A longer version of Emilie’s story was originally published in the Swedish book «Hundra om dagen – berättelser om abort» (2017) by Anna Bengtsdotter.
I was downtown with some friends when I ran into an ex. We talked for a bit, and then we decided to go home together. I thought we had agreed on him pulling out. But later I understood he hadn’t. Ok, it’s down to both of us, but I feel like he could have controlled the situation better.
After a few weeks I realized I was pregnant. I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and made two decisions. The first one was to have an abortion, the second was not to tell my boyfriend.
I took the pills on the night before 1 May. My brother came to be with me. The midwife called me several times to check on me. She reminded me to take the full dose of morphine, so I wouldn’t be in unnecessary pain. When the abortion itself began, I went to bed. I tried to rest through the whole thing. I was very tired. When I fell asleep, I was just very relieved not to be pregnant anymore.
One of the midwives I met when I took the first pill asked if I was sure I wanted an abortion. I guess they have to ask that, but it did get to me a bit. I really didn’t feel like being questioned right then. I was certain, but if she had kept asking, maybe I would have started to second-guess myself.
She also asked if I knew who I had gotten pregnant with. That didn’t feel good. It’s like there is this line between good girls and bad. That’s what I grew up with: girls being called whores for example. All of that came over me when I sat with that midwife, pregnant by someone I was not in a relationship with. Even if I don’t subscribe to that view myself.
Now, I feel like I’ve never been pregnant. Sometimes it even worries me a bit. What if I have blocked something out that will eventually resurface? Something that will give me anxiety later in life? Maybe I bottled my feelings up, while I, deep inside, wanted to follow through with the pregnancy?
I kept waiting for those feelings to come up. There’s this idea that you should experience an abortion as something really difficult. But I never got those feelings. No anxiety… and well, I didn’t want a child.