Thursday, February 9, 2017

Abortion Week

Oh, hi!
Let's just skip over the part where I admonish myself for not writing in this space for an actual year. 
I'm--surprise!--25 weeks pregnant right now, which makes this "Abortion Week." At the same time a Senate Committee in PA just confirmed a bill to limit abortions after 20 weeks and ban the D&E procedure. There was ONE woman on that committee. There were no public hearings or even any input from the medical community. Then yesterday the full Senate voted to advance the bill to the state House. Thankfully, oh so thankfully, the governor has promised to veto.
My abortion started at 25 weeks, 3 days days with Blue. I think since I am now pregnant at a different time of year, I haven't made the week-by-week comparisons. Until this week. It has really hit me, and I've also been thinking about Chris quite a bit. The origin of these thoughts is that I wonder where are the men in the fight for reproductive rights? Chris so clearly benefited from the fact that I could get an abortion at 25 weeks (I think legally that counts as 23 weeks, FYI), but does he care that this right could very easily be limited in the near future? Or that other men and women haven't been able to make the choice that we did because there was no way they could possibly have afforded a $4,500 abortion? Or they didn't live close enough to a state where the abortion wasn't yet forbidden? What would have happened to them? What will happen to them?
About Chris. I want to forgive him. A few months ago, maybe the anniversary of Blue's death and birth, I felt like I could almost forgive him. Almost...but not quite. I wonder so many things. Mainly, if he doesn't have a living child now, does he think of himself as a dad? I am curious enough about the answer to this question that I consider reaching out to him. I haven't yet.

I have been thinking of testifying before a legislative body or a court in opposition to abortion restrictions. I would really love to be a witness for this cause. I tell my story out loud to myself sometimes on my long drive to work. I fought like hell to get someone aside form a genetic counselor to talk to us after we got Blue's diagnosis. I still find this baffling and infuriating. What the hell did a genetic counselor have to say at that point? Like, we're done with that part. A doctor did step into the meeting with the genetic counselor. I don't recall now if she was a respiratory therapist (actually, that is not a doctor), pulmonologist, or what. I'm not sure I ever knew. But I remember her. What she looked like. Where she sat in the room in relation to us. The expression on her face when Chris asked her, "Does it hurt?" A question I hadn't thought to ask. She leaned her head back a bit and closed her eyes, nodded up and down slightly as she said quietly, "I think so. Because you have to breathe. And when you can't breathe, it hurts." That was it for Chris. It was so cut and dried for him. Chris' feelings, after all, were possibly the least selfish of the two of us. So I think that maybe I could, maybe I can, forgive him. For everything that happened after that. For his different path through grief. For his not being able to help me, and even for his not wanting to.

It's been over five years now since Blue was here and then not here. My feelings about him have changed so much. I don't miss him so often anymore. I don't think about him every day. I don't imagine that he should be part of this family I have now. Though I guess I never did. But the grief--the abject pain of losing my first child--is unforgettable. It still hurts now to think about how much it hurt then. . . . Yeah. I think about that pain maybe more than I think of its reason. That part I never really expected.

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