Susan Ito shares her story of an abortion she had when a medical condition – preeclampsia – threatened her life. We had been married just why i chose radiology essay than a year in that spring of 1989. My husband had a medical conference in Washington.
He left our home in California early in the week, and I planned to meet him there later for a long weekend. When the airport van arrived at our house, I loaded my suitcase into the back, strapped myself in, and fell asleep before we reached the bottom of our street. I had been drooling on my jacket collar. I had never experienced such overwhelming somnolence before. I stumbled through the corridors of the airport, feeling drugged, my head buzzing with a strange, sparkling heaviness.
All I wanted to do was curl into a corner and sleep, the passengers rushing past me with their wheeled luggage, their tickets flapping in their hands. It was all I could do to stagger onto the plane and doze, waking only to devour the plastic tray of rubbery food, and sleep again. I think I’m sick,” I told John as I got off the plane. But it had been the first month of sex without birth control, the little cervical cap far, far away in the bathroom cabinet, the spermicide buried in the underwear drawer. We had thought it would take months, maybe even a year.
Not so soon as this. I sat on the edge of the bed and flipped through the yellow pages, searching for a clinic that would be open on a Saturday. While John was in a darkened auditorium, studying the dark red planet of a diseased liver shining huge and luminous on the wall, I climbed into a taxi, trembling, and gave the driver the address of the Georgetown Women’s Center. They took a tube full of blood from my arm and then told me to call back in three hours.
I wandered the streets of a city I didn’t know, the jeweled boutiques, bookstores, a café with colorful bowls of salad crowded together under a glass counter. I sat there, eating stuffed grape leaves, staring at my watch, the tiny needle of the second hand jerking through space. I thought about my blood, the tablespoons of blood that lay in the glass tube in the clinic. Blood that was waiting to speak, its language translated by chemicals and microscopes.