Monday, March 28, 2011

secrets

I've been thinking about secrets today. My co-workers don't know that we chose to end the pregnancy with Aiden. I only told them that he died. I keep wanting to tell one in particular because he keeps sending me articles about horrible anti-choice legislation hoping that I will call or write to protest. I'm not sure if he suspects that we had to make that choice or just knows that my political and moral leanings are pretty similar to his, but I would like him to know exactly how personal it is to me. I'm scared to though. I've held this secret very close. My sister knows - she paid for the procedure and held me while I cried. My mom knows - I knew without doubt the she would support me. I have 4 very close friends who know because I trusted them with my heart, even if I wasn't sure if they fully agreed with our decision.

My father doesn't know. My brother doesn't know. My catholic grandfather and Aunt don't know. I don't know why I never told them. I think most of them would understand and not judge. But I'm not positive. 'Probably' was far too risky when I was feeling so very fragile. Even now I don't think I could handle my choice being questioned by someone I loved. I saw what that did to my husband when his best friend from high school made a judgmental comment. I don't think he's spoken to her since.

I don't know where I am now with this secret. Saturday we spent some time with my husband's friend from childhood that he recently reconnected with. He and his family have welcomed us with open arms and tell us that they consider us family. They know we lost a son, but not exactly how. We have not wanted to tell them because they are very religious and we are not sure how they would react. I'd like to think that it wouldn't matter. You know that old saying - the friends who matter won't care, and the friends who care don't matter? It's crap. It would hurt us deeply if these friends didn't support our decision. And what if they outright rejected our friendship because they believe what we did in compassion is a mortal sin? How would we explain that to our daughter who is in love with their family? But not telling them opens a little gap of mistrust, and it bothers me sometimes.

This friend, lets call him Fred, has a large family. On Saturday I was at the store with Fred's wife and sister in law. It turns out that the sister in law had 8 babies die. One was a twin that was anencephalic. She told me that it was god's gift that the baby didn't live to be born, that she didn't have to care for a dying infant. That really, really hurt to hear because I PRAYED that Aiden would let go so that I wouldn't have to make such a horrible decision and he would die in peace and not suffer. I wanted to tell her how lucky she was but I was sure, by the things she said, that she wouldn't understand. Just as I can't comprehend watching a baby of mine die that way, I don't think she could comprehend directly causing the death of her baby - no matter how sick it was. Many days I think she has the easier outlook. But I also think I did the right thing.

It's hard, keeping this secret. Thank you so much for letting me share it here without judgement.

11 comments:

  1. It is hard to keep that secret, I think because being in the situation where you have to make a decision about how your child's life will be is very traumatic and it would be nice if people knew that you were coming from that place. I hope that makes sense.

    Your post is very moving. Now I realize that I wish I had kept it secret from some people because those friendships have been ruined. But it's not all because of the judgments on their end - it's more like I can't forgive or forget their judgments. In any other circumstance I can be forgiving, but where my son is concerned and where the choices I made because they were best for him are concerned I have no patience for thoughtless people.

    I'm glad you can speak openly about Aiden here. The love you have for him is so apparent.

    (((hugs)))

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  2. I think that people who have lost babies naturally have an easier outlook also. They can be angry and blame God or see it as a blessing in disguise, but I feel like I am constantly trapped in a circle of blame since it was 'my choice.' I prayed for the decision to be taken out of my hands as well. What a terrible place to be.

    I hope you choose to share your secret with your pro choice coworker. I think the world needs to hear our side of the story!

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  4. Must be such a heavy burden to carry this secret. You already have enough on your plate with your grief. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this as well.
    Absolutely no judgement here. None whatsoever. Impossible to know what one would do in a situation like yours, but I'm pretty sure my "choice" would have been exactly the same as yours. I hope it is a choice I never, ever have to make.
    Your bravery is an inspiration.
    xo

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  5. Of course you can share your decision here. I'm not calling it a secret though. It's something that you have every right to keep private if you want to do that. You're exactly right, too...telling anyone could risk hearing their judgement and that definitely isn't something that you want to deal with.

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  6. This post made me cry. I want to tell me secret too sometimes and then sometimes I want to pretend it never happened at all. My husband likes to call what happened a miscarriage and that makes me so mad. My father likes to use the A word and that makes me even angrier.
    I understand what you mean about wishing for Aiden to have been taken on his own, I wished for that too, all the time.
    I dont know what the right way is.
    I am coming up on a year mark for us and I am more grateful than ever to have you and the rest of this community.

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  7. I would just tell people that you completely trust not to criticize about the decision you had to make. A hurtful comment would just be so devastating to hear.

    I haven't told alot of people that Jacob had amniotic band syndrome. If anyone told me that it was for the best because of that, or asked what kind of life would he have lived while missing some fingers on each and and likely having a prosthetic left leg, I doubt I could really talk to them again without hating them. Only my immediate family and baby loss Mom's know. I told everyone else he was perfect in every way. I don't see the need to tell them. I don't need their opinions or their judgements.

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  8. I'm so sorry we live in a society where you need to hold that secret so close and fear the judgement of others. I wish that people were more compassionate towards situations such as yours and really tried to see things from your point of view. I'm glad you at least have this place in which to turn for support, love, and understanding.

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  9. I have no wise words but I am sending you much love and gentleness. I hope that sharing your thoughts and experiences here brings you some peace. Take good care of yourself. xxx

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  10. I know I'm really late but I wanted to echo what someone else said - it's something you choose to keep private, not a secret, not something to be ashamed of. But I wish it was something that could be talked about more openly. I hate that there are people out there who would judge you. Like Sally, I think I would have made the same choice you did.It breaks my heart that anyone has to make such an impossible decision.

    sending love xx

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  11. I agree with B- there is nothing wrong with your choice not to tell those friends. I'm a firm believer that a person has no obligation to share things they'd rather keep to themselves. I'm sorry for your pain- I think you're a brave, compassionate woman.

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