In a class full of kids that were older than me, there were 2 people I considered to be my f r i e n d s. A friend who was a part of my “crew”, who was very rarely in school, Bonnie, and A friend who was a year younger than me, a grade below me Jim. About 2 weeks prior to this, I had told Jim, that I wouldn’t be there on the last day of school. Eventually, I had told him of my appointment for that day. I didn’t regret telling him, in fact I felt a bit relieved, to share my secret, my burden with someone I normally would not share that sort of thing with. I didn’t regret sharing with him, not until I walked back to class that day.
Walking towards the classroom door, slowly approaching, I heard whispering. I definitely heard my name, and I was pretty sure I heard the word B A B Y. I also my friend Bonnie’s voice. She was p i s s e d.
I watched from down the hall as she grabbed my things off of my desk, told the e n t i r e classroom to, “shut the fuck up” , told my teacher that it would have been more wise of her to learn how to mind her own fucking business that way she could have made a lesson out of that, that EVERYONE could really use, and angrily storm out of the class and down the hall.
I was blankly staring towards the classroom when she reached me.
Bonnie weaved her fist through the spot between my elbow and the side of my body, interlocking our arms, and we walked down the Senior hall, through the back, down the stairs, past the Pre-K hall , and out the secret side door. That was my last day of 10th grade. The last day I saw almost all of those people, until Summer was over. Until my Junior year.
While everyone else was waking up and getting ready for their last day of school – I was pulled over on the side of the road throwing up out the window of my moms Ford Explorer. While everyone else was taking tests and having locker clean out parties, I was being patted down, and searched, while checking in with secret code words. While they were laughing, I was crying.
I couldn’t believe this place. I couldn’t have ever imagined it the way it was. I’d never have believed that there were that many women going there for this procedure every day.
One by one I watched women go into one room, and back to their seats. Into another room, and back to their chairs. One by one I watched as they walked to their final destination, and were wheeled out some time later.
During what would have been 3rd period of my school day, I looked up at the clock hanging on the wall in the counselor/ support person’s office.
I wasn’t allowed to be afraid in the waiting room with my mother. So when this women called me into her room and shut the door behind us, once I was sure it was just us two, alone, I felt all the waves of emotions run d o w n my body, literally like waves, from my head to my toes, and back at my head again.
“You know, you still can change your mind, we can still put in the order to have you put you to sleep. You don’t have to go through this awake. Being put to sleep is a l o t better for someone your age, as it will make this very fuzzy, and you won’t remember a t h i n g. It’s only $100 more, and we can bill your insurance”
She brought my mother in a few minutes later.
“Oh how did I know.” She stated matter of factly, right before going off on me right there in front of this kind spirited stranger.
” Of course you come in here and talk behind my back, Your a sneak. No, you will not be getting put to sleep. She does NOT need to be put to sleep. I was awake when I got it done, and it is NOT your decision. This is something your gonna remember for-ever. It is faster if your awake. You are 15 years old and you are pregnant, if you don’t want Daddy to find out, than you don’t have a say in this. Plus, you need to be awake incase anything happens. We are NOT using insurance for this as we do NOT want her father to know. The dad, her much older boyfriend Anthony, got a money order for $500 and we will not be paying a penny more.”
Kind spirit was staring at mother in what looked to be confusion, and maybe a little bit of fear. She started to explain how they could remove the charge for being put to sleep, but before she could finish, my mother said that we are done in here, and if there was nothing else, let’s move along and get this over with.
I could not believe how many new women were in the waiting area at this point.
When it was finally my time, I walked back to an exam room where they rolled my shorts down just slightly, put a little bit of cold, jelly-like substance on my belly, grabbed a little knob shaped thing that hung from a computer monitor, similar to a mouse, and pressed it down firmly on my belly. She moved it from one side to the other with what felt like maximum pressure, especially around my pubic bone and my hips. The Doctor looked at me, and back to the screen a few times before turning the monitor away from me. “Oh, r i g h t. This is the part where I’m supposed to look away.” I thought to myself, but couldn’t.
After about 4 minutes of this pressure all over my lower stomach, a women that I hadn’t yet seen came in, pushing a big blue padded chair towards me. Her name was Essie. She told me to sit, that she was my ride to my next destination, and would be with me, by my side, for the rest of the process.
I wondered if this was because I was so young. Or was it because I was the girl with the Evil mom, who they thought may have been f o r c i n g me to get this procedure? Either way, it felt nice.
Essie rolled me into a different exam room in a different part of the building. The room looked pretty similar to every other exam room I’d ever been in, just a lot colder. The room itself felt lonely. It felt like the belly of a monster.
Essie held my hand through the entire procedure, she looked me directly in the eyes, and everything about her felt kind, caring even.
” Your gonna feel a little pinch..”
” Now a little splash of cold”, Iodine.
” Pressure…… a little bit of pressure….. slight pressure…”
“Your gonna feel some light tugging followed by A little cramping and then we’ll be done.”
As soon as the doctor was done, Essie handed me a package of wipes, told me to clean myself up, but do not stand up yet, as this is when people usually get sick, and walked out of the room.
I had never felt as alone as I felt in that room at that moment.
When Essie walked back into my room, she was pushing another Blue padded chair. This one was layered in what reminded me of doggy training pads. Her and another nurse on each side of me, they pulled me up and guided me over to the chair. I felt f i n e. As the chair turned direction, and headed toward the recovery room, it hit me like a ton of bricks and next thing I knew I was throwing up uncontrollably. Now I understand all the padding.
Year down the road, in my early 30’s and I was told I was going to need a hyteroscopy. I was told that it’s similar to a biopsy, just with no cutting. That they were going to take samples of my uterus, without the cutting part.
What happened on that day, I was not expecting. I was not prepared for. I did not know that I was having a procedure that was going to Trigger my anxiety in such a way. I didn’t know that what I had done over a decade earlier, was going to bubble up on a day like this. I didn’t know that what they were doing, was almost exactly, the same procedure as an abortion. I didn’t know how much internal and mental pain this was going to bring me.
You hear about this stuff, but you don’t know it, until you really do.