Life as told by Journey
A verse of the bible said over the megaphone is muffled between the blurry glass doors. The words echo through my footsteps as I walk down the glossy marble stairs. It was I that once marched through Washington DC believing the same rights as them but now there I was crying to God asking him why. What did I do to deserve this? I was eighteen weeks in when I was requested to end his life. A decision that will most definitely haunt me for the rest of my days.
For the first three months of his life I doubted his existence. I watched too many episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and truly believed I had pseudocyesis. (symptoms of pregnancy but no baby) The test read I was pregnant and my body was living it too but my mind was too freaked out to accept it. Did you know roughly 15 to 20 percent of US pregnancies end in miscarriage within the first trimester? So before your child even breathes this scary world’s air you have to wish he/she even makes it out of the womb. That’s where I was for 90 days, without being able to hear his heart beat or see him move. (on a waiting list as I had no insurance) Every morning I would check the bed for a pool of blood. (dark, I know) It has always been and will always be my fear of getting pregnant, feeling the loss.
With no health care, I had to sign up for Medicaid which left me at the nearest “best” hospital with a three month waiting list. I called everyday to see if there was a cancellation. It felt as though from the start I was being set up for failure. On the day of my first appointment, the waiting room was insane, like cattle being sent to the slaughterhouse (little did I know I would be the one being slaughtered). I felt terrible for the women 36 weeks pregnant who had to sit there, wait, then be rushed by the doctors who had a line of women out the door. When I finally saw my doctor, he belittled me when he faced the ultrasound screen away from me then whispered to himself that I didn’t care enough to look. When it came time to finally hear the heartbeat the doctor received a phone call with a ringer he didn’t even bother to silence, checking his phone he quickly printed us a blurry picture, walked out the door never to be seen again. Of course, I followed behind him, right out of the hospital swearing to never go back until I got a phone call with a nurses’ plea of forgiveness. I gave in. Maybe it was then I signed my son’s death. [Quick Side Note: I am not blaming the hospital, nor will I even mention what hospital I went to.] My gut told me that hospital wasn’t right, does that mean another hospital would have done a better job? Probably not. What I think; if they had given us or him their undivided attention we could have been saved a few weeks of heartache and suffering.
Between my first visit and my next visit I stared at the pictures of my child. Nervous like any mother but ready to take on the challenge. At this point I thought I made it through the hump, the hump of loss. The only path I saw was me crossing the finish line with a sweet, smart, handsome child named Journey. We named him that after the news we received week 16. We thought we were giving him a strong name to get him through this dark time. It was never a name, it was what Andrew and I were about to embark on. The doctor gave us an ultimatum of life, sickness or death. Those three words turned joy into fear. I prayed, our families and friends prayed. I truly did not foresee his future I was blinded by my burgeoning belly. How could he be sick, my belly told the tale of a life ready to live. Unfortunately we had to wait two more weeks, two long weeks to get a scan that would burn our hopes and dreams faster than a dragon’s breath. The doctor didn’t even tell me in person. He called us on the phone to tell us that our child was sick, dying. Time got the best of our little miracle baby. So the next day we met with another doctor who gave us an address to terminate Journey’s life.
Andrew and I cried for what felt like centuries. The feeling was similar to Bruce Willis talking to Liv Tyler over the NASA screen right before he hits the trigger in Armageddon. [Am I the only one who can cry on cue for that movie?] The decision to end his life was so hard, I was searching endlessly for signs telling me there was hope. That what I was doing was utterly wrong. Right before the procedure I asked the doctor to check one more time, praying the other doctors were wrong, but they weren’t. The doctor immediately noticed the same symptoms. He was my last saving grace! It was then, I knew God wanted me here. God put me on this path of death. Why? I don’t think I will ever know the answer and I would never doubt him. [we all know what happened to Moses] Truth i’ve never felt loss like this before, as spoiled as this sounds I never had anything go bad for me really. I believed in magic and I thought magic believed in me, but I know now magic comes with a price. Maybe this was my time of sacrifice, of suffering, to truly see the value of life. Maybe a boy needed to crush my heart. Or maybe we desperately needed a guardian angel. Who knows?! The only way out of this mindset, is with humility. What I fell in love with was an imagination, while people lose loved ones all the time, loved ones they have shared years of memories with. In order to value life, to stay humble I need to remind myself that I am no better or less than anyone who deals with loss. It is the part of life that keeps us grounded and encourages us to live in the short moments we have.
Today, I have no choice but to be a new woman; Embark on this Journey with an angel, a haircut, a “babyless” body and a new set of eyes for the future.
Love More, Peace More and Roar More.
Your Wild Spirit Guide,