My boyfriend and I were sitting in the sterilized doctor’s room, waiting for answers. The doctor finally arrived, fully equipped with a judgemental frown on his face. He sat down across from us and let out a big exhale through his hairy nostrils while looking at the two of us. “So, you are pregnant. Do you have any plans?” His tone was a perfect blend of sarcasm and superiority.
“How did this happen?”
His eyebrows and ears shifted back on his face. He looked annoyed, but then quickly realized that we were very serious. This was a time before they had compulsorily sexual education in school and it wasn’t exactly a topic that was ever discussed at home. To make things more complicated, I had been abused by my older brothers for as long as I could remember, and this never happened with them. I genuinely didn’t know why it had happened this time. The abuse was so extensive that it was engrained in my understanding of what boys and girls did with each other; like it was normal.
My boyfriend’s excuse was very different, but equally naive. He was from a very strict Catholic family and he was taught from an early age that if a married couple wanted to have a baby, God would give them one. Period. Well, he sure didn’t ask God, so he was stumped. He had heard guys make sexual innuendoes and jokes at school, but he just laughed along and pretended that he understood.
Doctors have come a long way since that day, although I still maintain that we were especially unlucky to get that asshole. After a few long pauses of him glancing between us and the chart, he cleared his throat and replied, “If you REALLY do not understand how you two have gotten into this predicament, I suggest you take a trip to the library. I am not a public health nurse!” He gave us some family planning pamphlets and left us there in the room, still confused.
So, off we went– directly to the public library.
Ahhhhhh... So THAT’S how it happens! Oh crap! Once we were more ‘informed’ about the birds and bees, I had made an appointment with the family planning unit at the hospital. Apart from our families going absolutely ballistic if they found out, I didn’t have any second thoughts about what had to be done... Never! Yes, we loved each other, but at 17, we were too young, too broke, and not ready in the least bit to bring a child into the world.
After our unpleasant experience with the doctor, I was a bit reserved, but the people at the clinic were wonderful. They were kind, understanding and very gentle. My boyfriend was with me throughout the entire ordeal, which made it a lot less stressful. It’s been a lifetime since that day, and although I will never forget what happened, I have never regretted my decision for a single moment.
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