By: Brittany Adams
I started listening to Sabriel right before it started, but the nurse and the painkillers distracted me enough that I don’t remember hearing much of the book. In fact, I don’t remember much of what the nurse said because of the painkillers. I do remember the way she looked at me though, as I laid on the table, my feet in stirrups. She held my hand and looked at me with such kindness in her eyes. I didn’t have to explain my decision to her—she understood.
I had never imagined having an abortion. When I pictured my child-bearing future, it involved gleefully telling my husband I was expecting (in some campy surprise, no doubt) and excitedly picking out obscure literary names. What I hadn’t pictured was sitting in a Walmart parking lot, tearfully telling my boyfriend that I was pregnant. What I definitely hadn’t pictured was him telling me to have an abortion and disappearing.
I knew right away, before he had even thrown out the word, that I wanted to have an abortion. My finances were shit and he was shit and I was living with my mom. It wasn’t time for me to bring a new person into the world. Although I never, at any point, felt inclined to keep the baby, that realization hit me hard.
I looked forward to the ultrasound. It felt like an alien parasite camped out in my uterus against my will, but it was my parasite. My maternal instinct kicked in from time to time, but it didn’t change my mind.
I cried in the waiting room. Well, technically it was the waiting room bathroom. I wasn’t worried about having the abortion. I wasn’t sad to have the abortion. I was just sad. I should have been going in for an OB check-up with a beaming husband. Instead I was in my pajamas, in a waiting room with my mom, and about to end my first pregnancy.
I didn’t want anyone to see me cry and doubt my resolve, so I took a few deep breaths. I knew that I still wanted to go through with it. No amount of heartbreak over the circumstances surrounding my first pregnancy would change the fact that I was young, broke and alone. I rejoined the waiting room like nothing happened.
As I waited for my name to be called, I looked at the other pajama-clad women in the room with me. No one was talking to each other, but we were still communicating. We were all making deliberate, sympathetic eye contact with one another. Some of us were sad, some were impatient, some were smiling, but we were all exuding determination. We all knew what we were doing. We all knew what choice we were making about our lives and our bodies—and it was okay.