Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Why I sometimes hate myself. Part deux

Following on from the previous:

One woman read my last post on one of the abortion poll boards, where I ended my unheard lobbying with a few pithy, sarcastic and probably blasphemous remarks. Along the lines of being certain I am going to hell for having an abortion. Below is what this woman 'Nancy' wrote in a message to me, and how I responded.

31 July
From Nancy

Michelle, you are not evil. You simply made the decision to abort your baby. I do not personally know you *as others have also posted*, but even though I do not know the circumstances - yes, you did sin against your own body, your baby, & God. Please do not ever say again that you are "evil" & will burn in hell for all eternity. As long as you are still alive on this Earth - you can still ask God for His forgiveness *being sincere* & He will forgive you! :)
Life is not easy for anyone. This is not promised any where in the bible. The main reason He wants to have a personal relationship with you is so that you grow in "His" love & see life through His eyes - not just your own. In the process you will learn to love others & understand that we all make mistakes. And as I'm sure you've heard before - not to make the same mistakes again & learn from them. Please get involved with a church that speaks about God's truths...which has NOTHING to do with 'being religious'! Hopefully this church will teach you His truths & you will enjoy & love learning how much He loves you! Go to: Calvaryftl.org - to start your journey to God's amazing love & grace to anyone who truly seeks Him! God bless you! =)

31 July
From me:

Nancy, thankyou for your encouragement, however my comments were not entirely serious. If you are interested you can read a few of my previous posts which will explain the circumstances of my 'sin' and why I don't believe personal spiritual beliefs have any standing at all in the abortion debate. Otherwise I will be happy to share my story with you as a message if you like.

05 August
From Nancy

If you want to share, yes you can share your story as a message to me. Have a great Wednesday & God bless. =)

01 September
From me:

I am sorry to have taken so long to reply Nancy, I have been having a difficult time again for the last few weeks.
"you did sin against your own body, your baby, & God." This was something that you wrote to me. This is typical of the opinions that people such as yourself feel free to post publicly. People who belief so strongly in their own religious doctrine, that they believe all persons should be governed by it, regardless of the effect on the lives of others, regardless of each individual circumstance.
I wake each morning, every morning, afflicted with guilt that I do not have to care for my child again today. I am frequently overcome with guilt that I chose the end of my daughter's life, at 24 weeks and 3 days gestation. I have felt alienated, at times unworthy of real grief. All of these feelings are re-asserted by the plentiful material in media relating a pro-life standpoint to the public in general. I am hurt each day anew by my unwilling exposure to this. It rubs salt into the wound of my grief.
I fail to understand how a young girl who is sexually abused, a woman who is mentally unwell, or whose life situation rapidly changes can be expected to provide a safe and nurturing environment for her embryo to become a person. I fail to understand how the beginnings of life can be regarded as precious, if we do not believe that it is a child's right to be provided with safety and nourishment both before and after birth. I fail to see how acknowledging your inability to provide the very best for your child is a sin.
As for my sinning against my body, my baby and God, I would have it the other way. It is God who has sinned against my body, my baby, and placed me in a position where I had to consider ending my pregnancy.
I am married, we have been trying to conceive a healthy child for over three years, and I had a miscarriage in March last year. Four months later, I fell pregnant again.
I have followed all of the guidlines for nutritional supplements, healthy eating and lifestyle. During pregnancy, I followed my doctors orders implicitly, had scans and blood test and did everything as a woman who wants the very best for her child should do.
We waited impaitiently and fearfully to pass the 8 week mark - the stage at which I miscarried my first baby. We waited impatiently to receive the results of the first trimester screening - we passed with no problems. We waited impatiently for the halfway scan, at which we would find out the gender of our baby. I watched my belly grow, I vomited night and day, I dragged myself to work, to save money to buy the best of everything for our baby. I slept at my desk during my lunchbreaks, I walked when I had the energy.
I had my 28th birthday When I was five months pregnant, but we were too busy spending our weekends labouring on my dad's farm for me to have a birthday. My husband hadn't even had time to shop for a present, but all I wanted was gifts for our baby anyway. My birthday was on Monday the 10th of November. I planned to meet up with my friends the following weekend, and perhaps tell them the sex of the baby.
The scan was on Friday the 14th of November. When we left the clinic, there was no report from the sonographer. There was however, a message from my doctor telling me that he had delayed his three month overseas holiday, in order to see my on the following Tuesday the 18th of November. No-one would tell us why, they just told us the printer was jammed, and the report would be at my doctor's next week.
I went back to work.We spent that weekend too scared to celebrate anything. I had been looking forward to being pampered. After all, it was supposed to be the last time I had a celebration of my own life, before my child's needs became foremost.
I returned to my doctor's surgery on Tuesday. The man has known me since I was a child, and delivered my neice 5 years ago. He had spent many hours contacting other doctors regarding my results. He was almost crying when he told me his recommendation to terminate my pregnancy. My husband was several hour's flight away with work, it was arranged that he could return that night rather than at the end of the week.
We went to the women's hospital in my city the following day, and began five long weeks of traipsing in and out of appointments with ultrasound technicians, obstetricians, neo-natal surgeons, midwives, psychologists, genetic counsellors and paediatric cardiac surgeons. Their diagnoses were all the same - she was not a viable candidate for the heart/lung transplant she could not live without, could not survive long enough for surgery even if she were a viable candidate. She would never walk, and would have required frequent surgery to allow her body to grow. She had malformed and missing vertebrae, half her diaphragm missing, her organs had moved into her chest cavity, several vital parts of her heart were missing or malformed and her left luung was completey undeveloped.
We spent hours holding each other, talking to our baby, crying, choosing cremation urns. We dragged ourselves through baby stores, looking for something that we could give to our tiny, half-size baby. We delayed making a decision, we wanted a miracle to save her. I sat cherishing her every movement within me, as I watched the tears flow down the cheeks of my parents, my husband's family, my friends, and my neice.
She had told me earlier, that she didn't mind whether the baby was a girl or a boy, she just wanted it to be healthy. Secretly, she was hoping for a girl. When I told her my baby was the girl she had looked forward to, her faced cracked with an enormous grin. She shrieked loudly 'I'm going to have a sister-cousin!' before I had to remind her that no, she wasn't going to be able to teach my baby how to play with her.
For the sake of my baby's pain, the high chance that I would suffer further complications and possibly require a caesar and my husband's ability to support me emotionally we chose to terminate the pregnancy. In other words: abort my baby.
On the 19th of December last year, when I was 24 weeks and 2 days pregnant, we entered the doors of the hospital together as a complete living family for the last time. I last felt her move at around 10:30 that morning, by 11am, the drugs I was administered with were taking effect, my abdomen was fully clenched, I could not feel her movements anymore. I did not know whether she was alive or dead. It was expected that she would pass away during the early stages of labour. As I experienced my artificial labour, we spoke to the pathologist who would perform the autopsy, and with the hospital chaplain to organise the service we would hold for her, to meet her extended family. We made calls to organise a woman prepared to come to the hospital on the weekend to take castings of her hands and feet. I had wanted to have very little drugs during my labour, however, I was kept dosed up on morphine, as much for the pain in my heart as the labour.

Every day, I am reminded by my silent house, her empty cot, the chores I do not have to do.

I have let myself down, I cannot perform the basic functions of a woman. I have let my child down, I could not provide even a body for her to use, and when I was all that she had between life and death, I chose to speed her to her death.

If I have sinned against her, against myself, against God, I do not have to wait for Hell, I already live here. What good is God's forgiveness, when all I want is my child?
If your God is one of compassion and mercy, and if God will help those who also seek to help themselves, then surely the gift of our human intellect is best used when showing compassion to our companions on this earth? If we have been given the power to understand pain, to see into the lives of the unborn and perceive their suffering, either mental or physical, surely it is not wrong to allow them to be free of earthly pain?

We would have loved to have held her here with us for a longer time, but there were no guarantees, other than the end. How could we put our desire to feel like loving parents, to feed our egos, before our daughter's right to be free from pain and suffering?My story is one of the extreme ones, I know. But I'm not the only one with an extreme story. Please remember how much words can hurt before declaring your own beliefs and values as the only 'right' way.

Thankyou for reading my story,


Oddly enough, she never got back to me after that........


  1. thank you for sharing this story. i can't stand when religious speak comes into the mix. i have been in your shoes as my husband and i terminated the pregnancy of our very loved and much wanted baby girl, Emi at 22 weeks. A year later we would lose her sister at 23 weeks due to an incompetent cervix, though she was healthy.
    it has been very very hard to say the least. I am thinking of your much loved precious baby.
    wishing us peace down the road...

  2. Sadly, I'm not surprised that this lady never got back to you but I hope your words made an impression on her. I hope she will think twice before she makes sweeping generalisations.

    Your love for Olidea is so very clear in your writing. xo