People keep commenting on how I’m so “brave” and “courageous” to be blogging about all this, and it seems so weird. I mean, I appreciate it, but it doesn’t feel to me like there’s anything brave about it. My reasons for blogging about it are all pretty self-centered, really. I’ve had over 3,000 visitors to the blog in the last couple of days (which is crazy; my highest prior to that was 300), and I can say with a fair degree of certainty that a lot of them came away feeling sad or upset. Many cried. (I can make strangers on the internet cry, what’s your super power?) If I’d kept all this to myself, those people would have been a little happier, or at least the ones who are actual strangers and wouldn’t know about it anyway. That doesn’t mean I think I’m wrong to be sharing it or anything, just that it seems weird to be told how courageous you are for making people cry.
Like I said, my reasons for blogging all this are pretty self-centered. For one thing, it helps me a lot to just get it all out there. Like I told Christopher the other day, I go out and I feel like I want to just tell every person I meet about it. Not literally, but it just feels like, I don’t know, that people should look at me and somehow know. This is such a huge thing for me, but for the rest of the billions of people in the world, it isn’t anything at all. But at least I can share it here, and some people do know now, and care. That helps a little, though I’m honestly not sure why.
And writing it out helps me process. I’d probably be blogging about it just as much if no one read it at all as I do knowing that hundreds of people are reading it. I go back and re-read my posts a lot. It helps me understand my own feelings sometimes, to remember what I said about it. And it keeps me from saying the same things over and over to Christopher. I’ve probably told him twenty times how glad I am that I don’t have any doubts that we made the right choice. I can’t imagine how much harder this would be if I felt guilty on top of everything else. I’m sure he’s tired of hearing it. So I say it here and I can go back and re-read it when I want to tell him again, and somehow that satisfies that need to express that feeling over again.
It also is comforting to me to think that some good might come out of all of this. By blogging about it, I might help make it easier for someone else who is going through something similar. I read other people’s blogs before and during all of this, and it helped me to feel like I wasn’t alone, and to have some idea what to expect. Being able to hopefully pass that on is a good feeling. Several months ago my aunt posted this quote on Facebook- “You are unique more by what you have suffered than by what you have achieved. If you want to be a ‘net giver’ to those around you, put the awards away to show your grandchildren someday, but modestly allow your scars to be seen as you struggle along with me to trust that God can use our story, no matter how painful. No matter how embarrassing. To give courage and stamina to those who now carry wounds where we bear scars.” -Steve Saint. Even though I’m not religious, so I’m not relying on God to use this, that last line really resonates with me. I don’t know if anyone will ever benefit from what I’ve written, but I can hope for it.
And there’s also the fact that by blogging about it, and sharing our experience, I can help to raise awareness that there is so much more to the abortion debate than many people ever realize. Growing up in a fundamentalist household, I genuinely never knew that there could be a reason to have an abortion that isn’t selfish. Even after moving away from that and becoming pro-choice, it just never occurred to me that there could be a situation like ours. Leaving aside the issue of whether it’s right or wrong if your reasons are selfish (that’s a debate I am definitely not prepared to have), our situation makes it very clear that there are situations where an abortion is the most selfless choice you can make. And the doctor at the clinic said that the majority of the women he sees, who come from all over the country and even all over the world for his help, are dealing with the exact same sorts of issues that we were. I always had this thought that abortions were easy, and maybe early ones are (I wouldn’t know), but I can tell you right now that this was anything but easy. I would have vastly preferred to have been able to have a normal, hospital birth. This was much harder. And if even one person reads our story and stops, even for a second, to reconsider their assumptions, as I would have been forced to had I read something similar when I was younger, then maybe that gives all of this a little more meaning.
So I don’t know, maybe it is brave to be open to the world about something so personal, and to risk the nasty comments that our choice might prompt in some people. (So far only two negative things have been said, and both were fairly tame.) But I’d say I’m getting more out of this than I’m giving. Still, there’s nothing wrong with that. The more good that can come of it, the better, whether it’s for me or others, right?