The morning was bright and warm in October 2006 and I was sitting in the waiting room with my bestfriend, making jokes between us trying to lighten the atmosphere. It was just after 9am, and we were 1 of 3 couples of people waiting to be seen to.
I will never forget the look of fear on one girls face, and the other was crying. Both of their companions were reading magazines.
When my name was called to see the nurse, I laughed about how I’d see *Lisa on the otherside. I had no idea what was ahead of me.
I walked into a room that looked like a radiographers setup – a bed, a tv screen, and an ultrasound machine.
The nurse asked me to lay on the bed and lift my shirt. She needed to get my “dates accurate”.
“Ok, 11 1/2 weeks. Good to go. Wait in the waiting room until you’re called.”
And back I went for a few minutes until another nurse called me into a room that looked like a dental surgery, only this one had the ankle stirrups like I was going to be giving birth.
There were 2 ladies in the room. They were lighthearted, asking if I’d been for breakfast, what I was doing in the afternoon, making general chit chat.
One of them asked me to remove my pants and lay back on the chair. The conversation turned to the images of all the men and cartoon characters that were on a distractive collage plastered on the ceiling as a nurse inserted the needle into my hand for the anaesthetic.
I remember we mentioned Brad Pitt and how he waaaaaaasssssss………… that’s about where I fell asleep
I woke to Lisa holding my hand and wiping my tears away. She said that I had been out for about an hour, and had come in to sit with me until I woke, just after they had wheeled me in to the recovery room. Lisa said that I had tears running down my face for the whole time she had been with me and the look of worry on her face was something I had never seen before.
In the years that I had known Lisa, all I knew was sarcasm, jokes and more sarcasm. Seriousness wasn’t something that she did very well.
The process was cold. There were no feelings shown by any staff, however, empathy is probably the furthest thing from their minds granted their position.
We were home by lunchtime, and I felt numb, confused by what I had done (and why I was doing it with my best friend rather than my boyfriend), alone and empty.
It was only the Wednesday before this surgery that I had found out I was pregnant.
I used to work in Sydney, and it would take me 2 1/2 hours each way to get to work, and on that morning I had slept through my connecting train stop, and then fallen asleep again on the next train, missing my station. When I was walking to work I was so nauseous that I was having stomach cramps, my head was spinning and I couldn’t get my vision to focus.
It was through the morning amp-up session that one of the girls laughed about how funny it would be if I was pregnant – that thought hadn’t even crossed my mind as I was on the pill, and Jon was very clear about watching me take it every day.
But it was the retrace of our steps that had me on edge and I couldn’t concentrate any further.
The night that I met Jon we were at a party for his sisters’ birthday and we had hit it off immediately – he was tattooed, he had well toned arms that made you imagine him swooping you up, a look in his eye that made you feel like a million dollars, and he wasn’t afraid to dance (albeit badly and he was so much more attractive for it 😉).
He introduced me to cowboy shots, and for the next few hours we ate, drank, laughed and danced like it was a party for just us 2. Neither of us had any care for anyone else there.
It was my kind of night with my “dream guy”.
When I told Jon that I was pregnant, he was angry, but nothing could have prepared me for his reaction.
He was a steroid user and I was used to his quick temper. Oddly, it didn’t worry me, probably because he was so open about his usage from the early on.
The termination was booked the following day, and he had already made payment arrangements.
Lisa and her boyfriend took the day off work to take me as Jon had appointments for a legal case coming up.
I got a text message that morning and then in the afternoon he dropped in at our house and gave me a bunch of flowers, asked how I was and that was the second last time I saw him.
The next time I saw him, he had moved into “the party house” with a couple of mates.
My pregnancy termination was not made easily, or quickly. It was by far the hardest thing I have endured to date, and still 10 years on, I really struggle every October, and this year, it is still impacting me heavily in December.
My decision to terminate this pregnancy came after several doctors visits (mainly because of my drug and alcohol intake in the preceeding months), calls to different counselling services, and many many tear-fuelled conversations with my greatest support person, my dad.
Living in regret is not something I agree with, however, in this regard, the choice I made at that time was right.
It wasn’t easy, and it came with many side effects – I went into a spiral of depression, alcohol abuse, unemployment, and it saw me involved in situations I’m not proud of, but they have shaped me into the person I am today.
Abortion is a taboo topic, and one that is so heavily judged.
While I may have had this procedure, it doesn’t mean that it’s something I am comfortable with. I am prochoice, and any big decision you make should be considered through your own education, research and lastly, based on what is right for you.
*Name’s have been altered to protect identity.