Empty Jars

Empty Jars

Then, I heard my name being called and I froze. My heart started to race. I remember a tightening in my abdomen and chest. My legs were shaking, but I got up and walked towards the nurse.

I walked into the room where I was met by two other women.  David waited outside. Of course, he paid for full anesthesia so I would be knocked out.

One of the nurses gave me a gown and instructed me to put it on with the opening in the front. I did what I was told. I looked around the room and noticed that there were no pictures on the walls.

The doctor came in and asked me to lay on the examining table. She rubbed my abdomen with a gel and placed a sonogram reader on my belly. Then I heard it…thump thump, thump. Before I knew it, she turned down the machine. I didn’t hear it anymore. She left the room.

I laid on that table looking up at the ceiling with the staff setting up the equipment, which they explained would act as a simple vacuum to dismantle the contents of my uterus. I saw empty jars that I imagined my baby would be in. After all, I was familiar with the jars that were filled with bloody contents from abortions. I myself distributed those images to many as I marched on the streets of DC protesting the very action I was about to embark on.

The doctor came back in and asked if there was any other questions I had before they put the mask on me. My mind raced, but I couldn’t get the words out. “How long was it going to take? Will it hurt? Will I be able to have children later? Can I call my Mom?” However, none of these words that I was thinking came out of my mouth.  “No,” I heard myself answer though it sounded as if it came from someplace else, outside of myself.

The nurse placed the mask over my nose and mouth and instructed me to start counting backwards and from 10 to 1. I took a shallow breath and started counting, “10, 9, 8,” then I remember crying out the words …”WAIT…STOP!!!” But no, they were only thoughts that never made it out of me as words before I was knocked unconscious and was unable to speak, move, or save my baby.

I awoke screaming, and I remember crying my heart out. “STOP. DON’T, I want to keep her,” I screamed.

The nurse who was startled by my screaming, sheepishly said, “I am sorry. It is over.” I let out a curdling scream, rubbing my belly, and clenching my very soul.

The nurse helped me back on the table. Apparently, I jumped off it as I came to. I laid on that table for what seemed like hours. Crying, rubbing my belly, feeling the emptiness. A feeling that I did not know until that day. I felt an ache in my heart like no other. Yes, I was sore in the abdomen area and remembered that they told me I would have some cramping and bleeding after the procedure.

One of the nurses came into the room with a large pad and told me to get dressed when I was ready. I remember how they looked at me. Faces filled with shame and sadness. They must have known that I was remorseful, and to know that they were part of the reason for my distress must have been upsetting. Or maybe I am just imagining that, and all they wanted was to get the room ready for the next woman, and I was just holding them up. I don’t know.

They encouraged me to eat something, brought me juice, and helped me up. I walked out into the waiting area with all eyes upon me as if they heard me cry out from afar. I don’t know if anyone did…I cried to the angels for I know they must have heard and were weeping for me.

We went to a hotel for a few days. I lost it. I remember crying for hours and then staring at the walls and ceiling. We would watch television and then suddenly, I would go into a rage. Crying, screaming, begging God to please give me back my baby. I was a wreck. David would calm me down and hold me.

I would be okay for a bit but then wake up from a deep sleep crying again.  David had to call friends for support. I threatened death, accused him of horrible acts, and blamed the world for my action. “I want my baby back,” I cried over and over again.

To be continued…