I have been silent here for so long. I am not sure why. I got lazy and distracted and tired. I would start to write and then feel it was redundant or I could not form my thoughts. I am sad to say, that in many ways, Facebook has become my form of expression. Ideas copied and fragments of my thoughts and passions. Yet there is so much I do not write there. So much is hidden. I have lacked the discipline to express myself here. While my love and devotion for J are still strong and our relationship is at the five year mark, what has brought my voice back is my outrage, grief and heartache for a friend.
She and her husband conceived a child, their third. She is sweetness and gentleness personified. Their first two children are boys and this is the girl that they have been wishing for. She is now in her seventh month and last week, she went for her third routine ultrasound. That is when they were abruptly told that the baby appeared to have anencephaly and would die and nothing could be done. Anencephaly is a condition were the skull and the brain do not fully develop. these babies often miscarry or are stillborn, but if they are born alive, they only live outside the womb for a only short time. After having an enhanced ultrasound and a vaginal ultrasound, to confirm the condition, they discussed termination of the pregnancy with the doctor. Faced with delivering a baby, only to have it die in her arms a short time later, she decided to abort the pregnancy. I know this was a heart wrenching decision for these parents. Unfortunately, the hospital called her today, to tell her that, because this would be a late term abortion, she could not exercise that option. She is being forced to carry and deliver a baby, who has no chance at all of living. She is being forced to have this baby and then watch it die.
I have watched and grieved while this country has fought about insuring that citizens have healthcare. I have watched the poor be maligned and marginalized. I have watched as women in this country have their rights and their choices restricted and denied. I have watched battles about gay marriage rage and be won, only to be pushed back again. I see people all around me that are passionate about their ignorance. When presented with the truth, they are deaf and blind, but they soak up every lie that is tossed in their direction. I used to think that all of this was the birthing pains of our country growing with the times and moving towards a new direction of acceptance and fairness. Yet, I am quickly becoming fearful that what we are birthing is a malformed brainless baby that cannot live. I want better than that for my grandchildren. I want more than that for myself. I am ashamed to live in a country that is driven by fear and hatred. One where being poor is a crime, being a woman is unfortunate, being gay is a sacrilege.
Tonight, I am grieving, for my friend, for her family and for our country.