I was pregnant, until I was no longer pregnant. A stupid enough statement- because in a world so full of complex thoughts and processes its hard to grasp the simple, straight forward facts. The fact is I was pregnant until the choice to remain that way wasn’t really a choice anymore.
Many argue that if one decides to have a termination (NOT A MISCARRIAGE AS PEOPLE TEND TO REFER TO IT IN MY SITUATION) that you have made a choice to; “not try”, “to give up”, to remove the situation from God’s hands- as one does (major eye roll.) Truth be told if I was given a choice it would have been to go through with a pregnancy in all the uncertainty that it held. If I had a choice I would have tried to wait at least three months to see what my babies development looked like, to give him or her that chance.
Life decided otherwise. Those who loved me advised to terminate as soon as possible. My gynae at the time explained that the bond between mother and child started to grow as soon as that second line on a test showed up. I also knew that my heart, which remains predominantly frozen, would thaw at the first pair of Shoo shoos I’d lay eyes on. All in all I would be going down a dark path. Which led me to the “decision” of having a D&C (as they called it), an abortion (as we know it) and the breaking of my heart (as I knew it). Although the pregnancy was in no way planned (refer to previous post to understand that I had, up to this point, zero interest in becoming a mom) I truly began to think a change of heart might be just what my life needed.
I was scared. Buying and taking the test without anyone’s knowledge and standing in a public restroom while waiting for the results was one of the loneliest things I had been through. It was a cold winters day and I had stopped at Canal Walk to source a few items for a shoot (to give this whole sad story some context.) When those little lines came in I called the other half responsible in tears. From the get go I KNEW it wasn’t going to happen.
I knew because I KNEW I had been on some of the most hectic medication in the past six months. I had been in an on again off again relationship with Oratane whose dosage I have since forgotten in addition I was taking a NSFW amount of migraine meds to counterstrike my existing migraine problems which only got worse when I was on the Oratane. My dermatologist reiterated with every prescription renewal that falling pregnant on these meds was a major NO NO (it hampers with the development of the fetus and could result in severe deformities.)* I had also been on every contraceptive under the sun so really we were taking NO chances. However I am one of those people who just make the impossible so possible and that dear friend is how I ended up here. All balls no baby.
A week after confirming my pregnancy I was booked for the termination. As I write this I have forgotten the tiny details, although if I were to guess I‘d say I was about a few weeks, as the scans showed more bug less bite (a tiny black whole in the dark abyss.) Even so, every night leading up to the operation I would fantasize that I was keeping her, I named her and clearly decided that “it” was a girl. I planned a little life for us; I imagined her voice, what she’d look like, and the whole nine yards. Against every piece of unsolicited advice I thought of her as a human being, a prefect little baby. The evening of the termination arrived. I was given a pill to put under my tongue* and wheeled into a ward. As the night progressed to early morning so did the transition from maybe mom to no mom. With each cramp I lost her, piece by piece. It was painful, so so very painful. In fact comparing those cramps to the few labor cramps I did feel I could take labor on any day! I screamed and cried and begged for pain relief but I had to get through a few more doses of baby killer vitamins before anything else was administered.
At some point a nurse injected the loveliest dose of brain numbing, heart-warming syrup. Despite what I was going though my heart and eventually my stomach went numb. I assume I eventually woke up and was wheeled into the operating theatre to get “rid of the rest.” The mix of happy juice and the new anesthesia helped ease my mind into accepting this as “just another procedure” so I tell you with confidence that I felt nothing. Not empty, not sad, not like a mom who had just lost a baby.
I’m not sure why and I don’t think I could ever explain it but post op and for the few months after I really did not experience any emotion of mourning or regret or longing. I felt that I had the power over what could have been an even worse ordeal. I felt like a woman living in the right era- having the freedom over my body and what it produced. I was the Lena Dunham of my own show and proud. It was only a few months into my pregnancy with Ally that I began to mourn; I dreamt of the little girl that could have been, I counted how old she would have been if she had been born, as I went through milestones with this baby I was crying about the ones I had missed with the previous.
As tough as it was to navigate these surprising feelings that came from what felt like “out of nowhere” they were a blessing. It meant that with every appointment checking in on Ally and her growth and hearing she was fine I felt safer, more grateful. It meant letting go of things I had no control over and enjoying my pregnancy for everything that it was. I was reminded in my belief that ‘everything really does have its reasons.’ Most importantly it taught me faith. Surely God’s hand was so evident in this as he seemed so determined to make me a mom? And so he did, here I am, 8 months into ‘momm-ing’, I sure hope I’m making Him proud.
* The facts are blurry- I no longer remember exactly what I was told so if you have serious questions about this, I guess you have to chat to a doctor.
*Again, the meds I was given to start the abortion process is some medical stuff I can no longer provide any info on. I don’t even think I now exactly how it works. Google?