My Chronic Illness Led Me to Get an Abortion

I didn't think I could have a baby, but then I got pregnant by a fluke.

It was my first time in bed with the man I called Frenchie, and maybe I wasn't being all that cautious, but I'd like to chalk it up to getting lost in translation. Even though I grew up in a French-speaking home, my language skills are more akin to "I'll take the bus home from school today" and less "I'm ovulating." Frenchie, known to others as Lio, was shocked to learn that I didn't know the French word for "orgasm," but that wasn't exactly the kind of topic my father was interested in discussing around the dinner table.

I was 38 when the pregnancy test I took alone on a cloudy Monday morning in between Zoom meetings came back positive. I was pregnant in spite of the fact that I took the morning-after pill. I was pregnant, though I have a split uterus; the scar tissue I was born with cleaving my uterus in two. I was pregnant, though I have a chronic illness and the fistfuls of medication I take are, according to my many doctors, "incompatible with pregnancy." I was pregnant in spite of the fact that I was pushing 40 and told a man I'd just met, and who I actually liked, that "I can't have children."


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