I met B during freshman year at college. He was 10 years older than I was, and at 28 he seemed so worldly—I couldn’t wait to hear his POV on even the stupidest stuff. And after a while, we started having sex, and B started saying I should have his baby.
Although I was 18 and legally an adult, I was still very much my parents’ kid. On school breaks I slept in my old bedroom filled with stuffed animals and had a curfew. My mother didn’t approve of B but she knew I was too old for her to say “don’t date that person.”
I told B his baby hopes were ridiculous. I wanted to be an author and a talk show host, not a teen mom. We kept having sex, but I made sure to take my birth control pills and we always used condoms. I never even considered that I could get pregnant.
Then I missed a couple periods and realized I’d gained way more than my Freshman Fifteen. I was knocked up, preggers, carrying B’s child. Mainly? I felt stupid, like a total loser, and was scared. When I told B, he revealed that he’d secretly slipped off the condom a few times. Since it was always pitch black when we made love, I never knew.
B said that I should drop out of school and move in with him and his mom. When I told him that I was thinking of not having the baby, he shook me violently and refused to help me pay for an abortion; but still promised he’d come with me if I could get the cash myself. It was abusive, but I was oblivious. All I knew was that I didn’t want this baby, and I didn’t want to spend my first year of college pregnant.
I sold my textbooks for $350 , wore big clothes, and set the appointment during school break. But on that morning, the guy I expected to support me was a no-show.
My appointment was in 90 minutes and the clinic said patients had to have an adult with them. I had no choice but to wake up my mom—who I’d never even had the sex talk with—and confess the whole thing. She asked if I was sure this was the choice I wanted to make but didn’t scold me, yell, or try to change my mind. If she’d used the word “disappointed” I think I would’ve died on the spot.
Protesters outside the doctor’s office yelled “Murderer” and other nasty things as my mother helped me inside. I attended a mandatory counseling session with other girls who looked about my age, where we heard about our other options and what we could expect from the procedure. For a minute, I felt like running out of there, but then I thought about actually having a baby and decided to go through with the abortion.
In another room, the doctor made small talk while the anesthesiologist gave me medicine so I’d fall asleep. I counted backwards from ten and woke up no longer pregnant.
B called the next day to apologize and begged to see me. I wish that I could say I didn’t take him back but that’s another story.
I went back to school and resumed my studies, feeling relieved. Sometimes now, when I see someone the age my child would have been, I think of that day. Still, I wouldn’t change my decision and I don’t have any regrets. Mainly, I’m so grateful my mom was there for me at a time when I really needed her.