Monday, January 14, 2008

From Abortion to ART

When I was a teenager I was so naive and desperate for love. Alcoholic father, overly critical mother and all that. For some stupid reason my parents let me start dating at the ripe old age of 14. Throw in a few Judy Blume books, some naive teenage fantasy, and the next thing you know the tender moment with the boyfriend who loved me turns into date rape in the back of his father's van. It wasn't violent in a way that he hit me or anything, but once you're literally backed up against the wall and terrified and you've said no for the tenth time there isn't anywhere to go. I had willingly gone to make out with him, and I'd never heard of date rape, so out of shame I didn't tell anyone. I was also so desperate to believe that the monster loved me that I continued to date him and have sex with him. After years in therapy I've learned this isn't that uncommon.

Well, by the time I was 15 I was pregnant for the first time. I was terrified to tell my mother, but somehow I managed. She kept it all hush-hush from my father which just added to my shame. He wasn't really involved in our lives too much even though he lived in the same house. He's not a happy drunk. I was convinced that he would just think I was a slut and want to kill me or something. Now I think my mother didn't want him to get angry and blame her.

Somehow I managed to keep that secret while still going to school and trying out for the cheerleading squad. I had some spotting but nothing that remarkable. My mother met with some doctors and she took me to have an abortion over my protests that I loved my baby. Mind you by then I knew what a creep the boyfriend was, and I didn't even speak to him anymore, let alone tell him I was pregnant. After the abortion the doctor told my mother that the baby had stopped growing weeks ago so essentially the abortion ended up being a D&C for a missed miscarriage. I never believed her until I was an adult and proceeded to have three miscarriages with my husband at ages 22, 31 and 36. The fact that I always lost my babies between 7 - 8 weeks and the two that were tested were found to be chromosomally normal males tells me that something's wrong with how my body works.

That abortion at 15 messed me up so bad that I was completely screwed up about my "right" to have a child up until a couple of years ago. I didn't believe I was worthy or could be a good enough mother. I now believe that's part of why I never went to an RE or pursued fertility treatments despite the fact that we took years to conceive each time. Of course there were other factors along the way, but that's beyond the scope of this post. So now here we are after some failed FSH/IUI cycles about to pay out $20K for IVF at a clinic that's half way across the country, no less. I can't freaking believe it's come to this. It's been a long road from abortion to ART, and I'm still so battered that I find it hard to have hope.


B said...

I'm sad for you.

It sounds like a confusing and painful journey. I am glad you are not going it alone.

I wish for you what I wish for the rest of us.....

stength, healing........... and a bubba.

Lost in Space said...

Huge hugs for all you have been through. My "first time" was also date rape by a boyfriend when I was 16 and he was 21. I understand the shame and pain that goes along with this. I am so sorry for all your losses. You have done nothing wrong and are very worth of having a child. Your little one will be so loved and protected. Hang in there, hun.