Just over a year ago, I found myself in a situation I never thought I’d experience in my life. The 3rd of January 2019 I had an ivg.
For those who don’t know(I didn’t at the time),an ivg is a voluntary termination of pregnancy. I’d like to call it that way because I think that the word “abortion” makes everything more painful and violent than it actually is.
At the time I had been seeing a guy for almost 4 months, and inevitably having to deal with something so difficult at such a young age, that too at the beginning of a relationship created a lot of problems. I can’t stress enough how much attention I pay towards avoiding any risk when it comes to things like this, so the last thing I imagined was getting pregnant.
I found out that I was pregnant around Christmas, as usual there was a good atmosphere and everything had been going well: soon I would have gone home to my parents. My friends were organizing Christmas parties, we were visiting Christmas markets, everyone was cheerful and I was carefree. My period was 3 weeks late. In The beginning I didn’t think much of it, since I have a very irregular period and this had happened before. After 3 weeks I decided to take a test. I remember it as if it happened yesterday.
I called the few friends I knew who had some experience in the matter. I asked for advice and went to the pharmacy to buy a test. I have to be honest. I felt ashamed, ashamed to ask the pharmacist for a pregnancy test, as if it was my fault. Already in that moment, I realised that this would be a problem that I would have to go through by myself, because it is women who have to deal with the consequences of such things.
I took the test at my boyfriend’s house. I was alone in the bathroom. When I saw the first red stripe I prayed that the second would not appear. But, although faintly, it appeared. My world fell apart. My mind went blank. In my lifetime I’ve always more or less known what to do in times of crisis, but in that moment I couldn’t think of anything other than staying there, on the floor, without moving. After a while I left the bathroom and told my boyfriend. He looked at me for what felt like an endless moment without saying a word. He took my hand and for a moment I felt reassured. Then he said: “I can’t take responsibility for a thing like this”. I will never forget that sentence. I had already made my decision, I didn’t want to keep it, for various reasons that I will not explain, since one should never feel like such a decision needs to be justified in any way. But when I heard those words I couldn’t believe it. When something like this happens, you can’t choose whether to take responsibility or not, you automatically are responsible.
That night, alone in my room, I kept on wondering why this was happening to me. In the morning I took a second test, which only confirmed the result. I decided to call my mother. She was very understanding, she asked me if I was sure of my decision and told me not to worry, that we would go through this together- as we had with every other problem. Both her and my father were there for me and supported me regardless of my final choice.
When I arrived in Rome, I completed all the necessary medical visits and turned to the women’s clinic thereto get an ivg with the RU 486 pill. The law prescribes 7 days of reflection before taking the pill. Those 7 days were horrible, I was in a limbo. I knew it was the right decision for me and yetIfeltguilty for what I had decided to do. For many this can seem like a selfish choice, but if you haven’t experienced it, it’s hard to understand.
That week seemed endless. It was right at the start of the new year, a year full of hope, that was starting off in the worst possible way. For new years I decided to go to a party at my friends’ house. No one knew my circumstances and for one night I could detach myself from what was going on, as if it wasn’t my life. My boyfriend was trying to be supportive in his own way, but he never understood how hard it was for me and always made it out to be my responsibility. I had to “force” him to come to Rome (he lives in an another city) and he only stayed for one afternoon which we spent sightseeing between the Colosseum and Sant’Angelo. It wasn’t at all what I needed. He wasn’t there for the most important and scariest day of my life. At the time I didn’t hold him accountable for the way he behaved and I still regret it.
The 2nd of January I went to the clinic to do the last tests and I found out that I wouldn’t be able to take the pill since I have asthma and an underlying heart condition and it would have been too risky. I had to be operated on. It wasn’t supposed to be a difficult operation but I was still terrified. On the day I went to the hospital with my mother. I was exhausted, I hadn’t slept and I had been told not to eat or drink for the 15 hours before the operation because of the anaesthetics. My mother couldn’t come in with me, it wasn’t allowed. From that moment onwards I was on my own.
I entered my room and saw my bed with a gown, a hairnet and a bracelet. Without saying a word I got dressed. I don’t remember how I felt in that moment, the fear had numbed every sensation, I just wanted it to be over. After a few hours they came to get me with a wheelchair. I don’t know why, but that wheelchair scared me to death: it was time. They took me to the operating room and I remember that while I was waiting outside a doctor was trying to comfort me by talking about random things to distract me I suppose. For him this was an everyday thing. I made conversation but my mind was elsewhere. I was trembling, it was cold in the room but mostly I was just scared. They put on a song from Grease and I saw the doctors preparing everything for the operation. I went in, sat down at the operating table and after 3 minutes I was sedated.
I woke up 15 minutes later and cried, I cried from happiness because it was finally over. I’d like to add a positive note.The staff at the clinic behaved in an impeccable way, they never questioned my decision and they took care of me as if I was their daughter. I think that in these situations feeling comfortable helps a lot. That is why I don’t remember the operation as a traumatic experience. The thing that hurt me the most was my boyfriend’s distant and irresponsible behaviour. I don’t know how, but in that moment I forgave him. I thought I would need his help once I returned to university but it was a bad choice. I had had to deal with it on my own and he couldn’t do anything to change that. If I could go back, maybe I would try to express my pain more, but in that moment, filled with fear, pain is the last thing you think about. I am telling this story in the hope that it will be useful for other girls that find themselves in a similar situation. When I was going through all this,it would have been helpful to read other people’s stories so I could feel less alone.