In November 2012, I was living the dream — literally. In 2009, I had left my small-town life in the suburbs of Philadelphia to live and work in the resort town of Cancun, Mexico.
It was much like you’d expect it to be: one gigantic party.
Cancun is one of the most notorious spring break destinations in the world. I went there to work spring break season and ended up staying for five years. I hadn’t planned on staying that long, but as soon as I got there, I fell in love with the culture, the people, and the partying.
It wasn’t long before I had found several groups of friends who drank and used like I did, and a boyfriend who could take care of me when I blacked out. After a breakup over Christmas in 2011, I was off to the races with partying. I was drinking and doing cocaine every night, missing work, and enjoying the “benefits” of spring break: free drinks and a lot of wild parties.
I met my now-fiancé Fernando during spring break 2012. He was the DJ at the after-hours club, and I was the drunk girl eyeing him from the across the room with a straw in my mouth. We hit it off right away, becoming good friends, at first. We drank and went out together frequently for about three months before we became romantic.
Once we took our relationship to the next level, drama ensued.
That’s how my relationships were back then, full of arguments, breakups, and toxicity. Fer wasn’t having it and eventually he got me to calm down with my drinking and drug use. He started staying over every night. Eventually, he started paying rent, and I began to feel like I loved this person who had weaseled his way into my heart.
We still drank heavily on the weekends and there were times we were reckless with using protection during sex. I had stopped taking oral birth control when I first met Fer because it was causing my face to develop brownish patches (a condition called melasma).
The time I got pregnant, I knew we had been unsafe. So, the next morning, I took Plan B, purchased from a local pharmacy in Cancun.
But it didn’t work.
In November of 2012, I started to feel unusual. I was extremely tired all the time (even after going to bed obnoxiously early), my boobs hurt, and my period was erratic. It wasn’t until one of my friends became pregnant that it occurred to me that might be the reason I was feeling the way I was.
I purchased a pregnancy test and took it alone in my apartment. It quickly revealed what I had feared most: I was pregnant. Fernando came over to the apartment, and we cried together. I screamed, cried, clenched my fists, and cursed myself.
What was I going to do now? How could this have happened?