On Mother’s Day 2012, I was 6 weeks and 6 days pregnant. I wanted desperately, desperately, to keep the baby. But I was realizing more and more with every passing day that I wouldn’t be able to. So with every post I read on my Facebook newsfeed, wishing new mommies and mommies-to-be a Happy Mother’s Day, I would dissolve into tears. I wished the apocalypse would just COME already so I didn’t have to make the agonizing decision that was ahead of me.
When I called my own mother on that day, she said to me in her typical weepy woe-is-me fashion: “What’s to celebrate when my children are far away?” (My mother is your average narcissistic martyr, a specimen found readily amongst immigrant parents, I imagine. Or maybe mine is just extra special.) I wanted to reach through the phone, throttle her, and scream, “you HAVE children!!! You got to celebrate bringing them into the world, and they love you enough to CALL YOU EVERYDAY no matter how far away they are – even though you are a miserable, self-centered PAIN IN THE ASS – and you have the UTTER GALL to complain?!?! Some of us don’t GET to have our children, some of us don’t GET to celebrate today, and BY THE WAY don’t think that your fucked-up, shame-driven child-rearing and your complete inability to be supportive of your own children had nothing to do with that sad reality, MOTHER.”
Instead, I told her to enjoy her picnic on the lake with Dad, hoping that I had managed to hide all traces of bitterness from my voice.
Not being bitter was a daily battle. I watched enviously as young mothers I know (some of whom got pregnant much the way I did – unmarried and unplanned) toted their kids around, beaming with pride and joy. I hated all those mothers that posted pictures of their kids on Facebook. Every. Fucking. Hour. I’m not kidding you. What’s up with that? Seriously, Little Timmy dumps a bowl of cereal on his head, and your first thought is to pull out the camera? Actually, I get that. I would probably do the same thing. Sure, grabbing a mop would be more efficient, but it would not provide ways to embarrass your son in front of every girl he ever brought home to meet you in his teenage years. I’d be that snap-happy mom for sure. Which is probably why I chafed even more with each adorable picture and every cute quote posted (“Today little Timmy pointed at the lady ahead of us in the grocery aisle and yelled ‘her underwear is showing Mommy!’” Seriously, Little Timmy is awesome. I want a kid like that). Facebook became the bane of my existence. Well, in a whole new way, at least.
I never want to turn into one of those bitter people that can’t be happy for others. I realized a few weeks back as I glared at my computer screen with a picture of Little Timmy smiling innocently back at me, that I was beginning to turn into one of those people. This, in turn, made me realize that I had a lot of anger to vent and a lot of fingers to point at a lot of people, including myself. Looking back now, I realize that I actually went through the five stages of grief before I even made my decision. I suppose that means that I had made my decision right at the start, but needed to grieve the loss of something that I did actually want (a baby, duh) before I came to terms with said decision.
Damn. How’s that for a breakthrough? I just figured that out as I wrote today’s entry. Thank you, blogosphere. And thank you, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross. Can I call you Lizzie?
The point is, the bitterness came from not wanting to own my decision. Today (Day 2 after the abortion), I was at an event crawling with babies (pun totally intended). And I felt the bitterness creeping back into me. And when my conscience wagged its finger at me and I banished the bitterness, I became overwhelmed with sadness and longing. So… today’s lesson is that the Kübler-Ross model cannot be applied in a linear fashion to real life. That is, emotions are one giant, quivering, slobbering, mass of whatever that stuff is that the Blob is made of, and sorting through them is messy. Thanks a lot, Lizzie. (See? Still bitter and assigning blame. This will be a long road.)
Ah, blame. Let’s talk of that another day. Today, I am going to wrap myself in a blanket with a pint of fake ice cream (I couldn’t do dairy when I was pregnant. Well, hello there, coconut milk ice cream! Where have you been all my life?), lock the door to keep the Blob out of my house for the night, and watch some mindless TV. Now is the time to indulge, my friends.
P.S. Lest you think I am turning into a creepy stalker that will kidnap Little Timmy, rest assured. That cannot happen since he is a figment of my imagination. Well. That just made me sound even crazier. Folks, there is no Little Timmy. Just a lot of cute kids in my life that are tormenting me these days with their cuteness.