Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Saying no is still a choice

I think from the day I began this blog, I have been a day late and a dollar short.

I was late jumping on the blogger bandwagon. I was a day late for Delurking Day. I'm just late late late -- chronically late.

And so it goes for today. I am a day late. I am earnest, but nevertheless late.

Yesterday was the 34th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. BlogHer declared it Blog for Choice Day. Everyone who wanted to could sign up to blog about being pro-choice.

I didn't know about this because, frankly, I am a non-A-list, non-BlogHer blogger, and I tend to be clueless about these things. However, I was sucker-punched when I read Mr. Lady's contribution on her blog, Whiskey in My Sippy Cup.

I highly recommend you read her post. And my comment about how I had a similar but not really story, but I could not have told it as well as she did.


Of course, these things nag at a person. And the story I have to tell came crashing back.

I was newly engaged. We had five children between us. I had three boys. He had two.

We were the the punchline to that old joke from "The Cosby Show": "You know why we have five children? Because we don't have six."

I had a long history of infertility (yes, the woman with three children -- needed artificial reproductive technology to get them), and we just KNEW there was no way for me to get pregnant the "old-fashioned way." So we played it fast and loose.

And then, in my usual fashion, I was a day late.

And then two. And then three.

In a panic, I bought a pregnancy test. They weren't so commonplace then. You couldn't buy them at the dollar store.

Two pink lines.

Holy crap. Not possible. No no no no no.

We were getting married in four months. Now THAT would be an interesting sight in a wedding dress.

We talked. I cried. We talked some more. And I continued to cry.

My youngest was 5. His youngest was 17. We were both in our 40s. We had both been crystal clear when we got engaged that we didn't want any more children.

And now I was pregnant.

Every time we discussed "that word," I cried. Every time we talked about keeping the baby, I could function, at least marginally.

When we both came to that realization -- that the idea of NOT having this baby was making me miserable -- we decided to go ahead and jump back into the gene pool, and move the wedding three months earlier.

I know what you are thinking ... that this baby turned out to be the Roo-girl.

Well, you are wrong, my friends.

I miscarried that precious life at 13 weeks, just under the 2-week-miscarriage-risk mark for chorionic villi sampling.

Among the things that hurt was having to have my wedding dress altered to account for the missing baby bump. And the result of having been pregnant, albeit by accident, made me realize that I actually ached to have another baby.

And THAT was how the Roo-girl came to be.

So why does this make me pro-choice, you might ask. After all, I couldn't actually go through with it in the end.

But here is what I learned. After all my infertility struggles, I know what it is like to carry that spark of life within me and what it takes to raise the children that spark becomes.

I instantly knew that abortion is a personal CHOICE that I would never ever ever want to take away from another woman. I just chose to say no.

Mr. Lady said it better than me. But I know it in my heart as well.


Tink said...

I absolutely agree. I couldn't, when given the choice, choose to abort. But I sure as hell don't want the choice taken away from me!

Jenni said...

It's funny you posted this today. I've been thinking of writing something along the same lines--but not--since I woke up this morning. I don't know if I will or not. I'm only marginally pro-choice. (Whatever that means, right? I guess I'm not sure what it means either.) I've never had an abortion, but I thought about it once--only once--for about two minutes. I do think it's important to have the option, especially under certain circumstances. I don't believe what some would have us believe, that it is a flip decision or that it is the easy way out.

suchsimplepleasures said...

what an amazing story!! i am completely pro-choice!! i think that, when i get back from my dr. appt...i'm going to have to be a day late and a dollar short, too!!
thanks for sharing that wonderful story!

Pamela said...

I grew up with the womens movement and had such strong feelings about my rights when I was young.

Now, my heart has softened. Things no longer appear to me in black and white.

If only we could prevent, instead of destroy.

~JJ! said...

I didn't know about this blog-fest going on either. Don't feel bad.

Great story.

Alison said...

I completely agree with you. We have walked down the infertility road before also and we became a family through adoption. People can't believe that I am pro choice because of that! I am and I strongly believe in it!!

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

I am very pro-choice. I have never been pregnant and so I have no idea whether I could actually go through with it or not but I would never, ever want that choice taken away from me or anyone else either.

Mr Lady said...

Wow. That's it, just wow.

You said it very well, sister. I am so sorry for you. I couldn't even begin to imagine the pain of a miscarrage.

Thank you so much for sharing this.


Well said...I too am pro choice...when my eight year old was conceived..his father and I had split up, before I found out I was pregnant with him...I considered abortion, since he had threw me out, I was living with my first ex again...had no where else to go...eight year olds dad was very abusive to me....I had no home, no money....and I had my two oldest to take care of...I didn't see that I would be making his life easy by bringing him into the world...his father found out I was pregnant...we got back together and I cancelled my appt with the clinic...I am so glad that I did....I don't think that I could have actually went through with it...but, the choice was it should is a woman's right to choose, to have or not have a is never an easy decision for takes a strong woman to follow through with it...I guess I am rambling here...but, I totally understand where you are coming from...thanks for sharing.

secret agent mama said...

So many women have these types of stories in their hearts, Janet. I do, too. I commend you and MrLady for being able to tell them so eloquently.

lisa's chaos said...

My fourth pregnancy was an accident but no, I could never have aborted. I am fortunate to have never had a miscarriage.

monkeysandmarbles said...

i missed out on this too! i, like you, am always late!

what an amazing story! both time i was pregnant, we had early testing for Chromosomal abnormalities since i was over 30. hubby and i had discussed it, and decided that we wouldn't abort even if the tests came back saying something was wrong. we just wanted to be prepared. and thankfully, the boys turned out to be perfect!

but i do believe that woman should have the choice.

Joy T. said...

I read your post and then went and read Mr. Lady's post and you are both brave and amazing women. I have always been and will always be, pro-choice.

Canadian flake said...

this story is along the same lines as the story I have been telling for soap opera sunday...I knew I was pro choice...but also knew I had no choice...but that is just me!!!

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