Abortion and motherhood: a true story

Preliminary note: Two days ago, I tried to load my resume onto an online recruitment agency website and for some reasons (OK, I admit I am useless when it comes to the multi-touch trackpad options, too old for these tricks) I opened a document I wrote three years ago. It was my way of dealing with all sorts of emotions and guilt I felt when starting the process of getting pregnant.  The following is my most intimate and controversial post so far. Some of my closest friends will be shocked. I agonized about putting it out there but another tragic death  in Ireland due to anti abortion laws gave me the courage to come out: I had a pregnancy termination. Like many women I never talk about it. I felt shame considering that a decade after my abortion I went through fertility treatments but today I am thankful I found caring and understanding hospital staff  who did the procedure in a way that did not scar me for life.
Savita Halappanavar, your death is senseless and I hope this never happens again.
She is so pretty, has perfect hair, perfect skin, and a perfect smile.
Her immaculate blouse is blinding. Her interrogation is lethal though, I feel like a stripper being body searched.
‘Are you smoking?’ She will know if I lie so I say ‘yes one or two a day’ with a smug. She is not fazed. She is a pro.
‘How many years have you been smoking for? And how much was the most you have smoked?’‘Well I did quit for 4 years…’
She is so not having any of my crap; I thus give in: 13 years and for 3 years I was on 30 cigarettes a day… I think she’s just choked. Actually it was a slow scream between her pearly teeth. I know what is going follow and my brain starts wandering …my guts tell me get out of here pronto. I know better though. It took me five years to be where I am now. Five years to be now lectured by a perfectly nice and sense making woman who also smells very nice. It’s ok because I want to be here. I must admit that not having my goody two shoes husband sitting next to me smugly say that he’s always been an occasional smoker would help.
It’s ok because I expect to be vilified during my first appointment at a fertility clinic. I am not in my 20s and I am now struggling to get pregnant. What did I think was going to happen, right? But it gets worse…
– Have you ever been pregnant?
– Yes
– What has been the result of the pregnancy?

Thought response: I got it killed and removed from my body because no way I was being a mum.
Actual response: termination by surgical procedure
– Was it by your husband?
Thought response: I don t know
Actual response: 90 % per cent sure so a tiny risk that no … Can I say that we were not really together? (great, I am making things worse: she now thinks I am an addict and a slut).
Good doctor now talks about the 4 Ts (4 tests)
Are you ovulating?
Are your tubes ok?
Is the semen ok?
Are the eggs and sperm meeting somewhere down in the uterus?Yawn. I have been there twice and now must look very smug. But then out of nowhere Mr ‘I nod my head’ starts asking:
About tests my sperm motility was assessed and no issue there, so is there anything else that could be looked at in detail ?Good Doctor is impressed by Good Husband. He is not like most men; he actually wants to know more about what could be wrong with him. Good doctor starts to mumble something about DNA detraction or fragmentation and Good Husband nods. Hang on a second, now that’s enough to make me get out of my lethargy. These two are getting very serious; we are now talking hereditary diseases  (by the way do megalomania -my side- and depression- his side – count?). He is asking about STD and unprotected sex. Did we even agree that we were going to talk about this with Good Doctor – who by now must think that we are swingers, oh lord … They talk about being healthy to carry pregnancies. Now, I was not prepared for what has just happened.That s it G D and G H managed to do it. They did it together. They made it real. She talks about babies being inseminated not embryos (for the first time in 8 years I feel weird and sweaty about by my abortion-is that even fair?). They made it so real that I start touching my belly and I am now all freaked out. They made it so real that I can almost hear the screaming in the night, smell stains of rotten regurgitation, feel the little feet in my hand, see the wrinkly neck and touch the fine back hair. Bastards they did it: I am already a mom.

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