She still wasn’t feeling well. She had gone home the day before and gone directly to bed hoping to kick whatever was ailing her. Slept the whole night through. But today it persisted. She stood up from her desk and began to walk across the classroom when her steps faltered and she gasped. The sudden realization that she hadn’t felt like this since… she stopped to steady herself and shook her head in denial. It couldn’t be. She couldn’t be…
For the next week she threw the possibility around in her head. Talked herself out of the plausibility. She was on birth control. He pulled out. They used condoms. There was no way. This was impossible.
A couple of evenings that week, she would pour a small amount of wine into a glass and hold it as they watched TV just to give the illusion that all was okay. As she watched him down beer after beer, she would think to herself, “Please don’t let this be real” and she would raise her glass and pretend to sip.
But as each day passed, she could no longer deny it. She felt the changes. She knew the signs. Yet she couldn’t believe it was possible either.
Too afraid to do it at home, she took a little detour on the way to school the next morning and purchased a pregnancy test. She simultaneously wished her plan time would never come but also wanted it over with. The loud shrill of the bell signaled it was time and so she made her way to the restroom. Carefully reading the instructions that clearly stated to wait 2 minutes for the result, she went through the motions. Lifting the stick, it took only seconds to blare the truth she dreaded. Pregnant. She was indeed pregnant. She held the stick in her hand and felt her eyes begin to burn with tears. Felt the hot tears slide down her cheeks. Staring wide eyed at the two lines that changed her life forever.
How could this be? She didn’t understand when it would have happened. She racked her brain for when they could have been careless enough for this to become reality. She had just done this. Her baby was only 6 months old. She barely slept now! How would she ever sleep again? And she hated being pregnant. It was miserable. She didn’t want to endure 9 more months of that torture. Pregnant!?
And then the dread pulsed through her body as she thought about telling her husband. She quickly jumped up from toilet and made her way to her colleague/dear friends classroom. She walked in with a tear stained face. Her friend had a class but immediately ushered her into the office instantly realizing something was wrong, quickly instructed her students to distract and busy them, and then turned to her.
“I’m pregnant” she said as she slid to the ground and covered her face with her hands. Tears streaming unrelentlessly. She cried. She complained. She voiced her shock. And with a calm and loving voice, her friend took her hands and said, “I don’t think you are as unhappy about this as you seem. I think its more that you are terrified to tell your husband.”
“We only have a couple of weeks to decide and then the price goes up” he said to her as she stared at him in disbelief.
“Here is the information I found on it. You just take this little blue pill and it will make all of this go away. You can tell your friend that you miscarried and no one else has to know. Do not tell anyone else about this. I’ll be right here with you through it all, I promise. And when we are ready, I’ll give you another baby.” And he took her into his arms with such gentleness. It felt dirty and wrong. How could this man that loved her hold her so softly while saying the harshest words?
He left her standing there shell shocked. Her world had become a black hole that didn’t make any sense. Why did she have to even make a choice? What was done was done. Right?
For the next few days, he remained gentle with her but as the deadline approached, he became more irritable and pushy. She kept trying to think of ways around it. She wrote him letters about how much she already loved this baby. She told him that God wouldn’t have given them another if He wasn’t going to help them provide for it. She bought lottery tickets in hopes that a pile of cash would ease his mind on affording another child. She grasped for any straw that could make him change his mind.
But he was an unmovable wall. A baby was out the of the question. A baby was going to cost him his dreams. A baby wasn’t in the plans. And there was a way to get rid of it. And he didn’t understand her reluctance.
As the days went on, she begged herself to just say yes. To just make him happy and give in. She tried to convince herself it would be okay. It wasn’t murder. No one would ever know. But she would know…
“I’m pregnant! I’m preeeegnant!!!” her sister exclaimed in a sing-song voice. “Now you can give me all your hand-me-downs and baby stuff. This is going to be perfect! I’m PREGNANT!” her sister laughed out.
She hesitated. Normally this news would have her jumping up and down but instead it was overwhelmingly shocking.
“Me too…” she pushed out quietly, interrupting her sisters chatter and causing her to pause.
“What did you say?”
“Um… me too,” she choked out again.
There was another pause and then a joyful screaming at the other end of the phone. Her sister was thrilled. Her sister was rejoicing. And instead of the happiness she should be feeling, tears were sliding down her face.
The blue pill has a name. Two actually.
Mifepristone. This one tiny pill ends a pregnancy. It sounds so simple and clean. Swallow and the problem goes away. This pill blocks the hormone progesterone and without this, the lining of the uterus breaks down and slowly starves the life growing inside and effectively ending the pregnancy.
Misoprostol. The second medicine makes it all go away. It causes cramping, bleeding, and mimics that of a miscarriage. The life that had been growing inside now slips into the toilet and is flushed down the drain. And this death goes unnoticed. Legalized murder.
She chose “No”
The two week mark had passed and he was livid. Now it was going to cost them more to get rid of the problem and he made her aware of that at every turn. Made her aware that it would be her fault if they had to declare bankruptcy. It would be her fault that they were splitting up. It would be her fault that their daughter would no longer have a mother and their son wouldn’t have a father. He threatened to leave her every single day. Telling her that she would be left alone to raise two kids and would never see their daughter again. He screamed at her for being fat. For being stupid. For letting herself go. For breathing.
At night she would lay on the couch, far away from her angry husband, praying for a way out. Praying for a miscarriage. And she would think “How sick is it to be praying for the death of your own child? What is wrong with me?”. But she would pray it anyhow. Beg God to take this choice from her. Make it for her. She couldn’t comprehend how was she supposed to choose between her beautiful daughter or the baby growing inside of her? And why did she have to choose? She didn’t understand. Nothing made sense.
She stopped eating. Not having the energy to even chew. Her anxious stomach churning and aching. The weight began slipping off of her as she crawled through each day. She did the bare minimum to care for her six month old son, unable to offer an extra cuddling or attention. She took care of his basic needs in the night and her 6 year old daughter was on her own.
In the mornings, she would drag herself to work with the look of a zombie. She had no color in her face. Her eyes were heavy and sad. Her colleagues and students knew something was wrong but she wouldn’t speak of it. She just existed.
And in the evenings, she went through the necessary motions but there was no heart behind it. Just a raging sadness and sickness. A constant turmoil of saving her baby at the cost of her daughter. And the hate emanating off of her husband was unavoidable. It made her cringe. And the vile things he said to her without any remorse confused her. Who was this person? How had life come to this? Shouldn’t this be a happy time? Shouldn’t they be in this together? So why was she so alone?
New Years Eve
She had become used to this strange man that looked like her husband but didn’t act as him. This man hated her. This man found her repulsive. This man found her weak. He hadn’t touched her in almost three months. They did not share the same bed. They did not talk about their days.
When he was home, he gave her the cold shoulder until the beer made it to his head and then he raged. Raged at her for having the audacity to become pregnant. Raged at her for ruining his life dreams and goals. Raged at her for being so ugly and weak. Raged at her for defying him.
It hurt badly but she had become used to it. She had stopped praying for a miscarriage but rather for God to show her husband it would be okay. That they would be taken care of. That a baby was a blessing and not a curse.
She weighed twenty pounds less at 12 weeks than she had when she had found out she was with child. Her eyes were sullen and sunken in. When she slept, she dreamt of nothing. But with an infant and a 6 year old in the home combined with the fear of her husband, sleep was hard to come by. Saving her babies life was worth it.
December 31st. Midnight. She had gone to bed early. She didn’t care about the holiday or the new year. She had nothing to celebrate and nowhere to be. Her daughter was asleep in her bedroom and her baby was asleep in his crib. Her husband out drinking with the boys. She had crawled into her own bed and quickly slid into unconsciousness. She awoke to his presence crawling into the bed with her and stiffened. He had not shared a bed with her in over almost three months nor touched her. What was he doing?
And then he spoke,“Let’s just put this whole thing behind us. It’s a new year and fresh start”. He wrapped his arm around her and turned her to face him. She didn’t speak. She didn’t know what to say. And she didn’t trust him. But he was touching her. She felt such relief in that alone that it didn’t even cross her mind that there was no apology. No remorse. Just a statement.
And then he was peeling off her clothes and entering her. No kissing or foreplay or emotion. She knew it felt wrong. She knew something wasn’t right still. But the tears slipped from her eyes anyhow because it was over. The cold shoulder was finally over. And so she let him fuck her. And when he was finished, he rolled over and fell asleep leaving her cold with tears in her eyes.
“I knew that something was wrong when you watched me cry inconsolably, over something you had done & you didn’t even flinch. You didn’t attempt to apologize. Nor were you remorseful. Instead, you carefully twisted it around to be my fault. I knew then, I was dealing with a monster; not a person.” -Via (Loyalgirlnotes on Instagram) Monster.
She knew he was a monster. Or had acted as one. But she couldn’t bring herself to believe it. She couldn’t believe this was the man she had given her entire life to. And so she made excuses for him. He was scared. He had let fear overcome his senses. He hadn’t been in his right mind. That man wasn’t her husband. Her husband was gentle and kind. And so she pushed all the warning signs aside. She squelched all the alarms going off in her mind. And she went back to what she always knew, believing the best in someone. That monster had been temporary. He wasn’t real. It was over.
When someone shows you who they really are, believe them.