Wish You Were Here



*3/21/12- I am overwhelmed by the interest in this post – I’ve received many emails about it from people saying they thought it was good that I posted this. One gentleman I conversed with even said he agreed with another reader when I asked him if he enjoyed it because (I was told) it gives men “a voice”. If it helps just one man or woman, it’s worth discussing. Thank you, readers, friends, et al.!

Friday, March 12th, 2010 is a day that I’ll always remember. It’s the day I was unable to accompany a friend to terminate her pregnancy.

My friend was obviously afraid, nervous, and unsure, so I had to be as supportive as I could, especially because I couldn’t be with her. But, I also had my own feelings about the situation; unbeknownst to my girlfriend: I didn’t want her to do it.

Not because of self-righteous and/or religious reasons, but because there were so many reasons why she could have opted to keep her child. I’m sharing my reasons in the hopes that it may help another woman who may come across this blog, and is wrestling with the choice to terminate or continue with her pregnancy. I asked my friend if it was okay with her to write and post our recent discussion about the situation, anonymously, of course, and she thought it was a great idea that would also give her some additional healing.

1. Her decision was made too quickly. I believe she found out about the pregnancy on a Monday, scheduled the termination the next day, and that Friday, she had the procedure. Her reasoning was that she didn’t want to get attached to her growing fetus because if she did, she would never be able to follow through with terminating. But she didn’t really think about it…how could she have made such a major decision, literally, overnight….without discussing it with the man who helped create this unborn child?

2. She made the decision with the right intentions, but the wrong REASON. Her decision had nothing to do with her as a unique and whole person, and everything to do with the man she was involved with. He would be angry with her. He would resent her. He would resent the baby. He would say she got pregnant on purpose (she didn’t). It wouldn’t be good for his other children who were going through some difficult times- she didn’t want to add to their stress. HE was going through a stressful time. Not one time did she start a sentence with, “Because *I*…” every sentence about why she had to terminate started with, “He would be…” And, I know that deep inside, she wanted this baby, but she would not allow herself to even think about that possibility. Clearly, she was putting what she thought was this man’s needs, desires, and wants in front of her own. That’s no way to make a decision – she totally excluded herself from the equation!

3. She ARRIVED at the decision to terminate without including the father. Then she was angry because AFTER she told him (not asked, not “discussed” – she informed him that she was terminating in a day or so), he didn’t attempt to stop her. But why would he have done that? She had already made up her mind! And without his input! The morning of the termination, she did ask him if he was okay with her decision, and he told her that he was okay with it. She held on to that for months afterwards, saying that she made the right decision because he had the opportunity to speak up if he had any doubts. However, I said to her, “If YOU had any doubts, why didn’t you tell him? Why did you expect him to read your mind about your confusion or doubt? He was respecting the decision that you made….without including him in the PROCESS of the decision. You’re a dumb-ass, and I say that with love; you’re a dumb-ass!” She was a little annoyed with me for saying that, citing that he was acting weird and was avoiding her earlier in the week, and to make matters worse, they had made plans to have lunch the day after the procedure and when she asked him about it, he cancelled – so she didn’t have a choice – she had to make the decision without his input. To that, I say…okay, maybe he was behaving that way, and if she had been further along in the pregnancy, sure, make the decision without him. But she had time! She was only 6 weeks along, which goes right back to number 1 – she reacted too quickly to a very serious situation which required a little time to think. I might have been more at peace about the whole thing if she actually did something she toyed around with: keeping the baby, not telling him, and moving away…but, of course, it was just a fleeting thought because she really respected and cared about this man, but – this leads right into number 4….

4. She had the means, resources, and wherewithal to be a single parent. She was older (in her thirties), she had a great job, some savings, she did want children at some point, and she was lucky to have a family that would have been very supportive. And friends! To me, she aborted out of convenience, not necessity. I am not judging here. Merely stating a fact.

All of these things I think about from time to time, especially when I see her around children. I know that some of it is me projecting, wishing it was me who had created a child with the man I love, because *I* would not have made such a huge decision so easily and so quickly. Again, not judging here, just stating facts. And I know her – I’ve known her for a very long time, and I know that if she had been thinking about herself at all, maybe I’d be baby sitting the cutest little 18 month old baby boy or girl right now! I know their baby would have been absolutely adorable. It’s been two years, and we haven’t really discussed the termination in over one year; she always said she would have rather spoken with him (the father) about it, but when she brought it up to him once, he seemed as if he was brushing it off. So, I don’t bring it up unless she does, which is very rare. But, for some reason, this March 12th, 2012, found me remembering that day, and I had to ask her something, so I sent her a text asking her to call me. I asked, “Did you ever talk with ____ about the termination?” “No, I don’t think he cared too much. To be honest – I think he was probably relieved that I did it. Remember I told you he has a girlfriend now? I think that may have been why he was acting weird with me at the time; I think he was starting to see her around the time I got pregnant.” Knowing what I know about the situation, she’s probably right. I then asked her if she was angry with him. She said, “No, not at all. Do I have regrets about some things? Sure, but I’m not angry- it’s kind of my fault why I got pregnant, anyway. I do wish we could have had an in-person conversation about the whole thing.” The matter-of-fact way in which she answered, gave me the confidence to ask her what I really wanted to know, “Do you ever regret doing it?” She was quiet for a few seconds and then she replied, “Yep. Every day of my life since that day.”

Ladies (and gentlemen), we have the privilege of living in a country where we can choose to terminate a pregnancy if we believe that is the best choice for any individual situation. If you ever find yourself dealing with an unexpected pregnancy, really take some time and think about all of your options, and make the right decision for BOTH people, and for that unborn child.

~*~For Belinda Danielle. Or Isaiah Daniel.~*~

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2 Responses to “Wish You Were Here”

  1. The issue you spoke of is a very difficult thing for many people to discuss, and I feel this needs a greater dialog like this. I think you made the right decision with you’re friend. I think your post is helpful for those people going through it and the friends of those who go through it too. So all in all a very nice post, thank you.

    • Thanks for commenting, Matt; it’s great to have a man reply to this type of topic. It’s definitely a difficult thing to discuss.

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