My 1981 abortion left me sterile, traumatized and heartbroken. Allow me to elaborate.... WARNING: free of euphemisms and candy-coating. So much flowery rhetoric to describe the most sinister of acts... So I will go there, penetrate the 10 feet thick wall of lies and denial that I lived in, and go to the truth.
As a young woman, I got pregnant after sleeping around two times. I came to believe my virginity made me a pollyanna or uncool. Most of my college-aged peers were having sex, including my roommates. You were considered a prude if you weren't "sexually active." You were mocked at this school if you weren't.
I estimated when I would be ovulating... Turns out you can get pregnant at anytime in your cycle. Public education taught us that abortion was part of the reproductive option package.
In short time, I discovered I was pregnant. I panicked because I was consumed by fear. I did not want to burden my parents with my problem. Turned to a family member and a friend and headed to get family planning counseling, like they taught us in sex ed. Everyone told me abortion was the most humane option for someone who was young and unmarried and that it was no big deal. Like getting a tooth pulled. They told me to hurry and decide as I was almost in my second trimester. I was 11 weeks pregnant at the time and had misgivings. I asked if this was a baby, and was told it was a formless blob of tissue. I did not understand abortion or fetal development--not even close. The only time the word baby was used was when I used it.
The abortion was painful. But the worst was yet to come... My nightmare was just beginning.
The following month was both grisly and horrifying. What in the world was coming out of me? I lanquished in severe pain, like labor pains, continually bleeding and passing large and small blood clots and torn pieces of what was once my baby's body, placenta, umbilical cord and amniotic sac. Skin, muscle, organ, brain matter, flesh... A pink slurry of unidentifiable debris (some looked like cartilage, tiny fish bones and bone fragments) where I could even see where there had been knife cuts made. These images are forever imprinted in my mind. I had no one who would help me. No one. The clinic would not help me and I was too ashamed to tell my parents, who sensed something was wrong, and wanted to take me to the ER.
I believe that my uterine wall was cut. I would later in life be told by doctors that I had a tipped uterus-a severely retroverted uterus. This means that it was in a folded position. This was before ultrasound came out. So a new and inexperienced doctor (I know from my research) went into my uterus, which was soft from pregnancy, essentially blind, with a sharp curette. (Turns out the pregnant uterus was not designed to be forcibly entered with a sharp instrument.) I never met the doctor until I was on the table. There was no relationship. Seeing what I saw made me cry so hard I could barely breathe and made me sick over the choice I had made, with absolutely no way of coping, but to stuff it. Denial became a high art. I detested prolife people and without ever talking to one, considered them all angry and judgmental of the post-abortive (I was wrong). So I built a protective wall around myself, afraid to tell anyone my secret, lest they dissaprove of me as a person. I already hated myself enough. After the "procedure", my life has never been the same. It ended badly for me and the crying has never stopped.
In the years after that, I became inconsolable, with severe depression and suicide attempts. I developed adenomyosis.
This is a medical condition where scar tissue forms over wounds in the uterine wall. Much of my month was spent in cramping pain, as endometrial tissue got trapped and the uterus continually contracted. I later married and could not have children. By my forties, my uterus was so bad that I ended having to endure a full hysterectomy, forever ending any chances of conceiving another child.
I have been to many counselors over this abortion, and now know exactly what an 11 week baby looks like in the womb, and what an abortion did to my only child. Ultrasound technology shows us today what was previously hidden. I know the truth about abortion and that has been extremely painful to face, previously using denial as a coping mechanism. I have been diagnosed with PTSD, complete with nightmares and flashbacks. Like what happens in war, only I paid someone to put my baby's fragile body on a landmine, and they didn't collect all his human remains. That was for my eyes only to witness. This little one already had all organs in place, was a tiny human being, MY BABY, who just needed time to grow. Because of my choice, he instead became medical waste. Where the remains ended up is deeply disturbing to me and also, a source of sickening repetitive scenarios that NEVER leave my mind. If I see a Stericycle truck on the road (a main collector of brutalized baby remains), I want to vomit at the thought of the gruesome cargo inside. I have flashbacks of this baby I love so much struggling against the curette, safe one moment, about to be cut to smithereens the next. "Mom help me!" "Mom, make them stop!" And I can't. I would if I could. I cannot reverse time. My precious one, I would crawl over broken glass to get you back. I would stand in front of a moving train if it would bring you back.
I live in a debilitating straitjacket of guilt, regret and shame, which I can't seem to overcome and am trying to heal. Some days are better than others. I am writing this to tell you how my choice in 1981 has adversely impacted my life, so much so I am writing a book. I love babies, children and my fellow human beings. I wouldn't wish this kind of pain on anyone. This "simple and common procedure" turned out to be the biggest wound/source of unending hurt of my lifetime. I would give my life if I could take back this choice.
This summer, while doing ancestry work on Ancestry.com, I added my little one to my family tree. Not only did abortion kill my baby, but his entire family tree. When I die, his name is going on my grave stone. I especially love my child, who I can never hold, with all my heart. Abortion is not some wonderful choice, it destroys lives.
K's only child: 1981-1981 forever loved