This is Us…and Ruby

It was May 5, 2007 and I walked out of the bathroom into my bedroom and laid the stick on the desk.

It said I was pregnant.

“Now what do we do?” I asked Shawn.

He just kind of looked at me. We knew it was coming. We had joked about it really ever since we got together. I’m the oldest of 8. He’s the oldest of 6. Fertility just seems to be something we’ve got right.

I sat on the bed as the options ran through my head. I sat and heard my mother rip me 5 new ones as my Dad just hung his head. What was I going to do? How could I have been so stupid?

We made our decision that day. We just couldn’t be parents now. We still lived with my parents. His music career really seemed to be officially stalling. My parents we’re beginning to make declarations that we should wait to get married and I just wasn’t raised to have a baby out-of-wedlock. But I also wasn’t raised to do what I was thinking about either.

I was fucked.

The morning sickness was unlike anything  I have ever experienced (and still haven’t because for some reason. With Phoenix. I never had morning sickness). It was all day. Ruining a particularly delicious Chicken Caesar sandwich from Panera (that I still don’t eat). Doritos. Cream of Crab soup.

Pulling over on the highway every single morning to say goodbye to the breakfast I begged for from Burger King.

I would lay on the floor of the bathroom stall at work and just cry. Praying my orthodox jewish boss wouldn’t figure it out.

I thought I was hiding it well until a client came in to see the house  I was showing and she said ‘How far along are you? About 7-8 weeks?’ I think I crapped myself when she said this

“Well you’ll have an easy labor with having to climb these steps all the time”

When she left, I cried for 2 hours.

I don’t know what told me or how I figured it out but I had this feeling that it was a girl.

And her name was Ruby Rose.

I dreamed of her one night. She was riding around on one of those big wheel bikes with a little boy following behind her. She had tight curly hair that was a lot more blonde than it was red. And as I think back now to say she looked like Phoenix would be an understatement.

She had on a purple dress with a small floral pattern. And her smile was beautiful and her laugh sounded like music.

A few weeks after we found out I started spotting.  I was positive we were miscarrying. We made a story up about Shawn having chest pains and went to the hospital.

This may have been our easy way out.

But it wasn’t. It was simply implantation bleeding. I remember laying on the hospital bed and the tech checking my cervix. It was technically our first ultra-sound.

I looked away the entire time and tried not to lose it. Shawn watched.

And I’m glad he did. Someone should have.

Shawn & I never talked about her. What could we really say? She wasn’t staying with us..

But every time I would come out of the bathroom, close the door to the car, or push my dinner away in disgust he would just look at me. His eyes silently telling me he was sorry.

We didn’t even have the money to do it. How could we have had her?

This is why it wasn’t over until 12 weeks. I walked into the office with more shame then I have ever felt. Everyone was going to judge. But then I remembered they were in fact here for the same thing.

“Alexandria Scott”

Up until this point I really had been pretty fine. It was just something that had to be done.

I didn’t want to hurt my parents, I didn’t want to embarrass them, I didn’t want to hurt Ruby. And I was sure that I would.

That we would.

When I walked into the room everything literally went blurry. Literally. The nurse was speaking, but I didn’t hear her.

Mary J. Blige was playing on the radio.

I laid on the table. The doctor came in. He was African.

The machine came on and I lost it.

I wailed and wailed. The nurses tried to calm me. I didn’t stop.

When it was over someone else dressed me.

“I need Shawn. I need him. Get him now.”

They told me something about partners not being allowed back because not everyone had someone. But they would see what they could do.

They brought me out and sat me in a brown leather Lazy-Boy recliner.

I asked for the bathroom and puked my guts out and cried.

When I sat back down Shawn came flying into the room. Later  I would find out that the nurse told him he needed to get back there like NOW because I was not in good shape.

“I’m sorry. I killed our baby. I know you hate me. Please don’t hate me. I’m sorry, I’m sorry. It was a girl. Her name was Ruby”

At that moment as I cried and he held me something in me locked with him. Before this, we were rocky. Things just not going the way we thought.  We fought all the time and I think we both felt we should do each other the respect of walking away.

But that day it was like a moth to a flame. And in the moment I really knew he loved me. I hate it. I hate that at that moment this realization came. But it did.

They let me go home 30 minutes later and on the ride home I grabbed Shawn’s arm. I needed something real. Something concrete, something in this world to hang on to. Like my life depended on it. And I think it did.

We had Quizno’s for lunch and I insisted on going in to order. But everything was still blurry. And even still I didn’t let him go.

When we went home we laid in bed and cried until the sun went down.

And you don’t have to tell me how much of a monster I am. I know it. And trust me. I walk with this shame every single day.

This is part of our story that maybe 10 people know about. I’ve never wanted to tell anyone but I feel that it’s apart of our story and she deserves it.

Even when I was pregnant I cringed when I had to pretend like I had never experienced this before.

But I also cringed when I had to complete the papers for my OB that asked “How many times have you been pregnant?”

It was June 22nd and I had an abortion.

can’t find image source credits. if these belong to you please let me know so I can link back.

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27 Responses to “This is Us…and Ruby”

  1. marlo says:

    I have had 2. The first one… I was terrified. And selfish. I couldn’t imagine being a mother. I was selfish. The second I wanted to keep. Badly. I begged the father to see eye to eye and he said he’d leave me. I had no one else. I was afraid. I didn’t want to go through It alone. I had just given birth to my daughter and I was overwhelmed with post partum and an emotionally abusive and unsupportive partner… I didn’t want it. I cried before it happened. I was numb as I went through the process and begged the nurse not to show me the ultrasound or to tell me how far I was. I didn’t want to know. I didn’t want it to feel real. Several times I wanted to walk out of there but fear kept me mindlessly going through the process. I felt like I was on autopilot, like I was watching something play out that wasn’t my own life. When I laid on the surgical table I wanted to run. Contemplated it up until I started getting the anesthesia. Then I started to pass out and made the decision to leave but I was already out. It was too late. I woke up and cried so badly. I was throwing up and I wanted to die. I hated myself more in that moment than never had in my entire life. I wanted to keep the baby but I did it anyways. 2 years later and I still regret it. I still cry for my children. Both of them, but especially the last. I love being a mother. I didn’t know how wonderful it was. Post partum blinded me and caused a disconnect. I can’t forgive myself. I feel like I deserve to be punished. I feel like slow torture would be getting off easy. I hate myself so much.

    [Reply]

  2. [...] I also have been dedicating a few days a month to introduce you to my husband & our love story. Which is sometimes sweet & lovely and sometimes ugly & gray. [...]

  3. [...] When I was pregnant the first time obvs there was no paying attention to symptoms or aches or pains. It just was. The only time there was a scare was similar to the scare this time & we went to the hospital. If I can brutally honest here… I was hoping I was miscarrying because then it meant I didn’t have to go through with that looming appointment. It would make everything easier. But that wasn’t the case. [...]

  4. [...] of non-fiction is inspired by the tremendousness guilt, shame, regret & ugliness that was my abortion & the beauty that I have been able to find by starting over again & finding the strength to [...]

  5. [...] the post I did about Ruby was a HUGE HUGE HUGE step for me because there was so much fear in how people would respond (and [...]

  6. jes
    Twitter: chirky
    says:

    Thinking of you today. <3

    [Reply]

    Alexandria Campbell
    Twitter: alexcampbell11
    Reply:

    @jes,
    Thank you so much.

    [Reply]

  7. Alexia
    Twitter: babiesandbacon
    says:

    I follow you on Twitter and just found this post and I must say. Wow. You captured almost exactly what I went through when I had an abortion 16 years ago. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, but the right choice. Can totally relate to feeling all the shame and guilt when I was pregnant with my daughter and had to say that I had been pregnant before. You are so brave for sharing your story and it was so beautifully written. Thank you.

    [Reply]

  8. Sandra says:

    I stumbled across your blog today via GGC…I too had one about 3 years ago. Still to this day about 4 people know. You are so courageous for posting this. Thank-you.

    [Reply]

    Alexandria Campbell
    Twitter: alexcampbell11
    Reply:

    Thank you so much :-)

    [Reply]

  9. Melisa
    Twitter: mommythisnthat
    says:

    First let me say that it takes a very brave person to put this out there. And second, you are not a monster. When it comes to a story like this, the monsters are those that are quick to judge w/o having had to face such a decision.
    Melisa recently posted..Fashionable Friday- Pause

    [Reply]

  10. Sheree Cresp Lozada says:

    WOW Alexie I have to say this is touching to me and just too know I am no the only person to have gone through that helps me alot only I believe mine was a boy RESPECT YOU LOTS LOVE YOU

    [Reply]

  11. Alexandria Campbell
    Twitter: alexcampbell11
    says:

    I just want to leave a one big comment and thank ALL of you for the wonderful comments. It’s been a long road to get to the point that I felt comfortable and safe to share this part of our story and I was really scared how people would respond. I’m sure some people didn’t like it, but I really appreciate those of you who gave a big virtual hug through your comments. I really appreciate it! And thanks for reading!

    [Reply]

  12. Jillian
    Twitter: http://foodartbaby.blogspot.com
    says:

    I think you are so brave for writing this story. I am only 23 and gave birth to our son in August. When we found out I was pregnant we went through a similar experience. It was one of the scariest and hardest decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I obviously kept him, but reading your story broke my heart because I know that if I hadn’t I would feel exactly the same way as you and it was like seeing my life had I made a different decision that I was VERY close to making. Thank you for sharing, and I hope you can forgive yourself and realize that you made the right decision for you at the time and that’s all anybody can ever do.

    [Reply]

  13. Renegades
    Twitter: http://reflectionsandrenegades.blogspot.com/2010/10/pour-your-heat-out.html
    says:

    What a heartwrenching story. You have punished yourself so much. Sometimes in life we don’t have the tools to deal with what life hands us.

    You are very brave to post this.

    [Reply]

  14. Felicia
    Twitter: www.livingjustlikegrandma.com
    says:

    My heart hurts for you. I couldn’t imagine going through anything like that.

    Don’t blame yourself, you did what you had to do. Thank you for sharing…I know it wasn’t easy.

    Lots of hugs.

    [Reply]

  15. The positive feedback I’m getting on today’s post makes me glad decided to write about Ruby’s story. http://beforethebabywakes.com/2010/10/us

    [Reply]

    MinkyMoo Reply:

    @alexcampbell11 :I just want to hug you right now.

    [Reply]

    alexcampbell11 Reply:

    @MinkyMoo thanks :-)

    [Reply]

  16. Diana
    Twitter: littlebitlife
    says:

    How heartwrenching for you! I’m sorry you had to make that decision but kudos to you for sharing it. Sending you hugs.
    Diana recently posted..Pour Your Heart Out – We see things differently

    [Reply]

  17. wildflower
    Twitter: www.dailywildflower.blogspot.com
    says:

    you are one brave sweet lady. Thank you so much for sharing. As my 13 year old daughter has a friend who is pregnant, it has been a topic at our home. I can’t imagine being put in this position ever, let alone at such a young age. There is no good choice in these situations.

    [Reply]

  18. jana
    Twitter: www.janasthinkingplace.com
    says:

    I admire you so much for sharing this. No judging, only hugs and hopes that you can love yourself and the memory of sweet Ruby.

    [Reply]

  19. Marti
    Twitter: marvimarti
    says:

    Honey, stop judging yourself. Forgive yourself.

    It was so brave to share this, and no one should ever judge you. Having had an unwanted, bad time for it pregnancy, I honestly feel it is no one’s but ours to do what we need to do.

    Thank you for sharing, it WILL make a difference for someone.
    Marti recently posted..Learning To LIVE Again

    [Reply]

  20. Liberty
    Twitter: http://libertyoriginal.blogspot.com
    says:

    I’m positive that somewhere out there, another woman will read your story… and it will change her life, validate her, comfort her, give her the strength she needs to make it through the hour or the day. Thank you for this.

    [Reply]

  21. Lacy says:

    You are so brave for sharing this, I truly respect that. In my prayers.

    [Reply]

  22. Shell
    Twitter: http://thingsicantsay-shell.blogspot.com
    says:

    How heartbreaking. It sounds like you have judged yourself enough.

    How brave to share this.

    [Reply]

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