An Abortion Choice Revisited

I have already made a choice...

In High School Gail H. we will call her, was very popular. About 4 ft. 11 inches tall with very high 1970's hair and a cute little figure and big dark heavily made up eyes, Gail had one popular jock boyfriend and was therefore set with her social calander, except for perhaps those annoying pregnancies that would crop up every now and again.

Gail always put out her pouty lip and totally confused couldn't understand why this kept happening to her. You almost wanted to scream out "Hey Stupid, its the sex!" but that would have been cruel. Gail had 4 abortions in High School. We are talking about maybe a 2-3 year period. Was this abortion thing her new birth control?

I was in my first year of High School, 16 years old and anti-abortion. I know they call it pro-life now but then it was called anti-abortion and that was my stand on it. I secretly hoped that one day when Gail decided to have children of her own she would find out that her thoroughly confused womb no longer understood or knew how to contain a baby and she would have to face up to the fact that she had thrown her babies away in High School and those were the only babies she was ever going to get.

I have no idea if Gail ever did have children somewhere down the road. In retrospect, it was a mean thing to wish on anyone. I just felt she needed to be punished for being so careless, but then I was not the one to make that call was I?

I was 20 and I was in a violent relationship with D. as we will call him. D. was violent if I didn't come home quickly enough with his beer, he was violent when he found out I got to eat a meal at the restaurant where I worked as a waitress and I ended up eating from the salad bar and bringing my dinner home to him. On The fourth of July D. was wasted on something and I was making dinner for my nephew. He grabbed me, threw me over the couch and raped me. Fortunately, my nephew was only 2 and could be in the other room and not know what was going on. One hopes.

When he was done, I continued with the dinner as if nothing had happened. I didn't know what else to do. But something had happened. I conceived. I was pregnant. I was scared. I needed to go home.

I called my father and my step mother answered the phone. II told her what had happened and the conversation was something like this:

Diane (my step mom): "You can come home, but not with a baby"

Me: "I don't , what..I don't get it, how do I ...I mean the babies inside me...I can't.."

I was thoroughly confused,

Diane: "It's not complicated AnnaMarie, you can come home, but not with a baby, do you understand?"

Me: "well, no not really, I don't understand, wait, I can come home...but not with a baby..."

She was becoming frustrated with my inability to "get it". But she wasn't coming right out and telling me what it was she really wanted to say and I couldn't stand her vagueness.

Finally a lightbulb went off in my head "Ohhh!!! You mean have an abortion"

She refused to say the word or admit to having even brought it up, "All I am saying" she continued "is that you cannot come home with a baby in this house"

I nodded. She wouldn't say it, but she meant abortion. Ok, ok, I got it. I hadn't thought of it until that moment. Okay fine, I will go to the hospital and schedule an abortion. As long as I would get home. Be in the safe sanctity of my fathers home. My father, my rock, would be there for me. He always was.

I went home and immediately went to the local hosptial to schedule my appointment to have an abortion. They did a test and we waiting for the bell. In the meantime, she asked me all kinds of questions. Then 'ding' and she turns and looks at me in her barbie doll body and says matter of factly "It's a reality". Deep breath. It's a reality. Yes, I thought so, now what do I do?

We made an appointment like one makes a dentist appointment. I walked out of the hospital and crossed the busy Turnpike. I couldn't see, my eyes were filled with tears. This zygote, embryo, fetus thing will never see the light of day. It will not be my baby. Not now.

I could barely cross the street. I bucked up on the other side and walked the mile back home. I will be fine, I will be fine. At times when I felt I was out of control and losing my mind, I would convince myself that I was just fine. Self soothing.

I got home and immediately went to my room. I needed to get over the experience. It felt funny having something in my stomach on a temporary basis. I had never given this much thought. Each day was a new experience. A feeling, a change in my body. It was an adventure in self-discovery. I don't understand how people don't want to experience this. Was I doing the right thing? Where would I live if I had this baby? Who would help me? My own family made it clear that that was never going to happen. I couldn't have this baby totally alone. No, no, a decision had been made. I had already made a choice.

 

The Night of the Appointment

I thought I felt movement.

"I think I feel something moving" I told my sister.

"That's impossible" she said on the phone "You're only what 3 months?"

I thought a minute it was early October. "Yeah, a little over 3 months".

"Nah, too early" she said confidently. Was I imagining things?

The third week in October was the abortion. I had to be admitted to the hospital the night before to be "prepped". They would do the procedure first thing in the morning. I paced the hospital floor and a young blonde woman in a robe came in. "Hi I'm Shelly"

I smiled "Hi, I'm AnnMarie".

"This your first abortion?"

"Oh God yeah" I said shocked at her question.

"Mine too" she said "I already have a kid, but I can't afford another one"

I just nodded as if I understood. "Are you married?"

"Yeah, my husband Bobby should be here any minute. He went to McDonalds to get me something to eat, I'm starving, how far are you?"

"Far? Oh, uh, 3 1/2 months"

"Wow, I am like a little over 2, thats not too bad right? Your just a little past the first semester".

Did it matter? And it was tri-mester Shelley who looked about all of 15. 

Shelley seemed so calm and carefree. As if this were no big deal. I walked to the hospital window and stared down at the town. It was a busy street, the Turnpike and well lit up. I thought about all the people down there. All the lives. They were living their happy normal lives and I was up here in this hospital to have an abortion. I wondered how I got there, how I could change my life to make sure I would never be here again. What was I going to do with my life anyway?

My friend Donna showed up to offer moral support and a Chocolate Shake. I was so happy she came to distract me from my thoughts. After about an hour Donna had to go home to see her boyfriend who was waiting for her. She had such a wonderful perfect life. She would never be stupid enough to get herself pregnant. She had a nice life, a nice home with great parents and a father who was a banker. They had some money, they were comfortable, she wanted for nothing and got a car at 18. She was cute and little and had a boyfriend she adored who adored her. What a great life. This was all that consumed my thoughts. I had screwed up my life and all the better lives that I did not have. That was all I thought about that night. Fixing my life.

The next morning they injected me with something and told me I would be feeling relaxed soon. Wow, was I relaxed. They could have done anything and I wouldn't have cared. Then they took me into the operating room strapped down my arms on both sides, put in the intrevenous and said "Count back from 10". I got to 9.

I woke up and immediately fell back to sleep. I woke up again and my stepmother was there "My God Anna" she said "You're so pale".

"I didn't think you would be here" I told her.

"Well daddy is worried sick and he had to work, I have to call him to assure him that you are fine".

I smiled a little and nodded. Then I fell asleep again.

I woke up to find D. sitting there beside me with a stuffed animal, his head resting on my arm. He would have to go!

"Sugar, babe..." he said in his emotional suffering feel pity for me voice.  Did he even know my name? He wanted me to go home with him. I was still exhausted. I take easily to drugs, everything affects me strongly so I was out alot longer than most and couldn't leave until dinner time. I left D. at the hospital and got into a cab. "Go home D." I told him. I was getting stronger already.

I went home and lay in bed. I touched my stomach. Nothing was there. I was empty again. I started to cry. Whoever says women who have abortions just don't give a damn or use it as birth control have never experienced it themselves. They don't know what they're talking about, they are just making blanket assumptions. This was the hardest thing I had ever done.

It was so easy to be anti-abortion. I had no clue. I wasn't pregnant, I had never been in that position, I never had to make that decision. I sat back in my smug self assured arrogance and mentally crucified every woman who dared make this choice and here I was.

Someday...

I liked thinking that someday I would have children. When the time was right. I would never have another abortion. I would never go through the horrible emotionality and pain and struggle again. But I will tell you this. I thanked God for my choice. I thank God that I did not have to have a baby alone with no one to help me or be forced into staying with an abusive boyfriend because I had no where else to turn.

I am married and have two boys, 20 and 10. I thank God for them, That I was able to have them and that are healthy and intelligent and loving kids. They came into this world the right way, with loving devoted parents that could care for them properly.

I know there are women everyday who have no choice but to do those horrible things and suffer terribly. I was lucky I lived in a state and in the decade I did that had the laws to protect my right to choose. I wished it had never happened, but it did. I had to do what I had to do for me.  It had to be what was best for me. I have never regretted my decision.

Shortly after my first son was born in 88 I went on a March in Washington to protect women's rights to choose. I felt strongly compelled to do so to sort of repay the women who came before me and helped me to be able to have a choice.

I walked through the streets of Washington with my sign held high with the National Organization for Women (NOW). I listened to Jane Fonda speak and stared out at the sea of people behind me. I was lucky to be here. I was lucky for so many things. I no longer thought about the lives of others being so much better than my own. My own was pretty damn good. On the bus ride home I listened to my Walkman and couldn't wait to get home to kiss my 3 year old son good night and snuggle up against my husband. This was my life.

The Life I chose.

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Comments 19 comments

ralwus 7 years ago

Yeah, walk a mile in my shoes baby! You must have that right. My first wife was pregnant with our 4th and wanted my opinion on her wanting to abort it. I told her that I could not make that decision as it was not my body. Her Dr. had warned her not to have any more babies because of complications caused by a car wreck several years before. She had the abortion and I never judged her even though we both had been anti-abortion.


Moonchild60 profile image

Moonchild60 7 years ago Author

Absolutely ralwus, we never really know about anything until we have been there ourselves. Thank you for reading my Hub! Hope you are well.


MindField profile image

MindField 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon

Moonchild, I am awed by your strength and courage. Your story is summed up perfectly in what you wrote to Ralwus: We never really know about anything until we have been there ourselves.


gusripper profile image

gusripper 7 years ago

Life is a bitch.


Moonchild60 profile image

Moonchild60 7 years ago Author

Yes, sometimes it is. And sometimes even when we are unlucky, we are lucky.


Moonchild60 profile image

Moonchild60 7 years ago Author

Wow, Thank you so much BC! Your comment makes me feel like I am accomplishing what I set out to do and is therefore greatly appreciated. And so is the hug!!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

This is a sad story. When your step-mom said you can't come home with a baby, where was your father, the rock. I mean, did he feel the same way? Or did she rule the roost? Was it up to her and not your father whether you could have a baby or not?

I am glad your life turned out well in the end with 2 healthy boys. That is a blessing. And you look gorgeous in your new avatar, too. Peace.


Moonchild60 profile image

Moonchild60 7 years ago Author

James - Thank you so much for coming to read my Hub. Yes, I am afraid although my father was my strength, when it came to decisions like that my step-mother had much more say. My father was weak in that way and it always frustrated me. Yes, I would say she ruled the roost. I never knew how my father felt about it as he never said a word about it, ever.

Thank you so much for your kind compliment. I thought I looked a little too moody in my other picture and needed something with a smile.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

The old one was good but this one is great! :)


JoyLyn71 profile image

JoyLyn71 7 years ago

Thanks for sharing your story. Until you walk in someone else's shoes you should not judge. I have been there and I often times wonder if I made the right decision. I do feel the new laws that require parental notification and extensive counseling are a step in the right direction. All teenagers think their parents are going to kick them out. I would probably say more parents are willing to help than we may think. In your case your family did not give you a choice and I did not give my family a choice because I never told them. I do not agree with using abortion as a form of birth control. Your class mate was careless and should have used better judgement. Great Hub!


Moonchild60 profile image

Moonchild60 7 years ago Author

Thank you for stopping by JoyLyn. I too feel parental notification in the case of underage girls is absolutely necessary. They need someone older and wiser to help them through it. Thank you very much for your comments, they are appreciated.


Moon Daisy profile image

Moon Daisy 7 years ago from London

Great hub, it really moved me and made me wonder what I'd do in this situation. I'm so glad you were strong and were able to move on and have a good life.


Moonchild60 profile image

Moonchild60 7 years ago Author

Hi Moon Daisy!! Cute Name...Thank you very much for your nice comment.


thetfin 7 years ago

I must respectfully disagree. I couldn't imagine the terrible things you've been through. I would never wish them upon anybody. I don't know what it's like to be pregnant, but I do know what it's like to feel hopeless and afraid. In my experience there has only been one way to face hoplessness and fear. We must have faith in God that so long as we love everyone as we love him, nothing else really matters. Our life's success is based off of how we love, not how we live. It doesn't matter how poor or rejected we are by society, Jesus Christ's sacrifice is the ultimate gift and the only gift we truly need in life. Immitating Christ's example will help us learn to sacrifice and appreciate adversity. God wants us to choose love because any other choice will separate us from God. God is love, therefore rejecting love is ipso facto a rejection of God. God was hurt just as much as you were when you were raped. It hurt God when "D" rejected God by abusing you, because Jesus died and suffered for those very sins. We must not contribute to Jesus's suffering, we must share it! It doesn't matter how hard life is or how desperate we become; immitating Jesus Christ's passion is the only way to react if we want to be closer to God. I am not judging you. I am as much of a sinner as anyone else. I simply feel obligated to inform you that you must reject earthly desires and fears so that you may be touched by God's love as I have. God loves you and wants to be a part of your life, but in order for that to happen you must choose his love. We must share God's love with one another; neglecting to tell people that love is the only choice that will bring fullness to their life is in no way a gracious deed. If we tell people that it's ok to choose to abstain from love, we are reinforcing a self-destructive desire to remove oneself from the only source of eternal life and love: God. There is a difference between forcing and educating!

Thank you for sharing such a personal story. It takes much courage.

God Bless


Baileybear 5 years ago

very brave of you to share such a personal story. I'm amazed when I hear of girls having repeated abortions because they did not use birth control.

It's not a black and white issue, like some argue.


Moonchild60 profile image

Moonchild60 5 years ago Author

Thanks BailyBear (I am so tempted to call you 'Bear' a nickname I had for a very old friend). It is not a black and white issue, but truly so few of the most important things in life ever are don't you think? Thank you very much for coming by. It is nice to see you hear by the waym your avatar is adorable!!!


samanthamsmith profile image

samanthamsmith 4 years ago from Small Town USA

Always a extremely tough choice.


Yaduvanshi profile image

Yaduvanshi 4 years ago from Bharat Vrse

Indeed a really difficult decision to make


deepateresa profile image

deepateresa 4 years ago from Trivandrum, Kerala,India

Really touching story..

God bless..

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