Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Fight Goes On...

Here we go again...

I just read an article about a proposed merger between two hospitals in my area. The article explains how one hospital is going to stop performing abortions out of respect for the Catholic mission of the other. The "other" hospital, with the Catholic mission, is the hospital affiliated with my gynecologist. So, how did I have an abortion if they're not able to perform them? Well, I was referred to a highly qualified doctor at different hospital. Though my doctor could not perform the procedure the CHOICE was still mine to make and I was still educated about ALL of my options, including those that go against my hospital's "Catholic mission."  What I women to understand is that while this decision does eliminate the hospital as a choice provider for the procedure, it doesn't eliminate the woman's choice to move forward with what is very often the most difficult decision of a woman's life. As long as our doctors are still educating patients, regardless of religious missions, we need to be thankful for the care we're receiving.

We need to keep the focus on the RIGHT fight. I also wish people would  keep in mind how hurtful comments on articles like that can be. Women who have faced this tragedy have been shamed enough. They've felt enough sadness, fear, guilt, anger and hopelessness.  I still get really upset when people argue without validity. Everyone always goes back to the "abortion is not birth control" fight or the "don't sleep around and you won't get pregnant" fight. UGH! That kills me. I am married. I am educated. I have a job. I wanted a baby. I intentionally got pregnant because my hubby and I wanted to share our love with the next generation of our family.  Sadly, nature had other plans for us and we played the cards we were dealt the best way we knew how. Even more tragic, is this is a more commonly dealt hand than we'd like to know. I am just thankful that this blog has reached so many women. I am happy to be a voice for the "other" side and am thankful that my words help comfort others who have faced, or are facing, similar situations.

I remember when our doctor gave us the fatal diagnosis. It's a conversation I replay in my head over and over and one I don't think I'll EVER forget. I used to have a really hard time admitting that I had an abortion. As I've said before, though I'm pro-choice for America, I'm pro-life for me. I NEVER thought I'd be faced with a situation that forced me to terminate my own baby's life. As much as it feels like forever ago it feels just like yesterday. I'll also never forget when she said "we cannot do it here." It was like being stabbed in an already wounded heart. I trusted my doctor, and my doctor alone, and here I was being told he couldn't do the procedure because of the "nature of the hospital." It not only made me feel more scared, but also shamed me. Wow, am I really considering doing something so horrific that my own doctor won't/can't even perform it? Yes, yes I am. And I'm considering it because it's the best choice for me AND for my baby. Hubby and I made this decision out of selfless love, and no one will EVER make me feel differently.

Anyway, just had to vent cause these people on the message boards are driving me nuts!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Any man can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a Daddy. We've all heard the saying, but what does it really mean? To me, it means that fatherhood extends far beyond just getting a woman pregnant. It's about being there. It's about putting your child before you put yourself. It's about sharing in joys and comforting pains. It's about loving through the tears and making everything all better, even when you know it's not always okay. It's about always being the man your baby girl can count on when other men break her heart. It's about loving someone else more than you will ever love yourself. Today should be hubby's first father day, but as you know it didn't work out that way. I do know that he will fulfill the Daddy role in a beautiful and awesome way. Our time will come....
My parents split up when I was 2 or 3 and I lived with my mom. I saw my dad every weekend and he was very involved in my life. I have some amazing memories of times with my dad. Daddy/daughter days. Puzzles. Models (the kind you build not the kind you stare at.) Bike rides. Pizza on Fridays. Fishing trips to LBI. Barbies. Family Dinners on Sundays. T.G.I.F, Hunter and Sisters. 610 WIP on my way to school. In fact,  Angelo (broadcaster on WIP) used to do a Winners/Weasels contest every week. I won one week when I nominated my dad as my winner and Angelo as my weasel. (Angelo was having a dad of the year contest and I named him my weasel because he never announced the way to nominate to your dad so I missed my chance.) I had the best of both worlds: a mom who loved me and a dad, step-mom and step-brother who loved me. I belonged to two families.

When I was 12, my dad broke up with his girlfriend, Marianne. I remember it like it was yesterday and I was crushed. They sat me down on the love seat and told me they were breaking up. Marianne was crying. I was crying. My father was visibly shaken. My only concern at that moment was making sure Marianne and her family would still be coming to my Bat Mitzvah. They were. I was so happy my 2nd family was still coming to my celebration that I didn't even think about how this break-up could change my life. After Marianne and my dad split-up, his priorities changed.

I won't go into all the details but the last fatherly thing my biological dad for me was walk out on my high school graduation. It was June 16, 1998 and it was his birthday. I watched him walk out just after my entire class was announced and it sucked. I got home and called a bar; I knew he'd be there. He told me that it was his birthday and his friends were waiting for him. I told him "if you couldn't stay at my graduation, don't come to my graduation party." That was it, I was done. Some of you reading that may think it was pretty harsh. I don't. I was 17 years old and had been dealing with a lot of let downs for about 4 years.

When I was pregnant last year, I thought a lot about trying to reconnect with my dad. After all, like it or not, he will be my child's grandfather and who am I to take that relationship away from my baby. Before I had the chance to decide what to do, we terminated the pregnancy. Decision made. Three months after we lost the baby, my uncle died. Uncle Tony is my godfather and my father's brother. He has always been a special part of my life, even though ending my relationship with my father did impact my relationship with that side of the family. I wasn't really welcome anymore. It hurt, but I got over it. My uncle was always there whenever I needed him and was the first one to step up when my mom was in the hospital in 2006.(Happy Father's Day, Uncle Tony. I'm sorry I couldn't text you today.)

I saw my dad at my Uncle's funeral this past December and starting thinking about the day that I get the call that he's ill. What will I do? I have no idea. How will I feel? I have no clue. I do know that he's my father, and without him I wouldn't be who I am today. We learn just as much from our negative experiences as we do from our positive. I do know that I have some really wonderful memories from my childhood and a part of me hopes my baby will have memories with her grandfather too. (Side note, I will be so overly protective of that relationship if it happens. I cannot allow my father to hurt my baby the way he hurt me.) I don't know that my father is open to talking, as I've tried in the past. I sent him a letter and he didn't respond. He didn't even reach out to me when he knew I was getting married. I like to think that he misses his only daughter, his only child, but the truth is I just don't know.

Today, while I was food shopping, a song came on the loudspeaker. It's a song I VERY rarely hear and one I remember fondly. It's a song my father and I used to sing together, line by line, all the time. Even after all these years, I still remember every word and remember which lines I sang and which lines my father sang. It's by Elvis....a man my Uncle loved. Something tells me that my uncle had a hand in having this song play today, on Father's day, the day after my dad's birthday, while I was in the store. It brought a tear to my eye as I thought about all of the father's days my father has missed out on celebrating. I thought about how today should be my hubby's first father's day. I thought about how long it has been since I sang this song....

I don't really know the point of this blog tonight; I just had to write it. There is so much depth to the story/relationship between my father and me that I don't think I could even put it all into words if I wanted to. Anyway, Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. And to those of you that are just fathers, you're missing out.