Monday, March 2, 2015

Tough Topics: Abortion

     Today, we have a guest blogger who has asked to remain anonymous because of the touchy topic that we're discussing. It's very important when doing the Tough Topic series that you all keep an open mind, and whether or not you agree with the views being posted, respect the opinions.

     You can disagree all you want, but remember that behind your screen is a real person with real feelings and your words can either help them or hurt them- it's all up to you. However, if you post an abusive comment, I will warn you that it is uncalled for and if you continue to be rude, I will screenshot the comment and use it for a future post about bullying.

     If you want to join in the series, you can send me an email at pertinax_puella@hotmail.com so we can talk about it. If you wish to remain anonymous, you will remain anonymous to the point I won't even say your gender (unless, of course, it's like today's post where there isn't much of a choice).

     I would also like to put a disclaimer here: Neither myself nor my guest poster are trained professionals. Everything written here is personal opinions and experiences. Please seek a trained professional if you are going through any sort of hard times, as we are not equipped to help you on the level that you deserve.




     One year ago yesterday, I had an abortion.

     As a little girl, my parents explained what abortions were. I never understood how somebody could hurt a baby. As a teenager, a friend got pregnant but because she was born with only one kidney, she was dying and had to abort. I never understood how she could choose her life over a helpless, innocent life that hadn't even really begun.

     I knew before I missed my period. I woke up having a panic attack one night because I thought, "Get off your stomach! You're hurting the baby!" A week later, I realized that it wasn't just some weird dream. I've never had a fear like that before.

     I told my boyfriend, the baby's father, and I cried. I cried because I was scared, scared that I couldn't take care of it and scared that we wouldn't be able to make ends meet. I told him abortion was out of the question, that I would never be able to handle it mentally or emotionally. He wanted me to keep an open mind because we weren't ready, but he understood that it was ultimately up to me.

     We didn't announce anything though. The first trimester is the hardest part to hold onto a baby and I wanted to make it through that part before telling anyone. If I lost the baby for any reason, I didn't want the entire world to coddle me and tell me everything would be okay. I wanted life to go on normally so that I would be forced to live it and I didn't want to have to retract the news with something horrible.

     That was when I started to get sick. So sick.

     Morning sickness and losing a few pounds is normal. What isn't normal is throwing up constantly to the point of being unable to hold down anything, even water, for days at a time. What isn't normal is losing 30 pounds in six weeks. What isn't normal is passing out in showers because you don't have energy to stand for more than two or three minutes. What isn't normal is going from healthy, active, and happy to being bed-ridden, drastically underweight, and wondering what you did to deserve this.

     On my tenth week, the doctors talked to me. "You're severely underweight." They told me. "You're dehydrated, which is causing a strain on your heart. The lack of food is damaging your kidneys and your liver. You're blood glucose level is extremely low, which puts you at risk of fainting, seizures, comas, and death- or developing diabetes. Have you discussed your other options yet?"

     When I saw the ultrasound, I started crying again. They reminded me that no matter what happened and what was recommended, it was still entirely my choice. I was the one who had to decide if I should risk two lives or one. I was the one who had to decide if I were to die, could I stick the full responsibility of a newborn on my boyfriend, could I handle a miscarriage a few months later, was I willing to put my life on the line for something that wasn't even brought into this world yet?

     They scheduled the surgery for later that week. I tried to eat more, to make myself healthy enough that I would be able to cancel the surgery. But I was just as sick as ever, if not even more sick from the overwhelming grief I felt.

     I'm not willing to discuss the surgery, not yet, but I will say that I screamed so loudly that they had to give me a second full shot to sedate me.

     Two days later, I went on FaceBook. I was a zombie at that point. I had cried before but I hadn't cried after. I was just blindly doing things I was supposed to do to be normal. Texting my friends, watching TV, eating the little bit I could hold down while my hormone levels adjusted.

     Then I saw somebody had shared a picture. It said, "Two people walk into the abortion doctor's office but only one walks out." I cried so hard that I started bleeding more than I was supposed to. I couldn't even grieve without damaging my body.

     That week, and this past week, I saw so many things along those lines. Somebody posted a picture of a fetus, saying that how could you say it isn't a life. Somebody posted a story about a mother who aborted twin girls at twenty weeks because she had daughters already. A conversation about religion led to somebody telling me, "I used to be pro-choice but ever since I had my daughter, I'm pro-life. Abortion is murder."

     Every single time I see something like that, it cuts so deep that I'm unable to breath. Have you ever read a book or seen a movie, where somebody is going through a heartbreak and they say that it hurts physically? That always seemed completely ridiculous until now. It hurts in a way I can never describe.

     I swore that I would never forgive myself. I kept telling myself that I should have kept it, that my own life isn't worth living without my baby. If only I would have done this and that, everything would have been okay. If only I had made different choices.

     Yesterday, I had an epiphany. If I don't forgive myself and if I don't even understand myself, how can I help somebody who is so full of hate or somebody who needs a story to relate to? I know that I will never move on and I will think of that baby, my baby, on the daily basis for the rest of my life. But if I can't be happy, how will I be able to tell other people that they deserve happiness and that nothing should take that away from them? How will I ever be able to have a baby in the future if I'm letting the past destroy me?

     If you take anything from my guest post, let it be that somebody who has lost a baby through any means, even abortion, will need support. Save your judgement for the rapist who caused the woman to be pregnant and abort. Save your anger for the people who protest outside of clinics calling the already scared and grieving women "baby killers", "sinners", and "monsters". Save your grief for the very few babies out there, who belong to the woman I talked about above with the twin girls.

     If a woman has an abortion, there is a reason behind it. Whether she was raped, she can't take care of a baby physically or financially, or one (or both) of their lives are in danger. If you really must judge their choice, at least take the time to hear their story and understand why they made the choice that they did. But instead of judging them, why not help them instead? If they feel 1/10000000 of the pain that I do, they're going to need all the help, support, and love that they can get.

     For the religious people reading this- Only God can judge. Who are you to do His job for Him? He put you here to love your neighbors as yourself. It's about time that people put that first.