I was not ready to make this commitment, and neither was he.
Updated: Jan 4
When I was in college, after a spell of indiscriminate sex partners who were not at all interesting or good to me, I met an artist who had traveled the world. I fell in love for the first time. This man stayed in town with me for a few months then moved back home, which broke my heart.
After he left town in the middle of winter, my roommates also moved out, leaving me to pay the rent for our tiny house on my own. I couldn’t afford to pay for everything and turned down the heat to save money. I remember waking up in the morning that winter seeing my breath. At some point, my lover’s best friend came over, spent the night with me. We listened to the harp and flute, and we fell into bed together.
I moved in with him, because we were both broke and needed to pay rent. The first place was in his basement. Then we moved into a ratty second floor apartment above an abandoned downtown storefront. We had separate bedrooms and did not sleep together all the time, at least not at first. We
made art, food, sunshine together. I felt whole for the first time since I was young. We did have sex and when we did, it was great. And when I missed my period for the first time since I started having them, I took a pregnancy test, which was positive. We were both 24 years old.
When I told him that I was pregnant, he was very serious. We talked about our possible futures. We were both in college, and both very poor. He acknowledged that he was not ready to raise a child, and not ready to be a father. I acknowledged that having a child at this point in my life would lead to a whole
host of changes: ostracization from my parents, a sudden shift in my education and career plans, a shift from expansion and exploration to parenthood, which I knew would mean a dedication to raising a little human to adulthood probably on my own. I was not ready to make this commitment, and neither was he.
So. We scheduled an appointment with a doctor who agreed to perform an abortion for us. We scheduled this as soon as we found out, which couldn’t have been more than five weeks into this pregnancy. My boyfriend accompanied me to all of the appointments and could not have been a kinder, gentler supporter of this decision.
The doctor was so kind. He was older, and explained exactly what he was going to do, with both of us in the room. He was going to insert a plug of some kind of seaweed into my cervix, which would gradually absorb moisture over the next 24 hours and gently dilate the opening. He sent us home with instructions to come back the next day for the curettage. My boyfriend waited for me and took me
home afterwards. There was little to no pain, and we were both relieved.
There was some worry about the loss of the little child we had made together. We had a mutual friend who was kind of witchy and sweet. Her belief was that the soul of a child didn’t enter the body until it knew it was wanted. And if it had to wait til later on, it would return when the timing was better. This helped us get through our somber grieving immensely.