Tegan

I am 27 weeks pregnant, as I sit here writing this.  My baby, a little boy, is kicking under my hand which seems to stray to this protective position so often throughout the day and the night.  This isn’t my first baby, although everyone, including my husband believes it is.   Nobody but me knows about my first baby.   Nobody but me knows that until I felt the first stirrings of this little one, that I never even acknowledged him or her, that I denied him or her not only life, but even recognition of existence in my thoughts or my heart.

The night I first felt my baby kick, when I called my husband, so excitedly from the other room, was like a dream.  He couldn’t feel it and I was a little bit disappointed, but also a little bit special that this was a secret that I shared only with my baby for a while at least.   That night, I woke up suddenly from a terrible dream.   I had my baby, a little girl and I was holding her, when she suddenly disappeared.   I woke and frantically grabbed my belly to make sure my baby was okay.   At the same time I realised that the baby in my dream wasn’t this baby I carried, but the baby I had denied.

All of a sudden, I realised that from the first moment that my husband and I knew about this baby, even before we were sure; he existed.   He had life that we breathed into him through our very souls.  He was never inconvenient.  He was never a blob of cells.   We didn’t even consider such thoughts.   We were excited about our baby.   If we had lost him, like my sister lost hers a few months ago, we would have grieved him and been devastated.

Yet my first baby, the one I aborted at 9 weeks, the one who would have been 3 years old now, was never a baby in my thinking.. or in my heart… until that dream.   I’ve been advocating for choice for women my entire adult life.  I’ve taken 2 friends to abortion clinics.   I’ve written letters to the editor berating prolifers for being judgemental, religious zealots who care nothing for women.   Yet, in the middle of the night, woken from a dream, everything changed.

It isn’t as though I had been thinking about the issues.  I hadn’t spoken to anyone.  I hadn’t even thought about my first pregnancy except for very occasionally, and then not with much emotion.. just a passing remembering..   But that night, it hit me.  My first baby had been as real as the little boy inside me now.

For the sake of a bit of embarrassment about being pregnant, an interruption to what I considered to be my very important life, I had dumped that baby like trash.   And other people helped me do it, just like I have helped my friends.    I was too embarrassed to even tell my best friend I’d had such an irresponsible accident as to fall pregnant.   But the clinic I went to made it oh so easy…  A little group info session where we heard that we’ll all feel relieved and be able to go home as though nothing had happened… where we were told the procedure was simple with no lasting effects…   And I believed it all, even afterwards… for 3 and half years to be exact.   Until then that night, I knew different.

Now I sit here feeling my baby boy and wonder what he will think of me if he ever knows.   That he made it because it suited me this time, but his brother or sister didn’t.   The terror of that ever happening makes me feel ill.

I will never, ever be part of telling a woman that abortion helps, or doesn’t hurt her ever again.   Do not be fooled by clever marketing.   Do not be fooled by lies and people who say they care about you.   Wake up and think about what you are actually doing when you are doing it.   Take responsibility for that life, before you are forced one night, after a bad dream to take responsibility for that death.

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One Response to Tegan

  • Lyn Schoof says:

    What a powerfully written piece! It brought me to tears and described so poignantly your emotions and feelings. Thank you so much for sharing a part of yourself.

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