In researching and reading, I've come across some very disturbing things. I'm going to muse briefly on abortion. If you are rabidly pro anything, please recognize that these are simply the musings of a woman who has lost a little girl at 20 weeks, held that little girl in her arms, and mourned for the last two months. I am not political.
Charlotte has a birth certificate...sort of. In the state of Virginia, where I currently live, if you have something like what happened to Charlotte, you can apply for a certificate of "birth resulting in stillbirth"...basically acknowledging that she died, but not that she lived...which is counter intuitive to begin with. It's a very chicken and egg type thought. Not the point. My point is that this is allowed in Virginia. It's not the case in all states, and according to my research, a lot of that is a political issue...
Apparently, if you give a baby a certificate of death or birth, you are, in some way, acknowledging it as alive, and therefore the whole pro life or pro choice debate muddies the waters. If my baby, wanted and loved, was alive and then died, then is it ok for another woman's baby, not wanted, to be killed?
Several issues I have with this:
1) I held my daughter's little body in my arms. She was a person. She had a face. She had a tiny mouth, and fingers, and the smallest, most perfect fingernails. Don't you dare presume to tell me that she didn't die, wasn't a person, didn't matter. She matters. She has a name, and that name deserves to be recorded and made official. This was able to happen for me, but there are still 18 states that don't do this.
2) I don't understand why abortion is legal until 24 weeks. I just don't. People argue that the babies aren't viable before that point, meaning that if they are born they couldn't survive, and therefore it's still ok. That's bullshit. It may be entirely emotion based, but I held my daughter in my arms...I will never believe that it would be OK for someone to kill her, regardless of whether or not she could survive outside me...and 24 weeks is several weeks past when Charlotte died. How can people think that's ok? I don't understand. I just don't understand.
3) Why is it that a baby born too soon gets a birth certificate (albeit a conditional one), yet a baby who may be older can still be killed? My daughter died. The state and the hospital and my emotions acknowledge this...and yet, were I a different person, I could have waited three more weeks and then chosen to have her ripped from me because I didn't want her? Why is that ok?
I don't have a stance on abortion. I really don't. When I was younger, I thought about it, I won't lie. When I thought about having sex in college, and the what ifs...I considered it. I don't think I would have ever gone through with it, had it come to that, but it was on my mind at one point in my life. Now, on the other side of motherhood, on the other side of loss, I can't fathom wanting to get rid of a pregnancy, of a baby. I literally don't know what to think about it. I don't want to say I'm pro-life, because I'm not one of the nutty, sign holding, bumper sticker toting, hell and damnation preaching people. I don't want to say I'm pro-choice, because I'm not one of the nutty, it's my body, feminazi, Birkenstock-wearing people. I don't fit.
Where is the group for people like me?
The people who don't want to preach or judge but who ache for the babies we lost by force?
I was a stupid college student who knew she couldn't be a mother, and, while I was thankfully never put in that position, I would have considered abortion if it had happened to me...so how can I condemn the young and foolish like me?
I've had a miscarriage at 13 weeks, and I mourned for that baby...so how can I justify abortion through the first trimester? Obviously I cared about my baby, right?
I had fertility problems after my miscarriage...so how can I justify the women who throw away everything I ever wanted for the sake of personal convenience?
I held my little girl in my arms and traced the contours of her face with my fingers...so how can I not be completely appalled that many people think it's ok for babies just like her to be ripped apart on purpose?
You know what it comes down to? I wish I'd had a choice. I wish I could have chosen for my daughter to live. I wish I could have chosen to trade places with one of the women who is throwing away a beautiful little girl like my Charlotte for a reason that couldn't possibly be good enough. I wish I could choose that.