I can feel the empty space.
There are stabbing cramps, a constant soreness, and an excruciating pain that comes in waves, but there is no child. The procedure is complete, the little clump of cells is gone.
Mother drove me to the appointment. Though she said nothing, I can safely predict what she was thinking.
Twenty-eight women sat in that clinic, all waiting to get an abortion. Some looked bored, while others fidgeted in their seats, eager to be over with it.
Two hours after I arrived, I was taken into an examination room where a nurse offered me prescription narcotics for, what was described as, the ‘discomfort‘ I would soon experience. I refused them. She told me the doctor would not feel comfortable performing the abortion, if I didn’t, at the very least, take Ibuprofen. I accepted half the recommended dosage.
Once I swallowed the candy-coated pill, my vitals were taken, and I was escorted back into the waiting room. It wasn’t long before I was called into another examination room. I was asked to change into a hospital gown, and lie down while the doctor arrived.
Seven weeks and five days into the gestation period. It would all end abruptly.
I thought about postponing the inevitable. Not because I wanted to keep the child. There is nothing about pregnancy that felt natural to me, just as there was nothing about terminating a pregnancy that felt natural.
When the doctor came in, he sounded rushed and agitated. He told me the procedure would be brief, but he never looked at me. Not once.
“You’ll feel a pinch and a pull,” he repeated, four separate times, as my cervix was numbed.
Then, he proceeded to dilate my cervix. Pain shot up to the very top of my head, as I whimpered, “I want this to be over.”
The nurse told the doctor that I refused anything stronger than Ibuprofen.
“God. One of these. They get pregnant, and come here to do this. They make it as difficult for us, as it is for them,” he said.
And if I whimpered again, he would tell me to stop.
The next sound that came through was the aspirator, that would suction out the “product,” in its entirety. I could feel it, as it seemed I would be turned inside out. Then, I was told to sit up. It was over.
I sat in the recovery room for exactly thirty minutes. A woman approached me to ask a series of question about how I felt, then I was told I was free to go home.
Cory would show up in the evening, with a pint of ice cream, and his half of the medical fees. He was free of the burden.