Saturday, May 23, 2009

After The Choice

I was on The Raving Theist the other day, reading an old blog entry from January regarding President Obama's decision which reversed "President Bush’s policy barring U.S. aid to international organizations which provide abortions or advise women on how to get them." (link to full Politico story here).

After the story, there are numerous back and forth comments against and for the President's action, and it being a pro-life site, most were against. The argument turned ugly at points, but one comment touched my heart. It's a woman named Ashli's story, and I had to share it here:

It’s 5:20 A.M. …. It’s here… the 8th anniversary of my first child’s death.

Even though I realize that time is linear and nothing bad is happening right here and now (unless you count heartache), I can’t help but relive it. January 30th rolls around and sweeps the cobbwebs from my mind’s dusty corners. Images fly at me like bats.

Peering through time, I stand a ghost at my yesteryear bedside. I see myself sleeping only hours away from the horror of the rest of my life as a grieving mother. I see my precious child floating securely, possibly resting, possibly exercising, but completely safe, warm, and unaware of the fate that awaited him/her later in the day.

Forward a little. I see….

The forms, the plexiglass, the “nurse” calling my name…

I remember the pregnancy test and the mourning as I realized this was the last time my child’s life would register in mine. I didn’t want to do it. “It’s OK,” the nurse reasoned, “You can always have another baby later.”


I remember…
The counseling. And how the counseling was not counseling. And how there was no 11th hour salvation for us.

I remember…

The Room.

The absorbant pad. My fixation with it and inability to remove my clothing for staring at it and catching a glimpse of the future, of our blood draining into it, soaking it as our love became garbage, medical waste.

The sonogram and the man that turned it away. ….

I can feel myself crying even now, pleading with the abortionist that I didn’t want to kill my baby but didn’t know what else to do because of my illness. He sent my husband in. I remember…

I can see his body appearing in the room, but he doesn’t have a face. Just a flesh-colored blur. Where are you, husband? Nowhere, it appears… trapped in the same numbing void that enabled me to sit on a gut pad and kill our child.

That’s when I hear it… the cart. Squeaky wheels. Yes, the doctor is in. “I don’t want to do it! I don’t want to kill my baby. But I don’t know what else to do!”

“OK then,” says the good doctor, “Are you ready?”

I say nothing. That’s it. It’s over. I’m gone. I hand him my arm. The end.

I wake up in the middle of it. I’m shaking. He is pulling something out of me. Pieces of something. Something awfully tenacious. He tugs and tugs. I heave back and forth as we are mangled. I pass out again.

I wake up. Someone is crying. Someone is bleeding. It’s me. It’s me. I see the nurse yanking me up. She is not nice anymore. She is yelling at me to be quiet. I stand in crimson-soaked socks, all that is left of my child splashing to the white tile floor. I look. I see. I faint.

I am manhandled, injected. Someone shoves a pad in my underwear and pulls me into a chair. I am fed. I eat for the first time in ages. …. I fill my stomach but find that it is empty. Something is missing. Something electric and wonderful. Something small and perfect. Something precious. Someone being knit together wholly wired for loving me. My child is gone. Death for physical respite. It was not worth it.

We pull over on the way to the hotel. I puke on the side of the road. I eat at the hotel. I bleed at the hotel. That is why I am AT the hotel. “Do not go home,” the abortionist warned. “Call us with your blood loss every hour.”

I remember how he lied on my records. He said I left the abortion clinic with no bleeding. I bled for weeks and weeks. In a way, I am still bleeding.

Through the grey veil, I see my husband falling into hotel sheets and disappearing. I am at his side thinking of our child in pieces back at the abortion facility. I see him/her twisted at the bottom of the bell jar. I want him/her warm and safe and back with me. I’m so empty. There’s no life in me. I look for a way out of the window. I’m done. There is none. I crawl into a porcelain corner and cry until I fade away forever.

I come home and life is different. Everything is strange and foreign. I will never be the same.

I try everything to cope. To survive. I have other children. But it’s not like it’s supposed to be. Every happy thing is tinged with sadness.

Eventually I start a blog. I talk about my child, my loss. I expose the royal scam. A few people even care.

Days go by. Months go by. Anniversaries come and go. When they arrive again I try not to think of it, but I can’t not.

Curiously, I focus on the moment when the cruel lance first touched the amniotic sac. That split milisecond just before the end of all things. That shallow short breath that divides the space between life and death, happiness and horror. I see a delicate, precious orb and a sharp threatening instrument puncturing it. It’s too late now.

Liquid spills out onto the pad. Diamonds flow into an oversized sanitary napkin. Diamonds… and rubies.

There is no turning back. This is the rest of my life. This is what one human life will buy.

Another anniversary. Another one. Another one. Another one…

I have friends and family members who have had abortions. For some, it was a decision made in the past, and they have moved on. I remember a girl I went to college with... I'll call her Lisa, who had 4 abortions by the time we met. She was 19. My face must have shown the shock after she told me nonchalantly over lunch that day, and she asked me "What?" I chocked out a "It's NOT supposed to be birth control..." On the flip side, I do know girls who do regret their abortions, and have cried about it, holding on to the anniversary like Ashli did. And even though the media doesn't typically feature such woman, they do exist and feel the pain of their choice, sometimes decades later. There will be no chastisement from me on this subject. Reading the heated debates on many websites leave me flustered and at times, sad. Instead, I'll say a prayer for the women out there like Ashli, and ask that you do the same.


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