Story By Angela Rose Myers
Art by Ashley Koudou

This is what my father asked me, always blunt and indelicate. I assume he said this as a joke. At the time, my husband was a thousand miles away from me, living in Florida at his dream job as I traveled back and forth studying for my graduate degree at the University of Minnesota. 

“No, he impregnated me because he thought he was going to die,” I joked back. The truth was that although we weren’t trying to get pregnant, when we experienced the worst of my husband’s health outcomes, we stopped trying to prevent pregnancy. That summer, when I had heard that my husband was in urgent care, I decided to take an earlier flight to see him. None of his symptoms seemed to add up to any illness, at first. Massive back pain, blood pressure through the roof, unable to sleep, drastically losing weight.


Then, as the height of summer crested, we found out the beautiful news that I was pregnant. 


Ultimately, my pregnancy complicated things.


Where was I going to have the baby? Minnesota or Florida? There were a number of logistical issues. I didn’t have an OB-GYN in Florida. I wasn’t on my husband’s health insurance, only the University of Minnesota’s. Did they even cover care in Florida? How was I going to manage school and pregnancy?

I decided when my husband asked me with a worried frown, almost choking up, “Are we going to keep the baby?” I could see the want on his face, the desire to be a father, and for me to be the mother of his child. 

“Yes, we are going to keep the baby, and I’m moving here to Florida, so we can do this together.”

“Are you sure you want to move?” 

I imagined laying on my mother’s bathroom floor as I had months prior, wishing for my husband to be with me, and decided I would never go through that alone again. How could I go through another year of loneliness and darkness while pregnant? “Yes, I’m sure.” 

I Googled the closest Planned Parenthood to me in Miami. The building looked like all the other office buildings on the palm-tree-lined street, only it was dark pink and had a few anti-abortion protestors in front. They weren’t angry protestors like on TV. More like noisy occupiers, a few old white ladies and a white man yelling bible quotes and misinformation.


For the first time in my life, I found myself with limited health options.

I grew up going to my family medicine doctor in Minnesota. But in Florida, I had no starting point, no OB-GYN. So, I went to Planned Parenthood. This one was on the opposite end of the spectrum of the Minneapolis Planned Parenthood. Where in Minneapolis the office was large, accessible, and welcoming, in Florida I found myself hanging on to the stairwell railing as my husband and I climbed four stories to the office. The elevator was out of order, the stairwell dingy with concrete steps. 

What I didn’t know was that the specific tests I had wanted to be done, an ultrasound and blood test, weren’t available at that Planned Parenthood office. 

“So there is no one I can talk to? Just about prenatal options and what I’m supposed to do?” I questioned the lady at the front desk.

“Unless you want to know about options if you don’t want to keep the pregnancy…” she trailed off.

“No, I want the pregnancy, I just thought since you do all … that here, you’d also be able to help me.”

I was unsure what to say.


I’ve been a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood since my teens. Florida, though, like many other states, have staged an attack on Planned Parenthood funding, leaving Planned Parenthood and other women’s clinics underfunded and unable to support all reproductive health care, even when it’s for the women that anti-abortion politicians claim to support: pregnant women like me who wanted to have healthy pregnancies.


With the onslaught of fake women’s health centers online, I didn’t know who to trust. National Women’s Health Network claims that fake women’s health centers outnumber real ones four to one.


I didn’t want to go to a pregnancy resource center to get misinformation about my baby. I just wanted information I could trust, and with traditional avenues being inaccessible or under-resourced, I didn’t know where to go.


August.When I told Tyler about the few drops of blood, I also told him not to worry.

Many pregnant women experience spotting during their first trimester — I’d read that online. When I went to sleep at night and dreamed of the next years of my life, I saw that future life so vividly that I believed those dreams were visions. I’d have my baby at the Mount Sinai hospital in Miami Beach. My parents might not be happy, but that would all melt away in March when the baby would come. We’d all bask in warmth and watch the sunset on the bay that the hospital overlooks. It all was so real and perfect to me. 

A week later, I was in the ER, at the hospital where I had planned to have the baby. My husband was there when the doctor told us the fetus had a 50/50 chance of survival. I didn’t know at the time that this was the last time I would see my baby. I finally got my blood test and my ultrasound and a list of other tests. I was speaking to a doctor for the first time about my pregnancy, and it was in an ER. 

Back in Minnesota, I sat alone in the ultrasound room of the women’s clinic. My dad was in the lobby. This clinic had nice ultrasound rooms up and down a long, carpeted hallway. When we checked in, they offered us water, candy.

The doctor sighed after looking at the large monitor on the wall in front of us. “So there seems to be no tissue left and just a little blood, so you may be bleeding for just a couple more days.”

But my husband was next to me. Strangely, having him there, holding my hand, was everything I needed to feel hope. We decided then we’d call her Esperanza. A baby, still without a heartbeat, without a gender, without anything but the burning hope and love of her parents. In my heart, in my hopes and in my dreams, I had a full baby, who’d I’d named, who I’d seen so vividly in my mind’s eye. Who would grow up going to the beach, swimming in the waves, and knowing the world was at her feet. The gift of hope I had was this dream.

“I’m sorry, I’m confused,” I mumbled out. I was of two minds: one that lived in reality, that was looking at the same monitor she was looking at, that showed static and a little bit of matter. The other mind lived in a dream and believed that my eyes were deceiving me. 

She tilted her head with her small, reassuring smile. “You are looking good and should be able to conceive again.”

“Have I miscarried the baby?” I said, although my dream mind chastised me immediately for doing so. Growing up, my mom used to say, “Don’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answer to.” If I didn’t know, maybe I could go on like before. Dreaming and planning.

Shock and embarrassment painted her face. “Oh! I should back up. Um. Yes, you have had a miscarriage.”

I didn’t speak for the rest of the appointment. On my medical records, it read successful spontaneous abortion. Those words, the technicality of them, hurt my eyes to read. They didn’t show the full breadth of what I lost. I lost Esperanza, I lost a future for myself and my family that I was fully committed to and in love with. 

Secondly, I worried.


Does Ron DeSantis know that a spontaneous abortion is not the same as the abortions he legislates against?


Does DeSantis care? Does he care that his tirades against people who have abortions hurt everyone?

The dichotomy of care I got in Minnesota at a place within my health network versus in Florida was extreme. Now that Minnesota has passed a law protecting women who travel to the state for abortion services, the difference will only become more stark. Everyone seeking care deserves access not just to reproductive health care but to good reproductive health care. Everyone deserves to have their reproductive health needs, and even wants, met — no matter where they live or their income bracket.

After the appointment, I took my dog, the few things that I’d need, and got on my scheduled flight back home to Miami, home to my husband. We held each other and cried. After wiping each other’s tears, he made me my favorite snack, and we walked our dog to the park and discussed the best ways to acclimate her to the Miami heat, between treats and kisses.

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Angela Rose Myers
After graduating from Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City, Angela, a Twin Cities Native, returned to Minneapolis looking to make a change her community through meaningful relationship building, an honest commitment to equality, and empowering young women to be the change they want to see. She currently serves as board chair for Minnesota Freedom Fund Action, a 501c4 organization dedicated to ending Cash Bail and Pre-hearing Immigration Detention. She also does policy work with Restorative Justice Practitioners and families who have been impacted by Police violence. She regularly writes for the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder and is a political contributor on the “Conversations with Al Mcfarlane,” with Insight News.
Ashley Koudou
Ashley is the founder and CEO of Mango Day, a design agency that helps BIPOC creatives and entrepreneurs find authentic solutions to grow their brands. With her background in both the art and advertising worlds, she noticed the underserved needs of BIPOC individuals and found a way to serve them both. When she's not on her Mango Day grind, she spends her time as a freelance illustrator and educator. Her work as an illustrator centers around Black women, delving into their everyday lives, dreams, fantasies, and memories. She draws inspiration from her culture as an Ivorian in America, as well as from her own experiences and the experiences of Black women around her. Her artistic background began with drawing and painting, but it has expanded to many digital mediums, including animation. She has taught as well as mentored other artists and what drives her desire to learn is to eventually teach and share with others.
Annemarie Eayrs
Annemarie earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Carleton College. She has an array of work experience in fundraising, editing, and writing, and thrives at the intersection of digital engagement, storytelling, and narrative change. She has worked at Coffee House Press, a nonprofit publishing house; Friends of the Hennepin County Library, the fundraising partner to the county’s 41-library system; and at Pollen Midwest, a narrative change organization focused on racial justice. She is also a freelance copywriter and editor and has partnered with Coffee House Press, the Walker Art Center, and others.
Meg Lionel Murphy
Meg Lionel Murphy is an Art Director at Pollen. She is also a painter. Her most recent solo shows include “Traumatica Dramatica” at The Untitled Space Gallery (New York), “Interior Violence” at CoExhibitions Gallery (Minneapolis), SPRING/BREAK Art Show (New York and Los Angeles) and a featured booth at the Other Art Fair (Los Angeles). Murphy’s artwork has been covered in a variety of publications including Hyperallergic, Artnet News, Bitch Magazine, and Forbes.