Elizabeth Elizabeth

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Yesterday was my second abortion. My first one was an easy choice as I was just a teenager, dating, and clueless. Even though it hurt emotionally, it was still an easy choice.

This time it was more difficult. It's been 7 years since my first abortion. Now I am married, just started a new career, and doing all the things I wanted to be doing without the burden of a child [traveling, partying, devoting myself to my love life and work]. I absolutely love my life the way it is.

I just turned 24 and my husband is 32. We've known each other for 5 years and have been married for 2. This baby was totally unplanned, of course. We have everything we need to comfortably start a family. The only thing we are missing in the equation is convenience.

The timing of the pandemic really shook things up for us and set our family planning back. We're not ready to give up our social life in a new-ish city. We're not ready to stop traveling. Personally, I'm not ready to check out of my career that I just started. 2020 was the year we were supposed to be doing all of the final things we wanted before settling down and having a baby, but we haven't been able to do anything. Our lives consist of traveling, concerts, cozy bars- none of that has been an option because of the pandemic- heck, my husband hasn't even been able to play basketball because our city took down all of the basketball hoops. We feel completely robbed from our pre-pandemic lives. I know we're not the only ones feeling this way.

Choosing to have an abortion was so difficult because I love my husband so much and he is ready for a family, but I am simply just not ready to abandon my identity for a child. We had to wait two weeks for my abortion which was hard because we had a pre-planned trip that we had to sit through knowing I was pregnant [while a childhood friend of my husband also joined us the whole trip]. I could have not drank or been experimental in my food choices, but I knew the only way that would help me personally commit to having this abortion was to do all the things pregnant women shouldn't be doing.

It was an emotional push and pull for four weeks of figuring out if we should keep our first baby. Ultimately, the decision against keeping it was led by our own selfishness to continue living our lives carefree for just a little while longer. I feel guilty because we could have totally made it work- this could have been the right time- but I acknowledge that the choice is ultimately mine as it's my body and I am not ready yet.

Now it's the day after my surgical abortion. I cried after my consultation two days ago and I cried yesterday all the way up until they put me under anesthesia. The staff was so kind, caring, patient, and kept checking in with me to make sure I was certain in my decision. I absolutely was, but it was still emotional and made me sad- mostly for my husband, not even for me. The procedure was painless and today I feel physically great. I have no cramping, minimal bleeding. The only part of me that needs healing is my emotions, but I know it will be okay. Having a loving and happy marriage has made the choice for abortion harder than being alone in the decision, ironically.

Anyways, all I can do is remain hopeful that 2021 will be a better year for all of us. Our planned pregnancy has always been July 20, 2021 our third-year anniversary, and I hope that this world will allow us to reach that milestone.

Shoutout to Greenville Women's Clinic in South Carolina for helping me with my second abortion and Feminist Women's Health Center in Atlanta for my first.

2020 United States

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