- 5 years ago
Disclaimer: This is a pro-choice post, meant to echo with those who are CFBC either for the current time or indefinitely. If you are pro-life, have strong feelings against abortion or disagree with my post, please abstain yourself from commenting. I do not which to initiate a discussion about the rights and wrongs of abortion, but rather to get to know others who have been where I have and who have shared the same anguish as I have. I must also add that this text might contain some triggers (for those against abortion), so consider yourselves warned in case you decide to read it. Thank you.
Last week I thought I was pregnant. And I panicked. I am not ready to have kids. I do not even know if I’ll ever be. I am not ready neither financially or emotionally. A kid, right now, would not be loved but resented…Why were you to be born when I never asked for you?
Last week I thought I was pregnant. My period was late (or, more accurately, it hadn’t arrive by the time I wanted it to arrive), I had been feeling nauseous for the last weeks, more tired than usual (then again, I am a very lazy person) and peeing more often (or so I thought, I have never really counted the times I went to the bathroom before). According to the internet, all of the above meant that I could be pregnant (or suffering from diabetes, depression, PMS, etc. But hey, who think about that when you could be pregnant?), so after dwelling on it for too long I decided to take a pregnancy test.
Friday morning and I was peeing on a stick. Then, as I waited for the results, I resort to pray: “Dear God, please let me not be pregnant, please, let me be free of kids”. Miraculously, God answered my prayers as the pregnancy test gave me a negative. I was not pregnant.
But then I read somewhere that sometimes pregnancy tests can be inaccurate if they are taken on the early stages of pregnancy, and once again I found myself lost in a turmoil of feelings: If only I was naturally infertile!
By Sunday afternoon I had drove myself crazy, so I decided to approach my husband and tell him about my despair: I could be pregnant and my life would be ruin (a little bit overdramatic? Maybe, but that was how I felt). There was a brief gesture of fright before he finally spoke: You are not pregnant. His voice was confident but lack certainty, how could he know for sure that there wasn’t an evil little monster on my belly? He recounted: You have been taken your pill every day at the same time, we have avoided having sex on your fertile days and I never cum inside (we do not use condoms because I am allergic to them). He made sense, but I wasn’t convinced so I argued back with my so-called pregnancy symptoms. He thought for a moment before replying: well, I still think you are not pregnant and shouldn’t worry. To which I nodded.
And so, I found myself Monday night with a glass of wine and thinking about my options if I were to really be pregnant. On one hand, I could have the baby and keep it hoping I would eventually learn to love it once I’d delivered it. It would probably meant sacrificing everything I ever wanted, but I would have pleased my parents and in-laws. I thought about my life as a mother and couldn’t help but cry. I refuse to give up my life for motherhood, I do not want a child.
On the other hand, I could abort. End the pregnancy before I even noticed, and resume my life as a childfree person, responsible for no one else but myself. It was sort of refreshing to have that option in mind and I took a deep sip of wine before realizing that abortion, although an option, was a very difficult one.
You see, I live in a third world country where women are still expected to get married and start popping kids right away. A place where women should aspire to have three kids at least, and one of them must be a boy. I live in a country where it is more accepted to say “I got accidentally pregnant and decided to keep the kid even if I have no idea on how I am going to give him what he needs (food, school, love, etc.)”, than “I got accidentally pregnant and I am going to abort it because I can’t afford to have child and give him proper care”. Emotions are considered stronger than reasons, and being a bad mother is more appreciated than being a kind childless person.
Yes, there is the option of giving him in adoption, but anyone who has ever visited an orphanage in my country knows that it is worse than living on the streets: there are countless cases of orphan kids being raped, tortured and killed at orphanages. And even then, society will turn you down for abandoning a child: “You are a woman”, they will say, “you should have motherly instinct”, they’ll accuse. Mothers who aren’t mothers are either pitied or despised.
And then there is the cost, because abortions are illegal in all parts of the country with the exception of one city. If I were to have an abortion I’d need to travel there and pay for accommodations (plus anything else I might need), all while making sure I get an appointment on time (before 12 weeks, otherwise it is illegal) and pay the hospital fees –if they apply. Afterwards, it would become my secret, our secret. A terrible secret I would be unable to discuss with anyone besides my husband. A secret I would be fearful that it’d get discovered (Who would hired me knowing I aborted?). And unlike all the accidental mothers who can still count on their loved ones to support them, I would be left alone because who wants to comfort a “killer”?
And so, as I finished my wine, I concluded that abortion while being the best solution had the worst consequences. It would be nice, I thought, to live in a country were abortion was an easier option.
That night I dreamed about Belgium and Canada and Sweden and Netherlands, and all other countries were abortion is legal. I imagined a place were getting accidentally pregnant wasn’t necessarily a source of anxiety and stress because there always an option to terminate it. I smiled counting myself as one of those women who are not tied up to religious ideas that have found their way into the minds of those who control abortion laws. Dear government, I protested, I do not share your morals and values, I am not a Catholic or Christian, so why do you use such arguments against me?
I should not have to give up sex just because I could get pregnant. It is not my fault that my body didn’t came with an on and off switch button for fertility. As someone who actively avoids getting pregnant (with multiple methods) I know there is no 100% sure solution (besides sterilization), there is always a chance –even as little as 1%– that you could get pregnant. It would be nice to have abortion as an option for such cases.
I woke up next morning to a welcoming menstruation. My fears for being pregnant dismissed, but there was still some bitterness in my mind. If I had been pregnant my options would have been quite limited, with the most reasonable one (for me, a grad student living on a rental space with a small budget and no interests in starting a family) being more of a challenge than a choice.
As I went on with my day I realized I do not fear abortion (and I shouldn’t fear pregnancy, I should have an option over it). I fear my country and its society, where aborting is seemed as wrong by a majority of people who call themselves pro-life but would never adopt a child because “they are not my flesh and blood, so I would never love them the same”. I fear that even those legal clinics that exist nowadays, are slowly being pushed by non-profit organizations and the government to shut their doors, all because they don’t follow the Catholic values. I fear that eventually abortion will stop being a choice at all, and my next pregnancy scare I’ll find myself choosing between having it, or buying a roundtrip ticket to Germany.
For those of you have had pregnancy scares, I invite you share your stories and experiences (or just to comment and join my train of thoughts). I know this is a topic that is usually avoided because most people do not want to hear a woman say “I thought I was pregnant and instantly began searching for ways to miscarriage” (yes, I have done that -not that I am exactly proud of it); but honestly I think it would do us some good to talk about it –if anything, just to take it out of our shoulder.
I can’t be the only woman who is so adamant against getting pregnant, right? And yet, when I open my Facebook or talk with my friends/relatives, they all seem so willing to get pregnant (even by accident) while condeming those that don’t want to. If I post something saying “I am happy I don’t have kids”, I am immediately shut down with “you don’t know what you are talking about” or “kids are the best things”; if I share with a friend that I am CFBC, they give me this disappointing look and our conversation almost immediately dies.
I am getting tired of this stigma that women should be happy to get pregnant and have kids. I long to hear someone say to me “you know what? I do not want to get pregnant at all”, and share with me the anxiety and panic a women who doesn’t want kids feels when she gets a pregnancy scare.
Overall, I guess I just want to feel less of an evil person for hating the idea of getting accidentally pregnant. Deep down, I know I’m NOT evil for feeling this way, but this is how society is making me feel, and I would like to surround myself -if only virtually- by people who go against this idea.