Today’s post is going to be extremely different. It’s personal, raw and honest. However, I would appreciate for you to read it still.
Many recent events made me rethink a lot of my past choices but they also made me realize I had the choice. I live in what we could call a ‘rich and civilized’ country (France) where women rights exist and equality is on its way. You can often hear me complain, thinking women need more strong representatives but the truth is, I’m so lucky to even have the right to walk down the street alone.
Even though I live in Europe, Trump’s election really upset me and made me question, not only the United States, but also the World. We live in a century where we’re letting bullies, fascists and terrorists ruling our countries, deciding for us what’s wrong or right. We’re letting them reach the highest ranks without realizing it’s a mistake until it’s too late.
Ever since Trump’s inauguration, we already had several journalists arrested, many articles stating he will build the wall and an anti-abortion executive order signed. This last statement is the one making me write this post today. Trump reinstated pro-life policy after Women’s March and I’m pretty convinced it was just to remind everyone he was the one in charge.
This march blew my mind and I’m so thankful for the people who were there. For the celebrities, the men, and the women defending what should be a norm. I’m so thankful for these people who don’t accept bullies and white men deciding what’s good for us.
This part of his campaign is without a doubt what’s scaring me the most. Seeing white sixty-year-old men discussing women’s rights is making me feel nauseous. A year ago, I had to make a choice, the most difficult choice. And to be completely honest with you, this is a decision I’ve never thought I’ll have to make in my entire life.
For years and years, I’ve been glad abortion existed because of rape and unwanted pregnancies. However, I’ve always told myself I wouldn’t do it if I was ever faced with it. I told myself, I could never give up on something this important.
To be as clear and honest as possible, I’m going to share some details about my life, family and romantic past and I will just ask you one thing: Respect. This has been, and still is, the most traumatic experience of my life. I respect your opinion on the matter and I understand each and everyone’s religion. However, I will not tolerate negativity and cruelness.
In August 2015, I got an internship in a firm in Paris and eventually met someone, we’ll name him John. (You have to understand that even looking at a man was difficult at the time. My past relationship ended wrong, with my ex-boyfriend cheating on me.) To say I was dating John would be a lie but we did share many moments. I didn’t want a new relationship because I was afraid to get hurt again, but I did want to go out with him for a few months.
Then…I got pregnant.
The funny thing when you get pregnant is that suddenly nothing is making any sense. I’ve always wanted children, but not before having a proper career, and certainly not this young. I also wanted to have someone by my sides to help me, support me and love me. Even as I was pregnant from someone I wasn’t properly dating, abortion wasn’t an option. When I didn’t get my periods in February, I sure got scared, but I was also thrilled. They often say the maternal instinct becomes even stronger when you know you’re expecting and it’s exactly what happened. I took some pregnancy tests, I had a blood test and then, I got my first ultrasound to determine how far I was.
I could never describe into words what I felt this day. To see this little guy in my tummy, thinking ‘I did that, that’s mine’. It was honestly the best of my life. I couldn’t believe my luck. There was a human being growing inside of me. When the doctor gave me the printout I was ecstatic!
But that’s the thing, while I was ecstatic, nobody was around me. My mum, who wants to be a grandmother, barely even looked at the printout and went into doctor mode, saying I had to take several appointments already, giving me phone numbers of professional she knew about. My stepdad was, and I quote: ‘astounded’. As for John, he immediately asked me: ‘When are you aborting? You can’t waste your life with a kid now.’ With a kid he had said, not even his, just a random child, as if he wasn’t the one who got me pregnant in the first place.
To me, pregnancy has always been a gift. To be able to carry a child, to give birth, that’s a
fucking miracle. But I guess I was just the only one thinking that way.
Appointments over appointments
After that came a massive period of doubt. My mum, the person I was the closest to, kept judging me silently. John was ignoring it all, as if it was just a rough moment to get past through. We were both friends, first and foremost, and in that moment, I wish I could have had a friend. Telling me it was going to be okay, telling me he would support me, no matter my final decision. That talk never came.
For each appointment I’ve ever had, I went alone, taking a Uber several days a week for over a month. I met my family doctor, I met a gynecologist and I then met an anesthetist. My decision was made, or should I say, the decision was made for me. I like to think I’m someone strong and brave, who knows what to do even in difficult times. I wasn’t this time. I was pregnant and people judged me more because of that, than because I was going to abort.
I got an abortion on May 23, 2015 and it was the hardest day of my life. I remember asking John if he could maybe take me to the hospital and be there, he replied: ‘It’s too far from my place. The hospital is at least two hours from home.’ I was about to get a surgery, I was about to give up on his child and he thought it was too far. He told me he could pay the taxi course if I wanted. As if giving me fifty bucks would solve the main issue. My mum eventually came, and she was there when I woke up, feeling empty, as if I had made the biggest mistake of my life.
When I look back, I don’t regret my decision. I know I couldn’t have taken care of a child and I know I could have never gave them up to adoption if I had carried them for nine months. As a child, I grew up without a father (he left my mum when I was around 3) and I promised myself I would never give the same childhood to my own kids. Today, I’m barely even speaking to John, and that’s probably why I’m partially ‘okay’ with my decision. I got left alone in such a difficult time in a woman’s life, that I can’t even imagine what it would have been to see him leave once our kid was born. I’m crying as I write this post and that’s why I want to be honest with you guys and maybe change people’s minds.
It’s not because a woman chooses abortion, that she’s happy with her choice, heartless or irresponsible. I still suffer, I’m scared of getting pregnant again and I’m ashamed. I’m ashamed I couldn’t be stronger, and work harder to carry on this pregnancy. I’m mad at myself for letting people’s opinions cloud my judgment but at the end of the day, I still have a great relationship with my mum, I don’t suffer from PTSD and I consider myself lucky.
I have trouble talking about children and I shiver every time I see ads for pregnancy tests, but it’s something I have to live with everyday. Every month when I get my periods, I’m reminded of these few months where I didn’t have them. Every time I got a headache, I’m reminded of this time I passed out in the subway because I didn’t eat enough for two.
Women who make this choice aren’t against life or against children, they just have a reason you might not know about. When looking at me, you would have never guessed. It doesn’t mean it’s not there.