Halloween is always a very hard time of year for me. I try to pretend it's all fun and games. But, it is all I can do to even do a little bit. I want to dress up and go to parties and go to haunted houses. I want to take my kids trick or treating and dress them up.
I just can't.
About two weeks before Halloween in 2001, I was out of town doing blood drives in the St. George area. I wasn't feeling well and took my hematocrit to check the amount of red blood cells I had. To donate blood, you have to have 38% or higher and I was always around 42%. Not this time. I was around 32%. I was sick.
That weekend, I realized I had missed my period. My test came back positive.
Monday, I went back out of town to Ephraim, Ut to do blood drives at Snow College. I hadn't told my boyfriend I was pregnant.
I spent that time in Ephraim in absolute misery. I was in so much pain that it would take my breath away and I couldn't move. I'd hunch over, trying to do my job wielding a huge ass needle and I'd be completely thrown into fetal position. The guy in charge of the blood drive wanted to send me to the hospital, but I didn't want to go, what do you say to something like that? I didn't want anyone to know I was pregnant. I convinced him to let me wait until we got back home.
By this time, I'd started growing gigantic, huge, disgusting canker sores in my mouth. No breast tenderness, no morning sickness, just cramps and canker sores... I was a little weirded out.
I guess I should interject at this point to explain my situation. I was 23, on birth control, and living with this guy. I didn't particularly like this guy yet why I was living with him is one of my biggest mysteries. This guy is going to be the spotlight of many posts. He has damaged me in many, many ways and I am still trying to heal emotionally and mentally. I would try to leave or move out and he would hide my keys, hide my things, make it impossible, and finally woo himself back into my graces and I'd stay. Over and over this happened.
So, I should not have been surprised at the reaction I got when I finally told him I was pregnant.
"Do you want me to punch you in the stomach now or wait until you are further along?"
I'm sorry, what?
So, he told me he'd give me the money for an abortion.
I knew my options were, keep the baby, give the baby up for adoption, or get an abortion.
I was 21 and in no way, shape, or form ready or ok having a baby. I didn't want one, I never wanted one, so that left 2 options. I told him that I was going to give the baby up for adoption and he freaked out. He basically told me that there is no way that he'd let anyone else raise his child and that if I did that, he'd hunt me down, kill me, and take the baby.
In my older, not so naive, not abused state, I would have reminded him that he had two children already that he had signed over parental rights and that he had another possible one out there that he wouldn't get genetic testing to prove either way, so shut up, it's my body, and get out of my way. Oh, and don't fucking threaten me you douche.
I had been with him long enough that I was so broken down. I was such a shadow of what I used to be or what I am now. He had already managed to alienate me from my friends and family. I didn't really feel I had anyone to talk to. I didn't feel very comfortable talking to his mom. I didn't want to put his sister in is path of this wrath. I chose the path that was easiest for me to deal with regarding him.
I made an appointment and was seen pretty quick in the nearest place that provided this service. The doctor did an ultrasound and seemed to have a hard time finding the embryo. I did take a pregnancy test, he found it finally, and then gave me a pill. The RU-186 pill kills the growing baby. They gave me a pill to insert vaginally the next day to finish the process and it would be over.
I went by myself.
After I took the pill, the doctor informed me that the embryo had implanted itself very close to the fallopian tube and that the canker sores have been shown to be signs of a folic acid deficiency. So, if the baby didn't grow into the fallopian tube, it'd probably have spina bifida and that I could have probably had my insurance cover the cost of it. Sorry. Shrug.
Well, that must made my whole experience even better. This "doctor" has me go through with this decision, shell out $500, only to tell me that I didn't have to be in his disgusting office feeling like shit.
In the event that I had been strong enough to walk away from this abusive man and not chosen to go the the abortion clinic, had found that I, indeed, had a baby that had a neural tube problem, I would have probably made the same decision, but it would have been on my terms. I had an Aunt whom I never met who had spina bifida and hydrocephalus and died when she was 12. It was so very hard on my dad to lose his sister. It was so very hard on his parents dealing with a disabled daughter. I couldn't do it. I couldn't put that on my parents to help me. I guess I could have put the baby up for adoption, but at that time in my selfish mentality, I couldn't do that either. I couldn't give that responsibility to someone even though they'd be fully aware of it thanks to modern medicine and ultrasounds.
So, October 31, 2001, I "miscarried" my baby in the toilet amidst horrible cramps and tears and thinking that it was for the best. I didn't want to pass the genetics of the evil I was living with onto anyone. I wanted to save the baby from knowing it's dad. I wanted to save the baby from a life thinking it wasn't wanted. Because it wasn't by me or it's dad. I wanted to save the baby from a possibly disabled life. I mostly was very selfish and didn't want to be tied to this man any longer than I had to and didn't want the pregnancy to be a factor when I was finally strong enough to leave.
I'm selfish. I killed my baby because I am selfish and was not strong and did not feel that I had a support system.
So, I mournfully "celebrate" this anniversary every year. Yet, in the back of my mind, still think it was the best decision, for where I was, who I was, and what my options were.