Leela's Story

I was nineteen years old and on my way to completing my third semester of college when I found out I was pregnant.  I came to my physician expecting to have just a stomach flu or a bad cold because it was flu season.  Somehow, my gut feeling just told me to ask for a pregnancy test.  And BINGO!  My physcian's face said it all.  I was positive for pregnancy.   I was so shocked, I had to ask my physician a second time.  My physician asked me how will I deal with it.  I told her straight out that I wouldn't keep the pregnancy.  My physician was pretty closed to me so she understood my situation and agreed that abortion was best for me because a young lady going to a private university with a full scholarship and on her way to become a doctor cannot quit now.  A bunch of stuff was running through my head and I couldn't even remember my last period.  I was on a progestin only pill, which made my period irregular so my physician referred me to an OB/GYN to find out how far along my pregnancy was.  I only told my news to my boyfriend of four and a half years, one of my closest girlfriend, and my little sis.  It was too scary to tell any other people.  Especially, my strict, traditional father, who might get a heart attack if he finds out.
       A few days after knowing my pregnancy, I came to my appointment at the OB/GYN.  They gave me a pap smear, examined my private place, and did an ultrasound.  That was when I saw my baby for the first time in my tummy.  He/she was tiny, but I could see everything from the head, legs and hands to the little bottom.  The nurse told me that I was at 11 weeks.  I asked for some pictures of my ultrsound. (I still have them in a special place now.)  I wanted to cry so bad, but I didn't want to exspress my feelings in front of strangers that didn't understand what I was going through.  I asked myself, "how could I do this to the little thing?"  I was very angry at myself.  Then, I had to face the truth that I am pregnant and it was not going to be accepted.  I only had a few days to decide on keeping the baby or not before abortion gets too difficult.  The nurse gave me the abortion clinic number and advised me to talk it over with my partner first.  I called to make an appointment before letting my boyfriend know that I was REALLY doing the abortion because I know, regardless of what his decision is, I know I'm doing what's best for me and for him.
       It was the weekend before the abortion when I came to my boyfriend's place to confirm my decision and showed him the pictures of my ultrasound.  He knew my decision without me telling him and agrees with the abortion, but I can see the pain in his eyes when he saw the ultrasound pictures.  He said if I wasn't going to college and fulfilling my dreams, he would have made me keep the baby.  In my heart, I wanted to keep the baby, too.  We love kids.  However, with our situation, it's going to be difficult.  Although my boyfriend is twelve years my senior, he barely got his life started with a new job after fighting in Iraq for a year and he also has to pay child support for his child from a previous relationship.  At the time, it was hard for me to understand why it was fine for other girls to have babies and it's not for me.  The odd thing is, in four years of our relationship, we never used any protection whatsoever.  Then, as soon as I started my BIRTH CONTROL pills, I got pregnant two months after.  I had no clue that I was pregnant.  I was actually losing weight.  I was beyond shocked!
       I went to the pre-op. on my own to do blood work and examinations.  That made me feel like I was doing everything on my own-- pretty scary, you know?  The following Monday, December 12, 2005, I went to the clinic for the procedure.  Out of all the days, protesters just had to protest right on the day that I was having my abortion.  They were singing religious songs as soon as my girlfriend and I drove into the parking lot.  Then, they started screaming at us as we were walking to the clinic building.  I ignored them because I don't know them and they don't know me and my situation.  Their words hit me hard, but I made my decision and I have to hold my head high.  I was very nervous.  Nobody was allowed to go with me inside the procedure room and my friend that was waiting outside, seem to not really care about what I was going through.  She never had sex before so she didn't understand all these stuff.  My boyfriend didn't want to be the one to take me to the clinic were his baby was going to be terminated so he didn't take me.  Again, I felt lonely.  The other girls in the clinic seem to be reluctant on talking about their abortion so until I read the stories on fwhc.org, I never knew about any other abortion experiences.  The procedure was a quick and painless one.  I always get sick so I was used to needles going into my arms.  The only thing I felt was a burning sensation in my throat when the anesthesia kicked in and I was asleep.  One butterfly needle and it was all done.
       I cried myself awake.  Not because of the pain, but knowing that I no longer have my baby.  It hurts so bad.  I supposed to leave half an hour after the procedure, but I laid there for another two and a half hours and was the last one to leave the clinic.  The anesthetic kept me nausiated for awhile and I was throwing up. ( That was the only physically bad thing about my procedure.)  My friend took me to my boyfriend's house to recover.  My boyfriend took care of me for rest of the day after he came home from work.
       I cry myself to sleep every night and I still do now.  It's a terrible feeling to want a child so bad, but cannot have one now.  I come from a very strict asian family and my father put so much hope in me that I would be successful and not walk in my older sister's footstep.  I feel that I cannot give my child the proper support and care right now.  I never want my child(ren) to feel denied or live in rejection in anyway that's why I chose to abort my pregnancy.   

February 20, 2007

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