I am educated. I am responsible. I get good grades. I am on the Dean’s List. I advocate for reproductive rights. I take my birth control pill every night at 9 PM. I am not the kind of girl that becomes pregnant in college. I am smarter than that type of girl. I am better than that type of girl. Actually, I am that girl.
Every month I dread the six days of my period. My back aches, my skin breaks out, I eat everything in sight, and I feel irritable. Last month I sat at home waiting for my period to begin. I waited and waited, days turned into weeks, and finally I decided to take a pregnancy test. My period has been late before, in fact it has disappeared for a couple months without any buns in my oven. I was very sure this was another case of that, nothing to worry about. I nonchalantly peed on the stick, and to my shock a plus appeared on the stick. A plus!
For those of you not familiar with store bought pregnancy tests, a plus means the woman is pregnant. I sat on the toilet in disbelief. How could I be pregnant? How did I mess up? How could I be so irresponsible? I was in such disbelief that I ran the test over to my boyfriend hoping he would explain my silly error, hoping he would say, “Oh no, you are reading it wrong! The plus means you are not pregnant!” He confirmed what I already knew. I was pregnant.
I had known for a few years I was pro-choice. I believe every woman has the right to choose the best option for her life. However, I have never been faced with the option myself. As I lay on my bed sobbing, so many thoughts went through my head. Would I ever graduate? What would my mom say? What kind of job would I need to get? The overarching thought was, how did I let this happen? I felt so much guilt and responsibility for becoming pregnant. Did I miss a pill? Was I too late taking a pill one night? What did I do wrong?
My gut reaction was to fix this. I woke up the next morning and made an appointment at Planned Parenthood for an abortion. The call center woman was helpful and she was able to schedule me for the following week. After I made my appointment I drove to the pharmacy and bought prenatal vitamins. I had not decided what I was going to do, and if I chose to have a baby I wanted it to be healthy.
This got me thinking about all the things I wanted for my future children. I never realized how many things I had always known I want for my children. Coming for a single parent household I know I want my children to have two loving parents. I want them to live in a safe neighborhood surrounded by other children, the kind of neighborhood where people know who you are and kids ride their bikes up and down the streets until dusk. I want my children to go to an awesome school, a school with loving teachers and kind children. I want to provide the best for my children; I want to provide more for my children than my parents provided for me.
I began to think about the life this child would have, if I had it in nine months. My time would be split between trying to graduate, working a low-paying, dead end job, and trying to figure out my relationship with his/her father.
This child would live in a small apartment because that is all I can afford right now. My parents’ home was recently foreclosed upon, and they do not have any extra money to spare. Therefore, the responsibility (both emotionally and financially) of a baby would fall completely upon myself and the father. Although I love my boyfriend a lot, the stress and pressure of a baby would place a tremendous burden on our relationship. My apartment complex is not what I picture as an ideal living environment for a baby. We live right off the freeway, on a busy street, and our downstairs neighbor resembles the Uni-Bomber. He keeps to himself, does not say hello, and does not know my name. He is not exactly the apple pie loving, block party throwing neighbor I had envisioned my child growing up next to. After a lot of deep consideration, I came to the conclusion I was not ready to have a baby.
What about adoption? This question was easy for me to answer. First, there are already a plethora of babies who do not have parents and need to be adopted. Second, I could not stand to let someone else raise my child. For me it was that simple.
I took a week to consider all of my emotions, thoughts, and concerns. After deep thought, I decided to terminate the pregnancy. Upon evaluating my decision I concluded it was based on a three things: logic, love, and selfishness.
First, I am logical about my financial situation, my emotional maturity, and my overall abilities as a twenty year old mother.
Second, I made my decision out of love for my future child. If I had a child now he or she would grow up struggling, as I struggled to survive. He or she would grow up as I grew up. A child deserves an adult for a parent, not another child. Simply stated, my child would have such a better life if he or she celebrated a birthday in 2022, instead of 2012.
Lastly, my decision is based off selfishness because I do not idealize babies the way Hollywood might like me to. I do not have impractical ideas, such as, having a baby with my boyfriend will make us fall even deeper in love, and we will get married and live happily ever after. So wrong! Relationships are hard work, some of the hardest work actually. I can only imagine babies would be even harder work. I want to graduate college. I want to start my career. I want to buy a house. I want pay off my student loans. I want to live my life before I become responsible for anyone else’s. Some might say this selfishness is bad, but I believe it is what I deserve. Also, I believe my child deserves to be born to a mother who is done being selfish, a mother who loves him or her more than anything in the world, and a mother who is ready for him or her.
Read Parts 3-4 Here.