A few years ago, I thought when the time came and I was pregnant, I would be overjoyed and love every moment of it, complete with the "glow" and all. After all, there is a life inside me that is growing, a separate soul that is it's very own person, making it's own decisions on when to kick or move...it would be amazing.
However, I didn't think about the morning sickness, the complete exhaustion, how annoying the hiccups would be, or how frustrating it would be trying to fall asleep while the little stinker is performing a gymnastics routine in the womb. Or, my absolute favorite -heavy sarcasm here- heartburn. With Harvey, I remember having to go to sleep sitting up, tears running down my cheeks, because it hurt so bad and all I wanted to do was rest! Seriously, all I had to do was drink water and I had heartburn. It was awful. Oh, and shopping for clothing that would fit me was depressing as all heck. It was a chore, even when my best friend took me out on a shopping spree.
So needless to say, I unfortunately became one of those pregnant mothers who complained all the time and was uncomfortable and hated being pregnant. All the thoughts, dreams, and hopes I had about being pregnant were dead wrong.
It's been a similar experience with this pregnancy. I'm trying not to complain as much and just endure it all, and especially trying to have a different mindset this time around. I mean, there are so many women who can't get pregnant, and would give anything to have morning sickness, feel their baby move within them, or go on pregnancy clothes shopping sprees...
The change in my mindset came crashing into my heart and soul yesterday. I've been reading this really enlightening book, Unprotected: A Campus Psychiatrist Reveals How Political Correctness in Her Profession Endangers Every Student by Miriam Grossman, M.D. Chapter six is about abortion, the aftermath of the procedure, how PASS (post abortion stress syndrome) is denied by most medical professionals, and it all gets pretty graphic.
I wanted to cry as I read, ironically in the OB waiting room at my last appointment, how women are told it's a totally safe procedure and you'll feel relieved afterward; how one woman described the emotional aftercare that isn't provided after having an abortion; or the most sickening, how women described having to dispose of the fetus themselves after, in the privacy of their home, they pass the child, and can see the head, eyes, nose, arms, fingers...none had been told of that possibility. None had any safe place to bury it. Most ended up flushing it down the toilet.
There was anger, too, as I read about the Japanese and how abortion is just a total acceptance in their culture to control the population. The Buddhist folklore believe the soul of the fetus goes to a kind of purgatory, but this soul can be saved through a mizuko kuyo, a memorial of sorts. During this ceremony, there are verses that are recited. Cultural differences and religious practices aside, these lines infuriate me: "During the time that I was continuing to grow, I had requested the kindness of my parents, I disobeyed that kindness, So I was brought out by the midwife with the body lost..." Disobeyed? In the womb? I know this is a cultural difference/issue, but it still upset me to read it.
All of this is heartbreaking to say the least. So many women get depressed and suicidal after having an abortion. There is slight hope, though, as a post-abortion Web site was created called afterabortion.com that serves to help women dealing with PASS. I went to it, and while I didn't register, I was able to read a few messages...I wanted to cry.
I have a friend who had an abortion, and we had talked about it on the three-year anniversary. While it was still hard for her, she had accepted what she did, forgiven herself and her boyfriend, and had asked both God, and her unborn little boy, whom she named Andrew, for forgiveness. She had gone to a support Web site, similar if not the same as the one mentioned above, where she was able to find the help she needed. I am so thankful for that help she received. She is comforted by her knowledge that one day, after she dies, she will finally be able to hold her eldest child. I pray she does, too.
While chapter six was exhausting to read, it made me love the little baby inside me even more. (And the little Harvey that is currently tearing apart a magazine...I'm such an awesome mom...) It makes me so grateful for the upbringing I had.
Unlike so many others, I will never have to mourn the loss of my child because of a choice I made; instead, I get to cherish the 3:30am cuddles with Harvey, and the constant gold-medal-winning gymnastic routines of my unborn child.