Whenever abortion was brought up in theory, I would say I'm pro-choice. For other people. But me? I could never do it. With my previous pregnancies, abortion never crossed my mind. Both were unplanned, but so loved from the moment I found out I was expecting. I knew that somehow it would work out, that they were meant to be mine.
I'm a single mom now. My kids are two and a half and three and a half. And I am a birth control zealot. The pill and I have been bffs since my daughter was born. And somehow, someway, being a freak of fertility, I missed my period. Any time my period is...say, 20 minutes late...I begin hyperventilating. Because I know I can't handle one more. So this time, when I began freaking, my friend (the only one I've confided in about this) told me I'm crazy. (Because usually I am. Usually it's all for nothing. Usually a huge relief is right around the corner and then I decide I need anxiety medication.) This time it didn't come. I took a test. And got a big fat plus sign.
Any time I've been late, I asked myself, "What if? What will I do?" And there was no doubt in my mind. I'm struggling to find my footing as a single mother. I'm out of work. My kids are toddlers, which is synonymous with "a handful." I'm renting a house (where the 3 of us share a bedroom) that will be on the market in the spring. My freaking car is broken down in my driveway and I can't afford to repair it. There is no room for a baby in this mess that is my life. I could not face my family and friends, saying, "Hey, I screwed up again. And no, I have no idea how I'll make it work."
And I can't tell my boyfriend. I know that this would end our relationship because he would want this baby. He would never look at me the same way after I tell him that I don't. He wouldn't understand that it isn't a statement about him versus my children's father. He wouldn't understand at all. This is the biggest lie of my life. Keeping this from him feels incredibly wrong. But nothing about this is right. This was not supposed to happen.
Am I being selfish? Incredibly. No doubt about it. Have I shed a tear? Surprisingly, not one. I have to do this. Right now, abortion is the right choice for me. For us. For my family.
One of the hardest parts of this decision is the silence. I never recognized the burden of secrecy carried by other women who have made this choice (or the completely offensive self-righteousness of those who disapprove). I have a blog, and I love to write. As soon as that plus sign weighed down my heart, I sat down at my desk only to realize that I couldn't hit publish. I couldn't share this. WHY? Why such shame? Why can't I respectfully share this personal decision just as I do anything else? Maybe I can in time. Until then, I am so grateful to be able to do so here under the veil of anonymity. Thank you for the opportunity.