Viva is powered by Vocal creators. You support Lauren Charles by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Viva is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

I Did It for Me

Why I Decided to Terminate My Pregnancy

On my way to Mexico, on my way to happiness

I was late. 

It wasn't a cause for concern. My cycle was pretty irregular, I was stressed out between work, my relationship, and other life spheres, and I had an upcoming vacation I was making sure I was prepared for. Honestly, it didn't really hit me until I realized, "Hey, am I going to have to pack tampons?"

I took a pregnancy test Friday morning to rule out pregnancy, before going to see my doctor before my trip. I had taken several tests before to prove that, indeed, nothing was going on in my uterus. 

Except this time, there was. 

I sat on the edge of the tub, waiting for the test to be done, shaking like a leaf because, some how, I just knew. I peeked over and saw two very dark lines in the screen. I'm not a puker, but I thought I might just hurl. And not from morning sickness. 

My boyfriend of seven years and I live with a roommate. So, I tucked the test away and snuck out to him in the kitchen, and got him to come to the bathroom. He knew something was wrong. We both stood in the bathroom, whisper-panicking so the roommate wouldn't hear our lives falling apart. 

We were in a really difficult time in our relationship, notice his title is still boyfriend after more than seven years together. I've been in limbo for about six months on whether to cut him loose and cut my losses, giving up the life I had built with him, or sticking it out and possibly settling for a half-assed long-ass-term relationship that might never end with a ring on it. 

So, baby was NOT part of our plan. 

To top it off, and induce the panicked rush to see a doctor, the afore-mentioned vacation was to celebrate my mom's wedding in Mexico. 

So it wasn't just a matter of "Do we want this?" it was a matter of "Shit, shit, there is Zika virus in Mexico, if we are even considering going through with this we need to tell my mom that we are missing her wedding and lose out on $4,000."

And, the kicker? This pee test was Friday morning. The following Monday was a holiday, clinics were closed. And Wednesday was our flight.

We were on a deadline to decide what to do with our future. Again, we live with a roommate, so intimate discussions are whispered behind closed doors. Boyfriend is a pacer, so confined spaces usually don't make him more talkative. I'm emotional, and I have a voice that carries through concrete. Our "do we keep or do we terminate" struggle was subdued, closeted, and frustrating.

We made pros and cons lists. We talked about what we would do for a living situation (obviously, the roommate would need to scat). We fought back and forth on what the hell we felt was right, what was fair, and what made us feel the least guilty. Quietly, alone, and on a time crunch.

I woke up Sunday morning, prepared to spend a day with his family and lie to them about why I was yawning, why I was distracted, why I had a permanent scowl on my face. And I realized: that would change if this was something I wanted. If I was ready for this, if my relationship was ready for this, I wouldn't feel the way I was feeling. Yeah I would still be barfy, and ready to nap at three-hour intervals, but I would be giddy. Excited. Content with reality. 

And I just wasn't. I was dreading every moment of the process. Even imagining the "keeping" scenario made me resentful. I wasn't, and am still not ready to give up my lifestyle. I can go anywhere at the drop of a hat. And not just spontaneous vacations, I can leave my house and not worry about a baby, either staying home alone or dragging him/her along with me. I don't have to consider tantrums, potty-training, attitude, public or private school, what kind of discipline to use, how to encourage him/her in sports, graduation, post-secondary, not to mention how to pay for all that stuff. 

Yet. 

I don't have to think about that stuff, yet. Because it is not my time yet. It is not time for me, not for my boyfriend, not for our relationship. It's not time for our parents to become grandparents (they have their own growing up to do, too). It's not time for us to figure out the white picket fence and car seats and how to make organic, good-for-junior baby food. 

And it's ultimately not fair, either. Not to us, and most certainly not to a baby. That baby deserves to be loved, to be welcomed, to be the most certain thing his/her parents ever decided they wanted. I firmly believe that there is no magical, "Oh it wasn't planned, but it turned into the most beautiful thing we ever did" story destined to be in my life. I am a creator of my reality, manifesting what I want in my life, attracting what is meant to be.

And truly, as hard as it was to come to the decision we did, we did it together. After months of fighting endlessly over nothing, we were finally supporting each other. Finally listening. Finally on the same page about what we wanted. 

And we found out: we do want kids. But not right now. Later, when we know how to love each other and how to shine that love on a tiny, perfect, wanted human being. And we had to-still have to-find a way to silence the guilt, the shame, and the uncertainty that still threatens us, and threatens all women and partners in this situation. 

This decision was entirely about me, my life, my partner, and my relationship. My decision that I'm ready will be the same. 

Now Reading
I Did It for Me
Read Next
What Is Radical Feminism?