Blane Bachelor in a post for Australian website, Essential Baby, writes “My baby was never born-but I was a mum, too.” It raises a curious point about Mother’s Day, and about those whose children were never born, but are “in heaven,” as Blane points out.
Blane expressed excitement about her pregnancy, but, after finding out that their “Tadpole Tilton,” as the child was nicknamed, would have “a rare, almost always fatal chromosomal abnormality.”
And this was what happened to “Tadpole Tilton:”
In my head, I knew we were making the kindest, most humane decision for our baby, one that no parent should ever have to face. But my heart will always bear the scars of that anguish, knowing we chose the day to end our child’s life. I was 13 weeks along when my doctor performed the D&C.
Abortion is never “the kindest, most human decision,” for any baby. Unfortunately, Blane and her husband were not the only ones misguided into believing this.
In February 2014, Cosmopolitan put forth a piece on four couples aborted, and how it affected their relationship. One married couple, Emily and Dave, aborted their baby who had a mass on his neck, and regarded it as “the most humane thing.”
It is also worth noting Blane’s age. She mentions being 37, and recognizes the chances of pregnancy loss being increased with her age. She also discusses her unsuccessful attempts at IVF.
It is worth noting not only because Blane herself mentions this, but also because there are certainly implications of many first time moms after 35.
Blane does not make a point about being for or against abortion after her experience, though she does describe her emotions:
For the next few months, I felt like I was drowning in a quicksand of ugly emotions: despair, hopelessness, guilt, anger and uncontrollable, seething jealousy at every pregnant woman on the planet. I often thought how easy it would be to swallow a bottle of pills or jump off the Golden Gate Bridge, just a quick drive across town.
Along with Chris, a handful of friends and loved ones bore the pain with me. But for every heartfelt condolence, there was a well-intentioned but flippant remark: “This is just nature taking care of its problems”, “You can have fun trying again!” or, my personal favourite, “I believe things happen for a reason.”
One of the few things that brought any comfort was hearing about other women’s losses, only shared after they learned of my devastating news.
But not talking about such loss doesn’t make the pain go away. And by not talking about it – or, rather, not feeling as if we have permission to talk about it -women struggling with reproductive trauma feel even more isolated and alone, banished to the sidelines with their suffering.
I’ve never been a huge fan of Michelle Duggar, but when she made headlines last year by holding a memorial service for her stillborn daughter, complete with images of the baby, I felt a certain solidarity with her. I’m sure her motivation wasn’t to shock people or stir up controversy; instead, she was simply validating the existence of her daughter to the world. Isn’t that the least we owe our lost children?
Blane clearly supports abortion in some circumstances, or at least did at some point, considering she herself had one after a tragic prenatal diagnosis. And it is in a way refreshing to hear of women share their feelings of their abortion, to add humanity to the issue, with the pain women go through, and specifically to the child.
We will never know if this “Tadpole Tilton” child would have been born with such a disorder, and what his or her life would have been like. We will never know because this child was aborted, as his or her life was taken away before birth.
There is also another interesting point to address in Blane’s story as it relates to mothers, and Mother’s Day. While our society may consider pregnant women as “expectant mothers,” or “mothers to be,” the truth of the matter is, with life beginning at conception, a woman is a mother from the moment she is pregnant. She is a mother even if her baby dies, whether naturally or from abortion.