A quarter century of legalized abortion

It’s been a quarter century since Dr. Henry Morgentaler and thousands of pro-choice activists won a victory that made a pinnacle of tragedy in my life less of a tragedy.  25 years ago, a decades-long effort was rewarded when the Supreme Court of Canada overturned the criminality of abortion in Canada (though it goes a LOT farther back than 25 years!).

I was eight years old at the time, but my life would be deeply affected 24 years later when I made an inconceivably difficult yet compassionate decision for my son.

If abortion was still illegal, what would I have done for my Henry? Life would be drastically different.

I can only imagine the haze I would have lived in the past five months if I carried him to full term, knowing I was to deliver a baby that was not meant for this world. Instead of writing this post, I would be in a hospital, undergoing a C-section to deliver Henry with as little pain to him as possible. Then I would be recuperating and clinging to every moment as I watched the light in his eyes extinguish as he slipped away from me forever.

I wouldn’t have been allowed to hold my son, for doing so would have broken his bones. Imagine having a suffering, crying infant, newly born, that you couldn’t hold and comfort? He would have been gasping for breath. He would have only known the process of dying. No first steps, hiccoughs or words. He never would have known the feeling of being wrapped in his mother’s protective arms.

If I did deliver Henry, I would be simultaneously planning his funeral. And I would be living in a deep, desolate place for a very long time.

I may have sought measures to end Henry’s life that would be illegal thanks to a governing framework that wouldn’t have let me make reproductive decisions that have my best interests in mind.

Thanks to another Henry – a man who lives, I didn’t have to go there. And of course, it doesn’t escape me that my son has the same name as this man,  although that is pure coincidence. A happy one.

 

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Keep you baby away from me

I truly am very happy for you and all of your healthy babies – really I am, but stay away from me (for now).

I save my daily walks for nighttime because the chances of running in to children and babies in strollers is significantly diminished. When I see little boys especially, I get punched in the heart.

Seeing babies makes me feel like I’ll never have that. Looking at pictures of friends who have babies (a lesson in torture) bewilders me. I’m so surprised now to see healthy, alive babies. The thought that I’ll ever be able to make one of them is unfathomable right now. I feel like my womb is a cursed place where only sick babies destined for death can grow for a short while. I feel like my subsequent pregnancies are all doomed to miscarriage, to stillbirth, to SIDS, to genetic disease.

Logic ramble: Yes, of course, I know that I may have healthy babies in the future. But I also know that it’s a risk. I know how many pregnancies fail, and I know genetic hiccoughs are more common than we suspect. I also know that I really am happy for you and your birth – you are very lucky parents, and I hope to join you one day. And this is a lot coming from someone who spent most of her life saying she never wanted kids.  Oh, how life turns tricks on us.

I know this post makes me sound crazy, but that’s my feeling for the day. I’ve spent a month grieving after what I thought was a healthy pregnancy, for five whole months. And of course, I do not want to offend anyone who has a child. I’m sorry if you feel offended. But I honestly don’t know when I’ll feel comfortable being around other people’s babies.

Am I jealous? Of course I am! And I judge myself for knowing this is petty and selfish, so I’m putting this out there knowing full-well that this is a post that might offend some of you. And this self-judging and feeling bad for writing this post isn’t healthy for me. But putting this out there is right, because I know, with 10000000% certainty, that I’m not the only bereaved parent who has thoughts and feelings like this. So I write it for you who are in this boat with me.

– Crazy woman out.