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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The "A" Word


This is going to be a very personal post, please be kind to me and don't think the worst.

I hate the term abortion.  I hate the act of it.  But the truth of the matter is I have had one.  It was April of 2005 and I was out east visiting family and friends when I found out.  I was about a week late, so I decided to take a test.  Sure enough, a Big Fat Positive.  It wasn’t fair, we were always using at least one form of birth control, usually two, but somehow it wasn’t enough.  I called my boyfriend immediately to relay the news.  I can still remember hearing the words coming out of my mouth “I’m pregnant”, and the stunned silence on the other end.  Then the talk about what to do.  He wanted abortion, to him that was the only way this was going to play out.  I didn’t say anything.  I wouldn’t be back for another week, I foolishly though, maybe if he has some time to think about it he’ll change his mind.  I also felt ashamed, like I did something wrong, like I let him down somehow, like this was all my fault.  I spent the next week feeling sick and breaking out, scared, kind of excited, scared, thinking somehow this might all work out.

I returned home a week later, and he hadn’t changed his mind.  I made the appointment, went in with my sister, and saw my baby on the ultrasound.  There is was, this little bean that we had made.  I was about 7 weeks along.

I got home, my stomach flip flopping the whole time.  I asked the question.  “What would you do if I wanted to keep the baby?”  Then the look.  The look like I had just stabbed him in the back while ripping his heart out.  “We would be over, wouldn’t we.”  I said with resignation.  “Um, yeah.”  The simple response, as if it were so obvious, as if I was stupid to even ask such a ridiculous question.  My heart dropped.  I wasn’t getting out of this.  This is where I lost control of the situation.  I should have been stronger.  I should have been thinking for my baby, not selfishly for my relationship.

The day is all happened –
I don’t remember any details about the day.  It wasn’t raining, but there was nothing that was especially remarkable, either.  I went to the clinic with my sister (again) and they walked me through the routine.  I was given pills to insert next to my cervix to start the dilation process, and pills to take orally to start contractions.  I went home, and I started the process.  There was no turning back now.  The pain was intense.  With each set of cramps (what I now know were contractions) I wanted to die along with  my baby.  I still remember vividly the exact moment my baby was born.  I hadn’t known it at the time, maybe if I had I could have given her a proper burial, or a nice resting place.  Something other than being flushed out of my life and into the sewer.  I feel immense guilt about this, I hate that I did this.  How could I have made that decision?  How could I decide my baby was better off dead than alive.  What the hell is wrong with me!

trying to understand what had happened.  My baby was gone, my boyfriend was gone, I was left with nothing but guilt and self hatred.  This is my ultimate regret in life.

Years later when my husband and I were trying to conceive, we were having problems.  It just wasn’t happening for us.  Month after month with nothing.  I knew I was being punished for what I had done.  I was given a chance to be a mother, and I threw it away.  I deserved what I got, this was my cross to bear.  And then it happened, two weeks after we were married I got that BFP.  I cried.  I was so happy.  I thanked God for giving me another chance.  I now have an almost one year old boy that I love more than life itself.  Though it is funny, I labored with Eli for 50 hours before having to do a c-section, and I was devastated.  I wanted to have a normal birth.  And I can’t help but think that since God gave me a child, he took away my ability to birth that child like a mother should.  My one and only chance to birth a child was used up when I discarded my baby at 8 weeks.  Two months gestation, with a tiny face, tiny little organs, tiny ‘hands’ and ‘feet’, a little baby tail.

But the guilt is still there.  Every time I look at Eli I think of what I threw away.  All the smiles, the love, the hugs, the giggles, the firsts.  I took that from my baby.  I don’t understand why I didn’t stand up for myself, for my baby.  Why couldn’t I have just said “this is what matters now, this life we made”.  But I can’t help but think, would it have been fair to him?  And then I shake myself out of it.  Who cares?  We were ‘adults’, we made the conscious decision to have sex, we should have been prepared for the possibility.  So because he was selfish and I wasn’t strong my baby died.  It was my fault.  I can’t help but look at myself with disgust over what I have done.

I’ve often thought (now that I know what goes on in a woman’s body when she’s pregnant, the growth of a baby week by week) if I had been given more information on exactly what was happening inside of me I would have had the strength to stand up for us.  I saw my baby, yes, but all I really saw was a round spot on an ultrasound.  I didn’t know about the development, or the heartbeat.  I’m sure it’s a tactic to keep women from seeing it as a baby, and thinking of it as some tangible object.  I think it’s sneaky.  But I didn’t take responsibility, either.

When my friend’s little boy died a few months ago I started to attend church again.  I had been thinking about it for quite some time, and that was the push I needed to take that big step.  I go to church and I cry.  I cry for her lost boy, and I cry for my lost baby.  I just hope that God and my little bean can forgive me for what I’ve done.  I know that I cannot do it all over, but if I could, I would.  In a second.  But I guess my guilt is just another way of making me understand the consequences of my decisions.

So to anyone who may be in a similar situation, or might be in the future:
Please take the time to educate yourself.  Know that there are other options.  There’s more than just you to think about now.  Save yourself the guilt of realizing that you made a mistake, I wish I had.

1 comment:

  1. You are so brave for posting this. Don't be so hard on yourself, you sound like a great person and wonderful mommy. Congratulations on your pregnancy now:)