From the Mind of a Statistic
by Tesha Harris
I feel dirty, a stupid statistic that everyone warned me not to become. I lied to my mother and told her that I had gotten so drunk that I didn’t remember how I even got pregnant, but I do remember. Now I am sitting here in this doctor’s office all by myself, and this lady is asking me how I am feeling and all I can hear is the constant ticking of the second hand on the wall clock. My fingers literally clinch the seat of the chair to keep me from bolting out of there yelling “ I’M KEEPING MY BABY!” but I don’t. Instead I tell her that I am fine and I am sure that this is what I want to do when deep down inside I am so confused that it feels like my world just blew up all around me. The nurse gives me this cheesy smile and tells me that everything will be okay, but I already know that once I walk out of this building nothing will ever be the same again.
I don’t feel like an expecting mother should feel. I am nauseous and constantly crying, thinking about what I am going to tell my mother. How am I going to explain that I let my emotions get the better of my good sense and that is the reason that I am sitting in the nurse’s office looking at a white tube with two pink lines? Am I happy? I mean, I created another life; a part of me wants to jump and scream and tell the world about the life inside me, but the other half is scared to death.
Ugh this smell! I can still smell it. It’s instrument sanitizer with a mixture of lemon air freshener. Walking down this long hallway I see at least ten doors on each side, and I can hear the steady hum of the “baby snatcher” instrument and every once in a while a small whimper. Instinctively I guard my stomach. Why did I do that? Why am I protecting something that within the next hour won’t exist anymore? I know why. For the next hour, I am still a mother. A bad one, a horrible one, one that about to kill him/her before they even have a chance to grow fingernails and toes. How can I explain that I am doing this because I already love it? I can’t. I am a killer, a baby killer. Please girl in room seven stop screaming! I can’t take it anymore! I want to get out of here.
It’s my turn. I sit in this recliner-type chair and the nurse hands me a package of crackers, a bottle of water, and a cup with three pills in it. I look up at her and ask what the pills are for, and she replies, “These here are the key to helping you relax and make sure that you won’t feel pain”. I almost tell her that I want the pain. I don’t want to ever forget the feeling of having a baby inside me being taken away because of my irresponsible choices. I want to feel the pain of killing a baby. Still, I say nothing, instead I eat my crackers and drink my water.
Looking down into the medicine cup, I see a blue pill, white pill, and a red pill. Such pretty colors for something so dark as this. Am I a hypocrite? For years I stood on my little soapbox and talked about how I would never be like those horrible people that don’t take responsibility for their actions and kills an innocent child, yet here I am.
I take one pill at a time, and slowly I can feel my body starting to relax. I am aware of where I am and what surrounds me, but that deep fear that I was carrying has given way to a certain calmness. What the hell? I am having an abortion! I should not be calm, I want my fear back! I want to feel like the horrible person I was when I walked in this cold brick well furnished building.
I hear my name called and I sink deeper into my seat. I want to say it’s okay, that I have changed my mind and walk out the door, but I can’t and I don’t. “I have my whole life ahead of me” I keep saying this to myself, trying to justify what I am doing. My head agrees, my heart…Not so much. I’m sure I will forget all about this and move on with my life, yea, right! I will never forget the day I became a murderer.
I go to my examination room where the nurses and the doctor are setting out all of their tools. There goes the baby snatcher, but it’s not the big scary tool I thought it was. It is a small vacuum tube. “You’re gonna suck out my baby?” I ask as I start back towards the door. I feel a strong body pressing against my back and as I turn I see the cheesy grin again. Ugh! This woman is really starting to bother me. If she tells me everything will be alright one more time, I am really going to commit a crime.
They lay me down on a comfy table and place my legs in stirrups. Immediately as if I called for it, my fear returns. Forget calm, forget those pills, and forget this! Something hits me hard. There’s no description, no name for it but it is something. I jump so fast I nearly hit my doctor in the face with my legs. Cheesy (the nurse’s new name) catches me and takes time to calm me down and lie me back on the table. I no longer want to be here. Anywhere else would be great, anywhere in the world, but I have to do this so I lie down and bite down on my lips with my teeth.
I feel pressure coming from below my waist. Trying to move is out of the question because with every movement I am stopped. Oh my God! Where is this pain coming from? There wasn’t supposed to be any pain. She lied to me. Is that the tube I feel? Suck, suck, suck, pain, pressure, pain, suck. Oh this hurts. Take the baby please. Wait, no stop! Don’t take her please! Wait, I want a girl?
Suck , pain, pressure. I feel tears burning my face, and they show no chance of stopping. Finally the doctor is done. He looks at me and smiles, then turns to leave the room. I look to my left and there is a container labeled “HARRIS X.” I cry even harder. I can’t move. My legs are like jello, not budging when I try to take them out of the stirrups. I’m lifted up by a male nurse and taken into the recovery room to rest and wait for my ride.
Six other women are waiting also, but only two of them look how I feel, the other four are laughing and talking like they are at a salon instead of a baby killer office. I sit and I cry. Actually cry is not the word I should use, it is more like a wail and a scream. I cry for the little girl I wanted with eyes like my mother and a smile like mine. I cry that stupid crazy night, with that stupid crazy boy that landed me in this stupid crazy place.
I feel someone holding and rocking me. “Sshhh….let it out, it’s okay” that’s all I hear her saying, and for a brief moment I am comforted. I remember this lady. She came in right after me with her daughter. Looking in her eyes, don’t see the disapproval or judgment. In those hazel eyes, I see sincerity and genuine sympathy for someone who is hurting. For that brief moment it felt like my mom was there with me