In 2006 I had an abortion. It hurts to type those words.
I had just turned fifteen when I discovered I was seven weeks pregnant. My boyfriend (who I would go on to spend a further five awful years with) was seventeen at that time. I was smitten, and at my young age I didn't see the selfish, cold, ruthless nature he was hiding under the surface.
My parents are Christians; they didn't know how to handle it, looking back now. I think they were more concerned with what the church would think of my pregnancy.
I remember telling my boyfriend that I was going to keep the baby. He told me he would leave me, that I would be alone and no one would want to be with someone who is 'damaged goods'. He told me the school would not let me finish my education, and that he would deny he ever met me. I was terrified. My education was my life, and I believed that I would be on the streets if I kept the baby.
At the abortion clinic, I sat in the waiting room with my mum and my boyfriend. I remember my mum sat with her jaw clenched. And I was shaking and crying. My mum told me it wasn't too late to go home. My boyfriend put his arm around me and said 'you know what I want', she didn't hear him and thought he said 'you can do what you want'. I felt trapped between the two of them, I wanted to go home but I could sense his anger next to me.
During the procedure I was taken to a room with five reclining chairs where I had to sit and wait. When I was taken to the theater, they were so clinical, except one nurse. I told her I was scared, and that I was only a child. I remember her looking at me like she was sorry before the general anesthetic kicked in.
When I came around I was put back in the reclining chair to recover. I was surrounded by four other women, they all looked so defeated. I don't think I felt anything.
I left the clinic and got into the car. My boyfriend held my hand and whispered 'I don't think we made the right decision'. I'm sorry. WE?! Looking back now, I can see the venom in that statement. He wanted the abortion, and he was after pity now that it was irreversible.
As time went on I remained quite distant from the experience. I tend to just get on with things and tell myself that people have it so much worse.
I fell pregnant at age 18 by the same guy, I was on the pill at the time and never failed to take it. I miscarried at five weeks. Blood tests showed that my hormone levels were incapable of sustaining a pregnancy. I was told it would likely remain that way and conception would be extremely unlikely, and if it did happen, I would probably miscarry before I took a test.
I stopped feeling like a woman then. I think it was the first time I allowed myself to think of the abortion. I felt as though I had lost my only chance. I couldn't talk to my boyfriend about it, as he had become even colder over the years, so I tried to forget.
Eventually, I left the relationship, having realized that the abortion and miscarriage along with many other factors had left me destroyed. And that he was enjoying what he had done.
I spent a year alone, trying to find who I was, but from time to time it all came back to the abortion.
I am now 21, in my final year of University. I have met a guy who quite literally changed my life. In November 2012 I went for some blood tests to check my hormone levels, the test showed that I was 14 weeks pregnant. When I saw that little baby on the screen, I felt a change in me. I spoke to him in depth about the abortion, which I have never done before, and it was his acceptance and kindness that gave me the strength to confront myself about the child I terminated. I have spent a lot of time during this pregnancy hating myself, calling myself a murderer. But I am slowly making peace with myself. My son is due in eight weeks. We have named him Ezekiel (which means 'strength of God'), because that is exactly what he is. He gives me strength that I never thought I had, and he brings out the best in me and his father, even before he has arrived. I thank God every day for giving me the courage to be alone, just long enough to find the person who accepts and loves me, and who has led me to face my biggest demon in this whole experience - myself. (And the most amazing thing about this man, is that he doesn't know how much he has saved me.)
I would also like to add, that before anyone considers having an abortion, watch ‘The Silent Scream’. It’s outdated and a bit slow at first, but it will change everything.