Our Choice to Terminate
We chose to terminate one of our pregnancies. I’ve written about it only once, and re-posted it on another blog, 1 in 10, dedicated to sharing stories of women who have terminated for medical reasons (TFMR).
On August 14, 2013 we ended our precious baby girl’s life. Since we said goodbye to our little girl it has been:
1 year, 8 months and 8 days, or
88 weeks, or
14,784 hours, or
887,040 minutes, or
I do not spend a lot of time writing or talking about the way in which our third pregnancy ended for two reasons. First, simply, it’s hard on me to remember that day, yet not a day goes by that I don’t remember.
I long to hold our little girl in my womb for just one more day.
I would give anything to have had a healthy little girl who could have lived and thrived. I wish I were holding her in my arms today as a young girl who would be just over 1 year old now. I long to have her life end with a different outcome. I would love to have more then just a burning candle to remember her by.
I wish I had never walked into that abortion clinic.
But, we were in a unique position where the life of our desperately wanted child would not end in a “normal” miscarriage. Our little girl, she really was a fighter. But, prolonging the pregnancy and therefore her life was putting my life at risk. With each day she remained inside me, fighting for her tiny life, the risks to my life increased substantially. It was a no-win situation.
So, while it was our choice to terminate, I believe it was ultimately solely my choice as it was my body. No-one could have forced me to have the procedure, ultimately I chose to. I knew the risks, and I made a choice, with my husband’s input and support through the entire thing. Then and now, I unequivocally know it was the right choice for us.
I know our decision was best for our little one and for us. But that doesn’t make it any easier to remember that we ultimately ended her life. Our choice resulted in the end of her life. Sometimes I have to remind myself that we didn’t give up on her, rather we stopped her suffering from a slow and prolonged death.
The second reason I choose not to talk about our choice to terminate is because I am afraid of the backlash. Abortion is a hot topic with very entrenched personal views on it. People hold very strong believes and pass immense judgement. I am afraid to get caught up in that mess. I already live daily with judgement related to our choice to not try harder, to not try more medical procedures, for me not to work full time, to choose adoption, etc. I’m incredibly sick of unfounded judgement. And I am afraid to be open about our decision to terminate because I know the judgement will be so incredibly much more intense.
I am afraid that by talking about it I am going to be put in a position of having someone pass judgement. I am afraid of having to defend myself for what I believe was right, in a highly emotionally charged setting. I am afraid of facing the wrath of someone who does not see outside of their individual perspective, having never walked a moment in my shoes. I believe that someone who has thought hypothetically about abortion but has never actually been in the situation has no right to pass judgement, yet I’m confident that people may.
While I harbour absolute no shame for our decision, I am afraid of experiencing a public shaming. Knowing my luck this will be the one post that someone picks up on and decides to attack, but I have broad shoulders and I can hold my own, so I will take it as it comes.
Yet, as much as I am afraid, I also am starting to realize that I need to continue to own this part of my life. I need to be able to write about this to help process my emotions around the loss of our sweet little girl and the experience of going into an abortion clinic. It was honestly the single hardest day in my life, and something I have to live with for the rest of my life. I cannot and in fact refuse to live in a closet hiding from my reality as if I am somehow ashamed when I am not ashamed, just fearful of being the target of cruel judgement. I deserve to be honest with myself and to do so I must own this.
Further, it’s a rare situation to be in and therefore it is unbelievably lonely. Given this, I feel that I need to keep sharing to help others going through the same thing. I also need to write about it, because the abortion debate needs to hear from those of us who needed to have an abortion – if I did not live in a place that provides abortion as an option I may be dead today, abortion has a place as a medical necessity. I believe this is a fact that cannot be overlooked in the abortion debate.
I have no intentions of voluntarily becoming a martyr for the pro-choice cause, but I can tell you, I want to my story to be heard. I want people to understand why I chose to have an abortion. I also need to share because I am pro-choice, and am in fact more pro-choice then I was before actually having an abortion. I believe having actually gone into an abortion clinic, having met with the abortion counsellors and doctors, gives me a unique perspective. This perspective has resulted in further entrenching my pro-choice approach to life. I firmly believe almost no-one makes the choice to have an abortion lightly. While I may not way to be the poster child for abortion, I believe my experience must have a place in the debate. I believe that when the time is right for me, I need to be more open about our specific experience to help educate people about a less discussed need for abortions.
In many ways, after my one and only post on our abortion experience, I locked away the experience for fear of a backlash. I pushed it down. I hid from it. I carried it with me, but I refused to speak about it outside of the safety of Mr. MPB. I don’t want to live this way. I want to be true to our little girl and our story. In fact, I need to be.
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