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Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion
 

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Not once Did they Ask How we Were, or How we Felt
Sherie
Texas, United States

At 13, I fell in "love" for the first time. We dated from 13-16. Within the 2nd year, I started to notice that I was missing my period. It wasn't until a friend mentioned that I needed to take a test. It didn't even cross my mind that we were not using protection.
My friend took me to get a pregnancy test. The results came back, and I was pregnant. How far along? I had no idea. The clinic lady gave me a bunch of brochures about abortion and unprotected sex. I ignored them and threw all the brochures away as we left the building. We walked to the corner phone booth, and I called a family member. I told her and begged her not to tell Mom until I was ready. She asked, "Who is the dad"? I said "B" of course. 

My mother found us, You and you NOW!" my mother screamed. She took us to my house and lectured us saying "You will get rid of it" The family member said, "I will make your appointment tomorrow" Not once did they ask how we were, or how we felt. They could have guided us and helped us with this, instead, they decided for us. I felt sad, scared, and confused. I didn't understand fully what an abortion was. I just knew I would no longer be pregnant. 

Later when we were standing alone my family member said, "You will NOT have a black baby" Unfortunately, my mother was weak in the presence of this family member and would follow her off a cliff if she asked. So, I knew to keep my mouth shut. 

Day 1 at the abortion clinic. That morning my mother and a family member took me to the clinic "to get a formal pregnancy test and to see how far pregnant I was" When we arrived there were so many people with picket signs and pictures of bloody babies, it was very scary. My mother stayed silent, and my family member said, "Keep your head down, walk fast, and don't talk with anyone". My family member had my arm and guided me into the building like I was being punished. She repeated herself, "Don't ask questions and do not talk with anyone", I asked, "but why did they have pictures of the bloody babies?" "She replied frustrated with a low voice "They are just trying to scare you, they are mean, now shut up, no more talking."  

The doctor finished the exam. I got dressed then the nurse took me to the front. She said to my mom, my family member, and myself that he did need to complete the procedure. The nurse turned to me and said "Tonight you will feel intense cramping, similar to a miscarriage, and it will be the cells dying. In the morning you will come and finish the procedure, removing the seaweed and cells" She handed me a pamphlet. I was shocked, this was supposed to be an exam. I thought we were coming to check on me being pregnant, not "a procedure" I was shaking from head to toe and the two women I expected most to comfort me were cold as ice. No one was explaining anything to me. 
THAT EVENING

All through the night I cried and tried to make sense of it all. I knew the pain indicated that it was dying inside of me. The pain was unbearable. My mother never checked on me.

Day 2 at a different abortion clinic. The next morning. myself, my boyfriend, my mom, and family member went to the clinic to have the seaweed and cells removed. I stayed close to him.

When they called me back, I stood and hugged my boyfriend, then they ushered me in. I could hear my family member say, "Do as they say, and don't ask any questions" My mother sat silent. 

The workers kept referring to the baby as "the situation" and "it". They made it seem as though they were removing a bad tooth. 

Due to being a minor they didn't say much to me or ask me any questions. I wish that I could have been braver and shouted "I am being forced and I don't want to do this" "I am so confused" I softly whispered, and the nurse looked at me and turned away. I wish I knew that I could have fought back, but I knew who I was up against and that was a losing battle. Then I thought, why am I fighting, the baby is dead, this is just maintenance, and I took a deep breath. 

The nurse had me change into a gown, then escorted me to the table and started to prep me for the D & C. Needles were being inserted into my arms to put me to sleep, everything was moving in slow motion, and I was so cold. I lay there with tears falling from my eyes and my body shaking, my thoughts about the night before running through my mind. Then out of nowhere as I lay there shivering, nude from waist down and my legs in stirrups, janitors started walking in and out of the room sweeping and emptying trash as if this was just another day at the office.

I woke up in recovery, they gave me juice and crackers and I was escorted to my awaiting family.

Time passed, the subject was never brought up again. The father and I stayed together for some time then his mother moved him to Atlanta. But we grew apart. 

After 30+ years I spoke with the father of my baby. The father was so kind and concerned when I expressed the years of sorrow that I experienced and all the nightmares that I had. He said you know that I named him. I felt some relief knowing all those years I was not alone in my grief.

The misconception that men do not feel anything when women decide to have an abortion is false. The choice was forced on us and the innocent baby boy. 
Over the years I struggled with my weight, some drugs, alcohol, and broken relationships. All while grieving, self-sabotaging, and spiraling out of control due to this agony and sorrow deep inside.  

Now 38+ years I started writing and when I came to the 13-year-old part of my story I wanted to be factual and I discovered what truly happened on days 1 and 2. I just happened to run across a post on Facebook a friend's friend, and it said, "abortion recovery" What great timing. I spoke with her, and she advised me to go to a retreat. It was a healing and strengthening experience. I am currently writing a book to share the truth of my story. And I am determined to help every woman I can with her recovery after her abortion.


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