After 12 months of trying to fall pregnant I lost our first baby 10 weeks into the pregnancy, about the same time many women choose to abort their babies.
My husband and I were absolutely shattered. Our deepest desire as a couple at that stage was to start a family. Many dreams, hopes and a lot of love died when our baby died. We already felt so connected and full of love for our first child.
Even now, 17 years later, our family misses our little one who never lived to take a breath on this earth. It was three more years after that miscarriage before I finally fell pregnant again.
I still remember the day of the miscarriage and every little detail along with it. I remember the pain and the realisation something was very wrong. Living on a rural property 45 minutes away from the nearest hospital and calling a doctor for advice I was told, quite callously, that if I was having a miscarriage there was nothing they could do but to come to the hospital when I felt like it and they would give me a curette.
I was in labour, having contractions, and only 10 weeks pregnant with our first child. I was a wreck, emotionally and physically. I was young and naïve and had no idea that a miscarriage could mean real contractions, a transition period and an actual delivery. Still grieving for my Mum who had died less than 2 years earlier I didn’t know what to do and I couldn’t call on her for help or support.
After a few hours of labouring I gave birth to our little, beautiful baby. The sack was fully in tact and inside was our child that didn’t make it. My husband and I were able to hold our baby, weep together and grieve for the life lost. We caressed his 10 little toes, held his two perfectly formed hands and stroked his lovely little face. The pain was excruciating but I would not trade that opportunity to hold him, see him and say goodbye for anything in the world. Had we gone to the hospital that would never happen as our child would have been dealt with as a lump of tissue and disposed of accordingly.
Why am I telling you this? For many reasons. One main reasons is to share my story and the pain we experienced in losing a child. Many of you have had similar experiences. This is something that doesn’t get talked about anywhere near enough. I was terrified and confused because I had never heard about anyone else’s experience at that stage. I didn’t know the depth of pain, the fear or the ongoing grief that haunted me for years to come.
Friends and acquaintances I have met since have shared similar stories. I also have met or been friends with women who have had abortions who carry a deep pain and grief within them because of their loss. No one had told them prior to their abortion that they would feel grief over the loss of a life that had been growing within them. They were told they were just getting rid of a mass of cells, they could have the procedure and move on with their lives. Too many women actually experience the exact opposite.
In this day and age of political correctness we are told to shut up and mind our own business. We are indoctrinated into the rigid and harmful attitude that babies must be called a foetus and that they have no value and worth. There is an unwritten law that we can’t ever speak about the grief and pain of the loss of a baby, a child, through abortion or miscarriage because it will offend or upset those who want to get on with life without guilt or pain. As a result too many women suffer in silence.
Eminem is a song writer and performer. I don’t like his music of much of what he promotes. I am not one to use crude language to express myself and prefer to listen to people who are more masterful of the English language.
Recently though he released a song called River that touched me deeply. Along with Ed Sheeran he performs a powerful song about the grief of losing a child to abortion. A song where he doesn’t refer to a foetus but his child, his baby. And his pain is quite evident.
Here is one verse:
“I can't keep my lies straight
But I made you terminate my baby
This love triangle left us in a wreck, tangled
What else can I say? It was fun for a while
Bet I really woulda loved your smile
Didn't really wanna abort, but fuck it”
You can read the rest of the lyrics here: https://genius.com/Eminem-river-lyrics
or listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BXDsVD6O10
I am glad he has released such a song and I hope it promotes a healthy conversation about the reality of abortion, even miscarriage, and most definitely loss. It hurts. There is grief. It is not like having a cancer cut out, or your haircut, or a toenail removed. The loss of a baby is far more significant and it needs to be treated as such.
This will no doubt hit a raw nerve with many but I don’t apologise for that. If you have had a miscarriage or abortion, and you are experiencing grief I encourage you to get support. You don’t have to suffer in silence.
Unfortunately too many people try to reduce conversations about abortion to “it is a woman’s choice” or “what about rape?”
The reality is the majority of abortions are not performed because of rape but because of convenience and often misinformation. While many people believe that it is solely a woman’s choice because it is her body I challenge that argument. Even Eminem admits the aborted one is a baby. I believe every baby has value and worth and needs to be considered in the equation.
These are not easy conversations to have, but they are necessary to have. Too many women suffer in silence. I for one am happy to support any woman, or man, who has lost a child to miscarriage or abortion. Without judgement or condemnation.
A civil society needs to have these tough conversations and it is time to stop trying to silence people who hold a different view.
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