“No woman can call herself free who does not control her own body.” Margaret Sanger
Dr. P. placed the Doppler on my lower abdomen. She moved it slowly. Deliberately. She was looking for the sound I would grow to love more throughout the coming months. Within moments I heard it. Like the flutter of a hummingbird’s wings. It was my Meggie’s heartbeat. Fast, strong, and determined. I didn’t know it at the time, but those words would be used to describe her many times as she was growing up.
The doctor let the Doppler rest on my belly. It was still flat. It wouldn’t be for much longer though. I listened to my little nudger. The whump, whump, whump was soothing, but I was terrified too. My mind wandered. To four years earlier…
I was 17 years old and a senior in high school. I had a steady boyfriend. I was scared. Anxious. Pregnant. I was holding in my hand a positive pregnancy test. I hid in my bathroom and waited till the middle of the night to take it. I held the test tube up to the light. I sobbed silently. Wondering what the fuck I was going to do.
The sad thing is, three months prior, I had called Planned Parenthood. I’d made my appointment to get my first pelvic exam and procure a scrip for the “Pill”. I didn’t go. I never rescheduled. And then after a night of unprotected sex, I got pregnant.
I called Planned Parenthood again. This time to find out more about an abortion. They were so caring, gave me guidance and information. The day of the appointment, my boyfriend took me. He was great. I’m glad he was with me. I couldn’t tell my mother. So I didn’t. I was so afraid she would be disappointed in me.
At the clinic I was given a blood test. It was positive. I knew it would be. I spoke to a counselor. She gave me three options. Adoption, abortion, or keep the baby. She did not pressure me to terminate my pregnancy. I was given a choice-I decided that I would have an abortion. They gave me expert medical care, birth control, and follow up counseling if necessary.
I never regretted what I did and it wasn’t a decision I made lightly. I’m glad that my boyfriend was there to support me. I’m happy I had a choice. A safe one.
As time went by, my relationship faltered and life moved on. A child wasn’t to be my destiny for another four years.
I came back to myself as Dr. P finished the exam. I was so excited to be pregnant. To hear my baby girl’s heartbeat. I was scared, but I wasn’t alone. I was little more grown up. Better prepared. I knew it was my destiny to be a mother.
I’m still pro-choice. Aborting my baby was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made. If I could go back in time, I’d make the same decision.
My heart aches for my first one. I often wonder what their heartbeat would have sounded like. What they would have become had they got the chance to grow up. I keep my mind on my Meggie and Adam Boy though. I know that they were my ultimate destiny. I was meant to be their mother, and that’s just fine with me.