Maybe if I write this story, I’ll stop reliving it every year. This  year I got so drunk at the Super Bowl I couldn’t stand up and I called my ex from the bathroom to tell him what a coward he was for leaving me to grieve alone. I’m so sick of grieving alone. I left the message on his work phone which made me feel powerful and vindictive at the same time. My abortion was in 2015 but each year it comes around as a kind of grief I am surprised by.

We weren’t trying to have a baby yet, we had been together for over a year, but both of us had been married and divorced already and in our mid thirties. I had come from so much shit and garbage this relationship at the time, felt like the right one, and we planned to get married. I wanted this baby so bad, and he did too, although he was afraid about finances. I’d grown up with so little, food stamps, one pair of shoes, kind of poverty and my brothers and I survived. I told him not to worry about expensive strollers and bassinets. Babies really don’t need as much stuff  as we think they do.

We lived in a tiny apartment in Brooklyn, but who didn’t at our age. We both had advanced degrees we would have been fine.

I was elated and terrified and the first trimester passed as it did with my first pregnancy, full of emotions, nausea and constant hunger. The scans were all normal until the second trimester, when the tech doing the sono suddenly stopped and left the room to call the Doctor. My heart went through the floor. My partner helped me dress, my skin was so dry I felt ashamed for some reason.  I knew something was really wrong. It’s that feeling you get when your world is about to fall apart and there is nothing you can do to stop it.  My phone rang it was a Dr. from a Specialty Group telling me that my baby showed anomalies that were incompatible with life. She was calling my from her car. I remember arguing with her. This can’t be right.

My partner seemed to turn into a ghost in that instant. I remember searching his face, cupping his cheek bone with my hand for some sign that we would be ok, or that everything was going to be ok, and I felt like I was touching something hollow.

Moments of shock will draw the life right out of a man. I know that now. We went back to our apartment, he sat on the floor planning six months of travel abroad. I wanted him to touch me, to comfort me, to make it better to fix it. We both got on our knees, and wept for a miracle. The next day, we had another scan, and an Amnio. She had Alobar Holoprocencephally and she was missing a chamber of her heart. If I made it to term, the baby would die at birth or shortly after the Dr told me. I knew for my mental health, a history of depression and anxiety, that  I could not wait and wonder every day if my baby was dead or was going to die inside me. I knew I didn’t have the mental or emotional strength at that time to give birth to a baby that would die in my arms. The only choice I had, in my mind was an abortion. And it was the last thing I wanted. I couldn’t tell my family, they still don’t know because they are conservative Christians.  To his credit my partner didn’t try to influence my choice. I made the choice to have the abortion. My friend told me “you cannot kill energy.” So my daughter is out there somewhere, in the multiverse alive and well I like to believe.

The pain—perhaps, the worst, is that I lost my partner and my child at once. He disappeared into depression and confusion; it was probably a mercy he came home one day and told me to move out although it broke my heart. To anyone who had to choose the unthinkable, I’m so sorry.