Saturday, February 19, 2011

About the abortion I had that time

I just do not understand why some people feel they have the right to tell women (or men for that matter) what they can or cannot do with their own bodies.

Yes, even abortion.

Right now Ohio Republicans are working very hard to make it harder for women of all ages to have or make the choice for abortion. By the same token, they are also working very hard to eliminate all the social services that make it easier for women to take care of their children once they are born. They're also working overtime to make it harder for working parents of both genders to support their children and families.

But today, I want to talk about the abortion I had that time.

My first child is Planned Parenthood baby. When I was pregnant, I went to Planned Parenthood and they provided stellar prenatal care - from exams to getting a car seat from the Red Cross to bring my baby home in, Planned Parenthood went the extra mile in making sure I had a healthy pregnancy and baby.

That's not the tale you will hear from Republicans who will only tell you that Planned Parenthood is in the business of handing out abortions to any woman who waltzes through the door in an orgasm coma. But make no mistake, Planned Parenthood is jus the scapegoat for the abortion debate.

Because when I did have an abortion, Planned Parenthood was nowhere involved. This happened in an everyday, tidy little hospital right here in Greater Cincinnati.

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but.

I made a choice to end my pregnancy. I knew, despite what the doctor said, that there was a small chance my baby might be ok. I even asked him, "I've read about etopic pregnancy. I know that some women have gone on to have their babies. Why can't I?"

I had heard my baby's - not my fetus - but my baby, my child, the very breath of my life, as much a part of me as my daughter who had just turned 13 and recieved her first cell phone.

My baby, who in the space of a few heartbeats on a fetal monitor was going to be loved and cherished and scolded and sent off to school - maybe with some hand-me-downs from a sister; who was going to be a whole different person from all of us; who maybe wouldn't like me; who was going to be my reason for making cupcakes and rice krispie treats again and have one more round at being a better member of the PTA; who I was going to watch Barney with and teach the "suck your eyeball out game"; who I was going to pretend to shoot peas out of my nose just to make him or her laugh and open wide long enough for me to shove them in; who I was going to see off on a first date and how were ever going to afford diapers and formula because I'd just lost my main job, but not to worry - we'd manage somehow. We always do.

Who I was going to decorate a nursery for and Ye-Olde-Matey was going to have to give up his music studio because that was the bedroom right across from ours. And maybe I'd give up my tiny office for his music studio and move my computer into our bedroom, or down to the living room or even the nursery because hey, I'd be there most of the time anyway, right? Maybe it would be the first nursery/office. I wonder if I could move the washer and dryer up there?

And just when I had mapped out where this kid was going to college - LittleArabella would obviously go away, but BabyWeHadn'tNamedYet, would be the one to stay at home and go to a local college - the message started to sink home.

The baby was not getting what it needed to survive. Heartbeat or not, the fetus - oh shit, it's a fetus again, here comes the detachment; in the space of a sentence, we're back to the doctor calling my baby a fetus- was not developing properly and in his words, was more than likely not viable. Also, more than likely, it was going to burst my fallopian tube meaning I would probably bleed out internally and die.

Which means I had a choice. I could have taken the risk. I could have risked everything and it might have turned out ok. Maybe my fallopian tube would not have burst. Maybe the baby fetus would not have been developmentally disabled.

I could have risked everything and the baby would still have died. I could have risked everything and left my 13 year old with a new cell phone to fend for herself without her mom.

I could die.

And then there was the doctor. Did I trust him or did I trust the little bit I'd read? Doctors have been proven wrong. But he was telling me - this is urgent. We needed to make a decision. All the while he's giving orders for surgery, but he's ultimately leaving it up to me.

And the truth is I didn't want to leave my existing child. But if I'm even more honest, I didn't want to die. Not even for the baby inside me. I wanted to live. And in the end, I chose my own life over my baby's. Not exactly my shining moment in life, but there you have it.

So this about the day I gave up a dream of a second child. This is about the day I lost, not everything, but a piece of me and Ye Olde Matey that we'll never get the chance for again.

How despite 0ver-simplistic reasoning by overzealous republican, this is about how a heartbeat does not necessarily mean that life.

This is about a choice I made to end the possible life inside me.

This is about the abortion I had that time.

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