It’s currently after 2:30 am and I had a realization. So, here I am, wide awake thinking. And so, like many bloggers, I found myself turning on my computer and starting to write.
Thanks to my post yesterday and the comments I received, I’ve realized that:
I have not forgiven myself for our abortion.
In a comment yesterday, someone posed the question “If instead of receiving a medically-necessary abortion, the choice was made for you by miscarrying, would you tell the bio parents?” I can answer this question relatively easy because we had 4 other pregnancies end in miscarriage where the choice was made for us. And I know I would tell them if they asked, and in fact our home study makes reference to our 5 losses. However, from this question, I now realize that I do not have the same troubling sense of guilt around those other 4 miscarriages – yes I have grief and sometimes I struggle with not blaming my body for them. But, I also realize that the final demise of those pregnancies was out of my control and did not require us/me to terminate a baby while it was still technically alive – a distinction that is clearly important in my mind.
In my comments yesterday, another person actually stated “go easy on yourself and forgive yourself!.” As I read those words, I realized she had a point, I simply have not forgiven myself for the decision.
Yes, we made the decision to terminate and I have no regrets. Honestly, I’d make the same decision tomorrow if we were in the same situation again. So, I know it was the right decision.
Yet, at the same time, I also realize that there is not a day that goes by that I do not think about our decision to terminate. Which means there is not a day that goes by that I do not know what if or was it really that dire of a situation? What if the infection never turned deadly for me? What if the lab results were wrong? What if….
I know our baby would have died eventually, there was no way she would have survived to term let alone to be “compatible with life.” But, I cannot seem to let go of the fact that I* ultimately ended her life. Ultimately, I made the decision, and while I know it was the right decision I clearly am not in a place yet where I have been able to forgive myself for it.
The more I’ve thought about it all of this tonight, I’ve realized that a lot of my abortion guilt is likely wrapped up in the fact that we had to go to an actual abortion clinic for the procedure and we had a pretty horrific experience at the abortion clinic. I cannot help but think about how much that experience plays in my mind and how much that has impacted my ability to forgive myself. I will never know the answer, but I do wonder, if we had been given the procedure at a hospital, outside of an abortion clinic, would I feel differently today? Would I be able to forgive myself? When we were forced to share the waiting room, I developed an appreciation for the other women/couples there, but I also began lumping myself in with those who were there for an elective procedure, vs. the reality that we were there for a medically necessary procedure. And as another person noted yesterday, “I wonder if it helps or hinders your healing to classify it in this manner in your head” – well, I know the answer to that too, it doesn’t help me to classify myself as the medical system does. But yet, I do. Heck, I tend to use the word abortion not terminate for medical reasons, because I went to an abortion clinic, and so that’s how my medical system classifies me. Yet, there is a difference, but our experience has enabled me to blur the lines between our reality/decision as medically necessary or not. And I continue to let myself blur the lines further, even though it is clearly not a healthy way for me to think..
I don’t know how I am supposed to over come this and how I am to come to a place of forgiveness. But I now realize this is something I need to process further and work to deal with. I realize I cannot spend the rest of my life wondering and that I must find a way to forgive myself.
*Note that while Mr. MPB was a full participant in the decision to terminate, I do believe that as it was my body I was ultimately responsible for the final decision and therefore I often use the pronoun I, not us.
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