the abortion

When you’re the first procedure of the day you get the waiting room to yourself.

It was a square room, warm and dimly lit. Three of the walls were lined with chairs with disposable napkin type things on the seats. When you enter the room you’re already in your hospital gown and well, commercial fabrics do clean up well but maybe not that well…

The last wall was for a projector screen. There was a laminated sheet on the coffee table describing what would happen next. A short film on how I would be critically wounding the life in my womb was supposed to play but it never did.

I’m glad it didn’t. I would have hurled.

The anesthesiologist, doctor, and nurse were all incredibly pleasant. I got no more than their names before I woke up in another room full of women on hospital beds. We were all coming to next to each other. There were no dividers or curtains between us.

A nurse came by and pushed on everyone’s abdomen. “What’s your pain 1-10? What’s your pain 1-10″ What’s your pain 1-10?”

“Oh, God. Seveeeeeeen.” “5.” “O.”

I was zero.

“We have a bleeder.”

The nurse abruptly left and the Seveeeeeeen, with a dark face contorted in pain, moaned.

I was zero.


  1. During the first appointment you’re sat down and given a binder of FAQs and photos. They don’t give you a barf bag and they don’t give you a pardon for murder. I turned white in the face and got dizzy. I closed the binder, closed my eyes, and breathed deeply. I got up for water. I looked at the woman across from me — the most pregnant one in the room, and watched her cry. She was very pregnant and I was at one of the few places in the bay area that lets a woman be that pregnant.
  2. Two days later I had a session at a hotel near SFO. I was hesitant in accepting the offer and explained the boundaries right away. He questioned the rules but obliged. I did not like my body that day.
  3. The night before was the worst night of my life. We didn’t sleep. We fought all night. It started off  with the two of us supporting one another, then it became him, then it became me. We cried until I digested that he wants to do everything in the world that’s there’s a possibility of doing — with me —  including fathering children — including raising a child that might not be his.
  4. I did not tell him until it was all over and even then it was purely circumstantial. As close as I wish we were at that stage, we just weren’t, and are barely still. He is not the one I seek out for solace. He helps me in other ways, but not in that way. I wish that wasn’t the case. I have to put my hands over my face for a minute.

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