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“I Would Lose Everything”

My boyfriend and I were both pre-med students, about five years after the Roe v. Wade decision. We were studying for the MCAT. I was using a diaphragm for contraception.

I was, admittedly, a knucklehead, but boys can be knuckleheads in this arena without much in the way of consequences, while girls cannot afford to take chances. Right around the time that I realized that my boyfriend didn’t really love me, my period was late.

My cycles had always been like clockwork, so this was different. This also occurred before the days when a very early pregnancy could be detected with lab work. While I waited for days before I thought that I could go to Student Health, I imagined my future.

This boyfriend would go on to medical school and have a happy life. I could not imagine a way that I could go to medical school while caring for a baby by myself. I made my decision; I would not give up my life-long hopes and dreams.

A few days after making my decision, I began a very heavy menses. After completing medical training, I realized in retrospect that I had probably had a blighted ovum. I was lucky that I didn’t have to go through a procedure, but I was even luckier that I would have had a choice. I became an excellent, empathic physician, and I would never have had any regrets.

Anonymous

Comments

1 thought on ““I Would Lose Everything””

  1. Warren Holleman

    Thank you for sharing your story. I remember those days so well. My wife was a medical student in the 70s, and it was an unwritten rule that female medical students were not allowed to have children. There was no such thing as a pregnancy leave or anything like that. In fact, when she interviewed for med school, she was asked, more than once: “Why should we give a spot to you? You’ll just get married and get pregnant and never finish med school. Why should we take a spot away from a man?”

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