This morning, as I was waiting for my elevator at work (which by the way is the slowest elevator in the City of Philadelphia) I started thinking about the day we found out the baby would not survive the pregnancy (September 9th.) I thought about sitting in the doctor's office with my husband and the doctor telling us the diagnosis. In my head, it was "blah blah blah" and the scene was cloudy. Then I started thinking about how we broke the news to our family and friends, the people that had shared in our joy and excitement when we announced that we were expecting. I thought about the e-mail we sent to our friends (I could barely speak) and about telling my mom to call my best girlfriends. I remembered, almost verbatim, what we wrote and told my mom to say. My mind shot back to watching my husband step out of the house to call his mom, dad and sister. I thought back to how numb I felt and how the tears flowed uncontrollably and then not at all. I remembered finally understanding how you could be full of emptiness. All of these memories came flooding back in a matter of two minutes or less. It was fast. It was crazy. It was surreal.
As I reflected back on the day that changed our lives forever, I started thinking "wow, that must've been terrible." For a quick minute I was confused about why my memories of "that situation" were so vivid. It wasn't real. I thought to myself, "I could never go through that. I can't imagine the pain." I then reminded myself that those memories were mine, which is why they were so clear, and I didn't/couldn't believe it. It was extraordinarily strange and left me really confused.
I expect to stay emotional, especially through the next 10 days (and immediately thereafter.) Now should be a time that I'm doing final preparations for baby's homecoming. Instead, I'm fighting against HB1077. I'm e-mailing and calling my congresswoman to vote NO on this bill which will mandate the following (including but not limited to):
- women must have a trans-vaginal ultrasound 24 hours prior to an abortion
- during said ultrasound, the monitor must be faced toward the woman and the volume cannot be muted (The woman can opt to look away. How thoughtful that they're not planning to strap our heads down with eyes pointed toward the monitor.)
- the woman must take and deliver TWO copies of ultrasound pictures to the surgeon performing the abortion.
I am, however, thankful that we had the right to choose this option. I am also forever grateful that the ultrasound technician turned the monitor away from me. This allowed for me to keep my head turned AND for my husband to stand with me holding my hand as the surgeon confirmed the fatal diagnosis. Had HB1077 been in place, my hubby would have had to have his back to me, as he did not want to view the monitor either. That would've made it pretty hard and uncomfortable for him to hold my hand through the ultrasound. We also were able to ask the technician to mute the machine (though she didn't at first but quickly realized it as I began to scream at her "turn it off. I don't want to hear.") We were also given the right to deny receiving any pictures. It was the right decision for us at the time and we don't regret any aspect of how we handled ourselves.
I am not one to push my political opinions on others. I have friends of every race, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation and age. I love the diversity that surrounds me. I love that we can agree and disagree and through it all smile and laugh. The fact that we're able to have different opinions is what makes this country so grand.
What isn't okay, is when people think it's okay to judge me based on my experience. I have been called a lot of names, including baby killer and monster. At first, it hurt...a lot. Now, I brush it off because I realize those people are ignorant to the idea of compassion and understanding. I just hope they NEVER have to face what we faced. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
Not all women who have abortions have them as birth control. Not all women who have abortions have them because they were "careless" with sexual activity. Not all women who have abortions have adoption as an option. Not all women who have abortions are evil or awful human beings. Have a heart and consider the feelings of the woman you're attacking...you don't know her story and there is probably a lot more to it than you'll ever understand. The pain these families have felt is far worse than any name you could ever call them.