The Pain Of My Pain

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The beginning of something new is always hard, but once you get going, YOU GET GOING.

I have a story I need to tell. It’s a hard start considering I haven’t flexed my creative muscle in a while, but more than that, it is a hard story to tell.

A year ago I had the pleasure of meeting a man; the man of my dreams. I was 23 and while my dreams were (mostly) about my career, I had dreamt of him, after I had met him that is. Our first encounter was horribly ordinary, or maybe my expectation was too high, (perhaps my use of encounter is too dramatic? We shall leave that word for use in the Big Cat Diary from now on) either way I liked him. I was intent, as he undoubtedly was, to make something out of whatever it was we had started.

A few months (ok 2 Months) later, we had sex. It was good in the way that chicken soup is good for the immune system; it was refreshingly different, positions varied and it was more playful. Of course, I did not know better; I had only had sex with one other person; who I had broken up with. I never got to thank him though for bestowing the gift that is HPV!

1 Jun 2012 was the day our child was conceived. This is in retrospect, because I did not even know I was pregnant until 5 weeks later. I had missed my period for 2 weeks, which was not unusual considering I had missed my period for 4 months while in high school. Every kind of pregnancy test was done on me then, but they all came back negative. Later the doctors said that it was hormonal imbalance caused by a plethora of reasons from stress (Stress? I was the happiest girl, from all that happiness maybe?) to environmental changes affecting my body adaptation and all that Blah. Better than what people thought anyway. They thought that it was the Immaculate Conception all over again and who could blame them really. But even for them that was a stretch!

Back to my 23 year old self. I went to the doctor because I was having monstrous abdominal muscle cramps among other complaints. I described my symptoms to the doctor and the first question he asked: Are you pregnant? I stared at him, my forehead creased as I thought: wait, who is the patient here? “Of course I am pregnant Doctor! I just came for a chat, mingle a bit” is what I would have said, instead I managed an “I don’t know that I am” as it dawned on me that I might as well could have been pregnant.

It was confirmed, I was 5 weeks along with my first child. My WHOLE LIFE! I had been preparing for a moment like this, teachings from Mum and Dad, from the church. A moment where the decision to do the right thing would have come as easily to me as walking does. But I found myself in doubt. I considered the possibility of an abortion (At that moment it was far from my mind) I hated myself for being stupid, irresponsible! I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER!

The next 7 weeks were a struggle, obviously due to the changes in my body but the real struggle was in my head and in my heart. I had told the dream man about it and he was surprisingly calm, he knew he had to be. He explained why he wanted me to have an abortion; he was not ready, just out of a job, no stable income, etc. I explained why I wanted to keep the baby; there was simply no other option for me. This was a decision over life or death and who was I to make that decision? What power did I have?

As time passed, the dream man slowly warmed up to it. He was for keeping the baby. I should have been happy, except now I was for an abortion. Over the next 3 weeks, it was a back and forth, we never agreed on what to do. When I went back to keeping the baby, he went back to having an abortion. My friends tell me now that his decision should have never mattered, but he was partly responsible and the decision was as much his as it was mine!

In the end I decided on an abortion. Probably, (definitely) the worst decision in my life. My baby was only 12 weeks. I asked God to forgive me before I went into the operating room. I was hysterical; I cried my heart out “My baby! That’s my baby! God help me!” I knew what I was doing was wrong. But even then I was weak; I could not get out of there as much as I wanted to. The procedure was painful, but that was nothing compared to the pain in my heart. My sister held my hand through it all, but I felt like I was alone the entire time. Who was this person? I did not know her!

The dream man was not there. He called though and all he told me is that these things happen. He never bothered to call me for weeks after that, when I badly needed to talk to someone; to cry it out. He resented me for having an abortion. I could barely forgive myself for it, and here he was acting like it was my entire fault. He did not understand why I would feel bad when that is what I had wanted. It made sense at the time and I accepted it as my fault. I made the call; I take the fall, right?

I have never stopped crying over it a year later. I’m reminded of what could have been every day; my conscience never lets me forget. If you ask me why I went through with the abortion, I will tell you I don’t know. Yes. Pitiful is what it is; that damning realization that you let something beautiful slip through your fingers and without reason. TC Mark

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