"Are you ready?" he asked. I couldn't answer. I had already caused enough trouble by being unable to do it when he initially came in the room. So he broke his own "no partner" policy and let my husband come in to talk to me. There were no answers; Reenter the abortionist. I argued my hesitancy and caused even more of a delay. It didn't solve anything. I was still beyond sick.
What to do, what to do?
"Are you ready?" Of course not. My mouth said I didn't want it, but my arm stretched outward towards the needle, the last needle I would need for this horrible, out-of-control, abnormal pregnancy. The needle went in; I felt its sting. The lights went out.
For six years I've had trouble sleeping. I have nightmares and a broken sense of peace in general, but an awareness of my arms (particularly the right one) keeps me half awake. I am on guard, protecting myself from unseen needles coming for my child in the night.
A few years ago I started restraining my right arm in a bent-closed position at bedtime. Nuts, yes, but I thought it might help me sleep, and I needed sleep what with a young child to raise. It gave me security, but it hurt my arm, so it didn't really help. Still, I'd sometimes do it anyway. Just because.
There's nothing unusual about last night's dysfunctional slumber. I was exhausted and even took skullcap (herbal sedative) like a good hippy, hoping to sleep the night through. But I had a terrible nightmare. In this dream I was preoccupied with an intruder bent on stealing my child from the bed as he slept. After successfully fighting off the intruder, I went to check on my son. On the way to the bedroom I noticed the back door was ajar. Terrified, I ran to the bed where the leftover pieces of my son lay. I had been tricked.
I woke up with my heart pounding in my ears. I felt for my son's tiny form. He was in one piece. I wanted to cry, but I don't cry anymore. I just... don't. Instead I kissed him on the head and spent the next hour and a half just listening to him breathe in awe. I had a living child. One of my three children made it through HG alive. I still can't believe it. In the quiet black of night, I'm a beaming daughter, marveling to God that a baby of mine lived. "Listen to him breathe, Lord! He's alive! I did it! I HAD A BABY! ThankYouthankYouthankYou!"
I knew I should try and get some rest for the long day ahead, so I closed my eyes and prayed for sleep. It came but not without my nagging arms. This one fell outstretched and then that one. Each time I woke up. Each time I quickly tucked an appendage tightly inward, hiding the vulnerable, forfeiting crook. Part of me is stuck somewhere.
When I sleep I go back to the gurney. And there I know he is coming... coming to get me with his crude-looking dilators and white plastic bell jar. Like an ad for sorrow the tools of his trade are neatly displayed on a bi-level cart. I can hear its squeaking wheels as they approach.