Last year I shared about losing my child. We knew early on in the pregnancy that something was not right but we didn’t know until near the end of my first trimester that the baby would not be viable. Hearing those words, that my child would not live, struck a chord I’ve never felt before. It was a combination of shock and relief—that explained all of my symptoms, all of the pain, everything. Then it turned to frustration and terror as my doctor told me that they wouldn’t terminate the pregnancy, we had to let it pass naturally because she didn’t perform abortions. Her job is to protect the pregnancy at all costs, not ensure my health. Ironic, right? In order for me to produce a viable, healthy pregnancy, you’d think I would need to be healthy.
I spent weeks in the doctor’s office, creating breaks at work, dealing with more vaginal exams than I’d had since my first pregnancy, wands and probes in and out, vomiting up the nothing I ate every few minutes, dealing with multiple infusions, weekly Moncels up the vagina and finally a cauterization to stop the bleeding. I was awake for that procedure, just numbed via an epidural to the back. oh, and insurance told me I couldn’t get any more anti-nausea medication because I “went through it too quickly” so my days were spent in absolute misery. All while working full time. And all of that to no avail. The baby would not make it. It wasn’t growing, the heart rate was always too low, I was losing blood all the time. All to be told I had to hang on and see what my body would do. It was the slowest, most torturous wait of my life. EVERY day I got worse. EVERY day I was told I would feel better soon because my body would pass it naturally.
Finally, I had to make the decision I never wanted to. My living son desperately needed my attention, I had work to do, a household to support, and things I wanted to do—I could not sit there and wait for this to get better knowing it wouldn’t. Knowing no one else would help me. I discussed everything with my husband every day. He watched me decline daily and he agreed that our next step was to terminate. He knew my body couldn’t go through this any longer and neither could my mind. So we scheduled an appointment to get an abortion with my physician’s knowledge.
I know I don’t need to justify this decision but I remember writing about it initially as both a method of coping yet trying to make sure no one thought ill of me. All while going through this horrible experience, still worrying about what this may do to my “reputation.” Who cares? At the end of the day, no one else was affected but the core group around me as they offered support and love. And truthfully, I know it was the best decision to make because the moment it was done, it was like a light switch for the life in me again. Although a life had been taken out of me, MY life came back in. I was able to eat within an hour of the procedure. The color came back to my face. I could feel my body again. The bleeding stopped within a day. I felt like a human again in an instant.
I don’t wish that experience on anyone and I will never condemn anyone for having to make this decision whether it is for medical reasons or for personal. The point is to remember you have the right to do as you wish with your body. You have the right to decide what is right for you. No one gets to pull that from us. They may think they can but we will find ways to make this happen. We will find ways to help each other and keep ourselves whole.