April 1st 1993 – I am 14 years old and pregnant. This is no April Fools Day Joke.

I skipped school and walked myself into the crisis pregnancy center in my local town , I gave a fake name and asked for a pregnancy test. The ladies were very kind and had me administer the test myself. They asked me what my plans were and I remember telling them that my parents were going to kill me when they found out. They told me I had options and would help me if I wanted to keep my baby or give it up for adoption. I asked about an abortion not really understanding what one really was. They told me they had a video for me to watch. The video was very graphic and had me hysterically crying before I left. I knew that an abortion was not an option.

Word spread pretty fast that I was pregnant. It was a small town and we knew everyone. Eventually it reached my family. As suspected , my family was furious. They were furious at me, at the ladies at the crisis center, at everyone. They said I was just a child and there was no way I could raise a baby , they made me an appointment with the local clinic against my wishes. My mom kept telling me it was just a mass of cells and not a real baby yet. I remember driving there 27th days later with my parents and feeling so ashamed and embarrassed especially when I saw the religious groups picketing. They brought me in the back for my “ counseling session” and when they asked me if this was what I wanted I told the lady no, I was being made to do this. My mom then interjected again and started telling me how since I didn’t have adequate medical care and was not on prenatal vitamins that my baby would be born deformed if I didn’t do this. I asked the lady more questions and she told me the same, its just a mass of cells and would “ Look like a cotton ball” and they would “ dispose of it”. I was 7 weeks along.

I was taken to another room to get my gown on . It was so cold. The radio was playing the song “informer” . The nurses name was Mary and she was much older. I remember a shot of some sort , maybe an Iv. I was so scared. I was shaking. All I saw was women until I became very groggy and everything in the room was fuzzy. I then heard a mans voice and the sound of a machine. It was so cold and it was metal. Something pinched me. Am I dreaming? Where am I? The next thing I remember I was in another room on a bed and there was another girl in there. I started screaming and crying hysterically. I kept calling for “ my baby”. They got my mom because I was making such a scene. My mom got me and my dad picked me up and carried me to the car. I was kicking and screaming over my dads shoulder on the way to that hot car.

As the weeks went on I was bullied at school and I was called a baby killer by kids at the local bowling alley. I hated my parents and was put on medications for depression. Less than 2 years later I became pregnant again. I now have 4 children. Throughout my adult life I have always been ashamed of my vulva. Today, 19 years later on the anniversary of my first pregnancy I am able to move on. I know I have been forgiven. I thought my vulva was ugly and I never wanted anyone to go near it. I am ready to let go of that shame and show the world. I am beautiful.

-Arianna butterflies