I made the choice... twice

Trigger warning: intimate partner abuse

I was sixteen. Sixteen when I found out I was pregnant. I still had my provisional drivers license. I couldn’t rent a car. I couldn’t vote. I couldn’t smoke a cigarette. I couldn’t drink a beer. But now I was going to be a parent. 

All that aside I was stuck. Stuck in an abusive relationship with a man who would call me fat just to see me cry, and turn around and call me a boney toothpick when he saw a curvy woman. Verbal abuse. I didn’t even know what those words meant when I was 16. All I knew was I was pregnant and he made me cry every night. 

I remember going for the consultation for my abortion. They asked me many questions and that’s when it hit me. I never missed a pill. Not one single pill. Yet, I was pregnant. I went home to my boyfriend after my initial consult for the abortion. He laughed at me when I brought up my birth control. He said “you idiot I took your pills all the time.” Meaning he threw one out here and there. I was shocked, devastated, I felt betrayed. 

Ultimately, I terminated my pregnancy with a medical abortion at 9 weeks. I saw that baby on the screen the day before. Planned parenthood was amazing. They never turned the screen towards me. But when they left the room, I looked. I saw the shape, the small arm buds, everything. But still the following day I had the abortion. 

I wish the story ended there. I left the man that abused me verbally and occasionally physically. But my self esteem was so low. I was a scared, confused girl and I took him back after he promised things would be different. 

This time I wasn’t careful. He didn’t have to compromise my birth control because I did it to myself. I never regretted my first abortion. I regretted going back to that man and I coped by neglecting myself. Something I only realize now, 6 years later. 

Three months passed and after a particularly bad fight I went to stay at my mom’s. I told her I was feeling sick and I went and got a test. The lines showed up immediately. I wish I could explain the emotions I felt that day, seeing those lines. But I can’t. 

I told my boyfriend. He was overjoyed, as he had been before. He won. He had me. For life. I pretended things were good. I felt I didn’t have a choice; I couldn’t possibly have another abortion. One night, I discovered he had been cheating on me with 3 women the entire year and a half of our relationship. 

Yelling turned to name calling. And when that wasn’t enough of an impact on me, he pushed me down 3 flights of stairs. 

Enough was enough. I moved home. He called me multiple times a day. He said “think of Carter.” The name we had picked when I was pretending things were good and I was happy with the pregnancy. 

I had my second abortion, this time the pill at 8 weeks. I felt free. I look back on it now and there is not one single regret. I do not miss what could have been. Because I know what could have been would have been hell. 

I became a mother 2 years ago. With the man I love by my side. We welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world. I know now she would never have been here if I hadn’t made the decisions I made. 

I will never regret my decision to be able to have 2 safe legal abortions. And that is a feeling no one can take away from me, ever.