There are certain occasions in our lives that feel like they’re moving in slow motion.
The last second in any sports event.
Thrillers, with their twists and turns.
Whenever I break someones mug/glass.
Hard conversations with people we love.
Procedures we’re awake for.
Basically, just events where the time is moving painfully slower than normal. When you’re physically watching the second-hand wiggle slowly to the next second. Becoming more and more anxious, more and more excited, more and more hopeful. Theres a specific result most women have found themselves waiting for that can lead to the agonizing two minutes of fear and a lot of self-reflection.
(que shrill scream)
I’m taking the time now to say that yes, I do acknowledge that for some women this is a beautiful experience that they’re happy and anxious to be a part of. But, in my experience and those I have interviewed it’s terror and a lot of pacing back and forth waiting for the second-hand to wiggle to the next second.
The other day I found myself in a foreign bathroom with headphones buzzing in my ears, I ripped open the pink package, bit the plastic off that surrounds the device and, threw the instructions into the trash. I looked at myself in the mirror waiting for the rush to be gone but, I quickly realized any solid seconds of clarity or stillness I had hoped for, passed me and weren’t coming back. From here until the end it was just chaos. Thoughts quickly overwhelmed my heart and brain while my knees shook and tears painted my cheeks. In a brief moment everything that was currently my present was put into question and, a film of the next 9 months was played in two minutes as my elbows rested on my knees waiting for results.My mind turned to him first, my parents second and me last.
Would our relationship even be able to survive an abortion/adoption or another human? Would he resent me? Where would we live? The arguments. How would it work? Would the thought of abortion crush him? What about his future? What about his career? Scarier thoughts followed. What if it worked? What if this is what he wants? What if our lives intertwined into this beautiful, picturesque, cinematic montage. With lots of hazy sunsets and slippery yellow slides. Wild grocery runs and funny dinners before falling asleep in our king size bed in our Brooklyn BROWNSTONE!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m telling you, full 2 1/2 hour movies of my life played with almost every possibility as a reality. My thoughts slithered through the rough conversations of me telling my parents,
“Here I am your inappropriate, unwed daughter giving you a grandchild. Also can you spare some change for a crib?”
Or the secret pregnancy that gave another family a child, or the secret $400 procedure that they’ll never know about. The secret the SECRETS!
My thoughts quickly returned home and I began to think about where I wanted to be. What do I want to be? Abortion is so physically difficult and mentally decapitating. Do I even have $400 dollars? What about my life of modeling, acting and writing? What about school? Would I even love this child? Could I be a good mother? Would this child be vegan? (lol) Would. I. be. happy? I can’t do it. I can’t do it. I can’t have a child and, I can’t bear to give it away, abortion hurts.
What do I do? Thoughts of running away occurred, not actually but, mostly just getting out of that fucking bathroom.My skin was red and my body was sweating. The music abruptly faded out and the alarm sounded off in my ears. Two minutes.
I reached my arm up to the sink to flip the test over to see the results. I clumsily knocked it into the bowl and had to stand up to retrieve it. Standing in front of the mirror I looked down and saw the results resting by the sink drain. That moment of stillness I was waiting for occurred and every thought that I panicked over was forgotten.
Every false reality that was created was left in that two minutes, half-naked, with my elbows resting on my knees. The arguments with my lover, my family with him as a father, my mother crying, my father silent, my career disappearing, the needle going into my cervix, spaghetti covered dresses and boozy late nights, running away to Paris forgetting it all, nothing changing. Hm, nothing changing. I flushed the toilet, threw the test away, pulled my pants over my knees and left the tiled bathroom just as it was.
These agonizing tests and terror filled seconds overwhelmed me and overwhelm many women that have to take the test in times of uncertainty and confusion. Hopefully, this little bit paints an image of the ladies that are sitting in the bathrooms waiting. In the conversations and interviews I held with women to receive more insight, we all realized that we all have a story like this. Whether the end result is jumping up and down with the news of motherhood quickly approaching, leaving the foreign bathroom just as it was, contacting planned parenthood, or looking at pictures of couples and families. This little pact of womanhood, our little secret operation, of operating or non-operating reproductive systems that we all share is such an interesting whirlwind of experiences and emotions that I’m happy and lucky to be a part of.
Reaching out and being honest with others about things I am going through has really allowed me to receive such comforting and encouraging feedback. (and many warm hugs) Also, I just wanna say that most of the time these women (your friends, mom, sister etc) have gone through similar if not the same things. It’s fine to acknowledge that you’re afraid but also acknowledge that talking to someone you love and trust can make the situation seem less chaotic.