Opening Up

I can’t tell you, blog world, how big of a relief I’ve felt since we opened up about our termination. What a weight off my shoulders it is to say the word, to say that we had a termination; we didn’t just “lose” Cate.

For so long, I’ve felt like I haven’t been doing her memory justice. I’ve lied — by omission — about her death, and was therefore denying a part of her story. I haven’t done that about a single part of our journey to parenthood, so I hated doing it then, even though it was such a private matter.

Responses to our story have been mixed, as you would expect. For the most part, strangers and family/friends alike have been very supportive. It’s been interesting to see who has stayed silent, of course. I’m left to wonder if they’re ashamed and just want to bury their heads in the sand about our truth, or if they just don’t want to comment on such a private thing. But I can’t care about it, I suppose.

The mixed bag has included people who refuse to read our story because “the A word” is in the title of the article. They assume, based on seeing the word “abortion,” that they know our story and know how to respond. They know what we should have done. Some of my favorite responses here have included that we should have given Cate up for adoption, found a couple struggling with infertility who would love her.

As if we didn’t love her and as if we didn’t struggle. Both of which are covered in the article, but apparently that’s neither here nor there.

There are those who accuse us of not wanting an imperfect child. There are those who say that the termination was as painful or more than her condition would have been had she survived delivery. There are those who say they could never.

But mostly, there are those whose hearts go out to us. Who say, no that they could never do what we did, but that they could never imagine our pain, our torment, our heartbreak. Who rightfully say that, since they have never been in our shoes, they can’t say what they would have done or judge us for our choice.

I thank these people. So much. I hope Olivia grows up in a world filled with more of these people and fewer of the ones who jump to judgement and condemnation while holding their Bibles high.

Opening up about our truth, telling the world that we made a decision to terminate our very loved, very wanted little girl, has been terrifying and eye-opening. Terrifying for us, eye-opening for us, and, apparently, eye-opening for others, too. I’ve had people tell me that they never knew stories like ours happened. But they do. It’s not common by any means. But it happens, and it’s heartbreaking, and I wish those who damn us and call us murderers and tell us our child should be taken away or both of our girls should have died… I wish they understood that.

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