I was 20 going on 21. I had just moved out and was going through a rough patch in my life of bad habits, drugs, and alcohol, not to mention an emotionally abusive relationship.

Some of that changed when I thought I met a great man. 10 years older than me, he was living on his own, working a good job, and seemed like a great partner. We practiced safe sex, but a few weeks after my 21st birthday, I started feeling sick. Terrible, terrible morning sickness, my breasts enlarged and tender to the touch of even my bra, incredible sore back, and then that feeling. That fluttering feeling you feel inside because you know. You just know your pregnant. I took a home test a few days later, to just confirm in my eyes I was pregnant. I took another one too. Both were positive.

My boyfriend and I lived in different cities, so I only saw him on weekends. I had moved back in with my parents after some trouble on my own. The next week was a mix of emotion. Mostly fear. Fear to tell my boyfriend, and the huge fear of telling my parents. I was afraid of being in trouble, of being cast out. I didn't have the greatest teenage-hood with my parents, I was a difficult and rebellious child against my parents. I know they love me no matter what, but at this time I was so afraid of disappointing them, that I never told them.

I started to get excited, something was growing inside me. Something depended on me. I subconsciously picked out names. I found myself daydreaming at work when I had to price and hang new baby clothes. I got excited for nothing.

I told my boyfriend that I was pregnant and got the worst feeling ever. He said, "I can't afford to take care of a baby, let alone myself, and neither can you. But I will support the choice you make." The way he said the last bit, you could tell he was saying it to make himself feel less guilty.

Every conversation we had after the first one, he was trying to convince me of why we wouldn't be good parents, and that the only option was to get an abortion, and the worst part was he told me he could never tell his parents that he got me pregnant. He also told me that I shouldn't tell anyone. I kept my mouth shut and held all my pain in. I wanted this baby, I wanted the opportunity to change myself for the better, for my baby.

Reluctantly, I agreed to an abortion on the grounds that I would not be a good mother and that my family would be so disappointed in me. I hate him now for making me think that way. He took me to my ultra sound. I was 10 weeks along. They told me I couldn't look at the screen, it would be too hard. I wanted to look so badly at my baby but they wouldn't let me. Maybe seeing my ultra sound would have given me the strength to say no.

The procedure was scheduled for a week later. He took me to the hospital in a different city, and I filled out the sheets. No counseling, no comforting words from the nurse. Very business like. After I filled out the sheets, they placed me in a small waiting room with nine other women. None of us were over 30. We got called one by one to take our pill that starts the process. Once you swallow that little pill there was no going back. Two hours I waited in that room, every other girl looking as scared, sad and alone. I wanted so badly to talk to another girl, to console her in the way I needed it so badly. But I kept my mouth shut like the rest of them until they called us one by one for the procedure.

I lay on a bed, as a nurse strapped my legs into the chair. I started feeling very sick and on the verge of a panic attack. I started saying that I've changed my mind, I want to keep my baby. She told me she was going to give me something for the pain. They tied down my arms, and I felt the prick in my right arm. I felt woozy but that was it. The doctor came in, sat between my legs with a tray of long sharp metal tools and asked if I was ready. I said no, but he started. I asked the nurse for more local anesthetics, I could feel everything. I tried to tell her I did drugs recreationally so a dose for my weight isn't enough because I've built a tolerance to them, and she said no.

I felt the cold metal slide up in me and the pain. The pain was the most intense pain I've ever felt in my life. I started screaming, I broke the ties holding my arms down and tried to get up. The nurses grabbed me and pinned my arms down. I kicked and kicked and got my leg free and tried to aim for the doctor before more nurses rushed in to hold me down.

I felt lost, scared, and terrified. They say it would be a pinch. And that I shouldn't feel much, but I felt EVERYTHING: The pinching and prodding, the tugging, and then the tearing. I literally felt my insides being torn out of me, my fibers being ripped apart. At this point one of the extra nurses had left, I was able to lift my head and look down at the doctor. He was covered in blood. My blood. My baby's blood. I screamed.

Then it was done. They wheeled me into the room with other girls recovering. They gave me a dixie cup of Gingerale, I was so thirsty and it wasn't enough. They gave me a cookie, I couldn't get it past my lips. Other girls were moaning and crying around me, I just wanted to get out.

A few hours later, I walked out to my partner. I could barely keep myself together on the way home. We got to his apartment, and the pain was too intense. I cried and cried and bled and bled. My boyfriend was so sure I was going to die from the pain I was experiencing he called the hospital. They said, "Give her some Advil." As if that would do anything! I ate a whole bunch of Gravol, the anti-nausient that makes you drowsy, until the pain couldn't even keep me awake. I slept for several hours, and woke up, in pain. The next month was the worst month of my life. Pains, phantom pains, crazy emotions, and my hormones trying to get back to normal.

The week after my abortion, I went home to my parents, and never went back to my boyfriend's, ever again. He didn't talk to me, so I felt like I had no one to talk to. I thought my parents would be ashamed of me being pregnant, and that's when I suddenly felt like they would be ashamed that I got an abortion. I didn't tell anyone for almost a year later, during which time my alcohol and drug abuse got bad. I loved to drink beer, and cocaine was my best friend.

I grieve every day, I still feel confused to this day. 2% of me doesn't regret it, I don't think it's fair to kids that don't have two loving parents. But the other 98% of me regrets it. I felt bullied and pressured into getting my abortion. I was not counseled before, and was not offered it after. Two more months and my 18 year old sister finds out she's pregnant. And my parents didn't hate her, and they wanted to help her.

That's when I realized what a mistake I had made, that I had killed my baby, and sacrificed my mental soundness because I had been bullied into making a choice I was not prepared to make. I haven't been the same since, and for the worse. While I don't drink anymore, I still suffer with mental pains. I am horribly depressed even though I am in a great relationship with a great man. A great man that has two beautiful kids. Two kids I cannot let myself get close to because of what I went through. I can't even be an aunt to my new niece because when I see her I think about my baby. Our babies would have played together, and I could have finally gotten close to my sister. I can't do that right now because I am not mentally able to handle the emotions of being around babies.

I am pro-choice, but I feel like I was forced to make an ill-informed choice. I am appalled at the pre- and post-procedure treatments of these women. I hope no one has to go through the pain I did, the uncertainty of the choice, but I know it will happen. I hope no body feels the way I do today... reliving the worst moment of my life.

They told me they disposed of my baby (or fetus, in their view) but wouldn't tell me how. I later found out they are thrown in with waste with other hazardous materials.

My new boyfriend helped me plan a little ceremony for my baby, he helped me write a letter to my baby. I tied my letter to a balloon and last summer I said goodbye and let my balloon and letter to my unborn child into the sky. We hug, and talk about it when I need to, but I know I will never forget, and I will never be the same.

I wrote a poem for my baby:

I place my hand where you laid,
I still think about you every day.
Hollow and weak inside,
You took a big piece of me when you died.
I wasn't strong enough to say no,
I felt bullied into letting you go.
I'm sorry and I love you.