Our contributor Abby Spector, who is double-majoring in English and Feminine/Gender/Sexuality Studies at Wesleyan University, has a confession to make:
“If you got pregnant, you’d have an abortion — right?” Max asked during our customary post-coital cuddle a few months back. My mind began to spin. For the seventeen years I had been a virgin, babies seemed far away. Now I was having sex. We used condoms, but according to Planned Parenthood, those are effective only 98% of the time. I went into calculator mode, trying to figure out the likelihood of getting knocked up if I had sex five times a week for a year. “Abby…you in there…?” Max, the commitment-phobe I had been dating for two months, was waiting for me to answer. Shit.
Politically speaking, I am pro-choice. Hell, prior to Max’s baby question, I often considered pro-choice synonymous with pro-abortion, a misunderstanding that made the concept of an unwanted pregnancy alien to me. Knocked up? Get an abortion. It seemed like a no-brainer. But now, lying in bed with Max, the scent of sex still looming in the air, I realized that deciding to get an abortion is not about politics or logic. It’s about emotions. And my emotions were clear — I would keep the baby.
Don’t get me wrong — I don’t want a child right now. Taking care of myself is hard enough, especially considering my abysmal culinary skills, occasional alcohol-related bed-wetting, and all-around chaotic lifestyle. Yesterday I had to throw away a plant I had owned for only a week. Additionally, a baby would mean I would have to distance myself from the sinful trifecta of alcohol, coffee, and sex. A pregnant chick isn’t exactly a hot ticket on the twenty-something dating scene.
All of these reasons — not to mention the million other ways that my life would be turned upside down by single motherhood — are trumped by my emotional inability to terminate a pregnancy. I have always wanted children. I love their pure, unadulterated minds and the way they react to the littlest things. I’m even guilty of Youtubing birthing videos because I find labor beautiful. My dreams usually place motherhood ten-or-so years down the road, but dreams are just rough outlines for the future. Baby Jonah Willow or Delilah Rose (yes, I have names picked out for both) would be loved whether I was nineteen or ninety.
Considering my thoughts on pregnancy, you might be wondering why I’m not on a more full-proof form of birth control. People my age usually go on the birth control pill or an alternative form of hormonal medication. However, past experiences had proven that my body loathes ovulation-altering hormones. So I began researching IUDs. History has given the IUD a bad rap. In the seventies, it was linked to inflammatory pelvic disease, infertility, and even death. Luckily, modern science has blessed vaginas with a new form of IUD that has minimal side-effects. I got myself one of those bad boys and am now happy as a clam (albeit a clam with slightly heavier bleeding).
That night with Max, however, I was still in condom mode and confused as fuck. “Max, I…uh….think I would keep the baby.” He lost his erection. “What!? Why?! Do you think you’re ready to be a mom?” He meant this to be a rhetorical question, but I took it as an open floor for me to give him my rambling spiel on why I would keep a child. After that night, every time he saw a child he looked like he threw up in his mouth. Our relationship ended a few weeks later. Apparently, he wasn’t interested in anything serious. Did my baby comment scare him away? Probably. But when it comes to sex, I believe that honesty is always the best policy — especially when it involves popping an eight-pound baby out of your vahgine.