Fearing the worst, she took a test and hoped against hope that her concerns were unfounded. So many times throughout her life she was told that this was a wonderful gift and that she would be so blessed to carry such a precious being inside of her. Some even told her that she would glow as if she radiated life itself. She had not the heart to tell them that this would be a curse, a leech that will drain her essence.
As she waits, dark visions flood her mind like a swarm of plague rats. In her mind she saw the beast within consuming her more each day, withering her flesh and bones to sustain itself. Her longing for the sweet release of sleep but it keeping her up at night with its kicking, trapping her in the endless horror. As her stomach stretches and swells, she knows that a single heartbeat will be all it takes for the nightmare to become reality. The thing will press its small hands against her flesh trying to push through the thin barrier.
It will claw and tear her apart to reach the outside world, oblivious to the screams of her as it inflects agony upon her. Maybe she will know before the pain even begins to wracks her body in excruciating waves that she will not survive this process. She will have to watch through a thin paper curtain as she is eviscerated and the shadows of her organs are laid on her chest while probing hands search for the life that has lived like a parasite inside of her for so long. She imagine that if fate is kind she will live to hold the it, but she knows she may not be so lucky. They say that a women forgets the pain of birth when she first holds her baby but will she be able to love something that completely changed her life?
Every moment she waits for the results of her test, the more her anxiety grows. The fearful thoughts in her head dwell on the thing that may await her if her fears become real. Finally her results, after what felt like ages, are displayed on the screen. A single red line reveals that she is safe from this horror for now. But then the ghost of a second line appears and she frets anew that she misread her fate. She begins to doubt if there really is a second line because it does not become clear like the first. Panic overtakes her as she takes a second test, digital this time, just to be certain. She can barely breath as she watches the screen waiting to see which path her life will take. She tries to calm down and plan for all eventualities but her worries that the first test already revealed her truth haunt her. At last, in solid black and white she has her answer. There is no life within her womb, she is free from the nightmare.
Author’s note: I wrote this story based on stories I have heard from many women regarding their experiences with pregnancy and childbirth, as well as my own experience with a pregnancy scare. I wanted to write this story from the perspective of a women who thinks she may be pregnant and does not want the child. This could be for many reasons and all are valid so I’m leaving that the the interpretation of the reader. Maybe she was assaulted, maybe she has a medical condition that could make pregnancy life-threatening, maybe she is not in a position financially to raise a child, maybe she is a child herself or maybe she just does not want children. It is for these and many other reasons why I am thankful to live in Canada where, even though some frown upon it, we have access to contraceptives and abortions. Maybe women around the world are not so lucky so I want this story to be a reminder that sometimes pregnancy can be beautiful to some but a horror to others.