My story: I have been pregnant three times. The first two were incredibly difficult pregnancies resulting in two beautiful daughters. By the time of my third pregnancy, I was already on a wait list for a tubal ligation, my relationship had dissolved to incessant hostility and the writing was on the wall that I was deciding whether to be a single mother of two – or three. I was so conflicted. If only I had a caring partner who loved his family, if only my body wouldn’t betray me again this pregnancy (my previous two had left me unable to walk for months), if only I had, had the foresight to remain financially independent. If only….But there I was, stuck in reality.

My family doctor understood and was so kind. He signed the requisition and ordered an ultrasound. I had my ultrasound at 11 weeks. The wait was torture. Would I get the diagnostics in time? Would I be stuck with an unwanted pregnancy amidst my failing relationship? Would I become too attached waiting? I worried and worried. My partner fully supported ‘getting rid of the damn thing’ but refused to take time off work. I had to ask my catholic mother to drive me. Lucky. Me. *truly lucky that I had somone to come and the means to travel off-island. Luckily, I already had ativan in my life! It was an uncomfortable ride to Halifax.  In the waiting room were a half dozen young women. Some were thoughtful, some were aloof while others still chatted and texted on their cellphones. I found myself wondering what their road to the waiting room had looked like. Were they near home? Did they gave to fight for their rights? Aside from small talk, we did not chat with each other. It’s a tricky day. I took the drugs they offered, wishing for a good gin and would I really feel? Relieved? Regretful? Resentful? The procedure was quick and uncomfortable. Not painful, except to the ears, but definitely uncomfortable. Anyone who calls surgical abortion a birth control option has obviously never been there. On the table, I was mentally arranging my nag campaign to speed up the tubal ligation lest I end up back there. When I woke an hour later in recovery,  I took stock, and my smile was wide and genuine. I’d made it in time. I was no longer pregnant. I felt nothing but blessed relief. My life was mine and my daughters’ once more. My body was my own. My life could move forward.

Three years later, I am a single mother. The relationship got much worse before finally, thankfully collapsing. Being a single mom is mostly awesome – aside from my new curfew of childrens’ bedtimes! And the poverty is kind if a bitch but that’s the price of misplaced trust and relinquinshing financial sovereignty over my family.
I was mature. Educated. Mobile. And the barriers were many. Before, during and certainly after my experience, I’ve thought a lot about the desperation vulnerable, pregnant, women must feel when faced with the myriad of moral, logistical, and financial barriers to accessing women’s health services and I fear that many of those women do not get to experience positive outcomes.

The fight continues. I will stand with you and be counted! We got this.

Megan – PEI