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By Chloë Lubell
There’s nothing dramatic about my abortion story.
I had been with my partner for five years already. It was the summer before our senior year of college, I had been planning to get an IUD sometime in the future, and then the condom broke. We drove to Planned Parenthood first thing the next morning and bought Plan B, but over the next few weeks I knew, in that gut-deep, fully-aware way, that I was pregnant.
Living alone in NYC in a 5th floor walk-up, I scoured the internet for ways to bring on my period. I took unadvisedly high doses of Vitamin C, drank disgusting parsley tea, even put parsley into my vagina. The whole time, though, I knew I was pregnant. Finally, I called my mother and asked if she was free that weekend. She picked me up at the train station and looked directly at me. “What’s wrong, Chloe?” she asked, and I immediately started crying. We drove straight to the grocery store and she left me in the car while she went in to buy a pregnancy test. At home it was positive, like I knew it would be.
A week before my birthday, that spring, I took the train from NYC to my parents’ house in Connecticut, got a cab from the train station to their house, borrowed their car, picked up my partner from his home two hours away, and drove both of us to Massachusetts where my friends lived. The abortion was excruciatingly painful, but when it was done I forced myself to sit up, and I asked to see the products of conception. The doctor showed me the embryo – it was about the size of a sesame seed and looked like one had been painted red. I cried when I climbed into the car to go home, not out of regret or sadness, but from relief. I cried because of the pain, and because I was sad I had to go through that, but I never once was sad I had done it.
That afternoon, my friends all crawled in bed with me and we watched terrible romantic comedies, drank herbal teas, and snuggled. I felt so loved.
Now I am a midwife with a husband, two cats, a job that I love, a blog that I love, friends who love me, and my whole life to make the active decision of when to have children. I’m able to offer abortion, adoption, and parenthood to my patients when they come to me, unsure and scared. I’m able to tell them the truth of what abortion is like and let them know it’s no horrible thing, that it is healthy and safe. I’m excited and eager to be a parent, knowing that it will be up to me.
Thank you, Planned Parenthood, for being there when I needed you.
Chloë Lubell is a Certified Nurse Midwife living and working in NYC. She is committed to making respectful, considerate, full spectrum reproductive health care available to everyone. She answers reproductive health-related questions daily on her blog themidwifeisin.com and is in the process of publishing a Sex Ed book full of images of people and bodies that vary widely and actually look like the bodies of the readers.