*Warning* If you are dealing with fertility issues, I urge you to stop reading this post. If you are greatly offended/angered by abortions, stop reading this post. If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all. I mean it, I will not tolerate harsh words.
My best friend has been through one of the hardest things she will probably ever have to face. My best friend had an abortion. This was not a decision she made lightly. This was not an “oopsie, gotta go fix this problem real quick” kind of thing. She had just gotten her Mirena removed due to medical complications and was getting ready to start her birth control when her husband wanted sex and she complied. He knew she hadn’t started her birth control, but that didn’t stop him from going in unprotected. I am not saying my friend is free from responsibility form this, but her marriage to this…man is severely more complicated than I can get into.
He began suspecting my friend was pregnant and told her that if she was then she needed to get an abortion. She has two children and this was not the first time he’s said this to her. She loves children and she is a wonderful mother. She devotes so much of herself to her children that she often forgets to take care of her needs, but has started taking steps to take care of her and one of those steps was going to college.
When she told me she was pregnant it was very clear she was distraught. She wanted another baby later in the future, but with the complicated situation she is in right now it was definitely less than ideal. Her husband, clearly, was not supportive, she does not have supportive family nearby, and I am not able to help her because I live on the opposite side of the country. Her two children are still very young and she is pretty much the only one taking care of them. She was stuck between a rock and a hard place.
I also found myself between a rock and a hard place and I wasn’t sure which way was the right way to handle what I saw coming. Anyone who really knows me knows where I stand on abortion. For the sake of being thorough, I am against it. She let me know her feelings and that she knew how I felt about abortions and I told her that this was her life and she was the one who has to live with the decisions she makes. I also told her that whatever she decides I will be here for her, support her in any way I can, and love her just as much as I ever have.
She experienced every emotion you can think of as she was trying to decide and I listened to her, saw her struggle and her pain, and tried to be her support, voice of reason, her everything. I prayed every day that she would decide to keep the baby. I am not someone who prays often, only when I am very desperate. I prayed and I cried. The day she told me she had decided to get an abortion was a very dark day. I was still dealing with my depressive episode and I felt like I was doing everything wrong. I felt like I wasn’t supporting her enough and at the same time I felt like I wasn’t trying hard enough to convince her to keep that baby. That night I cried for several hours until exhaustion sent me to sleep. I did my best to communicate with her as often as possible so she didn’t feel so alone.
When she went to the clinic she found out she was six and a half weeks along and they said she could take a series of pills that would make her miscarry. They said it would feel like a painful period. They don’t even know the half of it. She was given the first pill and told she could not throw up for at least an hour after taking it. She lasted an hour and ten minutes. She was shaking and feeling nauseous the entire day and she was waiting for the pain to start. It didn’t that day.
The next day she stayed in bed all morning. Her husband complained to her about her “laziness” which only infuriated her and stressed her out more. She snapped at him and he left her to her own thoughts. When it was time to take the pill she decided to take it while in the shower to try and calm her. It didn’t take long for the pain to start.
This next bit is gruesome and I won’t spare much on the details. When the blood clots started coming I began to get worried. A few days before she had mentioned the urge to search through it and find the baby. She felt sick and awkward thinking this, but, honestly, I didn’t find it sick at all. I could understood why she would want to do that, but I discouraged it telling her the baby was barely the size of a pea and it would only make her feel worse. What she did do, though, was a big lesson in humility and humanity for her husband.
With each clot that came and every bit of pain she felt she made her husband look on. She showed him in gruesome fashion what exactly she was going through so he could see for himself what it was to have an abortion. It became more real to him and with each cry she let out and every bit of blood he saw he realized that an abortion is something serious. It’s not an act of magic that suddenly takes your problems away, it is a painful, messy, horrific process. He told her that if she got pregnant again they would keep the baby. Apparently seeing all this was too much for him and it enraged my friend. We were both shocked and angry that it took her going through all this to find some sense of humanity and realize what an abortion really is.
The process took a couple days and my friend told me it was as painful as having a baby, but without the joy of actually having the baby to hold and snuggle and love. I could feel her start to pull away from the world and trying to keep in contact with her was becoming more difficult. When she went back to the clinic for an ultrasound to see if the pills had worked she texted me letting me know her fears and worries. What if it hadn’t worked? She was pretty sure it had because her morning sickness had gone, but there was still that “what if” and she did not want to go through a surgical abortion.
Then, after a few minutes, I received her text:
I could feel her heartache from thousands of miles away and my heart broke with hers. We knew this was going to be the outcome, but it didn’t make it any easier.
While many spent their Thanksgiving being thankful for family and what they have, being happy with family and friends, my friend was so alone in her darkest days and as hard as I tried to be there for her to the best of my abilities, I was not physically there which added to the loneliness. It has been a couple weeks since she went through it and her pain and suffering has been forgotten by her husband and whoever else knew about it out there. The pain is still fresh within her and it still puts a lump in my throat. My best friend has had to carry on with her life and take care of her children as if nothing happened. I only hope she doesn’t dwell on the “what ifs” and “what could have been”.
I did not write this for others to judge my friend. This post is meant to bring awareness and also to, in a way (and with lack of a better word), memorialize what my friend went through. Everyone around her ignores her suffering and this is one of my ways of letting her know that I am not ignoring her, that what she went through will not fade away unnoticed. She often talks to her unborn child to let him or her know that she does love him/her and that she is sorry this has happened. I love my friend no matter what and I believe deep in my soul that she will be reunited with her baby in heaven. Until then I will pray she finds peace.