I should’ve gotten my tubes tied, you think as you sit in the doctor’s waiting room. The plushy chair and easy rock flowing from the radio are supposed to be comforting but instead they annoy you and make you uncomfortable, so you fidget. You bounce your knee maniacally, a life long nervous habit you’ve refused to kick because if you don’t bounce your knee and let some of that anxiety out, you will positively burst. Looking at the faces of the other patients you envy them their ailments. How you wish you were here simply worrying about a sore throat or an achey back. How you wish yours was a problem that could be solved by ibuprofen or antibiotics. You wring your hands together till your fingers turn white from lack of circulation which is when you untangle them and wring them again.
The clock ticks away and you’re sure that time has literally slowed down just to torture you some more, to make you suffer longer and allow the nightmares festering in your mind to blossom. I should’ve gotten my goddamn tubes tied, you shout internally. The idea of being cut into had so frightened you that you opted for alternate methods of birth control. Condoms mostly and, on occasion you were guilty of resorting to the pull-out-and-pray method as a result of bad judgement. As far as you had been concerned STIs were a bigger threat to you than pregnancy. Suddenly you realize the rationale behind all unexpected pregnancies and your fingers wind into each other harder than before.
You try to reason with yourself: Okay, even if I am pregnant, this is Canada and abortions are legal and free and safe. You feel a bit better reminding yourself of this fact and the more you think about it the more you relax. Unwanted pregnancy? Here, have a safe and legal abortion. Isn’t that one of the reasons Canada’s health care system is so enviable, after all? ISn’t that why you’ve always been glad to be Canadian? In fact, you’ve joked about this very moment multiple times with friends and lovers alike! Oops, impregnated! BRB — abortion! And since it’s still way early on you’ll likely just have to take the pill that’ll flush that parasitic beast-to-be right out of your body. No biggie!
For a split second you can’t remember why you were worried at all. Then all of a sudden it hits you again, like a massive load falling onto your back and making you crumble under the weight. Before that parasite can be flushed out of you, you’ll have to go through the motions of finding out if it even exists. You’ll have your blood test and then wait for what’ll seem like eternity to find out if you are or aren’t pregnant. Then, if you are, you’ll be called back in to see the doctor who will discuss your options and you will refuse to agree to anything except the immediate abortion of this whole ugly mess.
But what if your doctor tries to talk you into different options and what if she makes a good argument and you walk away somehow having decided to see the pregnancy to term? And then what? And then what if, by the time you return to your senses, it’s too late to abort? Sure you could give it up for adoption, but before that you’ll have to carry the damned thing for nine months and endure the miseries and agonies of pregnancy which the foolish believe to be a beautiful thing. What is beautiful about carrying a creature that will grow up to despise you, who will break your heart a hundred times over without even realizing it, who’ll use you only when it needs you and discards you the rest of the time? The carrying of this creature whose existence will change your life forever, mostly for the worst, is supposed to be seen as beautiful? God, people are stupid.
Then, let’s just say you make it through the disaster that is carrying the parasite to term and push it out in the very unromantic, inglorious and mighty painful manner that is a woman’s curse and you decide to give it up for adoption. You’d never hear the end of it from your family. They’d lament your cowardice at not doing your womanly duty, but not before lamenting on your irresponsibility at getting knocked up in the first place. Once the kid is gone you may be okay, but what if the little fool devices it wants to meet its biological mother and comes searching for you, wanting answers and solace. What the hell are you supposed to say to it then? “Sorry, child, you were of no use o me.” What if it wanted to keep in touch and build a relationship? What if it told you that its adoptive family was abusive and that it was your fault for giving it up in the first place? What if it manipulated you into caring for it and becoming its mother — the exact thing you had given it up to avoid being?
A moan escapes you and the old lady siting across looks up from her magazine and offers you a kind smile which you return. Stop freaking out, you tell yourself and force deep breaths, but you end up inhaling too fast and get dizzy. Jesus, I can’t even breath correctly; how the hell could I birth a child? You return to the wringing of your fingers and think again to the option of abortion. It’s really the only viable option, you reason, and it’ll get rid of the problem lickety split. Suddenly your phone vibrates with a text from the man responsible for putting you in this quandary. (At least, you’re pretty sure he’s the culprit.) He’s asking if you’re down to fuck and while any other day you’d jump at the chance to ride his cock, a dick full of semen is the last thing you ever want to see. You curtly decline his offer and put your phone away.
Would having a baby really be so bad? you consider without warning. Once upon a time, in your younger and more hopeful fays, you did want to do the whole parenting thing. You were guilty of being one of those fools who believed hat pregnancy was a gift and that children were precious. You’re not sure when that all changed, but you wonder if you’ll feel differently once you’ve found out you’re pregnant. Maybe you’ll decide that having a child isn’t the life sentence you fear it to be. You start entertaining fantasies about a mini version of yourself who will be raised to love the things you love and become a fine specimen of a human being/ You’ll probably end up doing a far better job raising your own child than your parents did raising you and maybe it’s actually unfair to the world to abort what could be the next Nobel Prize winner or best-selling author or even Prime Minister!
You’re so lost in these new happy daydreams that the doctor has to call your name three time before you finally hear her. You’re pulled back into the reality of being at the doctor’s office, on your way to find out whether or not your life is about to change; and it will change regardless of the decision you end up making. Your stomach is heavy with stones, but you manage to list yourself up and follow the smiling GP into the privacy of her office.