Growing up, I have never been a fan of the idea of pregnancy. It was more about me being scared of the idea of having something inside me for so long, something restrictive, tiring and fragile. The rate of maternal mortality made it worse. Or maybe it was because I did not trust my body enough to allow it carry a child that would make my body change – to end up having the child that I might not love. Because, I didn’t have enough love to go around. I’d feel nausea at the sight of a pregnant woman, because I’d find myself being scared for them.
Don’t get me wrong; I love babies, but the idea of pregnancy is what scares me. So I tried to make sure I’d never get pregnant. I read about pregnancy like an expected mother but never got myself to watch delivery videos. The cons outweighed the pros for me, so I knew very early that this wasn’t for me.
And then, I went and got pregnant for a married man I was having an affair with. Don’t judge me; I needed the money. I’m no trust-fund kid, so no parental support. Jobs didn’t pay much; 15,000 naira a month wouldn’t pay for books, assignment and upkeep. So, I had to hustle and men had the money. And those who had the good jobs would not want to give the employment or help out without me opening my legs.
I played the game. But of course, you don’t win every time. This time my “own-goal” was pregnancy. The day I found out I was pregnant, the sadness that overwhelmed me was choking. I hated my body, myself. Where would I get the money to take care of a child?
I started researching on how to get an abortion, but I couldn’t get any helpful information online. I kept searching nonetheless, because I knew I couldn’t keep this. Then I stumbled on the Instagram page of a Planned Parenthood outfit in the US. I sent them an email about my situation, and they responded, telling me to get a scan to be sure how far gone I was. I emailed them my result and they told me they couldn’t get any facility in Nigeria that would do it. So they gave me the name of the pill, and sent me instructions and aftercare tips (I am forever grateful to them because I felt so safe with them, something I hadn’t felt prior to contacting them).
The big problem was now where I would get the pill from. I checked different pharmacies. But no one would sell without a prescription. I felt alone and weak. I was not in love with what was growing in me, and I felt terrible that I couldn’t love it or even feel sorry about what I wanted to do. I felt like I was jinxed. I questioned myself and I knew the only way out was to do an abortion. A particular drugstore gave me something else instead of what I asked for, an obvious weaker substitute that only gave me terrible cramps, no bleeding and the positive test result still.
I finally got a local drugstore that was willing to sell the pill at a huge cost. I didn’t mind. I just wanted this whole thing done with. I took the pill with the directions I got from the email, and by the next day, I was bleeding. I was plagued with minor cramps and blood clots every time I peed or changed my pad. After a week, I stopped bleeding, and the following week, the test came out negative. A big part of me was happy, but another part of me felt sad that I was happy, because I’d been conditioned to think that I’m supposed to be sad about something like this. So, I spent time punishing myself for enjoying this freedom. I’m over it now and I’m glad I didn’t keep it, because I knew at that point in my life, I wouldn’t be a good parent, and both the fetus and I were better off without each other.
Written by Mia