Though I am using a new laptop, I am figuratively dusting off my keyboard. It has been a while since my last post and though I am not yet ready to go into full detail as to why – check my memoir when i’m 65 – suffice it to say I had a rough early pregnancy.
This will be a brief post. possible because it is difficult to write about.
This is going to be my first child, but it is not my first pregnancy. When I was younger, about a decade ago, I had an abortion. I never thought I would. Not that I believe that women should not have the right it was just never something I wanted for me. For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a mother. But when I got pregnant the first time it was with someone who was selfish and childish and who was in horror that I was pregnant. We were in a “serious” relationship but the idea of having kids then was not ideal. I had just gotten a job and I wanted to be financially stable before I entered motherhood. But more than anything it was his “you’re not going to keep it are you” and the advice from other people that “there will be time to do it again, do it right” that finally drove me to make the decision. And after the worst illness – I’d gotten so sick I went to the hospital and that was when I found out I was pregnant – it was almost a relief to know that soon I would be better. I was vomiting multiple times a day, unable to garner energy to go about a normal routine. So, okay, terminating the pregnancy would get me to feel whole again.
But it was horrible. I was alone. There were so many people in the room, doctors and nurses and students from the local university. I was nauseous from the medication they gave me. I was disoriented with fear and about as lonely as I had ever been. And when they sucked the baby out of me it was like they had a piece of my life in that clear tube. I still remember what it looked like, at least to the disoriented me. I don’t even know how far along I was, but there was a red and pink mass being carried around by someone in scrubs that didn’t know a thing about me. And I cried.
I didn’t speak much for days afterwords. When my parents drove me to the apartment I was sharing with the “father” he was inside drinking with his friends playing Wii Sports. He hadn’t come to the hospital with me because he couldn’t find transportation. He hadn’t called me to see if I was okay. He hadn’t done shit.
I couldn’t have sex for months after that. The mere idea of it reminded me of the tube they put inside of me, of that room, of those covered faces and distant eyes. Moreover I could never forgive him. Not for the abortion as much as for not being there. But in that inability to forgive I was covering up the anger I felt at myself.
With every bout of morning sickness I have with the little boy that is now growing inside of me I wonder what it would have been like if I had had the child. I try and it and recall, was the last pregnancy as bad as this one, was I worse? Because every bit of nausea, exhaustion, every missed drink and every passed up cup of hazelnut coffee or a fizzling coke is completely worth it and welcome. Especially because I was fearful I would never get another chance.
But I do apologize, every day to the child that never was. Again, I don’t bash women for having abortions, it is their right to choose. And many women are happy they’ve done it. I am not broken for having done it, but I am not joyful either. I am disappointed in myself, this woman who has always wanted, more than a career, more than a long life ,to be a mother.