Medical Abortion: Words I can’t physical force out of my mouth I hate them so much. It would be more appropriate to call it a myocardial extraction, because that is what truly happens. After shots are administered or the surgical procedure has taken place to end a wanted pregnancy, a small piece of your heart is ripped out.
The clunking of heals echoed down the hall and abruptly stopped outside my door. I held my breath as she pulled the chart and flipped through the pages. An order for a “Medical Abortion” had been placed at the top of the page next to my name.
Against my will.
I sat on the sterile table silently grieving as I clung to the sonogram of my empty uterus. There wasn’t a living baby tucked securely in my womb fulfilling my budding desire to be a mother. Instead it was thriving against the odds in my fallopian tube where it didn’t have a shot at survival. A place where it would eventually grow large enough to rupture, potentially taking my life along with its.
I blankly stared at the ground as the doctor slowly walked into the room. Her demeanor had drastically shifted from our first appointment. In lieu of discussing birth plans and future dates, she stressed the urgency of now. Placing her hand on my shoulder, she explained the complications of an ectopic pregnancy while repeating, “This will not result in a baby born, this is life threatening. Going home to process this…is not an option. This baby will not survive and when it ruptures, you could lose your life.”
Excruciating pain radiated down my shoulder as the blank sonogram shook in my trembling hands. I had prayed for this baby. I loved this baby. Every ounce of me wanted nothing more than to flee those four white walls and cling to the non existent hope of a healthy child.
Deep down I knew that neither of us would make it out alive.
I signed the form and gripped the table as the nurses arrived with two vials of Methotrexate. A drug they informed me would “absorb” the pregnancy. The shots were quickly administered in my hips but felt like a knife slowly extracting a piece of my heart.
My first child had been medically aborted.
The walk to the parking lot was excruciating as I past an endless line of pregnant bellies in the waiting room and poured myself into an empty car. For hours I sat in the hospital parking lot staring up at the labor and delivery sign…waiting. I closed my eyes over and over in attempt to wake up from this nightmare.
Tears soaked my shirt as I begged for forgiveness: from this baby that my body failed, from my husband who I hadn’t given a child, from my late mother-in-law who had dedicated the past twenty years to fighting for unborn children. I asked forgiveness from everyone… but myself.
The guilt settled into my bones and consumed every hour of every day. It clouded my vision and damaged my spirit, but no one could see the pain. There hadn’t been a funeral. There wasn’t a name on a stone covered in flowers. No one showed up at my door with meals and support. I grieved silently in the pauses between work and life burying the pain deep in my swollen belly and broken heart. No one knew I had lost a child.
Months of merely existing past before I finally melted into a puddle on the floor. In that moment I allowed myself forgiveness. I let go of the guilt of something that was out of my control. I washed away the pain of what could have been and tossed aside the fear of trying again. That child was a fighter. A determined little soul that defied the odds and thrived in a place that was not conducive for life at all.
It didn’t survive…but I did.
I wanted to be a mother as much as that sweet baby wanted to live. There was still so much of my heart left to give and I was willing to travel down whatever road necessary to make it happen. Years of trying, IVF, adoption, it didn’t matter, I was meant to be someone’s mother.
Three years later tears of gratitude rolled down my cheek as I stood outside labor and delivery buckling my baby girl in her car seat while my toddler cheered me on. I placed my hand over the scar on my heart and gave thanks for the strength that I have gained.
Don’t give up on motherhood if that is what your heart is calling you for. It is more than worth fighting for.