I had been married for about a year. My partner and I were on our way down a black hole of opiate addiction. I had been clean for a while when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. In the 90s it was common to leave w that diagnosis and an Rx for as many pain pills as you can take a month. I spiraled out of control quickly. I was also starting to steal meds from my workplace (I’m an LPN). So that’s where I was at in life when I got my two pink lines. I told my husband I was pregnant and admitted I couldn’t do it and wanted an abortion. It was so hard to say out loud. I wanted a baby like a lot of new brides. I just needed time to get my life back on track. So I made my appointment and went. It’s a blur. I remember pulling into the Auburn clinic that morning through a pack of anti-choice protesters (they were always there) and went in the back door. I remember the lobby and waiting area were fancier than I expected which is an odd thing to notice I guess but my mind was trying to not absorb what was about to happen. The ladies working there were nice. The doctor had me lay back on the table, hooked me up to some monitor and knees up and out. I focused on the ceiling while the nurse walked me through my procedure (“you may hear this” and “you may feel that”). Before I knew it I was in the aftercare rooms w several other women, all of us wrapped in pre warmed blankets in recliners. All of us trying not to make eye contact with each other but still peek to see if any of them were “like me”, whatever that meant. Finally, my husband put his arm around me and walked me to the car. I sat down, popped a few pain pills and glanced up in time to give the protesters the finger on my way out. It was after two more years of addiction, entering and staying in a Methadone treatment program and months of keeping an ovulation notebook before I got my third set of pink lines in my life. I carried Arianette Catalina, my precious daughter to her due date. This was the same day I found out she had died in my womb the day before due to a “cord accident”. I delivered her through an uneventful (if you don’t count my sobbing) vaginal birth and held her in my arms for a while before she became too blackish-blue to be recognized as a real baby. The nurses took her away and we buried her a week later, my husband and I being the lone two pall bearers for our miracle because the casket was so very small. I know some people may read this and weep while others will snarl and say God punished me for my earlier transgression. I used to agree, be it God or karma or whatever I believed for a long time it was my fault my child died (either as karmic payback for my abortion or because I did jumping jacks that fatal day, trying to start labor). I watch my daughter,8 sometimes and wonder how life would be if Arianette would have lived. Would they look alike?, get along? Be glad they have a sister? I will never know. Through all of the pain and heartache I have endured (self inflicted mostly) I never have regretted my choice. Thank you for giving me a place to share this story without fear of judgement.
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