Trigger Warning: Abortion.
Sitting in the waiting room dressed in my long gown and socks on I feel I look like my Grandma. They told me to remove my underwear and I feel uncomfortable sitting on the hard seats, they’re trying to make me comfortable with blankets.
The few women in the waiting room display an array of emotions on their faces: calmness, fright, relaxed,
I have to wonder what they see on mine,
Am I doing the right thing?
Is this going to hurt?
I just heard I’m almost 8 weeks,
AM I DOING THE RIGHT THING?
One by one they are leaving me,
It is now me and the calm girl with the bounce in her step...she asked if I was given the IUD pamphlet...
She jokes and I laugh,
We talk about being hungry,
We laugh in this place,
We are all here making a big decision,
And we can laugh,
She gets called and I am now sitting alone on this hard seat,
Why would this place want me to stay hungry while making a big decision?
I am the last one here,
Seeing the locked exit from the corner of my eye.
Listening to the opening of the Ginger Ale can on the other side,
After all of this I will be able to eat,
Distract yourself with thoughts of food,
I hear my name being called,
It is my turn.
My heart beats faster,
I’m getting rid of ‘him’
Oh my God am I doing the right thing?
The nurse tells me her name: Ricky,
I want to tell her that that is the name of my brother but I think that would be awkward,
She seems nice,
Her glasses…her glasses are nice; distraction,
Walking to the room I pass a room on my right and see the same woman I was in the waiting room with,
I see their faces and some still look calm others look like they’re in pain,
Oh my God my heart beats faster.
I enter the white room and I sit on the bed,
“Are you sure about your decision?”
I say yes but am I?
She says she likes my glasses and wants to know if I get compliments all the time too?
Yes I do and this is when I tell her I like hers,
We are like glasses sisters;
I laugh nervously,
I lie down.
I look up and I see a picture on the ceiling,
What is it a picture of?
I don’t remember and everything is white,
Ricky is talking to me as she is inserting an IV,
Memories of me in the hospital start to pass,
I can hear Indrani from work telling me I should not have gotten pregnant,
That word: “Pregnant.”
“Squeeze the blue ball” she says,
It’s in and she rests my hand on my stomach,
The IV hurts and it’s uncomfortable,
I look up to the picture and this will be my distraction,
I will not tell her this hurts.
She leaves the room briefly to get the doctor,
I hear I’m the last one; I hear I was 8 weeks,
I hear rustling… everything is starting to spin and I feel tired,
I feel like I’m pass being hungry now,
I put my hand to my head and close my eyes,
I open them to see Ricky,
She says the meds are working,
This is actually really happening!
Everything is about to change in less than ten minutes.
The doctor enters with a black nurse,
The doctor doesn’t look like a doctor to me,
I see brunette hair…
She’s asking me about birth control options,
No condoms are bad,
I look back up at the picture,
What the fuck is this picture of anyway?
I can’t believe this situation I’m in,
“IUD… you can have it inserted for a week and some women keep it up to five year and take it out when they want,”
No I do not want that,
Ricky asks questions and now she’s talking to me.
I look briefly at the doctor,
Oh my God this really is happening,
I can feel it,
She’s telling me she’s going to dinner with her husband after,
My words jumble but I manage to tell her “that’s nice,”
At least they get to eat,
What am I going to eat after this?
I really, really am doing this,
Ricky is told to rub my belly,
She’s still talking,
I don’t know what’s going on,
Focus on her glasses… her glasses are nice,
“You’re done, everything is complete.”
Everything is spinning,
I feel nothing,
I gave it back and now I feel nothing,
I am now one of the women sitting on the chair,
Ricky pours me some Ginger Ale and says it will help,
“Heating pad?” I say no thanks,
The calm girl sitting across from me says the heating pad will feel nice,
I take the Ginger Ale but it’s going to choke me,
I can’t swallow,
Everything is going fast,
Ricky is gone,
It’s slowing down,
The pad is making me hot.
I don’t like being around these girls,
They look like they are in pain,
I feel nothing,
The calm girl leaves and waves bye,
I start to eat the crackers,
Focus on empty chair across from me,
Crackers drying up in my mouth,
Ginger Ale is done,
Another nurse gives me a package to read,
Purple paper “Post Abortion,”
I was pregnant ten minutes ago,
It is now gone,
I am now,