There was no way I could be pregnant! I had been taking the pill the whole time my boyfriend and I had been together, so I couldn’t get pregnant, right? That’s what I thought then. It wasn’t until later that I learned that taking the pill, or any contraception, isn’t 100 percent sure.

I didn’t know what to do. My boyfriend and I hadn’t been together very long, and when I told him I was pregnant, he said it was my fault and took off. On top of everything, I already had a 1-year-old and wasn’t ready to have another baby.

I spent a lot of time at the beginning trying to blame someone or something. I think that I did that just so I could ignore the real questions I was facing.

When I did stop worrying about whose fault it was, I still had all of the issues involved with being pregnant to consider. First, there are the physical effects of being pregnant. I got really sick the first time I was pregnant, and I didn’t think I could go through that again. Also, I don’t think I had the emotional strength to go through all of it alone. It was more difficult than I’d imagined  to raise a child by myself, I couldn’t imagine having a second one so young as well. Finally, to be perfectly, honest, I just didn’t have the finances to raise a second child. We were barely getting by, even with help from others.

I did tell a couple of close friends what was going on, but once I decided to have an abortion, I knew I couldn’t tell my parents. They would have been completely against the idea, and I really didn’t want anyone to know anyway. I also chose not to get counseling for the same reason, even though I had a wonderful counselor to talk to the first time I was pregnant. It was definitely a mistake. Now I tell everyone that they need to see a counselor as soon as you know that you’re pregnant. It’s just nice to have someone to talk to who knows how you feel.

The actual abortion wasn’t what I expected either. I thought that everything would be easy and my problems would be over. Instead, I went through all of this turmoil, thinking, “How can I do this?” I was ashamed to tell anyone what I’d done. They say that your hormones are out of whack for a little while afterward, and I’m sure mine were, but I know that I would have felt sad regardless.

Fortunately, I haven’t had many physical complications, although there is always the chance that something could turn up later. I did have something called Post-Abortal Syndrome where your cervix closes up right afterward and you don’t bleed. After a few days, the bleeding is normal again.

Looking back on it, I guess I’m lucky in that I didn’t have more physical complications. The real, lasting effects are emotional. I’m still dealing with feelings of doubt, remorse and shame that I’m not sure will ever go away.

I guess I just thought that I didn’t have any choices when this happened. I was alone and struggling as it was, and I didn’t know what to do. I know that this is a very personal decision, but I would highly recommend a lot of counseling before making any choice. I wish I had spoken with someone before I decided.