My period was 4 days late and it was never late.
The sore breasts, the puking, the cramps, although these were all symptoms I faced whenever I was on my period anyway. Not to mention the fatigue these past few days.
I checked my calendar for the hundredth time before finally giving in to the sinking feeling in my soul. Maybe I could be pregnant.
I dragged myself out of bed and walked the few steps to the pharmacy across the street.
“2 pregnancy tests,” I said with the walking shame of admitting to the world that I had indeed had sex.
As I waited for the 10 minutes to pass I sent messages to my two friends, silently saying a little prayer. I watched the two lines appear and whatever feeling I was expecting never came.
I don’t remember why or how but I dialed the number of the person I hadn’t spoken to for 8 months. I knew he probably hated me and wouldn’t have forgiven me and was half expecting that he wouldn’t even pick up and when I heard his voice, I stuttered something to the tune of.
“I know we haven’t spoken in months but you said if I was ever in trouble I should call and I’m pregnant.”
“Oh,” he replied before taking a pause, “you okay?”
“I don’t know…”
“What did (insert name of ex here) say?”
“I haven’t told him yet, you’re the first person I called.”
“Damn, what are you gonna do?”
I stayed silent for a while. I didn’t quite have an answer for that one.
“Whatever you choose you’ll be okay and I’ll I’m here alright…” he whispered and for a second I wanted to cry.
The rest of the conversation felt like a blur as the feeling in my soul grew more and more. Everything in me wanted to have this baby.
I sat down on my bed seeing the messages from my best friends demanding to know the results. I gathered up enough courage and decided to finally call the baby daddy who wasn’t picking up his phone.
My friends never stopped sending me messages letting me know that they would be there with me. One of them was already having a mini celebration planning all she would do with ‘her baby.’
I walked back to the shops to buy a third test just to make sure finally giving up on trying to call and opting for a text instead.
For a long time, I was convinced that I didn’t want to have children. I was adamant that I didn’t want to bring anyone into this abusive world. I didn’t want my child to go through any of the things that I had been through. I kept pacing up and down getting more and more anxious as I waited for him to finally reply to my messages.
Another two lines on the third test confirmed what I already knew. I was going to have a baby.
A few hours later and the call I had been dreading finally came.
“Are you sure?” He asked and I answered yes, quickly explaining that I had checked three times.
He hung up the phone and a few texts later he disappeared.
Another few hours later, he finally appeared and I could tell he was high.
I silently cursed myself for having not broken up with him the many times I had wanted to.
“You’re not actually thinking of keeping it are you?” One of his messages read and I wanted to laugh. “If you have this baby, you’ll be ruining my life.”
Now ladies & gentlemen, allow me to explain that this is a relationship that I had stayed in for 3 years too long. Using my job and my connections to both pay for and facilitate this man’s career while he spent almost every single day drinking and doing drugs and here he was telling me that I would ruin his life.
For the first time that day. I imagined what a future with this man would look like and I pictured us 10 years later still trying to push his going nowhere rap career while trying to feed a baby that I had to pay for while also pushing his music.
I imagined being forced to move into his mom’s house and live there for the rest of my life. I imagined all the dreams I would have to give up on and be trapped in a relationship that had been making me miserable for 3 years but I had not gathered the bravery to leave. I imagined the abuse I would have to justify away and blatant disrespect I would have to rebrand as love.
The nights I would lie there having sex that I wouldn’t have consented to but not having the words to say no. I imagined the future with growing numbness as more and more messages came through.
I again wanted to cry as I remembered the words of two women who I had interviewed the year before for an article on abortion said but no tears came.
‘’A lot goes into pregnancy. Finances. Living arrangements. Future schooling. Careers. Etc. your life has to be solid to have a healthy pregnancy and not be stressed to the max and you’re still going to be stress’’
”I support the right to choose. Because no one can tell me what to do with my body. Nobody can tell me the cells that may one day be a human is more important than my life right now.”
I’ll come over tomorrow and we can talk he texted and for the first time in a long time, I made the decision that I needed to. I chose myself.
The next few weeks were a long blur and honestly, I can’t even tell you if it was 3 weeks or 4 but eventually we had raised enough money. Again I can’t tell you if you paid me where we got the number from or how but I remember being in the street waiting to meet a stranger so he could hand me the pills and a prescription.
That’s the thing that I didn’t know that the pills were something readily available in every pharmacy.
”Just put them under your tongue.” this guy instructed and I chucked down a bottle of pineapple juice as if I was drinking vodka. I hadn’t drunk since finding out even though I wasn’t sure why when I knew that I wasn’t having this baby.
That night was one of the longest nights of my life. He didn’t leave my side filling me up with promises of a future and kids we would have one day. Promises he had never bothered with the three years we had been together.
He watched me as I hesitated, getting relieved when I finally went through with it.
Nothing happened for a few hours but when the pain finally hit it was the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life.
I drank the pain killers that the guy had recommended and crawled my way to the bathroom multiple times during the night as the blood finally started coming.
There was a lot of blood and I remember being in so much pain that I never even had the chance to feel what was happening.
When morning came and my best friend showed up, he was quick to disappear again. I didn’t see him again for the next few days. The man who had been promising me a future the day before was now fast backtracking to how he didn’t believe in monogamy. How he didn’t want children but didn’t want us to break up.
Remembering the pain I finally did what I had chickened out of doing so many times before. I finally walked away. He was angry at first, blaming me once again for ruining his life and not being there for him enough. Not believing him enough. Not working hard to push his career. Yes this same man who left the morning after I had an abortion and didn’t bother to come back and check on me was still finding things to blame on me. Crazy right?
Granted how I broke up with him which is for another blog post was a bit crazy. It’s the most liberated I had ever felt. I cried for the first time when I finally came to terms with the fact that I indeed wanted to have a baby.
I also cried when I realized the deep relief that I felt. The baby that I never held saved my life and allowed me to walk away from a man that didn’t know how to do anything but demand. Demand my body, my time. my money but I couldn’t give him the chance to demand my future too.
Wrong or right, this is one decision I have never been able to regret because I wouldn’t be where I am today had I given birth that year.
I support the right to choose because we all deserve a chance at the future that we want to live. We all deserve to live the life we dream of and yes we all deserve to have sex too. Just make sure it’s good, consensual sex, orgasm-giving sex.
By Amanda Tayte-Tait Marufu
About The Author:
Amanda Marufu aka Amanda Tayte-Tait is a Feminist, Tech-Entrepreneur, TV Producer, Blogger, Podcaster and Author of ’At What Age Does My Body Belong Just To Me?’
Co-Founder and CEO of Award Winning Media Company Visual Sensation and Founder of Blogging Platform It’s A Feminist Thing and is endlessly dedicated to using media and tech to spread awareness and change lives.
Follow her @mandytait52