The following is a guest post from Mrs. Xstryker, the wife of Xstryker, a contributor to Delaware Liberal.
Hi DL. I’m Mrs. XStryker. Some of you know me already. I’m not a very vocal member of this community and in that light I’d like to thank the rest of the contributors for allowing me to post this guest blog.
The law that eventually passed was a “compromise” version of the original proposed law, which didn’t offer any exemptions for fetuses with abnormalities that would make it impossible to survive outside of the womb. In the previous version, women would have to carry their completely nonviable fetus to term, giving birth to a baby that would inevitably die. But now, under the compromise, women carrying nonviable fetuses will be allowed to have abortions after 20 weeks but before the woman would otherwise give birth naturally, provided the abortion procedure occurs outside of the woman’s body. So, in other words, the law will require women to give birth to their nonviable fetuses rather than have the abortion occur internally. [emphasis mine]
You read that right. I birthed a dead baby about 6 weeks ago.
XStryker and I have been a couple for 12 years, married for 7 and a half (8 this August). We are a healthy, early 30-something, monogamous couple. College Sweethearts. Both gainfully employed. I am even a “small business owner” (I have an LLC set up for my music career). I’m a total goody-two-shoes. I’ve never smoked, I rarely have more than one drink in an evening, and the only time I’ve ever had an encounter with drugs was a bad reaction to Valium during my wisdom tooth extraction. When I accidentally got pregnant a few months ago, we had a lot of issues to look at. We hadn’t been trying for kids yet because of a number of reasons, but we both want to be parents someday. It was scary, but we bit our lips and got ready for parenthood.
XStryker took over all the housework because I was too sick and easily nauseated to do it. I all but stopped playing gigs that would require me to be out too late, and cut back on overtime hours at my day job. We changed our entire routine to welcome this baby, whom we nicknamed “Little Paws.” Our families were ecstatic. Pre-Natal care and screenings and ultrasounds all showed up perfect. My genetic screen was completely clear. All systems were go.
At 14 weeks I got an email from one of those baby websites that you sign up for to tell you how the baby is developing. That email said “Congratulations! Your risk of miscarriage is greatly reduced now that you’ve reached this milestone. Now you can relax.” Hooray for the Second Trimester! Two days later I woke up from a nightmare at 2am in the Worst Pain I Have Ever Experienced. I went into the bathroom and discovered I was bleeding. I called my midwife, who advised me to go to Triage at Christiana Care Hospital. I woke up my husband and he drove me down.
The following paragraph is where it’s going to get graphic. I’m sorry. Trust me, it was worse to actually live through it than it will be for you to read it.
When we arrived at Christiana they had me fill out a form, put me into an exam room, gave me a gown and told me to undress and give a urine sample. I went into the bathroom, sat down on the toilet, and couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t peeing. I realized that I was feeling something akin to an oversoaked tampon. I reached down to investigate when I felt my baby’s foot. Its leg was hanging out of my body. It was the size of a Barbie doll’s foot, and I can still feel that print on the pads of my right thumb and index finger. That’s when I knew it was over. I called out to XStryker that he needed to get the doctor. He asked why. I couldn’t answer that question. I just repeated my original request. An RN came in and I showed her. She went for the doctor, who came in shortly thereafter. They got me into the gown, brought me back to the bed, and I gave birth. Obviously at 14 weeks, this baby was not viable.
I’ll spare you the rest of the details about that night because they’re not necessary to the story. The hospital sent me home with a memory box; it has a certificate with the baby’s footprints (which I honestly don’t need, because the footprint is still on my fingers), a tiny baby hat and a tiny hospital gown which my baby never wore. It also potentially contains pictures of the baby. I don’t know. I can’t bring myself to open the box. It’s sitting on a high shelf in a room I almost never go into.
6 weeks have passed and I’ve long been expected to resume my old routine. People are asking me if and when we’ll try again. Some days are easier than others, but even on the sunniest of days I’ll see some article about some Pro-Life Blowhard talking about babykillers and whatnot and I’ll want to punch them in the face. This is hard enough to recover from, now try to do it while politicians play kickball with your uterus. This particular bill is especially hard to swallow. I’m lucky that I live in Delaware, and that the baby basically forced its own way out. If I’d had to continue carrying that baby after it died, well, I have no idea what kind of shape I’d be in now.
I’m certain that proponents of this bill and others like it manage to sleep at night by telling themselves that I deserved what happened because I am a Jew/liberal/woman/heathen and that’s fine. I’m not going to change their minds. But if you’re at all on the fence about these laws I urge you to protect the women who want to be mothers because there are more of us than you realize. Late term abortions, pregnancy losses, these are women who chose life and had it ripped from them. Life has punished them enough. Let them move on with their lives as quickly as they can and with as much dignity as possible.
*The contributors of Delaware Liberal are honored to post Mrs. Xstryker’s story. We are inspired by her strength in writing this post. We wish her and XStryker the best.
Tags: Women Issues