So…I’m barren. There, it’s out; I’ve written it–it’s real. Those words, so small in form, so insignificant looking in type, are a jagged edged shard; a corner from the broken china plate of my heart– grinding a permanent cut that runs deep and bleeds afresh with every hilarious toddler blog/ facebook post, detailing birth of perfect,new babe/ happy family photograph, intact with smiling cherub cheeks and loving, down lashed and moist eyed mother gazes.
My situation is complicated. I have chosen to become barren through a procedure called Essure , where a doctor blocked my Fallopian tubes with a tiny, metal coil. What this Doctor forgot to mention was that these coils also seemed to block my heart chakra, but not my tear glands; they blocked my connection to self and healing and ancestors past and not yet, never born, but not my guilt or shame.
I chose this childless path after years of inner and outer dialogue and debate. I chose this path because I have two chronic diseases which limit my ability to support life inside my womb and risking it anyway, could have meant limiting my own life, or quality there of.
So even though I made this choice with eyes open and awareness intact, I still didn’t expect the emotional fallout.
When I was nineteen, I became pregnant while on the birth control pill. It was about the second time I had sex with my then boyfriend and it was devastating news. I wasn’t ready to become a mother and he was in full panic mode. I went to specialists who told me my chances of a healthy pregnancy to full term and viable birth, in terms of terrifying and cold statistics and worse case scenarios. I decided to have an abortion. My mother thought that she saw God resting in my womb and that if these same scary statistics showed that I could be one of the two percent who can become pregnant while on birth control pills, then my pregnancy would be just fine, if I had faith. See the thing she didn’t realize at the time was that I had faith aplenty; faith in my education, faith in my travel plans and future husband, who I knew wasn’t meant to be the one I was with then and most importantly, faith in myself to know that I didn’t have the physical, mental or fiscal resources to bring a child into the world just then. The key words being: just. then.
Having all this faith certainly doesn’t make the choice or process to abort a fetus any easier, as I’m sure all women who’ve shared this experience can attest to, but was it right for me? Yes. Do I regret it, now? Yes. Can this dichotomy of emotion live inside me side by side in harmony? Not really and this is why I’m having such a hard time. I haven’t reconciled this choice because I always thought I’d have a chance to bring a baby into the world– when my health was more stable and my life better situated. So….(extra period included for emphasis) what do I do now? Grieving is messy. It’s an intolerable condition for many outside of the grieving sphere, yet, it is an acceptable part of being human. It has to be, because at one point or another, we all experience grief. It is all these things encompassed.
Grief is not a physical ailment…nor is depression, or sorrow–or anxiety, necessarily. These are not things we wear on our physical being. They are silent hangers-on. Internal, yet affecting, holistically to our persons. I feel that every day I exist is a day I am reminded of my coming death…that my life is finite and that I will not leave a legacy behind me in my genetic code. But I will write…and get my grief out on to a page–the truth in black and white ink. A silent witness out in the collective ether. Is anyone out there?