*Note: This post may be considered graphic or disturbing to some people. Please be aware of this before continuing.*
She wants to be strong for the child, but she cannot deal with a pregnancy. She never wanted children. And she is tired and feeling ill and sad and poor. She wants to travel and dance and model and write and run. While others would tell her that she is a grown woman, she still feels like a girl. A girl who has barely begun to live her life.
She books the abortion.
She places her hand on her slowly growing belly. It is ten weeks old. Past two months already.
“Sorry, I’m not strong enough, baby,” she says.
She promises it that she will never have another baby.
Her ex boyfriend texts her that night to say that he cannot go with her. She just wants a friend there, and she hoped he could care enough about her to make sure she had someone to help take her home. She cannot ask any family members for fear that someone might find out. Her co-worker who wanted to drive her there and back home after is unable to take the day off work.
So she goes to the hospital alone the next day.
The waiting room is the strangest little world of horror and disappointment and fear. A room full of women aged from nineteen to forty-something. The nurse gives her a pill to swallow to begin the contractions. In order to aid the abortion process. She hesitates before putting it in her mouth. And then she swallows it.
“There’s no going back now,” she sighs, scared and relieved and sad all at once.
The other women stare at her, one gives her a look of empathy. One looks down at her belly and says, “Bye, bye!”
Whoever thinks that the abortion route is some sort of easy fix is naïve.
It has only been five minutes since taking the pill, and the doctor already opens the door and calls her name.
“Dun, dun, dun!” pipes in the nineteen year old girl.
It is such an eerie feeling to make light of such a creepy, daunting procedure, but she smiles at the girl for giving her moral support anyway.
“You’re tall,” grins the doctor.
“So, you’re going to be taking birth control from now on? Do you need a prescription?”
“No. I wont be seeing anyone for a long time.”
“Okay. Well, I’ll write you a prescription anyway.”
She follows him to the procedure room. It’s too bright inside and the hospital bed amidst the various medical tools reminds her so much of a torture chamber. Shaking, she changes into the gown that the nurse gives her and she sits on the hospital bed.
“But it wasn’t very long ago that I took the pill. What if it isn’t working well yet?” she asks.
“Oh, the doctor already knows this.”
The doctor walks in with his face mask on. She cannot look at his eyes.
“Okay, you can put your nice long legs into the stirrups now,” he says good-naturedly.
It doesn’t put her at ease at all. Her knees are together and the nurse spreads her legs apart.
“Relax. You’ll have one hell of a leg cramp if you don’t.”
She starts to cry, for the baby who will never be born, for the friend who turned into a boyfriend who is now an ex and can’t be bothered with her, for her fear of being hurt by the procedure. The unknown is scary and the white lights are hurting her eyes.
The nurse rests a hand on her shoulder. “It’s okay. We’re not designed to go through this and you’re doing really well. Men don’t understand, do they?”
She wipes away her tears. The surgeon sticks the needle up her opened vagina and she feels a slight prick in her cervix. He then opens it for the procedure.
“It doesn’t hurt at all,” she sighs with relief.
“Well, it hasn’t started yet,” says the nurse.
The doctor turns on the suction machine and the moment he inserts the vacuum-like instrument into her uterus, she feels the worst cramping of her life. She stares at the ceiling, unable to move or think about anything else but the baby she allowed them to take away. The cramping intensifies and it feels like he is pulling out her entire uterus. But she never, ever cries from pain.
“Is it nearly over?” she asks.
Though she wants to cry out for it to stop. Now.
“Ten seconds,” says the doctor.
It is finally over and they tell her to sit up. She is so cold, colder than she has ever felt, and it feels like she is going into labour.
They give her a big diaper to soak up all the blood that will continue to pour out and they take her to a chair and put a blanket on her. She trembles and her teeth chatter and she asks for another blanket. She is still too cold.
They give her apple juice and cookies and she starts to feel less weak and sore. The nurse helps her to stand and gives her antibiotics before sending her home.
She walks out of the hospital doors more relieved than she has ever been in her life. She will never forget it, but she is free.