I kind of want to de-bunk all the abortion myths here, but I am not going to talk about that. I think we are all grown up enough to know how making babies and growing babies works. If you are not, or have not educated yourself on that, maybe you should, before having an opinion. I’ve seen all the controversy. I’ve seen the video of planned parenthood people selling medical waste for stem cells or making deals to dispose of it. I’ve read Roe v Wade in its entirety and have seen all the memes depicting full grown babies being aborted. I know what it looks like, and it’s a terrible scene. Any good mother would be horrified to see any of that. There are misconceptions in every controversy, on both sides, so I’ll get to the point now. My son.
I used to be pro-life. I used to be a lot of things. I used to be a flag toting, bible thumping, good American wife, and door mat too. When I was pregnant with my son, I walked around a festival with a tiny pin I bought of the size of fetal feet. It was about a quarter of an in big, and I pinned it to my belly shirt. It meant a lot at the time. I was in my early 20’s when I had both my kids. Later, I had my daughter, and as I lay there on the operating table for a second cesarean, the doctor looked at me, and asked me if I was sure I wanted my tubes tied too. I said with a shaky voice from behind the curtain “No, but I want to go ahead with it anyway.” I had a few good relationships after my divorce and had a miscarriage because I had been sterilized in the previous years. It wasn’t waking up to blood all over the bed, or that I had carried a baby. I knew the feeling of being preggo very well, I had been very pregnant twice. So I began taking tests because I felt overly hormonal and skipped my period. I kept getting back some weird test results, so I decided to wait another month before I took another test. The line on the test was light, but it was surely there. I was pregnant, but later that month I grew very tired and my period came as usual. I had known that I wouldn’t be able to carry the child and was waiting for my body to tell me to see the doctor for eptopic pregnancy. I lost that baby, but I didn’t feel bad. The man I was dating had been doing amateur porn behind my back, cheated, lied, and I was dumb enough to believe the fisod. But only for a while, when the rose-colored glasses came off, I didn’t really care. At the time, I had been waiting for him to leave, so I didn’t make a big fuss over the pregnancy or the lost child. He left after that faint blue line. I knew I wouldn’t have a viable pregnancy to begin with, and we were supposed to be getting married, but I knew that would never happen too. A short-lived relationship left me with another late period. I was very naïve after my marriage ended and thought that most men were typically good. But that wasn’t the case with that short-lived relationship either. I took the test and when I walked out of the bathroom, he handed me a coat hanger. He thought it was funny. I was afraid because, again, I knew that if I were pregnant, I would lose it or have an ectopic pregnancy. I wasn’t pregnant that time, I was just stressed out, thank goodness. I thought back to that day when I on the operating table and the doctor asked me once more, in my early 20s if I wanted to be sterilized after the second child. I closed my eyes and was so thankful and so glad I had enough insight to understand back then, that I didn’t want any more children. My first-born child has a terminal illness. He is dying slowly. I’ve known that now for almost a decade. I live in fear every day of waking up to a dead boy. I had severe anxiety for a long time after his diagnosis. With a lot of grief counseling and support, I have finally been able to accept what is happening to him, but I will never be happy with out him. I love that kid. As his disease progresses, I see how much pain he is in. Moving him brings tears and pain, and not moving him brings the same. He suffers every day now, and I get to sit here and watch it. Daily. Every few years or so I take him to see a genetics counselor. At one point, I asked the doctor what would happen if I wanted to have kids by in-vitro someday, if I ever married again. She is there to counsel on all kinds of genetic issues, and it was a good question to have answered before our long time doc moved to another hospital in another state. So we went over all of the caveats of that in the office. What if I did find the love of my life some day and want to have more children, I certainly wouldn’t want to have another child with Sanfilippo. Living like this is pure torture for both of us. It is a hard pill to swallow here in the US. Kids die. Kids get sick. Shit happens. It hurts.
He has an issue from head to toe. His entire life has been a giant hurdle. He has handled it beautifully and with strength, and character. I wouldn’t change having him for the world. He has taught me a lot about life, love, and strength. Every time anybody praises me, I tell them that I am everything I am because of him, and it’s true. I love that kid. But, lets go back. I divorced my husband (my kids’ father) and have been a single parent for years now. I have tried relationships with other men, but it just doesn’t work out, and that last pregnancy gave me a scare. I am glad again, for my insight to get sterilized after my second child. When I got pregnant with her, I had no idea where my life was going. My son was difficult to care for and had a lot of behavioral problems that were leading us to doctor after doctor, and when I asked about tubal ligation, after my planned c-section, I was under the typical age limit and number of children they allow for that procedure. I was in my early 20s and they usually don’t want you to have your tubes tied unless you are 25 with at least 3 kids. I told the doctor about my son, and that we couldn’t find out what was wrong with him, and that I didn’t even know if the second one was going to be the same or not. At the time Ian had only been diagnosed with Autism/PDD, but we were still pursuing because there were other things that were happening out side of his behavior that led us to believe a larger problem was present. I told the doctor that would perform my birth, that I could barely handle the one I have now, and don’t know if the second is going to be the same. Luckily, she was born normal. When he was diagnosed with Sanfilippo Syndrome, I cried for weeks and became severely depressed. The mortality rate is 100% death during adolescence. I carry him every day to the car knowing that this day might be his last, now that he has reach 15 years old. That is quite the accomplishment for both of us, because they typically pass away between the ages of 12 and 14. So we have once again in our lives, proved that numbers are only numbers and shattered those glass ceilings. He is stable now, but there were a couple of times during his life that he looked like a holocaust survivor, skinny and emaciated because of the progression of this disease. It takes constant effort to keep him alive and well. Just to give you a small idea of that, I had an expense of $500 one year on just gauze pads. Nasal Spray is $52. My home sometimes looks like a hospital and I have a random IV poles hanging around. Can you imagine having to touch your own child with gloves on? Every trip outside sometimes turns into a whole Clark Griswold adventure. Once, we were on vacation. We had rented a nice cabin in the mountains for a week to get away. A friend gave us a ticket to a small bar and grill, but I had no idea that the whole place was down stairs. I grabbed a person to help me tote him down the stairs in his wheel chair. The excitement triggered something in his guts, and we had explosive diarrhea and had to almost immediately leave the place, getting covered in rancid fluid dripping from his wheelchair. Another time I was at the grocery store and he yanked a tube out and I had to rush him home, because I left my emergency bag of medical supplies at home. I had just moved into a new apartment and was grabbing just a couple of items real quick at the store for the new apartment. I had to leave my hand basket right there in the aisle, rush to the car. I sped home just to find someone parked in my handicapped space and had to carry this child across the parking lot leaving a trail of the contents of his stomach, across the parking lot.
I’m not saying I would have aborted either of the kids I have now. Of course, I love them more than anything. I have spent enough time and money fighting for their rights as children, and mine as a single mother to have proved that repeatedly. It’s all worth it to me. But if I had another child with the guy who was cheating and doing porn, I would have certainly considered abortion, had I not known that baby would be lost at conception or to ectopic pregnancy. I would be at risk for having another child with a genetic disease, and when people ask me now why I don’t want any more kids, or why I support abortion, I tell them because I refuse to bring life into the world just to watch it suffer and die. There are millions of people like me, with good reasons to consider abortion. I think to myself about the situations where a 3rd trimester abortion might be good call. What if there is a mother who is going to pass away if she gives birth and they know the child is not viable? What if they did it right and had all of the genetics run up, and found out the child had a terrible disease, and the mother was just not strong enough to carry? What if the woman has cancer when she is pregnant? What if she found out she had some terrible disease like Aids, that had been transferred to the baby? What if she became addicted to drugs and the baby was brain dead? What if the baby was not completely developed and it was a much safer option for the mother to have an abortion during the 3rd trimester?
Most of us do not go into this decision lightly. Had I not been sterilized I imagine what I would have done if I had gotten pregnant by accident with a child. Did I want another child with a terrible disease and a shit father? No. I didn’t. That wouldn’t be fair for many reasons. So, I am pro-choice. It is the choice I must make? No. Is it the choice I want to make? No. Would I ever be able to do it? I don’t really know. But I support other women in their decision to not have a child, because I know there are some good reasons, I would not want to have another child too. I don’t think anybody should have the right to regulate my uterus. I don’t think anyone should have the right to tell me if having a child is right or wrong. I understand it means the death of cells in the body sometimes, and sometimes it’s a fetus, but for whatever reasons we make that decision, its not really as easy as one might think, and we are certainly not free from the consequence of those actions, as the right always tends to forget.