For a few days now I have been contemplating whether I should post what I am about to post. I don't normally hang my life out on the web for all to see but lately more and more people have been opening up to me irl and online about losses they have had in their past that they are ashamed of. I'm not talking the normal losses like miscarriage or still birth. I'm talking about abortion. Abortion for convenience and abortion because of medical issues, mostly with the babies.
On July 15 1997 at a little over 2.30pm our son Sam was born. I was almost 24 weeks pregnant. I had known I was pregnant for all of about 6 weeks or so. I went from having a blood test that said I was between 7 and 8 weeks to my first ob/gyn visit telling me I was more like 20 weeks to finding out that not only was I 20 weeks and a few days, but our little boy had a serious brain malformation and that it was serious enough to warrant a termination. We had 2 weeks to decide what we wanted to do. We opted for a termination on the advice of several specialists in fetal medicine.
Life was pretty dark there for a long time, I never ever thought that 10 years later I would be ok with myself and everything we went through. It didn't help at times that people called me a baby killer or asked if I ever considered the life I took. The reality of an abortion is that it is the taking of a life but when you go from sublime bliss to utter darkness within the space of 6 weeks like we did, you do the best you can. You muddle through until the light comes on again and you feel able to breathe. What all those pro-lifer-we-don't-give-a-shit types forget is that at the end of the day we are all human, we all make our mistakes and live our lives. And no matter what you say to us or make us feel, we've already done all that and worse to ourselves anyway.
The guilt that someone feels after taking the life of their baby is unlike any other guilt I have ever experienced. It's all consuming all the time. The rest of 1997 went by in a shitty dark ugly blur of a mess for me. By Christmas Himself and I, we were in limbo. I wasn't pregnant again despite all the trying and manic monitoring of my cycle. All I wanted was to have my baby back, to erase all that had happened and to have a perfect little baby growing inside of me.
Ten years later, and I have worked through all the darkness. I am comfortable enough within myself to acknowledge that while I took a life, I can live with it. I have a wonderful family that would not otherwise have been if not for that one small act. A family I would give my life for. I am at peace.
While the pain of losing a baby will always be part of my personality, life goes on. He would have been 10 years old this November.