Saturday, May 7, 2016

Shit just got real...

With the 2016 presidential election in full swing, there’s one topic of conversation that I can’t seem to get out of my head. As a woman I’m sure it’s no surprise that the topic I’m referring to is “Abortion”. It’s a very controversial topic and one that I believe some politicians use as a tool to earn votes. I’m not trying to start a conversation with people that is going to engage any arguing or verbal bullying. This isn’t a place for that; I simply want more people to understand why abortion clinics are a necessity. Of course this is my own personal opinion and I am in no way trying to persuade anyone to be for or against it, I just want to share my story.

Since you’re here, reading my blog, you already know a little bit about me. I’m an award-winning baker based in Orange County, CA, who has baked and delivered thousands of cupcakes, hundreds of cakes and multiple dessert bars. My business has given me a platform to be able to speak to hundreds of elementary school children on career day and I’ve been lucky enough to help teenage girls all of the country on their road to baking success. You also know that I have a sister who I absolutely adore, a mom who has given everything she has to make sure her daughters have the best lives possible, a father who decided to make me his when I was 6 years old and a family that is literally the definition of “Ride or Die”. I spend my weekdays working at a plastic surgeon’s office full time and my weekends dreaming up and creating cakes, cupcakes and dessert bars for my clients.

This all sounds pretty amazing if you’re on the outside looking in, right? Don't get me wrong, I feel truly blessed to wake up every day and live such a wonderful life. All that aside, there’s something you don’t know about me; I, the cupcake making, hardworking girl who never lets anyone see me without a smile, has had an abortion. Now, before you are quick to judge or click the little X on the right hand part of your screen, I beg you to read on and please do so with an open mind.

Years ago, on Mother’s Day morning, I had complications that forced me to terminate my pregnancy. Any woman that has gone through this knows that there really aren’t any words that can properly describe the feeling when you’re told your body isn’t doing what it was built to do, something that women everywhere do with no complications. I felt broken. It took a long time before I felt “normal” again.

Fast forward a few years and I was in what I thought was a healthy, stable relationship with a man 7 years older than me. I was taking my birth control as prescribed, but one day something just felt off so I decided to buy a pregnancy test. You should know that I have struggled with Endometriosis for years and when I had my miscarriage I was told it would be incredibly difficult to conceive again. I took the pregnancy test and to my utter shock, the little stick said I was pregnant. Like most other women I decided to take 4 more tests, you know, just in case. Each of them confirmed what I thought was never possible.

I was happy and scared to death all at the same time. How would my boyfriend react? How would my family react? Will this end the same way as my first pregnancy? I had no less than 8 million tabs open in my head at one time. The first person I called was my sister, who was amazing and talked me down and assured me that she would be there for me any way she could. Then the time came to tell my boyfriend and all I could think was “holy shit, what is he going to say?”. What started out as a heartwarming moment, thinking that I could actually conceive and that I would do everything to make sure this baby grew to term, was quickly destroyed by my boyfriend’s immediate reaction to the news. The man I fell in love with, who told me he would always be there for me, went from loving to mean and hateful in mere moments. I thought that after a few days he might change his attitude; since we’re both grown-ups, I felt like we got ourselves in to this situation and it only made sense to see it through and do what we could to make things right for this life we created together.

Boy was I wrong, a few days later he made it very clear that this was not something he wanted or needed in his life and if I were to continue on with the pregnancy I would be doing it on my own. To say I was “disappointed” would be an understatement. I’m the daughter of a woman who had to do it on her own for most of my life and I know how hard it was for her and how much she wishes she could have provided the “perfect” family for my sister and I. What she doesn’t realize is that she’s given us everything we’ve ever needed and more. Unfortunately, I’m not as strong as my mom and I knew if I had to do it on my own I would never be able to provide a life that I would have wanted for my child.

Walking into that clinic and choosing to end my pregnancy was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It wasn’t the outcome I wanted. Do I regret my decision? Some days. Am I happy now? Yes, because I was able to turn my life and my career into one that gives me the ability to give back to young adults and children.

So I beg of you, before you decide that women who choose to get abortions should be “punished”, “bullied” or “judged”, remember that everyone is fighting their own battles. A woman having the right to choose what they want to do with their bodies is part of what makes this country so amazing. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman, we should all have the right to choose what we do and don’t do with our bodies. I let a man tell me what to do once and I can assure you I will never make that mistake again.