Difficult Choices

Cherry - Cambridge, Massachusetts
Entered on March 8, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: birth, humility

I believe difficult decisions make people humble. I found out I was pregnant exactly a week ago. I just took the first pill for a medical abortion. By the time anyone reads this, I would no longer be with child.

I am 26 years old. By societal standards, I am at the crème of the crop. In a year, I will receive my Ph.D in engineering in a top-ranked university. Life, up to this point, has been smooth-sailing, to say the least. 26 years of success has made me independent, strong, but rather arrogant. I was so arrogant that I thought I could calculate the odds of conception and beat it. I was so arrogant that I thought unplanned pregnancies only happened to undereducated teenage girls. I was so arrogant that even when the in-home pregnancy test turned out positive, I thought I could reason through it the way I always do for my engineering problems.

At first, I denied its existence. It was an accident, a mistake. I would fix it and no one would know. By the fifth week of conception, it was probably no bigger than a shriveled pea. However, the weight of it became suffocating as my breasts became swollen and tender. I would cry constantly. I cried for the unborn life, for it has come when I was not ready for it. I cried for my selfishness and inability to be ready for its arrival. I cried from exhaustion, for I was still carrying on a façade of normalcy. Most of all, I cried for my vulnerability. I realized that this was the hardest decision I had to make yet in my life, and I was lost. I finally told a close friend who generously lent me his shoulders to cry on. He helped me learn my options. He opened his arms wide to assure me that I wasn’t alone. Realizing the need for support was humbling. My sister came to the clinic with me. It took a hardship like this to bring us closer than ever before. I realized that difficult decisions are inevitable, and it is okay to admit inadequacy, seek help, and have life out of your control for a while. It has made me human. It has helped me learn more about myself and my interdependence with my friends and family. I have always been pro-choice, but there was nothing easy about the decision I made.