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Old 05-06-2011, 02:52 PM
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Ask me about my abortion

I have started a thread like this once before, long ago. I was reading the thread in the pit about anti-abortion picketers, and the usual arguments have been raised - that an abortion is a baby, not a group of cells, that no woman should ever be allowed to abort, etc.

So I thought maybe it was time for another thread. I've told my story before, as I have said. I was twenty years old before I started having sex. I was vaguely aware of the existence of condoms and birth control but had had almost no teaching in it. I came from a family and a culture that basically considered premarital sex to be the equivalant of setting your house on fire with your parents still in it, and pointing at them and laughing at them as you did it.

But I grew up in this country. So we had sex, and it was only a couple of times we went without protection, and then after that, we used it. Still, it only takes once and the damage was done.

I absolutely knew I didn't want to have a child, and I talked it over with him. He said he would be willing to support me in whatever decision I made...and I made the abortion decision completely on my own. I won't say he wasn't relieved though.

I'd like to say I put in a lot of thought behind my decision but I didn't. I have never wanted to have a child, ever. I'm 35 now and that visceral reaction has never changed. I can't see how someone who adamantly doesn't want a child could ever be a good mother.

I believe in adoption (open) whole-heartedly but it was not for me, either. I was born out of wedlock and my mother cast me aside and never looked back. It hurt me so much I was never willing to do that to a child.

And I wasn't willing to go through pregnancy to bring a child into this world that was unwanted and unloved. There is no shortage of children being born, and I don't believe in the sanctity of human life - that is, I don't believe every child is imbued with a magical soul at conception and that I must work to preserve it.

So it wasn't even a guilt factor for me. Much worse was the thought of my parents and my family and everyone I know disowning me and tossing me into the street, or worse, for having a child out of wedlock. I've seen how they treated my real mother (I was adopted by an aunt). She is worse than a pariah. Her engagement was broken. Her sister's engagement was broken. Nobody would marry them. Granted, this was 1970s India. But to this day I was referred to as "her shame" and my adoptive mother's "duty". They still don't talk to her much or welcome her into the family. She will always be an outsider. NFW was I doing that to myself or a child of my own.

So we went to Planned Parenthood. I was in my first trimester, of course. They were the most wonderful, nicest people ever. They asked me if I was sure. They gave me some counseling, which I hardly remember. They set up an appointment for a few days away and encouraged me to talk about it with friends and religious figures and damn near anybody I wanted. They asked me, "If we leave a message on your VM, can we say Planned Parenthood?" (I said no, please.)

I went for the appointment. For all of you anti-abortion people, I am sure it will please you to know that it hurt like all fuck. I cried, and cried, and cried, but never wavered in my decision. The nurse held my hand while the doctor did it.

He asked me if I wanted to see it, and I did. I looked at the clump of miscellaneous cells and felt nothing. And I am a kind, compassionate person- but I can't feel compassion for something that I don't believe is there.

I left and sat out in their waiting room with my boyfriend, who was waiting there. I sat for a bit, and then we went home, where he took care of me.

It cost us $300 which is why it always makes me laugh when people say abortion mills are super profitable. Abortions really are not that frequent, people, and at $300 a pop you really don't make a lot of money. We split it between us - it wasn't money from our parents or anything like that. It was money we had earned, from summer jobs or whatnot.

I never regretted my abortion, not even for a second. I never was sad, or sorry over it. I think now, that baby would be fifteen years old. Fifteen years of either being adopted somewhere and wondering why her mom didn't love her enough, or fifteen years of being horribly resented by me.

Oh yeah. I am firmly childfree. Everyone says "You'll love kids when you have them". That seems so...I don't know. WHAT IF I DON'T? Will you take them from me? I think not.

I think abortion is a valid decision. And I've said this before and I will say it again. I WILL have an abortion if I should ever get pregnant again. And I will not stop having sex. I will not give up having sex my whole life because of some religious views that I do not share. We are very cautious now and if I should get pregnant it will be because of a failure in the birth control we use, but even if you made abortion illegal, I would still get an abortion. You cannot convince me it is immoral.

If you really, really want to reduce the level of abortions, you need to work at ensuring that every pregnancy is wanted. That means education. Birth control, easily available to everyone.

It has been put forth that all women and men should be given mandatory birth control at puberty that they can stop at any time. I think it's a great idea...except not mandatory. I know we cannot put everyone on mandatory birth control but I see no reason why we cannot offer long-term birth control to young men and women who want it and do not have averse reactions to whatever system it is. If I had had such options in high school and college I definitely would have taken them.

More and more women are delaying childbirth now. Childbearing is not our only destiny. Some choose to wait. Others choose not to have them at all. It is our choice, and I am happy that I live in a country where it is allowed.

I know this is long, and if you read all of this, I'm grateful. I'll answer civil questions but if someone Pits me over my decision I certainly won't respond in the Pit. I hope other women will share, too - everyone is welcome, as long as you can keep a civil tongue. It just feels to me like anti-abortion people never consider the woman in these circumstances. So here is one woman's story.

Last edited by Anaamika; 05-06-2011 at 02:54 PM.
#2
Old 05-06-2011, 03:09 PM
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Thank you for being brave enough to post this.
#3
Old 05-06-2011, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaamika View Post
... I was vaguely aware of the existence of condoms and birth control but had had almost no teaching in it. I came from a family and a culture that basically considered premarital sex to be the equivalant of setting your house on fire with your parents still in it, and pointing at them and laughing at them as you did it.... So here is one woman's story.
I don't like being 1st to add to this thread, but what the hell. 'Mika, you're being brave, so the least I can do is be (anonymous Internet) brave next to you.

The part I left of your quote spoke well for me. My boyfriend at the time? Same thing - all parts of it. We were both being idiots about contraception. Ignorance + teenage sense of immortality = uh-oh.

Considering the absolute fucking meltdown my mom had on behalf of a friend of hers whose daughter (my age) got knocked up, I had a pretty good sense of what I'd be in for if I chose otherwise. She acted like her friend (the future grandma) was a blessed saint for agreeing to help raise the child and for putting up with such a slut of a daughter.

I'm grateful I had a choice, because frankly, there was no other choice. A freshman in college, with no job prospects, psycho parents, and (in hindsight) dating an unsuitable partner? What kind of life could I possible have provided a helpless infant? None, that's what.

(And that's assuming I had a healthy pregnancy and wasn't killed or injured by being ripped apart during labor.)


What, are we in dire need of more humans on this planet? We're in danger of extinction?

Last edited by purplehorseshoe; 05-06-2011 at 03:11 PM. Reason: Zeriel ninja'd me after all! Hi Zeriel!
#4
Old 05-06-2011, 03:23 PM
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How often do you (any of the above posters who have had an abortion) offer up that information in public? I had a previous girlfriend who had had an abortion when she was in high school. She didn't offer that information lightly - but when she told me, it pretty much completely changed my opinion of abortion and my previous pro-life philosophy. Putting a face I knew and loved in that situation completely altered my perception of it, as it was the ultimate trump card in our abortion discussion.

Last edited by Munch; 05-06-2011 at 03:24 PM.
#5
Old 05-06-2011, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Zeriel View Post
Thank you for being brave enough to post this.
Concur2.

A girlfriend of mine in high school had a pregnancy scare. In the span of a few hours, I went from having one plan about how my life was going to go for the next few years (i.e., college), to planning to spend my college fund to have and raise a kid, to never wanting to have sex again (I got better).

My opinion about abortion has pretty much always been "it's her decision to make," but that was the first (and, to date, only) time I've ever had to actually walk the walk.
#6
Old 05-06-2011, 03:34 PM
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Wow, 'Mika and purplehorseshoe - you both are courageous for sharing your stories. You'll get no questions from me, only support.

I don't understand how or why there's so much rancor between two groups who both have the same goal: fewer abortions. I suppose it's because the vastly different approaches in reaching that goal.

Thanks for sharing. We too often forget the real people and their real situations behind the choices.
#7
Old 05-06-2011, 03:37 PM
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I don't tell people lightly. Mainly because of the reaction, though I don't really talk much about my medical past at all. But you can bet I'd have no problem mentioning that I had eye surgery to correct lazy eye at age 10. Abortion of course is a different kettle of fish.

I've heard Munch's story before (I mean, not specifically, but the details). A ton of people don't realize how close it is to you. I can guarantee that someone in your life has probably had an abortion. family, friend, ex-girlfriend, coworker, etc.

***************************************

Let's take my example further. Say I had that child, right? Like people think I should have. here are my options:

First of all, having the child would have one of the very few completely unforgivable sins in my family. Fourteen or so years later, my family has come around to accepting my other half. They accept I don't want to have children. That I will get around to getting married when I want to, damn it. They don't like it, but they still love me. They even accept I am atheist.
In contrast, as I mentioned my real mom - no one ever forgave her.

But let's say I had the child. I could have adopted the child out. And known forever I did to my baby *exactly* what my mother did to me.

Or I could have married the father. Whom I am no longer with, and whose mother made it clear to everyone who would listen that she hated me. And my parents hated him. That would have made for a wonderful life.

Raised the kid alone. HAH!

I still think abortion was the best choice in my case.

Thanks for your kind comments, btw.
#8
Old 05-06-2011, 03:41 PM
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My wife had an abortion about a year after we met. We went bowling that night. The expense was by far the worst part. $500 which makes the idea of abortion as birth control a joke.
#9
Old 05-06-2011, 03:45 PM
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I have a question, and I hope you don't see it as an attack at all.

Knowing how your family would treat you if they knew you had an abortion, how does that effect your relationship with them? Their love is hinged on the condition of you appearing a certain way, your story has made me wonder if you feel the same way gay people do about how their families would react if they knew.

I think that if my family was so determined to having me fit into their pre-concieved mold about how a son/nephew/grandson is supposed to act to keep their love and respect, I would probably love them less and resent them for it, even if I didn't actually want to DO the thing they dislike so much. Do you ever think about that?

I know a lot of people that have extremely racist family members, and it would be impossible for me to love someone who was a full-blown racist or bigot, no matter how much I liked the person otherwise...but I feel like I'm in the minority in this, most people seem to just put up with their family's faults and just ignore it.

I'm rambling, good thead though.

Last edited by rogerbox; 05-06-2011 at 03:46 PM.
#10
Old 05-06-2011, 03:54 PM
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Don't worry, I know you're not attacking.

Hell, of course I resent them for trying to fit me into a mold. I've always said, I love my family, but I don't like them very much.

I try to remember that they are from a different era and place, and that they are entitled to their views just as much as I am.

The thing is, I am willing to break a good many rules to live my life the way I want - but not all of them. Whatever my family is, they still took care of me. I never wanted for anything physically. They could have dumped me in an orphanage but they mostly knew I wasn't to blame. (They just felt I had some taint.) They arranged to get me to this country so I could grow up without the stigma hanging over my life forever.

So I try to take the good and the bad.
#11
Old 05-06-2011, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snickers View Post
I don't understand how or why there's so much rancor between two groups who both have the same goal: fewer abortions. I suppose it's because the vastly different approaches in reaching that goal.
Mostly because when people have strongly held beliefs they tend to think that the only way that someone could disagree with them is because they are a horrible person. Take notice of how Anaamika noted that pro-lifers would surely enjoy knowing that she suffered during the abortion. Everyone who supports abortion loves murdering babies and everyone who is against abortion hates women, you see. It is impossible for good people to have a sincere disagreement over these kinds of issues.

Honestly, as a pro-lifer, I do feel bad for Anaamika. Growing up in a family where you were made to feel awful about being born out of wedlock, felt rejected by your own mother, and where you felt like you would be ostracized for getting pregnant must have been horrible. It doesn't surprise me that someone who grew up that way would want to be childfree and end a pregnancy at all costs.
That doesn't mean that I think abortion is a good thing though. I would rather do what I can to try to encourage a culture where people accept their daughters with unplanned out of wedlock pregnancy (referring both to Anaamika's bio mom and herself there) rather than pushing them into these kind of unpleasant circumstances.
#12
Old 05-06-2011, 04:19 PM
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I have always been pro-choice. Except when it came to me. I felt that I would never be able to have an abortion. I even got pregnant when I was 16 and was ready to go through with it (I was looking at adoption). I miscarried.

Now, I am a little older and I have two adopted kids (since I seem to keep miscarrying). Now, I feel a little differently. Two kids is really all we can (financially, emotionally, physically) handle.

Cementing this was a terribly realistic dream I had last week that I was pregnant and carrying to term (something incredibly unlikely). It was the worst nightmare I had had in years. I just couldn't handle it.

I am convinced that if I were to get pregnant today, I would get an abortion. It might be hard to live with sometimes but it would be better for all involved.

I know others who have made this decision and no one makes it lightly. I am impressed by women who know their situation well enough to be able to make an informed decision.
#13
Old 05-06-2011, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Munch View Post
How often do you (any of the above posters who have had an abortion) offer up that information in public? I had a previous girlfriend who had had an abortion when she was in high school. She didn't offer that information lightly - but when she told me, it pretty much completely changed my opinion of abortion and my previous pro-life philosophy. Putting a face I knew and loved in that situation completely altered my perception of it, as it was the ultimate trump card in our abortion discussion.
Here's who knows:

- the guy who got me pregnant. We split the cost 50/50, and I can honestly say he seemed more upset by the entire situation than I was. Then again, he was a pretty emotional guy overall. (It was not a decision I made lightly, I want to be clear about that, but it was the one and only logical option available to me, which took some of the ... emotionality? dunno ... away from the situation for me.)

- my two closest (girl)friends at the time. Both of whom by now know others who've had it done - one already did back then, and told me so.

- I told Mr. Horseshoe, back when we first started dating.

- I mentioned it here about a month or three ago (can't find the post now, sorry) for the first time on the Dope after much internal waffling.


That's it. I debated posting here when mika started the thread, but thought, "You know what? I am adamant that I made the right decision for myself and therefore didn't do anything wrong or shameful. Why shouldn't I hide under the cloak of Internet anonymity share my story?" It's not like I'm proud of what happened or anything. This isn't to be taken in a "Sistah! Power!" sort of voice. Just: X happened, and I needed Y medical procedure or else Z would have happened, and Z would have been Very Bad all around.

Last edited by purplehorseshoe; 05-06-2011 at 04:49 PM. Reason: not expressing self well
#14
Old 05-06-2011, 04:51 PM
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No questions. Just admiration of your bravery.
#15
Old 05-06-2011, 04:52 PM
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I've had two abortions. So, I guess I'm doubly evil. The first was when I was 16; my birth control failed. I knew I didn't want to have a baby. My parents would have been furious! Also, i knew the guy I was with wasn't someone I wanted to be tethered to forever. The hardest part, by FAR, was getting together the money, and traveling out of state so I didn't have to tell my parents. Because of those obstacles, I ended up being further along, which made the procedure more expensive... it was a nightmare. I never wavered in knowing what I wanted, but it was very hard for two teenage kids to get that amount of money together, and get away for two days. It was probably the most painful experience of my life, but I was so relieved when it was over. I've never regretted it. In fact, I still have reoccurring nightmares that the baby was born, and that old boyfriend shows up with the baby.

The second one I had about 6 months ago. We were using protection, it failed. I have two children with my ex-husband, and when I got together with my current BF I told him I was done with having babies, and that if our BC ever failed I would get an abortion, and that agreeing to that was a prerequisite for having sex with me. Happily, he agreed 100%, and it took almost 7 years for the situation to arise. Since I am adult now, I was able to go the day after I tested positive for pregnancy, which was the day I was supposed to start (I had a hunch I was pregnant). Meaning I was about 2 1/2 weeks along. I took the abortion pill (NOT the morning after pill) and it all went smoothly. It was like having a heavy crampy period; not the worst I've ever had, but probably in the top 10. Once again, I was relieved, but mostly I was happy it wasn't such a clusterfuck, and angry that it had to be so bad the previous time.

I have no regrets, and no shame. I will talk about it with people, but only if I feel like they probably won't freak out and be assholes. Life is too short to deal with that.
#16
Old 05-06-2011, 04:59 PM
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On April 1st I sat in the bathroom of my apartment with a positive pregnancy test in my hand, sobbing almost uncontrollably. My husband and I planned to adopt children in the future when we were ready for children. We never wanted to have our own biological child for many, many reasons, not the least of which is my intense fear of needles and doctors. After a few days of really thinking about what I wanted to do my husband and I decided that we would keep the baby. Even though I hate needles and have an incredibly low tolerance for pain. Even though my husband is diabetic and is terrified of passing the disease down to our child. Even though he was laid off last year and still hasn't found a job yet despite countless applications and interviews. Since we knew that we wanted to be parents some day we have simply accepted that "someday" is in about 6 months instead of 3 years.

You know what though? I was right to be afraid. Pregnancy sucks. I am just now getting to a point where I'm not nauseous all day and it feels like someone has been smooshing my boobs between a countertop and a rolling pin. They forced me to have blood drawn (and I was indeed terrified, sobbing like someone punched me in the face and using every ounce of willpower not to go running out the door like I was late for a marathon) and as it turns out I am RH negative, which means lots more needles in my future. I'm ballooning out of my clothes and will end up spending several hundred dollars just to avoid being naked for the next 6 months. My hormones are making me crazy and my job won't let me just take an extra half hour at lunch for doctors appointments, they force me to take a minimum of half a day of PTO if I need to be out of the office at all so I will run out of PTO time before I give birth and I will probably lose my job over this.

In the end I truly think it will be worth it, but I also truly think that abortion would have been just as "right" a choice, maybe even more so given our current financial situation. My abortion story didn't end with an abortion and I know I won't regret having this baby but I know I wouldn't have regretted having an abortion either.
#17
Old 05-06-2011, 05:08 PM
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I haven't had an abortion but I would if I needed to. I am not mother material and I take a bunch of drugs that I am not giving up for nine months.

Thank you to the women in this thread sharing their experiences. Talking about abortion as what it is - a simple, common medical procedure - is a powerful antidote to those who want to keep it something shameful, only spoken of in whispers.

Last edited by Merneith; 05-06-2011 at 05:08 PM.
#18
Old 05-06-2011, 05:10 PM
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When I was younger, people would tell me that once I had my own children I could never be pro-choice. I would see what a rare and precious life a baby is.

Well, I do feel that my babies are rare and precious gifts. Which means that a baby should never be born unwanted, unloved and uncared for. Not only did I not turn away from being pro-choice, having my own kids strengthened my resolve.
#19
Old 05-06-2011, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IvoryTowerDenizen View Post
When I was younger, people would tell me that once I had my own children I could never be pro-choice. I would see what a rare and precious life a baby is.

Well, I do feel that my babies are rare and precious gifts. Which means that a baby should never be born unwanted, unloved and uncared for. Not only did I not turn away from being pro-choice, having my own kids strengthened my resolve.
Me too. When I had my son, a girlfriend of mine said "Don't you regret having had that abortion, now that you see what could have been?". My response was something like, "Not just no, but HELL NO!!". Seeing the difference between a pregnancy and a real baby highlighted for me how much the former is unlike the latter. Not to mention that I was dealing with a newborn baby, something I knew would have been more than I could handle at 16, but you can never really understand how much it changes things, and just how hard it really is, until you have one. Having my kids, who I love so much and who enrich my life in millions of ways every day, has only solidified for me that i made the right decision.
#20
Old 05-06-2011, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Anaamika View Post
I'd like to say I put in a lot of thought behind my decision but I didn't. I have never wanted to have a child, ever. ...that visceral reaction has never changed. I can't see how someone who adamantly doesn't want a child could ever be a good mother.

I believe in adoption (open) whole-heartedly but it was not for me, either. I was born out of wedlock and my mother cast me aside and never looked back. It hurt me so much I was never willing to do that to a child.

And I wasn't willing to go through pregnancy to bring a child into this world that was unwanted and unloved. There is no shortage of children being born, and I don't believe in the sanctity of human life - that is, I don't believe every child is imbued with a magical soul at conception and that I must work to preserve it.

So it wasn't even a guilt factor for me.

I was in my first trimester, of course.
I went for the appointment. For all of you anti-abortion people, I am sure it will please you to know that it hurt like all fuck. I cried, and cried, and cried, but never wavered in my decision. The nurse held my hand while the doctor did it.


It cost us $300
I never regretted my abortion, not even for a second. I never was sad, or sorry over it.

Oh yeah. I am firmly childfree. Everyone says "You'll love kids when you have them". That seems so...I don't know. WHAT IF I DON'T? Will you take them from me? I think not.

I think abortion is a valid decision. And I've said this before and I will say it again. I WILL have an abortion if I should ever get pregnant again. And I will not stop having sex. I will not give up having sex my whole life because of some religious views that I do not share. We are very cautious now and if I should get pregnant it will be because of a failure in the birth control we use, but even if you made abortion illegal, I would still get an abortion. You cannot convince me it is immoral.

If you really, really want to reduce the level of abortions, you need to work at ensuring that every pregnancy is wanted. That means education. Birth control, easily available to everyone.

So here is one woman's story.
As edited, two women's. Exactly.
#21
Old 05-06-2011, 06:32 PM
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A question for the people who had an abortion: if you knew in advance that the clinic would be obligated to notify your parents if you had an abortion, would you still have had it? (Obviously this only applies to people who were underage when they did it.)

Corollary questions:
If you were underage, did you tell your parents?
Do you think parents should be told?
If you were a parent and your teenage daughter had an abortion, would you want to know?
#22
Old 05-06-2011, 06:34 PM
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I told my parents first, and both of them accompanied me to the abortion. I was 18.

I also told both my parents when I lost my virginity two years earlier.

Parent's should NOT be told.

If I were a parent I would want to know, but not if it violated her rights and desires.
#23
Old 05-06-2011, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by IvoryTowerDenizen View Post
Well, I do feel that my babies are rare and precious gifts. Which means that a baby should never be born unwanted, unloved and uncared for. Not only did I not turn away from being pro-choice, having my own kids strengthened my resolve.
Me too. I have two children and when I got pregnant again after a birth control failure (when I was separated from my ex -- wasn't his), there was never a moment's hesitation as to what I'd do. I had a medical abortion at ~7 weeks along and TBH it was just like a slightly heavier period. I absolutely knew I was done having kids and with my two, was a full-time college student living below the poverty line.

I have told a few friends and my husband, but I do mention it online or if people ask directly. Part of pro-choice to me is to not villify abortion, but to relate my story so that others don't feel alone.
#24
Old 05-06-2011, 08:14 PM
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I have never wanted to have a child. I realized this in my early teens. Almost everyone told me I'd change my mind. I'm 40 and I still don't want children; neither does my husband.

I have crippling migraines that require medications which are absolutely contraindicated in pregnancy. Right now, my migraines are kept away with a hormonal IUD (Mirena). I could literally not bear to bring a pregnancy to term.

I married the only son of a male chauvinist who rather seethingly resents that I "won't" bear children and continue the family name. If I ever got pregnant, somehow was able to continue the pregnancy, and wanted to adopt the child out, my father-in-law and probably some of his daughters would make our lives miserable. Guilt trips galore for the rest of their lives.

I would absolutely, without a doubt or a moment's hesitation, have an abortion if it came to that. It never has. I've been lucky in that I grew up with a good birth control education via school and other sources (thank you, Dr. Ruth radio show), and I didn't start having sex until college - and had easy and access to birth control pills and condoms, plus being on the birth control pill stopped my menstrual cramps, so it was a "good girl" reason to be on it.

Last edited by Ferret Herder; 05-06-2011 at 08:16 PM.
#25
Old 05-06-2011, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Anaamika View Post


He asked me if I wanted to see it, and I did. I looked at the clump of miscellaneous cells and felt nothing. And I am a kind, compassionate person- but I can't feel compassion for something that I don't believe is there.
I wanted to echo this from another perspective. In three years of trying to conceive, I have managed to get pregnant exactly once, and I had a miscarriage. I actually didn't find out I was pregnant until the crazy bleeding sent me to the emergency room. It was a very sad situation all around, and I've told people that I lost a pregnancy - but never that I lost a baby. Because it never was a baby.

I've been pro-choice since I was old enough to understand the issues, but now that I've spent so much time trying to get pregnant, a lot of people seem to think I ought to have moved over to the other side of the debate. I haven't - like a lot of other posters have said, I know that there are some situations where having a child is just not an option, or an option that will result in worse lives for everyone involved.
#26
Old 05-07-2011, 12:39 AM
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You might find this a weird question, and I'm sorry if it is, but I've never really been able to understand it, and I'm hoping you can explain it to me. You say you didn't want kids, so why did you have sex with your boyfriend in the first place?
#27
Old 05-07-2011, 12:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold Winkelried View Post
A question for the people who had an abortion: if you knew in advance that the clinic would be obligated to notify your parents if you had an abortion, would you still have had it? (Obviously this only applies to people who were underage when they did it.)

Corollary questions:
If you were underage, did you tell your parents?
Do you think parents should be told?
If you were a parent and your teenage daughter had an abortion, would you want to know?
The clinics closest to me would have notified my parents, so I went 4+ hours out of town to do it in another state. I am thankful they were that close; had I been in a different part of the country I don't know what I could have done.

I never told my parents, and I do not think they should be told. I don't think anyone should have to tell, if they don't want to. I trust the girl to make that decision. If my daughter had an abortion, I would hope she could tell me; I try to create that kind of relationship with her. It's hard to do alone, at that age. But if she didn't want to, I respect that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Amazing View Post
You might find this a weird question, and I'm sorry if it is, but I've never really been able to understand it, and I'm hoping you can explain it to me. You say you didn't want kids, so why did you have sex with your boyfriend in the first place?
I am honestly baffled at this question. Seriously, I don't understand. But, if you are serious, here's the serious answer: I wanted to have sex. I mean, I was sexually aroused, and so was he, and it was a lot of fun and it felt great. I have sex every day, and have for years and years. I like it. It feels good. It creates a closeness that I don't think we could have without sex. It's what separates him from being just my friend.

None of that means I want to have a baby. They are just two different (although somewhat linked) things.
#28
Old 05-07-2011, 01:07 AM
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I too am viscerally anti-childbearing. The idea of pregnancy is utterly repellent to me (when it involves ME, that is - I love my pregnant friends, and I breed a variety of animals and adore holding them and feeling their pregnancies) and induces panic attacks and strong urges of self-harm. I have a cocktail of medical issues including adhesions and keloid scarring that would make pregnancy insanely painful and likely impossible, not to mention a host of things I would never want to pass on to a child.

I got pregnant (despite protection) at 21, after just having left my insanely abusive husband and gotten a very tiny apartment that I could pay for with my tiny job. I was currently seeing someone (the father of the fetus) but we were not married, nor was I interested in marrying anytime soon. The father also had a host of serious genetic issues (joint problems and diabetes) that I was not interested in combining with what I have.

While I was debating the idea of the abortion, I miscarried. But even though I'm one of those people who always supported choice but never thought I could go through with an abortion - I would have, and was planning on it. The idea of the pregnancy was so painful and panic-inducing, I would have done ANYTHING to be rid of it. So yes, if abortions were illegal, I would have obtained one anyone, unsafe or not. As it was, the miscarriage was very painful, and likely the result of the same things that would probably make pregnancy unsafe/impossible for me even if I DID want one.

Someday, my husband and I will adopt, when the economy sorts out and we're well-employed and financially stable again. But I will never bear a child, and no amount of right-wing legislation or shaming would ever change that.

And to Captain Amazing: are you serious? Sex isn't just for procreation. That isn't even its primary function in human society now, if indeed it ever was. Seriously? Because sex feels good, and pregnancy doesn't. :P
#29
Old 05-07-2011, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Amazing View Post
You might find this a weird question, and I'm sorry if it is, but I've never really been able to understand it, and I'm hoping you can explain it to me. You say you didn't want kids, so why did you have sex with your boyfriend in the first place?
Some of us like sex, and have sex because we enjoy it. Or maybe we're agreeable to having sex with our boyfriends/husbands because THEY are in the mood. I mean, if I want to go to a certain restaurant that my husband doesn't care for, he's happy to take me there because I enjoy it so much, and he enjoys my enjoyment.

And birth control fails. I've had three different kinds of birth control fail me. I don't want to get into more detail here, because I really don't want that info floating around on the intartubes.
#30
Old 05-07-2011, 01:20 AM
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Oh, and I forgot to mention: when I was going to get my abortion, I had no problem whatsoever finding a doctor who would perform the procedure for me.

However, I could NOT find a doctor who would voluntarily sterilize me. And I looked for years. Because I "couldn't possibly know" that I didn't want babies, and I would surely change my mind when I got older, or had a couple. They would NOT do it. Even when I had an unrelated abdominal surgery later and I asked for them to just cut my tubes while they were in there.

The priorities boggle me, sometimes.
#31
Old 05-07-2011, 02:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miss elizabeth View Post
I am honestly baffled at this question. Seriously, I don't understand. But, if you are serious, here's the serious answer: I wanted to have sex. I mean, I was sexually aroused, and so was he, and it was a lot of fun and it felt great. I have sex every day, and have for years and years. I like it. It feels good. It creates a closeness that I don't think we could have without sex. It's what separates him from being just my friend.

None of that means I want to have a baby. They are just two different (although somewhat linked) things.
I don't understand it, but I'll take your word for it. There just seems to be a lot of physical contact and fluids, but anyway. I guess my next question is, did the fact that abortion's legal contribute to your decision to have sex? If, hypothetically, you knew that abortion wasn't available, and if you were to get pregnant you'd have to carry the pregnancy to term, would that have influenced your decision to have vaginal sex, or (for those people who've answered who had unprotected sex) unprotected vaginal sex? Because I'm assuming that, when you had vaginal sex, you knew that pregnancy was a possibility, right? You weren't ignorant of the babymaking process. Did any of that, or the possibility you might get pregnant, enter into your decision making process at all?
#32
Old 05-07-2011, 02:19 AM
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Have you never had said, Captain Amazing? I'm not being snarky, but have you never had an orgasm?

Sex is an urge like eating is an urge. The physical contact which you appear to see as a negative is a strong emotional positive if you care about the person. It's intimate, unifying, bonding, and it feels really, really good. I think that, for most people, procreation is not number one on the list for why they do it, and for many people, it's not on the list at all.

Last edited by Diogenes the Cynic; 05-07-2011 at 02:21 AM.
#33
Old 05-07-2011, 02:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic View Post
Have you never had said, Captain Amazing? I'm not being snarky, but have you never had an orgasm?
I want to second this. I mean, I know there exists such a thing as an "asexual" who has very low libido and attraction to anyone of any gender, but even the people I've known who fit that category understand why other people might want to have sex.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Amazing View Post
I don't understand it, but I'll take your word for it. There just seems to be a lot of physical contact and fluids, but anyway. I guess my next question is, did the fact that abortion's legal contribute to your decision to have sex? If, hypothetically, you knew that abortion wasn't available, and if you were to get pregnant you'd have to carry the pregnancy to term, would that have influenced your decision to have vaginal sex, or (for those people who've answered who had unprotected sex) unprotected vaginal sex? Because I'm assuming that, when you had vaginal sex, you knew that pregnancy was a possibility, right? You weren't ignorant of the babymaking process. Did any of that, or the possibility you might get pregnant, enter into your decision making process at all?
I'm answering for myself and pretty much every sexual partner I've ever had here. We've use multiple forms of birth control, pretty much every time. Generally condoms and the pill, or condoms and an IUD. The only times I've had unprotected sex were when I was open to conception as a result.

If there were no abortions, and no emergency contraception, it'd affect some but not all of my sexual decisions, certainly. Even a 0.5% chance is still a chance. I'd be willing to accept that risk with my wife, but not probably with previous lovers.

As I said, fortunately we have this thing called science that allows us to decouple sex from pregnancy with a high degree of certainty, and emergency contraceptives for when that doesn't work, and abortion for when none of the above work and the child is not desired.
#34
Old 05-07-2011, 02:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Amazing View Post
I don't understand it, but I'll take your word for it. There just seems to be a lot of physical contact and fluids, but anyway. I guess my next question is, did the fact that abortion's legal contribute to your decision to have sex? If, hypothetically, you knew that abortion wasn't available, and if you were to get pregnant you'd have to carry the pregnancy to term, would that have influenced your decision to have vaginal sex, or (for those people who've answered who had unprotected sex) unprotected vaginal sex? Because I'm assuming that, when you had vaginal sex, you knew that pregnancy was a possibility, right? You weren't ignorant of the babymaking process. Did any of that, or the possibility you might get pregnant, enter into your decision making process at all?
Bolding mine. CA, I note that in another thread, you make your feelings on abortion known:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Amazing View Post
So am I the only one who thinks, that in the Violinist argument, I do have a moral duty to stay hooked up to the violinist? Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't be happy that this happened to me. I wouldn't want it to happen, and I wouldn't volunteer to hook myself up to the violinist. I can't even guarantee I would stay hooked up to the violinist. But it seems to me that if I am hooked up to the violinist, I have a kind of moral obligation to stay hooked up, if I know unhooking myself will kill him.
Bolding mine. Apologies if I'm misreading you, but your posts in this thread struck me as a rather disingenuous attempt to get people to state outright that they knew pregnancy is a possibility with vaginal intercourse, yet had sex anyway. Given your expressed opinion that abortion is murder, I wonder if you're not trying to subtly force an anti-abortion argument here, slowly drawing it out with naive questions.

Again, I am sorry if I am misunderstanding you, and apologies for hijacking the thread.
#35
Old 05-07-2011, 02:56 AM
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Captain Amazing (and I'll just have to take your word that you are,) do you seriously, every time you have sex to the point of orgasm, think "my partner could become pregnant from this event?" If you do, I think that's unusual. And I say that as someone who is perfectly aware of the potential consequences of sexual activity, and the potential for birth control failure... I assure you, though, that some women have sex because it feels really, really good, not because we want to be mamas.

Personally, I have never had an abortion, but I would argue to my last breath in favor of a woman's right to choose that option. I'm not trying to be snarky here, but I think that, if you don't personally possess a uterus, you don't really have the right to vote on that option either. It's very easy to say "I would never/I would always," but if you are never going to face an unplanned and unwelcome pregnancy, it's easy to play armchair quarterback. (And like I said, I've never had an abortion. I have, however, carried a child to term and placed her for adoption. In retrospect, abortion would have been easier, physically and emotionally, but I don't second-guess my decision - it was the right thing for me, at that moment. At another moment, abortion may have been a better decision.)
#36
Old 05-07-2011, 03:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Amazing View Post
I don't understand it, but I'll take your word for it. There just seems to be a lot of physical contact and fluids, but anyway. I guess my next question is, did the fact that abortion's legal contribute to your decision to have sex? If, hypothetically, you knew that abortion wasn't available, and if you were to get pregnant you'd have to carry the pregnancy to term, would that have influenced your decision to have vaginal sex, or (for those people who've answered who had unprotected sex) unprotected vaginal sex? Because I'm assuming that, when you had vaginal sex, you knew that pregnancy was a possibility, right? You weren't ignorant of the babymaking process. Did any of that, or the possibility you might get pregnant, enter into your decision making process at all?

That's a very good question.
#37
Old 05-07-2011, 03:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KinkiNipponTourist View Post
Bolding mine. Apologies if I'm misreading you, but your posts in this thread struck me as a rather disingenuous attempt to get people to state outright that they knew pregnancy is a possibility with vaginal intercourse, yet had sex anyway. Given your expressed opinion that abortion is murder, I wonder if you're not trying to subtly force an anti-abortion argument here, slowly drawing it out with naive questions.

Again, I am sorry if I am misunderstanding you, and apologies for hijacking the thread.
I don't want to derail this thread with a debate about abortion, because that's not really what this thread is about, and I apologize to Anaamika and the other people who have shared their stories because my questions seem to have taken the conversation off track, but I will just say that I don't think abortion is murder, and I've never, or at least not any time recently, to the best of my knowledge, expressed the opinion that abortion is murder. Further, in the United States, abortion isn't murder. I was answering the question about what I saw my moral obligation as being if I were hooked up to the hypothetical violinist.
#38
Old 05-07-2011, 03:33 AM
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Although I don't agree with the anti-choice position, it is at least understandable given the social conservative proposal that life begins at conception, with which I also disagree.

Where it all breaks down for me, however, is the same folks who are against abortions are generally against contraception, sex education, and social welfare as well. So not only do they not want post-pubescent adolescents to learn anything about sex, they don't want them to have access to the devices or medications designed to prevent pregnancy, they want to force the girl, once pregnant, to gestate and deliver a baby against her will and, finally, when she has had the child, and has, in many cases, had to give up school, a boyfriend who's mysteriously fled the scene, and with little to no means of support, they want to eliminate social programs that would help her financially and emotionally in raising the child, thereby increasing the likelihood of a life of poverty and despair for both the mother and child. Now THAT is illogical, not to mention freaking sick.

It seems the anti-choice movement's true goals are to force women to comply with the tenets of a superstition, and to subjugate women into being little more than mindless baby factories who have no rights over their own biology and, by extension, not much else.

Last edited by Onomatopoeia; 05-07-2011 at 03:36 AM.
#39
Old 05-07-2011, 04:31 AM
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What a great OP! Thanks for sharing

I myself have had unprotected sex a couple times in my life (I was desperate enough not to insist on it, he pulled out) and I didn't get pregnant. But I often am grateful that I dodged the bullet and haven't had to make this decision yet. And I don't do that stupid shit anymore!

Thanks again, great topic
#40
Old 05-07-2011, 07:14 AM
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The orgasm explanation doesn't work for me, as you can have orgasm outside of actual vaginal intercourse. In fact, for women, I was under the impression that orgasm usually required some digital, oral, or mechanical stimulation. That's what certain people have told me.

There has to be something besides orgasm and having a partner that enters into the decision to have PIV sex. Is it just a biological urge or instinct that overrides rational thinking? Is there a special pleasure with PIV sex that is absent from other forms?

Yes, I'll admit that I am completely inexperienced in this area. I am the infamous intentional virgin. But I thought I had a good idea of at least the basics, based on the stuff I've read and the guys who love to describe in detail what they do and the stuff I read online from both men and women. Oh, and this one S&M girl I knew in real life who, second conversation I had with her, wound up having drifting to how she enjoyed having sex with gay guys, as long as they enjoyed pain.
#41
Old 05-07-2011, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onomatopoeia View Post
Although I don't agree with the anti-choice position, it is at least understandable given the social conservative proposal that life begins at conception, with which I also disagree.

Where it all breaks down for me, however, is the same folks who are against abortions are generally against contraception, sex education, and social welfare as well. So not only do they not want post-pubescent adolescents to learn anything about sex, they don't want them to have access to the devices or medications designed to prevent pregnancy, they want to force the girl, once pregnant, to gestate and deliver a baby against her will and, finally, when she has had the child, and has, in many cases, had to give up school, a boyfriend who's mysteriously fled the scene, and with little to no means of support, they want to eliminate social programs that would help her financially and emotionally in raising the child, thereby increasing the likelihood of a life of poverty and despair for both the mother and child. Now THAT is illogical, not to mention freaking sick.
Good post, I see things similarly. However, I think you are portraying one end of the pro-life spectrum with the above, not all pro-lifers are opposed to birth control and sex education.

Strict, conservative sexual morality was once appropriate. It is irresponsible to risk having a child you or your society are not equipped to raise. This is especially true given how dangerous child birth was to the mother before the advent of modern medicine. The alternative to strict morality is shown by the native Tahitians, who were sexually permissive, but as a consequence frequently practised infanticide on any unwanted children. This changed radically with the advent of reliable birth control. Many conservatives today seem to think that sex itself is immoral, instead of the possible consequences of unprotected sex (unwanted pregnancy and spread of STDs). I don't think that is a rational position.
#42
Old 05-07-2011, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by BigT View Post
Is there a special pleasure with PIV sex that is absent from other forms?
Well, yes, dear. I mean, for me, anyway.
#43
Old 05-07-2011, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by BigT View Post
The orgasm explanation doesn't work for me, as you can have orgasm outside of actual vaginal intercourse. In fact, for women, I was under the impression that orgasm usually required some digital, oral, or mechanical stimulation. That's what certain people have told me.

There has to be something besides orgasm and having a partner that enters into the decision to have PIV sex. Is it just a biological urge or instinct that overrides rational thinking? Is there a special pleasure with PIV sex that is absent from other forms?
Yes, absolutely. It's not really about the orgasm per se either, it's the whole experience of getting there. To draw an analogy, all kinds of different food will fill you up, but that doesn't mean eating a steak is the same as eating an ice cream cone.
#44
Old 05-07-2011, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic View Post
Yes, absolutely. It's not really about the orgasm per se either, it's the whole experience of getting there. To draw an analogy, all kinds of different food will fill you up, but that doesn't mean eating a steak is the same as eating an ice cream cone.
Good comparison. For me, masturbation is kind of like eating one of those "nutrition bars" - it satisfies, but afterwards I'm kind of "meh, that did the trick, now I don't have to pay attention to that need for a while." Sex is like eating "real" food - it can be a quick bite to fill you up, or a long drawn-out feast. Sometimes it's mindblowingly awesome, sometimes it's not so great (hopefully not that often!), usually it's at least pretty damned nice.
#45
Old 05-07-2011, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Anaamika View Post
I believe in adoption (open) whole-heartedly but it was not for me, either. I was born out of wedlock and my mother cast me aside and never looked back. It hurt me so much I was never willing to do that to a child.
I will be upfront and state that I am pro life. Not doctor murdering, picketing the clinic, make women's lives miserable pro-life, but pro life nonetheless. I am curious about the rejection of the adoption option.

Why do you conflate adoption and being "cast aside"? From your wording, it sounds like you weren't adopted, and you say that you believe in adoption whole heartedly, but then you say you could never be willing to do that to a child. I don't understand the seeming conflict between those two. Lacunae Matata found adoption to be the better choice for her (kudos), albeit more physically and emotionally difficult. Did you see it that way too?

I don't want to devolve your very brave thread into a discussion of the issue of abortion (the rhetoric is already tough to bear), but I'm curious about the rejection of adoption as a viable option.
#46
Old 05-07-2011, 12:08 PM
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I had one around the time you did, and I am wondering why you didn't get ansthesia? Mine cost about 300 also so there was no pain. I just want to say to anyone who is about to have one, don't lift anything heavy afterwards.
#47
Old 05-07-2011, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
The orgasm explanation doesn't work for me, as you can have orgasm outside of actual vaginal intercourse. In fact, for women, I was under the impression that orgasm usually required some digital, oral, or mechanical stimulation. That's what certain people have told me.
For some women maybe but this is far from universally true.
#48
Old 05-07-2011, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
The orgasm explanation doesn't work for me, as you can have orgasm outside of actual vaginal intercourse. In fact, for women, I was under the impression that orgasm usually required some digital, oral, or mechanical stimulation. That's what certain people have told me.
Incorrect. Most women require ADDITIONAL stimulation to reach orgasm with PIV sex, that is, they can't orgasm from simply inserting getting a penis inserted into their vagina and then screwing. However, if these same women are stimulated either before or during the main event, they can have a dandy orgasm, thankyouverymuch. Many, probably even most, heterosexual women enjoy penetration.
#49
Old 05-07-2011, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Laggard View Post
The expense was by far the worst part. $500 which makes the idea of abortion as birth control a joke.
If you think thats bad, skip the abortion and you will find that $500 does not go very far.
#50
Old 05-07-2011, 01:34 PM
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Yeah, count me in with the people who just really don't understand the "why on earth would you want to have sex?" question.
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