I was 18 years old when I found out I was pregnant. I was a freshman education major at a very conservative Christian college, and my boyfriend and I had only been dating for a little less than two years. We weren’t planning for me to get pregnant and had been using condoms for protection, but they had apparently failed.

Needless to say, I was terrified. I told my boyfriend right away and all he said was, “We can handle this.” I still don’t know if that meant with an abortion or just in general we would be able to handle it. I decided at the beginning of October that I wanted to have an abortion because I had college to finish and didn’t want my parents to be ashamed of me. I never even told my parents that I wasn't a virgin.

Neither my boyfriend nor I had a job at the time, so we had no clue how we were going to get the money, but we vowed that we would get the money and that I would get the abortion before my birthday in November. My boyfriend finally got a job toward the end of October, but there was no way we were going to get that much money right away. My birthday came and went, and so did Thanksgiving. The Monday after Thanksgiving, my boyfriend got a check from work that we thought would cover the procedure, so I called to schedule an appointment at Planned Parenthood.

They scheduled me to go in on December 1st, and I knew we should have the total amount by then. The morning of the first I woke up and got ready to go. We had to go to the post office and get his paycheck, and it didn’t come. We had to borrow the rest of the money from his co-worker. I called the clinic but they said I had only 30 minutes to get to the clinic (which was an hour and a half away), so we left to try to get there. While we were on the way there, my car started to act up so we had to turn back.

At this time I was 13 weeks pregnant, but didn’t know that I was any further than 10 weeks. I called the clinic and they said that I could not reschedule the appointment at their clinic. The next day I called a different clinic and they scheduled me for the next week. For one week, we spent no money at all, not even to buy groceries or to get gas.

We left for the clinic the next Thursday morning and got lost on the way there. I called and they were very kind, and gave me directions on how to get there. I went in for the ultrasound, and they told me that I was 13 weeks and 6 days pregnant. I was shocked. They then told me that not only would I have to come back a different day, the cost would also double due to the size of the fetus. They volunteered to get me extra funding, and I was scheduled to come in two weeks later. I came into the clinic the next week (Dec 16, 2006-- one week before Christmas).

I was laid down on a table and had two doctor’s assistants and a doctor try to distract me from what was going on. I was never told why I couldn't have my boyfriend in the room instead of the second assistant who did nothing but stand beside me and block my view of the machines. I heard all the noises while they did the procedure and actually felt very little, but I still felt a lot of guilt for what I had done.

I regret the day I decided to have an abortion and wish that I could take it back. I wish sometimes that I hadn't lied to my parents about what was going on and that I had told them where I was really going that day. I spent every cent I had on the procedure and actually ended up claiming to have had my purse stolen so that I wouldn't have to explain to my family why I had no Christmas presents when I claimed to have spent the day shopping in the city for presents.

I wrote this two weeks after my abortion, on New Years Eve 2006. Now, in May of 2007, my thoughts have changed some. I finished my freshman year of college, and am suddenly struck with the reality that I would not have finished this year if I had not gone through with my abortion. My fiancé (he proposed on Valentine’s day) and I have decided that we want to try again to have children in two years (so that we will be finished with our degrees before I am due), but we promised one another that we would tell our children about the sibling that they would have had and that we would name him Jeremiah Isaiah. We both wrote letters to him and I am planning to get a tattoo of a faerie who is laying her head on her arm with a butterfly resting on her shoulder.

For the first time last week, I held my friend’s one year old son and felt no jealousy toward her. I felt like Jeremiah’s spirit was smiling down on me for finally grieving him in a positive way. I know that I still have a long road to a total recovery, but I feel like I am moving along well.