My son was born 3 months premature and is blind in one eye – because 5 months into the pregnancy I tried to self-abort, to force a miscarriage.
It was August 2000. I was 19 years old. I was pregnant with my first son. Patrick and I had been together since January. I had been pregnant since March.
On the way home, Patrick and I had had an argument about something. I don’t remember exactly what, but I seem to recall it was about money. I think I was complaining to him about his lack of involvement in the pregnancy. Yeah, that sounds right. He replied that he never wanted to have kids in the first place. That I had forced him into it. What an asshole!
When we arrived home, I locked myself in the bathroom. How dare he say something like that. It doesn’t matter that before I got pregnant I knew Patrick didn’t want to be a parent because it was too much responsibility and commitment. It doesn’t matter that at first I had agreed to accept full responsibility for the baby. It doesn’t matter that over the next few months I gradually put more and more of the burden and responsibility on him, until he was essentially accepting the full burden – financial and otherwise – of both me and the baby.
So there I am. Locked in the bathroom. Patrick was doing who knows what in the other room. Well, fuck him then! He doesn’t want children then fine! Fuck him! I’m only 5 months in. I can do this! A few sharp blows to the abdomen will show him! I just started punching…over and over. I was numb. I didn’t care. I kept punching myself in the stomach, as hard as I could.
Then I sat there for a while, crying. Eventually, Patrick knocked on the door and asked if I was okay. I told him I was fine.
Then I saw the blood. Ah, fuck! Panic! Patrick heard me and asked what was wrong. “I’m bleeding”, I told him. I opened the bathroom door, holding my abdomen. It suddenly hurt like a son-of-a-bitch. Oh, fuck, how am I going to explain this?
Patrick asked “What happened?”
Fuck it. Tell him the truth. Turn it around. Make it his fault. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know what to do. You didn’t want kids. I fucked everything up. I’m so sorry.”
“Holy fuck, we need to get you to the hospital. Are you okay? Can you walk?”, he said. “Did this just start? On it’s own?”
I told him “I thought I could cause a miscarriage. Then you wouldn’t have to deal with me or the baby. I hit myself in the stomach. It really hurts!”
Patrick helped me down to the car. The closest hospital was the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Carson. On the ride there I kept thinking I was in so much shit. The doctors were going to call the police. I was so scared.
While we were at the hospital I was checked by so many different doctors. It turned out that was a training hospital. So many interns. The same questions over and over. They kept asking if I’d ever been pregnant before; if I’d ever miscarried; if I’d ever had an abortion. No, no, no! Nothing! I’ve never been pregnant before. Were you in an accident? No! Nothing like that. I had a fight with my boyfriend and I was mad. I just wanted to end it. I’m sorry. Please don’t call the police. Don’t worry, we’re not going to call the police, but you really need to get some help, some counselling. Okay, I’ll do that.
I never did go for counselling.
As a result of that incident, our son was born 3 months premature. And as a result of being 3 months premature, he developed retinopathy of prematurity in his right eye – he’s blind in one eye.
My son is blind in one eye and spent the first 3 months of his life in an incubator because I was pissed off at Patrick for not wanting the same thing I wanted! I deliberately, and with malice, tried to self-terminate my pregnancy at 5 months, and because of that my son only has vision in one eye. He will never be able to drive a car – because I cared more about spiting Patrick, than about the life of my own child.
Over the years, I have successfully deluded myself, and convinced everybody else, that my son’s prematurity was due to a car accident I was in during the pregnancy. A car accident from which I suffered no injuries – not even a bruise. Of course, I know that’s not true, Patrick knows that’s not true – and the medical records from the hospital visit know that’s not true. And as long as those medical records don’t find their way onto this website, you all will continue to feel sorry for me. And I will milk that for as long as I can.