Sassy’s Story

My boyfriend and I have been together for a little over a year, kinda on and off these last few months, but mostly holding on. I’ve been on the pill since I became sexually active, and used condoms in new relationships. But we had been together a long time and I knew that I was the only girl he was with, so we didn’t use condoms, and relied solely on the pill.

I have my yearly exams, and at my last one I asked my doctor if it was normal for my periods to come every few months or not at all, and she told me that some women don’t get their periods after being on the pill for a long time. So not having my period no longer concerned me. Perhaps it was naive, but I trusted my doctor, and modern medicine.

Then my boyfriend and I broke up for about a month, and during that month I went off my pills for an extra week, just because I was too busy with school to get to the pharmacy during business hours. When we got back together a couple weeks after that I didn’t think to have him use a condom. I waited a few weeks and then took a pregnancy test and it was positive. I thought I was a month along at most. I thought that that was the only possible time I could have become pregnant, that was the only time I had ever gone off my pills. I was horribly wrong.

At Planned Parenthood a few days after I took the test they told me that I was much further along than a month, and that they could not perform the abortion. My boyfriend was with me and now we were both scared out of our minds. They couldn’t tell me how far along I was, their machine estimated 19 weeks, so they referred me to a place that would do abortion until the 23rd week.

I didn’t understand how this could happen. I took precautions against getting pregnant, I saw my doctor once a year, I did the things I was supposed to do. So how did I get pregnant (other than the obvious well you had sex duh)? And mostly, how could I be pregnant for 5 months without knowing? The only really symptom I had was that I was sleeping a lot, and I contributed that to depression.

I knew that I couldn’t carry it to term. Because I didn’t know I was pregnant, the poor baby had been exposed to things that pregnant women are highly warned against. I’m a nursing student, and we have been working on cadavers, and the fumes are harsh on adults, let alone on a small fetus. I also had to factor in the fact that I am a nursing student, and do not have enough time to devote to raising a child right now. Had this happened when I was nearly finished with nursing school as opposed to just beginning I may have made a very different decision. But things are what they are and I had to do what was best for me (staying in school), the baby (not having to suffer through being exposed to some horrendous teratogens), and my boyfriend (who’s barely mature enough to care for himself let alone his own child).

Luckily, my parents and his mom were very supportive. We all discussed the options and I was told the entire time that no matter what I chose to do we would find a way to make it work. I did evaluate every option, and the reason I couldn’t bear to go to term and give it up for adoption was because my own biological mother left me at a young age, and I have never forgiven her. I have some ugly feelings inside toward my mother, and could not bear to have my child out in the world feeling similar feelings toward me. And I also knew that there would be a big chance that the baby would have been born with some harsh birth defects, and it would have broken my heart to watch it suffer through it’s first months of life.

So the decision to abort was the one we made. It was a 3 day procedure because I was actually 21 weeks along. The first day wasn’t so bad, the dilators made some cramping, nothing I couldn’t deal with. The second day they replaced the dilators (went from 2 to 9) and the second day was excruciating. I couldn’t sleep more than an hour at a time that night until the pain would wake me up (the vicodin wasn’t helping), but 6 am came fast and my dad was picking me and my boyfriend up to go to the clinic. The procedure itself was very easy. I was asleep the whole time and I woke up and it didn’t hurt anymore.

This was my choice. I took precautions, and they failed me. I feel as though I made the right decision. Had the timing been different it may have been a different decision, but I must live my life now. It’s only been 2 days, and things are going fine. My hormones are still loopy and I’m thinking that I’m experiencing some postpartum type emotions, but all in all I am doing fine. My boyfriend and I have learned a lot from this whole ordeal. I can’t speak for him, but I know for myself that if and when I decide to have sex again I will take any and every precaution I can. I do not regret my decision, and I’m grateful I was able to have a choice in the situation, but I do not want to have to make it again. I just turned 20 last month, but I think this whole process got me to grow up a lot.