…in the strangest of places if you look at it right.” Grateful Dead
“You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you might find
You get what you need” Rolling Stones
“Two of my favorite quotes of all time.” – Lisa
This is another long and barely edited post – buckle up or just read this first sentence below.
Alrighty, friends, loved ones, world. We made the decision to keep our baby – OUR baby – the Brutini.
**But, first…we’ve been asked a lot through this whole process, “why be so out there?” “Why put your private life on display for all to see?” Well, both Anne-Marie and I feel strongly that there is too much silence and shame in our world. I decided years ago when I came out to stop the cycle of secrets and shame – in all things. I chose not to hide any longer how difficult it can be to run a small business with a plastic smile pasted on my face. I chose not to pretend that I don’t need help and support and care – even cacti need some sunshine and water! Anne-Marie and I chose together to share our story so that others can know that they are not alone – that none of us are alone and there is no shame in sharing our humanness. As a result of our brutal honesty, we’ve received so many messages and heard so many stories from strangers and from people in our lives that had never talked out loud about their personal struggle with some of the same things. We were bowled over by some of the stories – we had no idea and thank you for sharing all of you with us! We were also advised not to talk about this either, especially if we chose to terminate the pregnancy, but we felt sure that it was not in our life intention to hide. When we reached out through this to those we trusted, the tidal wave of human connection consumed us and we were held and heard and loved by loved ones and strangers, now new friends. How can we not be the change we want to see in this world? For real?!
It has been the most excruciating 2 weeks of our lives. Anxiety causes me not to sleep – Anne-Marie sleeps to cope. Days of shutting down just to cope in a zombie-like state, crying at every little thing with absolutely no fucking patience for anyone else’s ridiculous drama and whiney bullshit. Nights of me tossing and turning and with my wife needing to sleep through the pain – most nights I was literally getting 3-4 hours of broken sleep – off the couch on the couch pacing the floor.
Making the decision to kill your baby is no fucking joke. Yes, I said it. That is what this was. Without belittling the pain and anguish of losing a child to a miscarriage – it is not the same thing! That choice was tragically taken from you – we had to chose – we had to make the horrific choice whether to kill the human we created or continue on knowing what the future could bring. That burden of responsibility is unbearable. As I mentioned before, I went so far one night to contemplate suicide as it seemed like an easier choice. Other nights I prayed that the choice would be taken from me and I would wake up bleeding and cramping and knowing that pain of losing a child.
During one of my sleepless nights I found this article and the author articulated it so well that in just changing a few details, this is our story too. I needed to read these stories just as much as I needed to read the happy stories.
Anne-Marie and I would violently swing from one decision to the other moment to moment – it was interesting to observe how when one of us would say, “I just can’t do this,” the other would present thoughts and ideas for “why not us and why don’t we try?” And then vice versa. Our love for each other, especially through this, is undaunted and the support we have for each other’s experiences resolute.
The grief, the anger, the sadness, the fear, the darkness felt insurmountable. A few friends pointed out that the grieving was for the death of a dream – the expectation of a “perfect”…”normal” child – we mournfully agreed. An analogy friends shared and that we read on some blogs, was that it was as if we planned for a trip to Hawaii and instead while the plane was in the air we were rerouted to China. No clothes for China, no guide books, no language skills, and just not what we had our hearts set on. I begged to differ – it was more like planning for a trip to Hawaii and having your plane hijacked by terrorists who take you to a prison camp with no hope of rescue. That’s how dark of an abyss we were in.
I looked to my spiritual practice and my teacher for any guidance and she reminded us that our teachings tell us that we are in no way locked in to taking on the karma of anyone or anything else – not even biology – and that we have free will and the power to make choices from our own hearts. I took time – a lot of time – to sit still and be quiet. My boundaries have never been so stalwart and sure and if nothing else some major karmic shifts in my relationship to the world took place in me from really sitting and listening to my heart (**i hope my wife takes the time to write about her experience through this also. i know she is forever changed also.**)
As we began sharing slowly and quieting with trusted family and friends, the world of families of humans with Down’s Syndrome just busted wide open. We were invited in with open arms and honored to meet two different families at different places in their life journey – one mother with a 19 year old and one mother with a 1 year old. The roller coaster of emotions swung so so high and so low that I thought I would fall off the earth at any moment. One night I couldn’t sleep again…I sat on the couch alone and made my “final” decision to terminate. I was sure. The decision was made. There was a small window of feeling lighter and clear – but as soon as I walked back up to bed, I vomited harder than I can ever remember. I passed out from the exhaustion.
In the morning, the light of day and the look on my sleeping wife’s precious face told me that, no, NO, I want this baby. I’ve waited my whole adult life for a partner like Anne-Marie. I’ve had two abortions prior to this knowing that the timing and the relationship weren’t right. I set my own karma in motion. I prepared my body and invested a lot of time and money in building the nest for this baby. This is my baby. This is what I created out of love and as my first fierce act of motherhood, I choose to keep this baby and be his or her mother.
Anne-Marie and I cried and talked and held each other’s hands and looked into each other’s eyes and decided to see where this all takes us. We called a family meeting – although we know that our families are there for us and their unconditional love is never a question, we felt that we needed to look into all of their eyes and let them know that this decision wouldn’t only effect us. This decision to bring the Brutini into the world would be a family commitment especially in our situation – we will need help. We will need our families to help raise our child. We will also need you.
Onward to enjoying this life experience of being pregnant – especially now that the first trimester is fucking behind me!
Namaste strong, y’all.