Evangelical Baby (Memoir, Part 4)
My boyfriend’s hypocritical sister suggested we see a therapist and work out whether or not we loved each other enough to get married. Marriage, love, and now baby were all pieces of my predicament. Sadly, these pieces seemed all out of order now. Maybe a counselor could help us.
Meantime, most mornings I found myself in a beige waitress uniform walking (since I didn’t own a car) two miles across the interstate overpass from my apartment to the truck stop restaurant I worked at. Each day I thought about the degree I had in history, the one with the focus on medieval Europe and the Reformation, and wondered how that degree was going to help me pregnant and in debt.
Debbie, another waitress on my shift, was someone I talked to about my pregnancy. “Listen, you’re not even showing yet. If this is your first pregnancy you probably can keep working and no one will know until the last trimester and you figure things out.”
“Thank you for saying that. You must have kids?”
“Nah. I had three abortions before I finally got a tubal.”
I was so shocked I started madly busing tables, as if cleaning tables with a dish rag could somehow rid my ears of what Debbie said. Why didn’t Debbie use birth control? I could see one slip-up, but three? Obviously, Debbie was not an Evangelical Christian. But still, three abortions. I’d never seriously considered abortion because in my religion if birth control was wrong, and extra-marital sex worse, abortion was the third horseman of the apocalypse (doom and damnation prophesy from the Book of Revelations). I was beginning to see how my religion was waging war with my young woman’s body.