To be 18 again. Wow! That’d be something else.
When I was 18 I felt so empowered. So on a mission to be my own person, my rules, my life, and most importantly my choices. I bought cigarettes just because I could. So silly.
At that time I was involved with a guy. He’d make me laugh and smile. We’d stay up and talk for hours and end up falling asleep on each other. It was cute. I remember he called me one night because he was going to grab a bite to eat and asked if I wanted to join. I declined and he asked if he could still stop by and see me. Even if it was just for 5 minutes. He made me feel so special! We went out to see movies and just drive around the city. He’d drop me off back at home and then call me once he got home so we could talk some more. Though we had the makings of what would be a romantic relationship he was never my boyfriend. I was never his girlfriend. But we still had a sexual relationship.
I missed a period and told him I might be pregnant. He was stressed out! I told him I could go to Planned Parenthood to find out. He picked me up and sat there with me in the waiting room as I filled out forms. He had to work that day. And if it turned out I was pregnant he sure as hell couldn’t miss a day of work.
They finally called my name. I asked if he could come along with me and was told by staff, NO. But what if I was going to find out I was pregnant? I wanted him to be there for whatever life changing news we might hear. But no, I was told he could stay in the waiting room. Either way, he was pressed for time and eventually had to leave me there so he could go to work. The scowl faced doctor came in and we talked about why I was there. I peed in the cup and walked back to the room and waited.
I remember sitting there thinking, “My life might change right now“. I knew I was going to keep the baby. I knew it would be difficult since I didn’t have a good job or any experience to find a great paying one. But I was 18! I was a woman! And empowered to do what it takes to raise a child because I’m a woman! I am strong! I can do this! I wasn’t about to call it quits and abort my child. NO WAY! I am woman, hear me roar! (oh yeah, which reminds me, RIP CECIL)
As the doctor walked in I was so nervous because if she told me it was negative I was going to be a little disappointed. The door hadn’t even shut behind her as she said, “Congratulations…”. I was so excited to hear positive words. This is what I had prepared myself for. She continued “..you’re NOT pregnant.” The joy I was ready to feel was abruptly sucked out of me. (hmm, I see a trend here)
It occurred to me that no one that day had asked me how I would feel if it turned out I was pregnant. The doctor had no idea how I valued the little life that might be developing inside of me. The doctor decided that I was happy to NOT be pregnant. But really, I felt sad. I wondered what she would have said if I was pregnant, Would she have then apologized for being the bearer of bad news?
I had been to Planned Parenthood a couple times before that day to get birth control. Felt a little crazy being there to get condoms for free but hell, I was doing the responsible thing. I never felt comfortable there. But that’s okay, I was doing the responsible thing. They told me that my guy couldn’t come to the room with me, but that’s okay, I was doing the responsible thing. The doctor didn’t know I was a little disappointed when she congratulated me that I was not pregnant. But that’s okay, I was there to do the responsible thing.
From the moment they told me that my partner could not come back with me I felt a little less in control of the care I was receiving from them. I felt like I was wrong that I might be happy to be pregnant. The doctor left me feeling very uncomfortable. The only time I truly felt comfortable with Planned Parenthood was with the people I made the appointment with over the phone. Always kind. But once I got there I felt like a number. More like a $$$.
That was the day my mind started to question what other girls in my position might have experienced. The ones that didn’t feel empowered, the girls who wanted the baby but felt like it was the more responsible choice to have an abortion.
Now I’m a wife and mother of 2 beautiful, amazing little girls. And motherhood, #mommylife, looks exactly as I pictured it and even more. It’s not easy, but I already knew it required a good amount of selflessness. Add a couple of dashes of exhaustion, frustration, and a handful of no make up and bad hair days. But you know what is crazy about all that? It’s AWESOME and I CAN DO IT! #allday