The Second Trimester, Part 1: The Aborted Abortion
The Second Trimester,
The Aborted Abortion
I had given up all hope for returning to the Other Side. And then a miracle happened.
Mom went in for a routine X-ray, to see how I was doing. The next day, she was called back to visit her obstetrician immediately.
He was a very old dude. A Seventh-Day Adventist. Religious people . . . they’re a real trip. They have all these notions about the Other Side that are laughable. They’ve got no idea. They once knew, but on This Side they’ve forgotten, and have made up all sorts of hilarious gobbledy-goop about it. My Other Side pals and I used to joke about it all the time.
But anyway, this doc was very old, so he was going to find out for himself about the Other Side, very soon. He had a grave look on his wizened face, that he employed to transfix my mother’s eyes and hold her hypnotic. He droned in a slow, steady, extremely serious monotone, “We found a very large tumor on your ovary. It might be cancer. If it is, your life is in danger.”
He scheduled my mom for a biopsy. After that bit of surgery, that I watched with interest from a short distance, she went in for another consultation.
“It’s cancer.” he solemnly proclaimed, with his aged, crackling voice.
My wide-eyed mother fell dead silent for one of the few times of her life. Finally, “Cancer? Are you sure?”
“Yes, we’re very sure,” the doctor continued. “And it’s very advanced. Your life is in danger. You must have surgery immediately to remove everything. It’s more than a full debulking. You need a complete hysterectomy as soon as possible.”
“A full deb . . . deb . . .”
“Everything has to go!” old man doctor interrupted, while waving a bony arm. “Including the fetus.”
Holy shit! A thrill shot through my cosmic aura, and I lit up like Manhattan at midnight. I was going to be aborted! I could go back to the Other Side after all!
My mother’s reaction was different. She closed her eyes. She took a deep breath. And I read her mind. She felt elated! A hint of a smile curled one side of her lips. She then opened her eyes and addressed her doctor.
“No,” she slowly and firmly iterated with conviction. “I will not abort my baby. I don’t believe in abortion. I’m keeping it, and I’ll have to trust in God’s will.”
Goddamnit! I had a religious fanatic on my hands, who wasn’t going to allow me to escape! I was really pissed off. I wanted to shout at this woman that there is no God. But really there is. Kind of. It’s just not the sort of God conceived by the mortal clowns on Earth. What people think of God is as laughable as what people think of the Other Side.
Then it occurred to me that religion had little to do with my mom’s decision. When I read her thoughts, and read her heart, I detected that she felt delighted at the grim news her doctor gave her. And when I read deeper, I figured out why she felt so elated. She perceived herself as unworthy of love. But with a cancer diagnosis, she could now command sympathy, and get attention from family, friends, and medical professionals. She was about to enter center stage of a great medical drama, and be the star of the show.
She would be the heroine, struggling bravely to save her unborn child. Trying to beat the odds. Garnering sympathy from all quarters. Held up to the attention of the world as someone lovable and respectable.
She didn’t give a damn about her fictional God, or me. This was all about her. My mother wanted love. And so because of her selfishness, I wouldn’t be aborted.
Well shit, this was going to get ugly. I still hadn’t given up hope for escaping from her womb, but now it appeared that she would have to die before the escape could be effected. And if they took me by C-section, my escape might be prevented, even if she did die.
But there was nothing I could do. I was completely at the mercy of modern medicine and the cancer slowly devouring my mother’s body. I could boo and hiss at her doctors, while cheering on the tumor, but my role was relegated to that of spectator.
Come on back in a few days, or so, for the next installment of The Birth of Tippy Gnu, entitled, The Second Trimester, Part 2: The Lie.