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.

24 comments:

  1. Only God can judge, and it isn't up to any of us to make that judgment, especially if we don't know the circumstances. It's important to initiate self-forgiveness and move ahead. You have to at some point realize that it was the best decision for that time in your life, and now your life is moving ahead. The past is in the past and needs to stay there. Thanks Rachel.

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    1. Thank you for the kind words, Linda. Since the poster today is anonymous, she obviously can't comment back, but has asked me to pass on her thanks and said that you're right, she understands, and it will be a work in progress. I'll post updates on how she's doing as time goes by.

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    2. What an intelligent, compassionate comment from Linda Kay.

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  2. It sounds as if the writer had "morning sickness" similar to that which afflicts the Duchess of Cambridge, but, of course, she receives special care and is hospitalized if necessary. I went through the same kind of morning sickness. Although I was hooked up to an IV in a clinic part of the time that Favorite Young Man was in kindergarten, I was still miserably sick while I was pregnant with The Hurricane. I also had some assistance from friends at church who brought food and took FYM out for pizza and fun. I understand that some women are not in a position to remain pregnant. I was sick from about two minutes after I got pregnant up until about the eighth month. My throat was burned from the acid in the vomit. I don't think I would have made it without the little bit of help I had.

    I'm disturbed by protesters who kill doctors or other healthcare professionals. A murder doesn't stop a "murder." It just becomes more difficult.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I'm so sorry Janie. I'm glad that you were able to make it through with your two intelligent, healthy babies. Not everyone is granted that miracle. The guest poster has asked me to pass on her admiration for your strength.

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    2. My dog got me through that pregnancy. She was a toy poodle named Tootsie. She slept on my tummy when I was pregnant. I don't know what I would have done without her. She comforted me.

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    3. My mom had a dog who did that also. I think animals must know when we need extra love.

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  3. This was amazing. I've never read an actual account of someone who has had to go through an abortion. Every word was so raw and filled with the deep emotion this experience caused. The aftermath and trying to cope with her ("your," if you're reading this guest poster, I don't want to talk about you as if you're not in the room, that would be rude, right? And I don't want to incur the wrath of Rachel...Uh oh, did I incur the wrath by mentioning the wrath, like how you're not supposed to make eye contact with an angry dog...not that I'm calling Rachel a dog...oh god, end tangent now before things get worse!) decision made me teary eyed. I can't rightfully say I sympathize, but I certainly empathize. Thank you, guest poster, for sharing your incredibly personal story, and you, Rachel, for posting it here. I really think sharing stories like this humanizes things like abortion so that people who vehemently oppose or demonize people, gain a measure of understanding.

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    1. Don't worry, you won't have to face the wrath of Rachel. Not right now, at least! I am glad that somebody was able to lighten the mood a bit to get a laugh, at least from me. That's exactly why I started this series and why the guest poster volunteered to tell her story- to humanize it because it isn't a topic people openly discuss outside of whether or not it's murder. Even still, she wanted to remain anonymous because there are many people who might not be understanding. Luckily, my readers listen with the heart.

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  4. This was an incredible post and I am so glad she was willing to tell her story. People need insight and to really hear what it is like to go through such an ordeal. Decisions were obviously not made lightly or flippantly - which is the most hurtful attitude flung at those who need compassion and healing.

    My heart goes out to this young lady, and I ask that she also consider that not everyone who is "religious" is judgmental. The God I know wraps you in his love...every day...but especially when you really need it.

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    1. The guest poster has asked me to pass on a message for you also. She said that she completely agrees that not all religious people are judgmental, though that's the reason people tend to hide behind in these topics. She said that people want to justify hate sometimes, which they do by disguising it as love, but that isn't what true love is. And I completely agree with that.

      Thank you for your kind, supportive words and the reminder that nobody should be lumped together with one phrase.

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    2. An excellent comment from Cherdo, too, and Pickleope always has something interesting to say.

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    3. I'm so pleased with the amount of love and support everyone is showing.

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  5. What a powerful story! I can't even imagine having to go through that, and yes, anyone who does, needs support and love, not criticism or judgement. My heart goes out to the guest poster. Hugs for her!

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    1. I imagine it's even harder to read when you're a parent. The guest poster thanks you and says that she hopes people who need it will get the hugs you mentioned. So many people keep it quiet that they aren't judged when sometimes they just need to speak out so they can get love and help.

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  6. I really feel for the guest poster, sweet lady. Wishing her a healed heart and peace in her life.

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    1. She's made the first step in acceptance, even though it took a full year. I'll be posting updates about her every so often. With all of the kindness and support from my readers, she said she feels overwhelmed with shock and gratitude.

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  7. Wow. Like Pickleope, I've never actually read a firsthand experience like this. It's haunting, and moving, and very sad. I couldn't imagine ever having to make that choice. And while I know that the stereotype seems to be that the sort of girl who gets this is a "slut", and doesn't even blink an eye when she gets it done, and doesn't care, blah blah blah, I think that the above story is more the norm. And that, as others said, if more people realized this they might not be so quick to judge.

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    1. That's the exact reason why the guest poster wanted to talk about it but with all of the attacks on women who have had abortions, there's still a fear that she would be labeled as a "baby killer" or a "slut", considering the fact that she's not married even though the baby's father was her boyfriend. I think that, and the pain, is why there aren't a lot of women willing to discuss it firsthand.

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  8. I got pregnant pretty young with a man that I hardly knew. I knew myself well enough that I couldn't handle knowing that I ended the life of my own child. I am glad I didn't because she is gorgeous and that man will be my husband in a few months (we have been together 3 years.) I believe that a woman has the right to chose whether or not they can handle having an abortion, but I personally couldn't. I also get upset when I learn that women are using it as a form of birth control. It's so easy to get condoms and pills that it should always be used. Obviously, they fail in some cases, but there is no excuse for not using them. A pregnancy is nothing...an incurable disease is what everyone else should be really afraid of.

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    1. I fully agree with you on that. Abortion shouldn't be a form of birth control. I do think it should be easier to access stronger forms of birth control though. I talked about it in a previous post, where Christian companies were refusing to carry IUD's (they prevent an egg from attaching to the wall, when usually 70% don't anyways) and the Plan B pills (they do not terminate existing pregnancies, only bring on a period early to hopefully get that egg out of there before it can become a baby) by claiming they are forms of abortion. The IUDs are some of the most reliable and if a woman is raped, she should have full access to the Plan B. Not even only rape, but what if they're being careful and the condom breaks or she realizes she missed a pill or the patch fell off? If full birth control, especially in underdeveloped countries, was available I think it would completely end the stereotypical abortions used for birth control and end the stigma so that women like the guest poster wouldn't be abused for such a horrible situation.

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  9. For the record...that was a general statement. It was in no means directly to her as I can not judge because I don't know details of her circumstances or her mental mindset. :)

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    1. She and I both understand it was in general. THAT is the kind of comment I want, when somebody doesn't fully agree. It was nice, it stated your views, but it didn't attack anyone.

      (Though, I do feel she said enough that it explained her circumstances and mind-set, but I don't feel she should be judged either way. That is my personal opinion though.)

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