Got into a big ol' fight with my husband last night. He is sick of losing social opportunities every time someone becomes pregnant. I don't blame him, but I know he doesn't understand the way I'm feeling either. He doesn't know what it's like to watch a normal woman happily grow ripe with child. It's not his body that is defective. It's not his body that was prostrate on the table. He was not the child-loving second grade teacher climbing up into stirrups. He was not naked and spread-eagle as they tore our child away. His womb was not pierced by instruments and nascent, cherished fragments of bone. He did not bleed for months or become suicidal. He does not watch women grow as I do. It does not kill him like it kills me.
The whole thing is bizarre, I know it. An aversion to pregnant women is fairly common in women who have lost children prenatally and in women who have aborted children. I've got the double-whammy. I can't really explain it. I suppose it's just sheer envy although there do seem to be strange and complicated rules. For instance, I don't have a problem with women in traditional crisis pregnancies. Those kind I love to be around, because I can employ my pain to prevent them from experiencing the same; they take one look at my life and run screaming from abortion. On an honest level, this of course validates everything my family has been through. I'm in if for the women, I'm in it for me. What's the difference if it saves them from the SICLE cell.
I'm not bothered by pregnant women who are having medical problems. I feel very protective of them and want to help them in any way I can. I don't have a problem with a pregnancy if it comes after a loss. However, (here's where it gets complicated) if that pregnancy is successful, that woman isn't "allowed" to get pregnant again. She has to suffer like I do or I secretly resent it. I tell myself I don't feel this way because if I do feel this way it makes me a complete jerk. Life has to be fair: everyone has to be miserable or I'm not happy.
For an honest (not pretty) picture of what this is like, I have to confess that I have even caught myself just barely hoping a person would miscarry or get so sick for so long that they would be tempted to kill a child they want to get out of the illness. I'm shocked when I think these things, because I know I don't mean them. I know, where it counts, that I don't want any child to die, I don't want anyone to have to go through what we did, and I will do whatever I can to prevent such things from happening. I know my secret moments of malevolence are just an insincere component of the entire grieving process (or some troubling part of the post traumatic stress disorder I've been diagnosed with due to the illness/abortion combo). It's probably just my alienation and longing for people I can relate to. But I hate this. I don't want to be this way. I don't like diminishing our social calendar. I am deeply grieved by fleeting intervals of hopefulness that someone's pregnancy will go awry when it is contrary to everything I genuinely believe in. I want to be who I was before all this madness and despair. I want to be like everyone else who can not understand what I'm going through now.
When I was pregnant with my first child, my best friend was trying desperately to get pregnant with her new husband. It had been a year, but it just wasn't happening. I got the "flu", and she brandished a pregnancy test. I only complied to humor her and try to be sensitive regarding her obsession with all things pregnancy. But I was pregnant, surprised and delighted that I had won the ultimate lottery without even trying! She never spoke to me again until the baby was dead and gone. At the time I thought she was a monster for bailing on me. Now I completely understand. I was a mirror for her sorrow. When she looked at me I forced her to view all her own pain. She had lost a child at five months, had the second child and could not get pregnant again. The combination of pregnancy-related traumas made her a little "off" in certain situations. Take severe debilitating pregnancy illness, miscarriage, incompetent cervix, an unwanted permanent moritorium on family-building, abortion (the triple-decker doozie of them all) and plug them into the algorithm and what you'll end up with is a rather large bag of pecans.
Abortion clinics should provide a warning to husbands who are "allergic to nuts". I think it's one of the reasons so many relationships fail. 75-80% of couples break up or divorce within a year after an abortion. It has been six years for us, and I think my husband's immunity is finally waning. You see, it's ongoing; the feral horror of abortion somehow never ends.