How one woman overcame the traumatic experience of abortion.
Essayist Underwood, who studies at Harvard Divinity School and co-hosts the "Spiritually Blonde" podcast, was caught by surprise with her pregnancy at age 19. She always imagined being a virgin until marriage, marrying a man she loved, and having their first child a few years after the wedding. “My first pregnancy was supposed to be about joy,” she writes. However, she believed that, despite the suffering involved, she needed the abortion since the baby, a failed relationship with the father, and being in love with someone else were all the wrong things at the wrong time. Then she spent years trying to overcome the incredible sadness she felt afterward. Underwood intimately describes the events leading up to her relationship with Noah, a drug dealer and user, while the man she truly loved, “Will-B,” was in the military and overseas. She also chronicles the abortion and the tactics she used to move on. These included a Buddhist ceremony commonly used in Japan to help women move beyond abortion, a Roman Catholic retreat, a water baby ritual, meditation, consultations with a representative from Planned Parenthood, and more. Through it all, she continued to struggle with her true feelings about her relationship with Will-B, where the timing of any declarations of love was always out of sync. Underwood’s writing effectively exposes her emotional conflicts about her abortion as well as those of the many women with whom she discussed this often taboo subject. The author shines a personal light on the dilemma that women face when they have to juggle their own needs and desires with a biological accident that has the power to completely change their lives, whether they birth the child or not.
A poignant memoir about the years of healing that are often required after having an abortion.