The day of my appointment at the clinic finally arrived, and unlike Jack, Henry was skipping his classes and cancelling all other plans that day to accompany me. Looking back, I can’t say how glad I am it was Henry who was sat with me in that waiting room. I was terrified, looking around the room at posters on adoption, STI’s, and being a new mum. I couldn’t keep my legs still and I kept turning round to Henry to ask, “What if something goes wrong? How long do you think I’ll have to wait?” Each of my questions were met with a knowing smile and a firm squeeze of my hand, which he never let go of as we waited.
“Everything will be fine, don’t worry,” Henry told me. I tried to believe him but I was so full of paranoia and fear.
After an agonising wait, my name was finally called and we were directed into a small office. The nurse who met us there asked me a bunch of medical questions that I answered quickly and robotically. She talked me through the two different types of abortion available to me, which I had already obsessed about and spent days trying to get Henry to tell me which one was better, because both sounded pretty unpleasant to me.
I won’t go into too much detail, because, frankly, it just reminds me of the days agonising over it. It was a case of medical versus surgical, the only perk of the surgical option being that you were knocked out for the whole thing. I ended up choosing medical, which meant, being so early on in the pregnancy, I could go through it in the comfort of my own home, rather than spending all day, maybe two, in a hospital, and I wanted to spend as little time there as possible. I was already sick of nurse’s offices and waiting rooms.
Henry and I were taken to an examination room for my scan, and to have some more blood taken. The nurse asked if I wanted Henry to leave the room for this part, as it was quite personal. At this, I quickly said no and grabbed Henry’s arm, to dash any notions he now had of leaving. I didn’t want to be left alone.
The scan was unpleasant. I think now about how that event is such a big deal for women and couples who planned for this, how seeing that first image on the scan is a miracle and an incredibly happy moment. For me, it was the moment when Henry and I would find out exactly how far along I was, confirming who the most likely father would be. I lay there as the nurse completed her scan, focusing on Henry’s face, which held an unwavering, but deeply unhappy smile. I knew this was killing him, and I think it made me fall in love with him all over again to see what he was willing to do for me. It made me hurt too. Hurt for all the pain I had caused him over Jack. Jack, who was out there going about his normal day, looking forward to a date that night with Tessa. Yes, he told me he was going on a date the day of my appointment, and no, he didn’t get in touch to give any well wishes or words of comfort. It was total radio silence.
I was so ashamed. Here I was, getting an ultra-sound because of my relationship with Jack, because I cheated on Henry, because I left him for a guy who wouldn’t be there for the girl he got pregnant, and there was Henry, by my side supporting me the whole time. How the hell did I get here?