“These are things that happen when you’re sexually active. That’s normal, that’s totally normal.”
Well the first time I got pregnant, I had met this guy. I was 19, and I thought he was super cool and nice, and I had hung out with him for about 2 weeks or so. The first time we ever had sex was at his apartment. He told me that because he wasn’t circumcised, he couldn’t use a condom. He was just like, “Oh I can’t use one, I can’t feel anything when I have a condom on.” He didn’t ask me if I was on birth control, or anything like that, he just took it upon himself to start having sex with me without a condom.
And it was like over the series of a couple of days, we’re at his house and we’ve been sleeping together. He had told me he was going to get me a Plan B pill. But, by the time we ended up going to the store it had been 72 hours plus later. So, he did go in and buy me the pill, and I took it. And we hung out for maybe a week longer and then we had a falling out, and weren’t really talking any more. He was also on a lot of cocaine too. I wasn’t doing drugs with him, but I knew he had a drug problem. He came from a pretty wealthy family that I feel like probably encouraged that kind of behavior. But even though I’d taken the Plan B pill, I ended up pregnant anyway.
But, I lived right behind [a health center that provides abortion services]. So, when I started feeling weird I was like, “Something’s not right. This is not right. I feel really strange. I need to get down there and get a pregnancy test.” So, I walked down there from my apartment, and everybody was really nice. And I was very shocked, as a 19-year-old would be, to be pregnant by a man that I dated for about 2 weeks or so.
They were all really nice to me, I told them that I had to go and tell him. We’d had some sort of conversation where he had talked about buying me the pill, about whether or not we were going to split the cost of it. And he said to me, “Well if you were to get pregnant and have to get an abortion, I would pay for that, so I’m going to go ahead and pay for your Plan B pill.” And so, when I got pregnant I was like, “Hey remember that conversation we had last month? Well, I’m pregnant now.” So my friend took me out to his work and the ladies at the clinic had given me a piece of paper because I was afraid I was going to get pushback when I told him. So, they gave me a form that said I’m pregnant and this is where the test was done.
So, I went over there and at first he tried to tell me I was a liar. And I was like, “I’m not a lying bitch, you did this, you were a part of this as well.” Like, you know, we need to get this taken care of. And he wanted to go down there with me to make sure that it was all real. So, I let the ladies know that when I went down to have my ultrasound done that I was going to be bringing him with me, that he’s an asshole. And so they were extremely supportive and very, very kind to me, and were like, “Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. We got you, it’s okay.”
So, he comes down there, I have my ultrasound done. I give him a printout of the ultrasound where you can visibly see there is something in there, like, “It’s right here asshole.” And I give it to him, and he went ahead right then and there, and I’m sure it was parent’s money, but used his credit card to go ahead and prepay for my procedure. He just went ahead and paid for it, took care of it. And I mean, he and I didn’t ever really talk again after that.
So, when I had my first procedure done, the clinic allowed my friend who used to work there to come in the back with me and hold my hand, while the doctor was performing the procedure, which was amazing and like a godsend to me because I definitely think about that now and I’m like, that’s crazy. I can’t imagine them letting anybody back there, even if they did used to work there. But back then, they were just like, “Of course, we know her.” If you feel more comfortable having her here then she can come back with you, that’s fine. It was certainly a painful experience. I remember my friend took me back to my mom’s house that afternoon. Right after the procedure had been done and I went and I sat in those chairs, I just felt such a tremendous feeling of relief. And like I had some demon inside of me that had been somehow exorcised and it just removed it. And I didn’t have to worry about it. All the weight that I felt while I was pregnant. Because that’s such an intense feeling, when you’re pregnant. I mean, you know. You’re like, “I feel fucking crazy. Why do I feel like this?” But right afterwards, because it takes no time at all for the procedure. Right afterwards I sat down and I was just, “Oh my God. I feel so much better. I don’t feel terrible anymore. This is so great to not feel this enormous pressure.”
I remember with my first one, afterwards, going to my mom’s house and watching Brokeback Mountain. My mom got me all kinds candy and food and snacks and stuff. My friend just sat there. My doctor at the time prescribed me a low dose of Klonopin or Xanax because when I talked to her about it, she was like, “You’re not going to have the baby?” I was like, “Absolutely not, I just feel really crazy and really anxious.” And so she was like, “If you were to have the baby, I would not be giving you this.” But she gave me that for my nerves because she knew. So, that first time I kind of just chilled out afterwards and relaxed at my Mom’s.
Afterwards, I didn’t talk to him anymore. I mean, I had no desire to talk to him. I didn’t want him to be a part of my life, and that’s a large reason, on top of the fact of being 19 and not financially secure in any way shape or form, and growing up in a single parent household, that I said, “There’s no way I’m having this baby. There’s no way. I’m not prepared for this. This guy definitely isn’t prepared for this. He doesn’t want this and neither do I.”
I think I’ve seen him once since then. That was when I went to see Lady Gaga five or six years ago, and I was really angry because this is my favorite person in the entire world why do you have to be here? I didn’t speak to him. I just kinda looked at him and walked away. No, not going to do this, not having this conversation. We’re not friends.
Right after my first procedure I got my first IUD, because I’ve always had problems with birth control. I get severe migraines, I gain weight, I have super crazy hormones. So, I haven’t really ever been a fan of the pill. I’ve been on the shot, I’ve been on the ring, I’ve been on all kinds of stuff. It always makes me feel like crazy. So I ended up getting an IUD from the same doctor that had done my procedure. I had gone to see him for my gynecologist, and he was really sweet. He told me about my IUD, told me about the plastic one and the copper one. I settled on the copper one, the Paragard. I had it for a few years, and I had a number of boyfriends in between those times and we were certainly having unprotected sex and things like that. I had just gotten out of a serious relationship that had lasted almost a year, and I had hooked up with a guy with a big penis and ended up taking the IUD out. I’d had the IUD for a couple of years, at least like four, five years probably.
I went in to have a pap smear and the nurse practitioner had told me that the IUD had moved and that she had to take it out. I was very upset, and was like, “Man, I don’t have the money to take it out or to get another one right now. I just got out of a relationship.” She was like, “I have to take it out. There’s no other option. It’s shifted, it’s coming out, it’s not going to do you any good. Let’s take it out.” And she took it out.
I ended up having a one night stand. I was 24 at the time, and the guy was 20. I met him at a party at my friend’s house. Going into it I was just like, “Okay here’s this young cute guy. I’m trying to get over my ex-boyfriend, I’m going to bang this young cute guy.” So, I take him back to my house. We fuck without a condom. He doesn’t ask me about my birth control. He totally comes in me.
We fucked that once, he definitely came in me. I wasn’t sure at first, but then we had sex that one time, and then I think a few days later he came over one other time and we slept together. But that second time I was like, “This guy is so dumb, I cannot bear even to be around him. Even if it’s just to have sex. I don’t want to ever hang out with this human again.” There was nothing there, not a lot of substance.
Like a week or so later after it had happened, maybe two weeks after we’d slept together, I was out drinking with my girlfriends and I was like, “Something’s wrong. I can’t drink this apple juice. Why is my body not okay with this?” I just felt nauseous, I took two sips of it and was like I can’t drink this, I felt sick. And I knew then, I was like, “I’m fucking pregnant. Again. Like, what am I gonna do?” I don’t have any money; I was living with my friend who was very supportive at the time. I was like, “I don’t have the money, the five, six hundred dollars to pay for this right now. I don’t have it.” But it was around tax season, so that was a good thing.
So, I had gotten pregnant, and I contacted him of course. I tried to talk to him about it. That was basically like talking to a fucking brick wall. I mean he didn’t know the proper response, we didn’t know each other really at all. Had only spent like two nights together, ever. So, he was just a total asshole about it, and kept being like, “I just need you to help me pay for part of this. I need you to help me pay for this. It is yours, 100 percent.” Because I wasn’t sleeping with a whole bunch of dudes. I had just hooked up with this guy trying to mend my wounds to make myself feel better. One hundred percent it was his, without a doubt in my mind. He’s being a dick, and finally his mom ends up calling me and fucking laying into me. She’s like, “You should have kept your legs shut, you should have been on birth control, you should have done this that and the other. How do you even know it’s his baby? We’re gonna get a paternity test, we’re gonna do this, that, and the other.” First of all, you can’t get a paternity test until I have the baby, which I’m not having the baby. I’m not having your son’s child. There is no way in fucking hell ever that I will have a child by your son ever. That is not reasonable. Especially when she’s sitting here cussing me out. And that’s supposed to make me want to have this baby? It’s just, “We’re taking this baby. Oh, you have it, we’re taking this baby, blah blah blah.” I’m like, “What?” I don’t know if that was supposed to make me go one way or the other, I don’t know what she expected from that conversation but she was extremely immature. I don’t get it.”
I already knew what I wanted to do but that was like the staple gun in the coffin. It will never come out, it will never be removed. This is totally unrealistic. They refused to help me pay for it, which I think they were very poor and that probably had something to do with it as well, but I got my tax return that year. I spent my entire tax return on my abortion.
I never saw him again. I tried to ask people about him because he’s a little bit younger than me, but we went to the same high school. Just so that I would know a little bit more about him, I was curious. But I have never seen him again. I think that if I did see him, it would not be good. It would not pretty at all.
I had a [surgical abortion] the second time too. I can’t really remember that second time what I did afterwards. I felt very similar to the first time, where I felt like there was this enormous weight on me and then right after the procedure I was like, “I feel great. I feel so much better. Thank god this is over with. Thank god I have the ability to take care of these things on my own, and don’t have to go through some crazy process.” That blows my mind. That people would have to fight so hard to get that kind of access, that other than financially it was pretty easily attainable for me. I was worried about not being able to pay for it that second time. I mean, but I feel like I would have sold my soul to the devil to take care of that.
The first time I told my friends that I lived with. All my friends were very supportive. They were certainly like, this is not someone you should be having a baby with. Thank goodness he’s taking care of it. They were definitely very supportive.
My mom was a little back and forth. I have a little sister that was adopted around that same time and she was an infant when she was adopted. At first my mom’s reaction was, “We’ll take care of you, and you can move in here. And we’ll do whatever.” And I was like, “Mom, that’s not what I wanna do. I just got out of the house, I don’t want to come back to the house for you to take care of me. That’s not what I want. This is not what I want for my life.” She very quickly realized that and was very supportive in the end.
But then the second time, me and my mom are close, I told her the second time as well. I mean, she knew, “You’re going to do what you’re going to do. This isn’t right for you.”
I didn’t really ever have any pushback from my friends or family. I mean the only family members I talk to are my mom. I’m sure that if I would’ve talked to my aunt and uncle or my grandparents, that would’ve been a whole different conversation. I don’t know, the only time I’ve ever had a problem with anybody saying anything to me about it is one of my old roommates that lived with me. I think that he lived there during the second one. He was just being hateful in general about a year or two later, and was just being a dick and saying a lot of really rude, mean things about my boyfriend at the time who was a drug addict. Saying a bunch of hateful stuff. And then said something about how I should own my own abortion clinic, because I’ve had so many abortions. And I was like, “Dude, I’ve had two abortions. That’s insane that you would even try to insult me like that, like that’s stupid.” But he did it on Facebook in a very public way that was very hurtful. I mean he’s absolutely apologized since then, but I mean that ruined mine and my friend’s friendship. He was mad at me at the time, and he did it being spiteful. I think that’s something that’s very hard to come back from. Other than that, I’ve never had anyone be ugly about it.
I feel like I’ve ended up sharing it with people that I wouldn’t necessarily think to share it with just because of the types of conversations that I’ve had with people where I’m like, “Well, just so that you can see some perspective, this is what I’ve been through.” And they’re like, “Gosh, I never would have known.” I’m like, “Yeah, because you don’t fucking know.”
I absolutely think that it’s something that I couldn’t go around and talk to just anybody about, yes absolutely. Especially when people start talking to me, in the political climate now, when people start talking to me, especially men. I mean I had a guy friend of mine tell me the other day, “I’m not super conservative, but I don’t think people should just be able to have abortions. I think it’s okay when they’re...life’s in danger but people shouldn’t be able to just go around and get abortions whenever, like birth control.” And it’s like, “If you only knew what it’s like to be a woman and have to take birth control, number one, and deal with those side effects. On top of the fact that sometimes birth control fails. Sometimes it just doesn’t work, and that’s what happens. That doesn’t mean that you should have to have that baby because your birth control failed.” That’s insane to me. Yeah, I don’t think it’s easy to talk to just anybody about it. I think it’s important to do things like this and to discuss, in safer places what you’ve been through and what people have been through.
I also feel like too, to be honest out of my group of friends, I don’t really have a lot of friends who haven’t had an abortion, is the thing. Abortions and HPV. Everybody I’ve known has at some point had some form of HPV, and has at least one abortion for the most part. And it’s weird because everybody is like, “Oh, no. I should be so ashamed. I had HPV or I had an abortion.” No, like these are things that happen when you’re sexually active. That’s normal, that’s totally normal. I don’t know, I just never felt bad about the decisions that I made. I’ve never felt like it was a bad thing, or a wrong thing, or wrong decision, or that I missed out. Now, being almost 30 I want to have children, absolutely. I still, if I got pregnant by some chump that I met, you know, I would be like, “No, I’m not having your child.” I don’t know, I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I grew up in a single parent household. I grew up in government housing. I moved around all the time when I was young. I went to 11 different schools from kindergarten through the end of high school, just because my mom was a single mom and she got different jobs. We never had one steady place to be, other than my grandparents. Yeah, I just never...when I was 19 and had my first one, that’s what I told my mom. I refuse to have a child that I can’t give a better life than what you were able to give me. Granted, she gave me all she could, but I still want to be able to provide more for my children when I choose to have them.
I think too, all the things I would have missed out on. I have all my twenties. I can’t imagine having had a child, especially a child that I would have been taking care of all by myself through all that. There were so many things that I needed to experience. I was a child. I was a child when I was 19. Looking back on it now, I’m like, “Who was this baby girl?” I had absolutely no business having a child. And then, I have one girlfriend I went to high school with. She had two kids before she graduated. Before the end of our senior year she had two children. And I mean now, you can tell, she’s wildin’ out because they’re getting to be in middle school and she missed her twenties. She’s coming to me and our other friends, and she wants to party and get wild and we’re just kind of like, “Yeah but we’ve done that already. So, like you missed that part.” I can’t imagine missing out on all the experiences I’ve had in my twenties, because I had a child. I feel like that’s absolutely what would have happened. My life would not be the same. But, I like the way things are going.