Kelly is willingly giving us permission to share her story so that others can realize there is hope in the midst of a difficult situation. All client experiences with Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers are kept with the highest confidence. The stories that are shared come from the real-life experiences that our clients, staff and volunteers had during their unplanned pregnancy.
Her name has been changed but her story is true.
My name is Kelly.
This is my story of teenage pregnancy.
On this particular morning I was sitting in a wood-paneled room with at least 15 other women. The green shag carpet reflected the time period – it is a cold February day in 1975. Sitting in plastic covered upright chairs, I anxiously scanned the room. “Who are these girls?” I wondered. I was surprised that there were so many of us. After some time, a pert looking nurse dressed entirely in white opens the door to call out a name. Upon hearing her name, the young girl sitting close to me stood up and walked stiffly into a corridor following the young nurse. We coughed, we squirmed, but mostly we sat quietly, staring at nothing. A few engage in idle chatter, but most of us quietly sat, waiting for our name to be called. “It’s dark in here,” I thought to myself while noting that we were in an office basement with just one small window. I shivered with cold and anxiety.
There is someone else I knew in this waiting room. We went to the same high school, although this girl is a year or two older than me. “Hi,” my friend chirped, as though she had not a care in the world. After a little small talk, we talked about the reason we were here — at this women’s health clinic. “I’m pregnant. My boyfriend and I aren’t ready to have a kid, so I’m having an abortion,” she quips. Aghast that my friend could speak of having an abortion so flippantly, I shared that I, too, was pregnant. We lapsed into solitude as the two of us thought about our shared fate of late.
I looked around to see how many males are in this room. There were perhaps three or four guys sitting with either their girlfriends or wives. My boyfriend is not with me. My friend’s boyfriend isn’t with her. We are alone. Then, I startled to the sound of my name being called by a nurse in the doorway, “Kelly?”
As a young 15 year old, I fell deeply in love with a fellow classmate. He became the center of my being and my reason for living. It was the summer between tenth and eleventh grade that I freely gave a part of me that had remained mine until that moment. I was never the same after.
I felt dirty and unclean. Our dates were no longer fun and innocent. Then the unspeakable happened. I realized that I could possibly be pregnant.
At first I wasn’t too shaken. “I’m probably just late,” I thought. “I couldn’t possibly be pregnant,” I reasoned.
My boyfriend was at least willing to go with me to see the school counselor. After telling Mr. Smith that I thought I could be pregnant, he offered the telephone number of a women’s health clinic in Kansas. “They should be able to help you,” Mr. Smith said with a gentle smile. My boyfriend and I pledged our undying love to one another, and I made plans to call this health center.
Knowing For Sure
I called, and within a week I was sitting at a local clinic waiting for the results of a pregnancy test. “No, you’re not pregnant … at least our test doesn’t show a positive response yet,” the aide informed me. Another week came and went. By now I was feeling queasy, especially in the mornings, and my body showed other signs of pregnancy. Again, I traveled to the local clinic for a pregnancy test. After waiting for what seemed an eternity, the aide delivered the news with no visible emotion, “Yes, you are pregnant. (pause) Would you like to talk with one of our counselors?”
The floor felt like it dropped 50 feet and I could barely register anything else she said. Before too long I was sitting in a small cubicle with a counselor. Much is lost from my memory except for these few words, “We can help you with your problem. No one needs to know.” Her words resounded in my soul. “We can help you with your problem. No one needs to know,” to which I mentally added,”like my friends at school.”
Looking back on this time, I realized that very little counseling was actually done. We didn’t talk about the growth & development of this tiny being inside my tummy. We didn’t discuss the possibility of adoption. I didn’t hear much about the risks & drawbacks associated with abortions. I wish I’d know that you could hear the heartbeat very early into pregnancy and that fully formed features could be seen by an ultrasound. It might have made a difference for me. It felt like being lost in a forest with just one escape path – abortion, fast and easy.
A Quick “Fix”
I was looking for quick relief … an escape from the consequences of my behavior. My desire was to be able to finish high school and continue on to college unscathed. It didn’t help that I no longer had the support of my boyfriend. He’d recently broken-up with me, blaming it on his parents. I wept and cried to my best friend. My parents simply wanted what they thought was best for me — for me to be able to go to college without having to go through a pregnancy as an unmarried, single, sixteen year old. I felt alone and very scared. Part of me was excited to have a little being growing inside my tummy. The other part of me was very scared to face the consequences of this unexpected surprise. There seemed to be no other alternatives.
In the years to follow I would blame everyone else for the predicament I was in. Only with time would I learn and accept that I, alone, was the one who had to live with the consequences of my own choosing. I freely gave away that part of myself that could have been saved for my husband. I neglected safety measures that might have prevented a teenage pregnancy. And ultimately, I made the decision to abort as a quick and easy means to get rid of an unwanted problem.