I had hot flashes for another month; a constant reminder that I was pregnant.
He did not want to have this baby, my own daughter is 16 years old and would be out of high school in just over two years, and then the days I have put away since I was 22 years old would be here. I would be free. I would be free to move to the beach and go to graduate school, and do something else with my life other than Girl Scout Leader and PTA vice president, and be someone’s full time mother.
If I had this baby I was signing up for another 18 years of Mommy-dom.
Abortion would be such an easy out. Not many people would ever know I was pregnant; those who did would either understand the termination or could be told I miscarried. It would be like it never happened.
But, part of me wanted this baby. I loved this man – and it was a fluke that we got pregnant. How could I end something I was starting to really want. But also, how could I do this to him. He had two children from his marriage that isn’t even six months dead. He was getting used to living on his own, and just recently stopped his “dating Olympics”.
So the choice lay between what I wanted and what would be kinder to him. Pro-lifers would interject that the choice should also include the rights and possible feelings of an unborn child – but at less than a month in development: I didn’t really think a fetus would have the ability to have an opinion.
That weekend my daughter had a sleepover at her best friend’s house so I went to Arcadia to spend time with him. We did not mention the pregnancy. Early the next morning; he woke me up and told me I had to leave before he collected his daughters. He did not want to explain to them why I was in his apartment before breakfast.
Wow, suddenly I felt disposable. He did not ask me if I would mind leaving early, and he did not ask if I could be dressed and waiting in a spot other than his bed room. He wanted me gone. Here I have to tell you that over a month prior we had out first overnight date. I had never gone away with a boy before on a weekend date and I was excited. I felt special and nervous and excited. I wasn’t worried about having sex with him because we had already crossed that bridge and the timing was physically wrong for me anyway. Part way through our meal the first night he received a text from his exwife asking if he could come home a day early and get his girls. He called her from the table and it became apparent that she did not know he was on a date. When we left our excursion early the next day, he dropped me off in a local park while he collected the girls because he did not want to disclose that he had taken me away with him. A pattern was forming here and I did not like it. This was not romantic, not special or even particularly polite.
I was thinking about having an abortion that I was more and more reluctant to scheadule – out of kindness and concern for a man who was showing very little regard or respect for me. Clearly we both had to re-examine our priorities.
Two days later I was still undecided and sitting at my desk. If you are starting to think that I am always at my office desk, well, you would be right. I feel like I live there/ I called Kaiser and asked about how a pregnancy termination was scheaduled. Kaiser does not perform them, however they do contract out to Family Planning and the co-pay is $30. I had already had a urine test with a positive result. Now I simply had to go through a three day waiting period before I could call and make the appointment. I called the father and told him the news and rules and proceedures.
Three days later he called me on my cell phone and asked if I had made the call yet. I started Googleing the Family Planning site and read all about how terminations were done at various stages of pregnancy. I felt sick. I felt scared, and I needed someone to hold my hand. I needed him to hold my hand.
“Sonya, if it were me, I would have been on the table with my feet in the air within seconds of findoung out I was pregnant. I would want that thing out of there!I have a good friebd who has had three abortions and she is doing just fine. It is no big deal. Saddle up Cowgirl and make the call!”
I walked outside with the number to the clinic written on my hand. There are newspaper boxes on the sidewalk in front of my office and close to the restraint that shares the parking lot. I lay my head on one of them and called him back.
“I can’t do this alone. I can’t schedule it. I don’t know when you are available and…I need you to be with me when I make this call. We made this baby together, I need us to be together when we schedule ending it”
“Sonya, stop being the baby here. It’s just a phone call and I am busy right now. I can’t figure out how to reset my Tivo. The power went out here and nowi can’t make it work. Just call and then call me back.”
I did not call. First of all, what happened to the sweet and wonderful man I loved and had been dating? What happened to “I will be there no matter what you decide”? For the first time, it occurred to me that he had never asked me what I wanted, our conversations revolved around what he wanted.
I don’t know if I was just trying so hard to please him and keep him, or if I was more concerned for his emotional well-being than my own, or if just doing what he wanted kept me from having to examine my own heart; but I was having a crash landing into reality.
What did I want? What was I feeling? Why was I more concerned about keeping a man who didn’t reach out and ask about my feelings or show any concern for what I felt, only what I did.
What did I feel?
I felt guilt. I felt guilt that it was my birth control that failed, my choices that put us here and now I felt responsible for undoing what I had done. I felt guilt that I was attached to the idea of this baby and happy that I was pregnant even while I was reading web sites on how to kill it. I felt blessed to be pregnant and fearful that not embracing this opportunity would really piss off God.
The religious among you, and the Tom Leykis fans who are reading this will point out that I had already committed a mortal sin by screwing a man I am not married to. From my point of view, however, sleeping with him is not a sin. I loved him and sleeping with him has always been the most natural thing in the world. Especially when you consider that he is the man I gave my virginity to. Even when I am outraged, his touch calms me. Making him smile is a victory. And being in the same room without touching him is an exercise in self-control. Holding him, kissing him, touching him, licking him and making love to him are not things I have ever felt guilty about. They have been a joy, a pleasure and a gift to show him that he is cared for and loved.
I read, I prayed, I spoke with religious officials of many faiths, and eventually decided that he and I needed to speak again on this topic and I needed him to understand where I was emotionally.
That weekend he went away with buddy to gamble and I volunteered to cat-sit. On 4×5 inch bits of stationary I poured out my heart. It took 9 pages. I told him everything I have told you here: about my joy and sorrow and fear and anger.
When he came home, he called me to say he read the note. His next words were to ask if I had scheduled the abortion yet.