Friday, August 19, 2011

Revelations


Unknown. "Revelations." Our Truths/Nuestras Verdades: 10. Our Truths/Nuestras Verdades. Web. 19 Aug. 2011. http://www.nuestrasverdades.org/.


Once, I chose to have a child, and found piles of information seemingly at my fingertips, eager to help me live with my choice. Once, I chose not to have a child, and found only scraps of stories, whispered fragments of shame and death. This is the story of my choices, the story of my struggle to find my own answers to questions many are ashamed to ask.    

When I was 23, I became unexpectedly pregnant. I was a student, with no health insurance, living hundreds of miles away from my family. I had parted ways with my partner in baby-making several months before. When I was 25, I was again unexpectedly pregnant. This time, I was married, to a wonderful man. We were about to buy a house, and I was teaching full-time at a local community college. We had a circle of supportive friends, and family close by.  It was the second pregnancy that I chose to terminate, although even to me the first sounds the more obvious answer.

I did not want any more children. I abhorred being pregnant. Both during and after my
pregnancy I was seriously depressed, to the point where I sometimes had the
impulse to turn my car head-first into oncoming traffic. It required medication, a patient doctor and a year after my twin daughters’ birth for me to come out of my darkness. I terminated a pregnancy. I had an abortion. The words still feel so alien on my tongue. Arguing for abortion had been easy in the abstract, but now I had memories of girls and women waiting anxiously in the front rooms, laying sleepily in the back rooms, aching under our borrowed heating pads.

It is not possible to feel abstractly anymore, watching televised debates
on abortions while you are still bleeding from yours.

I know that I am lucky. I had the funds to pay for an abortion at a safe, clean clinic
located at the end of my block. I am past the age of legal consent. My state does
not  have a waiting period. I am married to a man who accepts and supports the
choice I made. I’m an educated, white, middle-class mother of two. I am not
postponing motherhood, sending the spirit of this child away and asking her to
return at a later date. I am slamming a door in the face of any potential children in
my future, cutting them off in a literal, absolute way.

It helps to remember that in many ways, I am very typical. My chosen method of birth control failed me, and I became pregnant at a time when I did not wish to be. I weighed my options, and broke down in hysterical sobbing. I drank chocolate milkshakes from McDonald’s and napped all day, still hoping desperately that it wasn’t true. Finally, I made the most agonizing decision of my life. I had an abortion, and in my heart, I know that I made the right choice.

To read more stories from Our Truths/Nuestras Verdades, visit www.nuestrasverdades.org

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