I often find myself thinking about that baby… that time.
It can be the most unlikely things that trigger the memory… and sometimes the most obvious.
Visiting Bodies Revealed, there was a section on the development of the foetus and this was illustrated by four glass jars containing examples of what a baby would like at various stages of gestation. If you looked carefully, you could see the deformity that had caused them to be aborted.
The first example was at 14 weeks gestation.
I had my termination at 9 weeks.
It was not one of the super duper scanners which can show huge amounts of detail, but enough to be able to see the undeniable shape of a baby as it rolled and kicked and turned and twisted like a dervish. It was so energetic (and I am so thin) that, even at 9 weeks, it could kick hard enough to cause the lady holding the scanning device against my belly some problems retaining her grip.
I have to admit that the contents of that first jar made me falter.
I looked at Ruf and didn’t know whether to say anything. That period of our relationship was upsetting for him too. However, it is not something that we never talk about. That’s the beauty of what we have together now. We try not to have ‘stuff’ that we hide under the carpet. We endeavour to find ways to be open about everything that upsets us, as well as anything that makes us incredibly happy.
He bought a book recently called ‘The Mastery of Love’, which has been instrumental in helping us to work through any issues that we have with ourselves and with each other. He has been reading me a chapter each night over the telephone as a bedtime story and, as a result, our relationship has grown even stronger.
We are learning how to communicate. Finding out what makes us happy as individuals, rather than placing our happiness in the hands of another and making that person responsible for it. We are discovering that two contented singles make a far more solid partnership.
I have stopped being afraid to speak out. I have changed the habits of a lifetime. The behaviour that contributed to the failure of my marriage.
I no longer hold things in and repress.
So, I whispered: ‘It makes me think of our baby.’
But he knew that already. He moved closer, put his arm around me and squeezed me tightly against him. He let me talk about what I had seen on that screen and how this was affecting me. How I remember the man between my legs saying ‘one last go’ as he vacuumed my womb to ensure that nothing more remained and then checked the container to ensure that everything was in there.
Seeing that foetus in the glass jar brought all that back to me. How the masochistic part of me wanted to look in that receptacle and see the debris also.
Ruf can never make it feel alright. Never stop the sharp pain and the guilt when I think about what I did. But he will always allow me to tell him, even though it hurts him too and might not be something that he wants to hear.
And, despite all that, what I know, more than anything, is that I’m glad I listened to my gut instinct and asked the scan operator to turn the screen so I could see my baby.
As we passed through the exhibition, I said a silent prayer for all those malformed children and a special one for my own – the statistics said the odds were stacked against him and that he would be like them.
Seeing him that day, I will always wonder.
And always know that, with all the other constraints, I just could not take the risk.
Originally posted 2010-01-26 00:04:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter