People told me that I was glowing. My breasts felt full, my hormones brought me to a deeper climax. A barista who knew me asked “are you pregnant”. As if it were his business. I was shocked that he could tell.
I had been told that I had to wait until 8-weeks to have the operation. I had opted for sedation. I did not want to be awake while they scraped inside my uterus.
My friend came with me to the ultrasound that I was booked in for — it was not where I would have the procedure and the nurse seemed to think that I was going to continue with the pregnancy.
I found the continued pressure from the outside weighing in on my choice. These subtle, yet powerful acts of being the “proper choice”, what they expect from a woman, as opposed to having options and being neutral to that.
I questioned my intuition at around the 6 to 7-week mark. This growth inside of me began to feel present. I enjoyed how my body felt in those weeks. And a sort of cloudiness came over my mind pushing to keep it. But my knowing of what was best for me took me to the clinic on the scheduled date.
It was illegal to get an abortion in Queensland Australia, yet they move around this clause with “certain reasons” to abort. On the day I was ushered into a room and questioned about my reason to abort. The woman was friendly, though it was very formal. She wrote down that I was not mentally able to have a child at this stage. Then I could go upstairs and proceed with what was my choice…
I felt guilty and selfish. Though these feelings did not come from my true sense of self. It was more of a veiling of what I expected myself to feel. Instead, I felt quite distant from what was growing inside of me, later I felt that it appeared to show me that I should leave an abusive man.
I knew that my situation was not suitable for a child.
Following the procedure I sat in a room wearing a gown, groggy. Women from all walks of life sat beside me. Some I had seen before going in. Most of us did not make eye contact, when this was the moment where our contact with one another would have been most important. We had all shared an experience, built from different situations and backgrounds.
Did we not look at each other out of respect for the other, or was it the shame of what we had just done? —
I am so grateful that I was able to abort even with the loops that surrounded my procedure. I thought that these were “normal” until I spoke with friends from Scandinavia who were shocked by what the system put me through.