My heart pounded as I recounted the money I got from Corn for the abortion. It was a gray gloomy day as I walked to the bus stop and caught the 2nd Avenue bus. I didn’t tell anyone that I was going to get the abortion other than Sand.
I had to ride downtown and transfer to another bus to get to the clinic in Pleasant Groove. My heart started racing as the bus stopped at the ‘bus stop’ that sat out front of the clinic. The stop was just off the sidewalk that led to the front entrance of the clinic.
It had two sets of seats to wait; one seat sat under a little port that protected folks waiting from the elements; the other seat sat out in the open next to the port. I got off the bus and sat under the port.
How could I do this? I did not think that I would be able to go inside. I sat for a while thinking about what I should do, “You can’t even keep Momma from hitting you.”
“If I have this baby I am gonna have to stay at the house and live with Momma!” My heart raced each time at the thought of that! “How you gonna keep Momma from hitting the baby?”
I began to cry uncontrollably with each thought of Momma! I didn’t know what to do? I got up and walked up the sidewalk to the walk way… I opened the door.
The clinic was oat mealy colored and because there was no sunshine coming through the windows, it looked light grey. I went to the front counter where a lady sat.
She gave me a form to fill out and told me to have a seat. I filled out the form, took it back and she told me that a counselor would call me shortly.
Once in the back, the counselor asked me questions from the form. She stopped and looked at me once she got to the blank line where the baby’s father’s name should be.
She asked me for a name; I told her that I did not know who the father was. She gave me this look that showed that she did not approve.
I held my ground; how could I tell her that this baby was Corn’s, my step daddy! I told her that I was homeless and could not have this baby right now! She shook her head, but moved on to other questions. I was so embarrassed; she made me feel dirty.
Once we had finished counseling I was sent back out to the waiting room with the other women waiting to be seen. I sat down and acted like I was reading one of the magazines, but really I was embarrassed and scared that I might see someone that I know in the room; so I kept my head down.
Joye? Joye McIntyre? I looked up at the nurse and we made eye contact. “This way please” she said, as she smiled at me. I got up, even though my legs did not feel like they were working, I don’t know how they made it to the nurse.
I followed her through the door and down the hallway that seemed to grow longer as we walked. She stopped at a doorway; “Go in and take your clothes off from the waist down” she said as she pointed into the room; “Have a seat on the bed and cover up.”
The room was small and cold. It had a sink, a chair and a bed with stirrups attached to the bottom of it. I had never had an exam like this before, so I did not know what the stirrups were for; they scared me. There was also a strange looking machine sitting in the corner of the room.
I can hear a swooshing sound in my ears as I sat down. I feel like I want to cry; but I don’t. I start undressing, neatly folding my clothes onto the seat. Once I was finished, I sat on the edge of the bed and covered myself; as my eyes started to water.
The nurse came in “You ready” she asked, as she patted my hand. “It will be okay, the doctor will be right in”. She stopped and asked “Are you sure you want to do this, you can still change your mind”? I looked at her, wanting to scream “No, I can’t” but just shook my head instead. She smiled and left the room.
The doctor entered the room shortly after, he flipped through my chart and told me to lay back and relax. The nurse came back into the room and wheeled the funny looking machine over next to me.
She placed a mask on my face, as I lay back on the bed. She told me to start counting backwards from 100. 100, 99, 98 (I can feel the tears rolling down my face) 97, 96, 95…
I opened my eyes and I am still lying on the bed. My stomach is cramping really bad and I feel a huge sanitary napkin between my legs. I’m bleeding, back on my period again; I am no longer pregnant. I cried.
“Get dressed and let me know once you are finished” the nurse said, as she stepped back out of the room. I dressed and the nurse took me to a recovery room, where other girls and women were recovering. We all sat in those desk chairs, like in a class room; eating cookies, crackers and juice so that we would not pass out once we left the clinic. I had never felt as alone as I did at that moment.
The nurse took me back out to the waiting room to leave and through the window I could see that the sky had opened up; I had never seen it rain like that before. In my mind, God was upset with me and crying over what I had done!
I walked out of the clinic into the rain, but I did not run to keep from getting wet. I walked back down the walk way to the side walk. I took the seat next to the bus stop sign. I sat in the rain and I cried while I waited for the bus.