Thursday, March 15, 2012

So Frustrated!

I love Facebook. It helps me stay connected to friends near and far. It helps me share my life with friends through pictures, posts, links and the like. It allows me to celebrate with friends when they marry, graduate, give birth or celebrate a birthday. It gives me the chance to support in times of need. It also frustrates me beyond belief.

Tonight I cam across a video link of our governor discussing the PA Ultrasound Bill. Though I'm against the bill, and hope my congress woman, Allyson Schwartz, votes no, I'm not even pissed off at the ultrasound part. Supporters of the bill say an ultrasound is necessary before an abortion in order to determine gestational age. I agree with that. My surgeon performed an ultrasound the day before my surgery. When he first told me he was doing one, I freaked out but went along with it because my husband convinced me it was the right thing to do. My surgeon had never even met me and it was important for him to see an ultrasound for two reasons: 1. confirm the fatal diagnosis we received from our doctor and 2. determine gestational age in order to determine the appropriate procedure to perform. Like I said, I freaked out. I was crying and yelling and really didn't want to do it.

My husband and I walked into a darkened exam room and I laid down on the table. As I sat there waiting for the ultrasound machine to be turned on I cried uncontrollably. The nurse asked if we wanted her to turn the monitor. Yes please! She then asked my husband if he'd like to stand with me. Yes please! He came up toward my head and took hold of my hand. We stared into each others tear filled eyes for what felt like forever. Suddenly we heard it....the wooshing that most expectant parents long to hear. We were about to hear a heartbeat. TURN IT OFF! I DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT! TURN IT OFF! I started screaming and yelling at the nurse to mute the machine. This only made me cry harder. It's not that I didn't want to hear the heartbeat; I just couldn't. It's not that I didn't want to see pictures of our precious baby; I just couldn't. Having been been emotionally drained already it was just too much.

So that brings me to this bill...which will mandate that ultrasounds be performed and that the monitors be faced toward the mother and/or the father. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Had this bill been in place at the time of my abortion, I would have seen my precious baby and heard his or her quick little heartbeat. My husband would have had to look too, as he was standing next to me facing the machine. We would have been forced to take pictures from that appointment to deliver the next day. The thought of it makes me want to throw-up. Seeing those pictures or hearing that heartbeat that day would have done nothing but torment me. They would have made my already broken heart shatter. The whole thing would not have made me change my mind. Instead, it would have been an even more clear reminder of what we were a family. I would have spent the next 24 hours staring at the precious little face in those pictures crying my eyes out that we would never get to hold, kiss, hug, care for, change, burp, laugh with or watch grow. I would have heard the heartbeat and repeated the rhythm in my mind for the next 24 hours...knowing it would stop beating "tomorrow." Again, none of this would have changed my would have simply tortured us.

Is that what you want to do, Governor? Do you think it's that easy to just "close your eyes." How easy was it for you to close your eyes at your last ultrasound. Oh wait.... Do you think this is a decision that comes easy to everyone who makes it? Do you think that every woman that has an abortion is a teenage girl who doesn't think of her fetus as a baby? Are you under the impression that women having abortions are not informed?

Let me tell you, you're so wrong on EVERY level. I would not have been able to close my eyes; I was crying too hard. This was the hardest decision my husband and I have EVER had to make. The statistic to which you think I am a part is the exact reason I made the nurse check off the "married," "college graduate," and "aged 29-34" boxes on my medical form. (They had been left blank and I insisted that they be completed. My husband laughed at my persistence then but now completely understands.) Do you think my doctor just said, "Hey, here's this option. I'm not going to tell you anything about it or discuss consequences with you. Just go for it."? Nope, wrong again. We were so informed and no picture or sound would have changed the decision we made to terminate our pregnancy out of LOVE for our baby.

You people seem to think that all women having abortions are doing it because they WANT to. What you seem to forget is that there are hundreds of thousands of women in my situation who are having an abortion to terminate a pregnancy with a fatal diagnosis. I am a member of a few social media support groups for pregnancy loss and these women and men are some of the strongest I've ever "known."  These groups are made of men and women who have been forced to make really tough decisions that change their lives forever. Everyone seems to be forgetting about this group and only discussing the young women using abortion as birth control. (Which, for the record totally disgusts me!)

This past Sunday was my due date. My husband and I cried that day, a lot. We bought a happy birthday balloon, 1 pink latex and 1 blue latex and let them go outside our home...the home we've built together over the last 9 1/2 years with unconditional love. It's that same love that both brought about our pregnancy and our decision to abort. None of this is something I'd ever expect you to understand but, as unfortunate as it may be, you are MY governor and you are MY voice. I beg you not to lose site of that.

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