When it comes to unwanted pregnancies, this country tends to automatically think of Teen Pregnancy. Yes, teen pregnancy is high, but what are you going to really do about it? Sew girls legs shut until they’re 30? Drug teen boys up so they can’t get an erection? If you watch Teen Mom and 16 & Pregnant
(as obsessively as I do) most of those girls did know about protection and sex, they just thought they were the exception. We all think we’re the exception — oh, I can do a little coke, I’m not going to get all crazy like Bobby McGee. Ashley died in a drunk driving accident, that won’t happen to me, I am a much better driver even if I’ve had a couple.
Some people think having shows on like Teen Mom and whatnot is doing a disservice to the youth of today, that these girls in the show that are struggling to get by and make it through are glamorizing teen pregnancy. Teen pregnancy in this country has gone down since those shows. They are watching those girls’ relationships fail, trying to figure out how much money they have and will need to be able to get the baby diapers and all the other fun stuff that comes with caring for a human being that’s not yourself. They are seeing these girls having to put themselves and their desires and wants on the back burner in order to do what’s best for the child they mistakenly had.
They are even seeing the struggle of a teen couple that chose adoption for their child. Seeing how hard it can be because you love your baby, but you know your baby needs a loving stable household to get to have a better life than what you grew up with and can offer. The only surviving couple on that show is the couple that chose adoption. Doing so they were able to graduate high school, go onto college and are getting married sometime in the future.
Farrah kept Sophia but unfortunately had to deal with the demise of her child’s father. She was able to be successful with having Sophia because she has a huge family support system. Without her family, her struggles would have been a lot worse.
My point is, teen pregnancy isn’t the only unwanted pregnancy issue we have. There are women of all ages and stages that are finding themselves with a none to happy accident. I am 100% pro-choice — with limitations such as only early term abortions and I think it would be best if a system was in place that women could not use it as a form of birth control — but we need to get ourselves educated and keep educated.
When I was in college, I found myself pregnant with Jorge, the love of my life. I was on Depo Provera and had forgotten to get my shot October 18th so on January 18th, I walked into the Planned Parenthood and was told by a nurse that I missed a shot and would need a pregnancy test before she could give me this shot. Jorge and I were like rabbits, not that you really need to know that, but I didn’t think much of it. She walked into the exam room with a grim look to her face and said, “Sarah, you’re pregnant.”
The reaction I felt was sheer terror. As if I had been shot through the heart and it wasn’t by Cupid’s arrow. I seriously was in such shock that the words that came tumbling forth were, “You’re kidding me.” The lady was extremely obtuse and said like a stern teacher, “I don’t kid about these things.” I wanted to kick her in the teeth. She started going over some pamphlets, but I didn’t hear anything she was saying, I took them and walked out of the Planned Parenthood. I barely made it to my car when the uncontrollable sobs came on and I could barely breathe.
Jorge was in class so I texted him that I needed to see him now and he said to meet him in the courtyard. I told him the news and continued to cry and he just simply held me without saying a word. He went back to the class to get his things then we went home where I proceeded to call my mom.
I don’t know if it was the hormones, but I couldn’t sleep and would keep Jorge up crying that I didn’t want to be pregnant. I don’t know why I felt that way. Most women get all happy, I was anything but. I was the most depressed I’d been in my life. I would call my mom almost every night at the most insane hours of the night and tell her how I couldn’t do this. I didn’t want to do it. She of course would tell me I can handle anything and it was going to be OK. Jorge refused to tell his mom. She had to know though, I wasn’t a very quiet crier.
Then I saw an OBGYN outside of Planned Parenthood. The news I was getting is that the embryo/fetus/whatever it’s called wasn’t developing enough to where it needed to be. He had me come in every week almost to see if there was a change. There wasn’t. My sister wanted me to come down to her doctor to get a second opinion and find out what was going on.
That’s when I was told that I had what was at the time called a Blighted Ovum. It is now called ETPF or Early Term Pregnancy Failure. Blighted Ovum sounds better because it doesn’t have the word failure and if you’re a woman trying to get pregnant, I don’t think you want to hear failure come from a doctor’s mouth. I should start a petition about that.
Basically it’s either that a sac has developed without anything inside or that the fetus stopped developing at a young stage. It is believed this happens because there is a genetic abnormality that prevents the baby from developing properly.
I had two choices to pick from; I could miscarry naturally, but take the risk of hemorrhaging or I could have a D&C, which basically means they would knock me out, dilate my cervix and scrape and vacuum out the lining and tissues and all that fun stuff. I chose the D&C so I didn’t end up in an Emergency room either bleeding to death or getting blood transfusions. I don’t really understand why anyone would choose to miscarry. Could there be a possibility that you don’t, maybe, but it’s very slim nowadays with all the technology they have.
Emotionally I couldn’t help the feeling that God/Ala/Zeus/Creator had something to do with this. I would have done anything at the time to get out of the situation of taking such a huge responsibility. I also am thankful that I am not detained to Jorge for the rest of my life.
I will never shake the feeling, though, that having that D&C was a lot like choosing to have an abortion. I would have done anything to not be a mother, but I would have never done that. I am pro-choice, it’s just not a choice I’d take. People don’t understand what a woman or girl goes through when they make the choice to have an abortion. It is not relief after the procedure. Maybe I am wrong and it is to some, but even when you know you’re not in the right frame to raise a child, it still emotionally wrecks you. I’ve seen what my friends have gone through.
Today is a day to spread awareness so that you or someone you know doesn’t have to go through something I have gone through or another has gone through. Even when you think you know, there can be that time you slip and it can end up not being such a pretty fall.