was ok. I knew it was ok. I knew I was doing what was right but it didn’t matter. I thought I was scared before, but I can’t explain the feeling I had then. Out of body experience.
The sent us back to the waiting room with the other people in there and I just sat there and cried. Guy held my hand and held me in general and kissed my forehead and just kept saying it was ok, it was ok, I was going to be ok and how strong I was, how proud of me he was and it was ok. It was repetitive and cheesy, but helped. It really helped. Honestly, looking back, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without him. We probably sat in that waiting room for 15 minutes but it felt like YEARS. I just remember looking at everything around me and taking EVERYTHING in and just having no idea what to think or do. I just cried. I couldn’t think. It’s like when you wait for SO long for something amazing to happen and it finally does and you don’t know what to do with yourself. Except, it wasn’t something great that was about to happen… It was just something I had to do. I kept crying and Guy kept holding me. FINALLY, they called us in.

We went back in the actual doctor’s office and he told me all about it. He would do an ultrasound first, and then use a vacuum type thing to get it all out. It was all soft tissue and there were very little chances of anything bad happening to me, not to worry. I just kept crying, Guy just kept holding my hand, rubbing my leg, telling me it was ok. It was ok, it was ok, it was ok. I knew it was ok. He told me about birth control and Guy told him I couldnt take it because I couldnt really talk at all. I signed release papers and my hands were very shaky. Dr. Waterman told me I would get shot that felt like a couple of martinis and then they would go ahead with it and it would be over, if I was RH negative I would come back tomorrow and get a shot so my blood wouldnt do something weird, I would take some antibiotics and another set of pills to make my vagina go back to its normal size because after an abortion it expands a little, just like giving birth, etc., etc, etc.
,p> WHAT THE FUCK! I thought I was going to be put under. I thought I was freaking out before, but then it hit me. I would be awake for the whole damn thing. I freaked out. The doctor left the room and Guy just held me. I was a mess. Dr. Waterman came back a couple of minutes later, “are you ready?” better now than never I said and we went to the operation room.

The nurse sat me down and took a year and a half to find my vein and gave me three or so shots. I felt a little drowsy after a couple of minutes but I knew what was going on. My vision was fine. I was still crying. She told me to take my pants off and if I wanted I could go behind this little curtain and I said, “Everyone in this room has already seen me naked or is about to” so I just took them off and lay on the bed. I asked if Guy could stay in the room and she said it was up to us. I looked at him and he just said that he was staying, he knew he had to. They did the ultrasound and then told me to please lay all the way back. So I did. Guy rubbed my head and held my hand.

It felt like they were fisting me for a minute or two but then I realized it was just the vacuum machine. Then I heard it turn on. Once again, I thought I was freaking out before. THIS was bad. I wasn’t screaming but I definitely was not very quiet. I was awake. I heard the whole thing. I felt the whole thing. It lasted all of 5 minutes. Guy saw the whole thing. I lifted my head up, which I barely could do because those martini shots were really starting to take effect, just in time to see them move what I’m guessing was the baby stuff onto the counter. I saw the container and I just… couldnt breathe or do anything. My heart rate dropped and the nurse and doctor and Guy just kept telling me to breathe, please breathe, but I couldnt. I gasped and then there was breathe and then everyone saying its over, its over, you’ve done so well, but I didn’t do anything. I just got pregnant. That’s all I did and I really hated everyone. I saw them quickly get that container out of my eye sight and they kept checking my heart rate, kept telling me to breathe, kept asking me to keep talking, keep breathing. I calmed down after a couple of minutes and the nurse stayed in the room to make sure I was breathing. After it was normal again, or semi normal, she left and turned the lights down low. Gave me another shot and said just rest, sleep a little if I have to.

So it was just Guy and I in this dark room and this part is blurry because I was all doped up. I remember asking over and over again if it was over and Guy just telling me it was over, it was all over and not to worry, everything was fine. He kept rubbing my head and kissing me and just asking if I was fine, if there was anything I needed and he was sorry and I asked him if my boobs were going to get smaller. He laughed. I was pretty serious about it and didn’t appreciate him laughing; he felt bad and went back to kissing me and holding my hand and apologizing. Then I think I fell asleep for real for maybe half an hour. Or I was just that out of it. Who knows?

When I really woke up, Guy was still there holding my hand. His head was right on my shoulder and I was still pretty messed up because of those shots. I asked him if he would ask the nurse if my boobs were going to get smaller. For some reason, I was really concerned about that. Then I just kept asking him, just to make sure, if it was over, if they were going to do it again, if the container was away and I made him check and see how bad I was bleeding. He did. Eventually the nurse came back in the room to check my heart rate and made me sit up. That was hard; Guy had to hold me up for the first 10 minutes or so. After 20 minutes my heart rate was back to normal. Or normal enough for me to stop bitching. She said, take my time, I could get dressed whenever and gave me a pad to wear. I never saw Dr. Waterman again. Eventually I worked up the strength to get up and get dressed. Guy paid and they told me what I had to do afterwards, gave me my prescriptions and shipped us on out. Guy held my hand and was very good afterwards. I called Lias and asked if I could come over and she said of course. Guy brought me to Lias, gave me a kiss goodbye.

I got to Lias. I was in PAIN. Sitting, walking, standing. I felt like a walking zombie. But I was so relieved. After it was all done, I knew I did the only thing I could have. I don’t believe in children having children and I don’t believe in myself ever having children. My boobs got smaller eventually and I lost most of the weight. For a couple of weeks it hurt to pee and there was A LOT of bleeding. I’ll be honest, it sucked. But I healed. And I eventually got over it. I will never regret what I did, because I know for me it was completely right.