It’s been a rough few days. Yesterday was a year and a half since Noah was stillborn. And I ran into hurt and judgment in an unexpected place.
I have walked a fine line of being open about what exactly happened, but I have been afraid to be too open. Yesterday underlined why. You never know who will share your story. And who will twist it to fit their own world view.
I was blindsided yesterday at a birthday party. A friend of the mom’s and I started chatting. As soon as she heard my name she told me that while we’ve never met, she has prayed for me. I was immediately wary. What had she heard? Who had told her, and why? It turned out I was wary for good reason. She works for the local crisis pregnancy center. Aka anti-choice organization. She invited me to their “post-abortion support group.” She told me that while the situation was different, lots of people come who regret heir choice.
I don’t. We made a decision. Noah was loved, wanted, and dying. More brain damage was occurring all the time. He could not ever breathe on his own, and his condition was getting worse, and their was no treatment available. So we induced labor. Removed him from the life support of my body.
And yet this woman, whose name I don’t even remember, has sent me into a tailspin. My nerves are frayed. Why do I care about this random woman?
I think it’s that she represents so many. I know that. I have friends who have been so supportive that I have never shared with. Because I imagine a reaction like this.
I fought to stay pregnant for months. I fought to give birth to him in the way that felt right. I fight every day for his memory. For recognition from friends and family that I have three sons, not two. I am tired of fighting. This is not a fight I am up for. This is not a fight that I feel I can win. It is too entrenched.
I wish Dr Seuss was right. But in this, there are people who mind, and they do matter. Friends, potential hiring committees, parents of future students, this is something that matters to many. It feels like a hopeless uphill battle. And I don’t have the strength for it.