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Karma…

What goes around comes around?
What goes up must come down?
It’s called Karma, baby and it goes around

– Alicia Keys, Karma

Soo about last night…

Lately people have been coming to me with problems that involve babies. Whether it be that they are having trouble conceiving, they just found out that the person they thought was for them is having a baby with someone else or can’t have children, or that they are pregnant with a pregnancy that they aren’t sure they’re ready for. I’ve been listening to my friends and their pain and holding great pause at the end of their monologue so that I can offer them the right words to help them through.

I know there isn’t anything I can say to make them feel better really and there isn’t anything I can do unless I’ve somehow come into the ability to manipulate time and space. The torment is real emotionally and it takes its physical toll on both parties involved (provided that both are privy to the situation). I know there aren’t third parties who can make them feel better because there isn’t a third party who could make me feel better either; so I aim to provide insight. I aim to show them both sides of the situation in the hopes that they can use anything I’ve told them as a means of making a somewhat informed decision.

One friend of mine said to me through tears that he worried that he had missed his chance; that this was somehow his Karma for guilt-tripping women into having abortions back in the days when he screwed many and loved none. His penance for the pain he had inflicted on women whose only crime was that they loved him enough to believe his charming lies. He talked to me about how he had told a woman that he didn’t think at this time they should be having a child and that if she went through with the pregnancy she would be raising the baby alone because it was unfair of her to force him into parenting when he wasn’t ready.

He said that at the time he genuinely felt that way, he couldn’t force her to abort and she couldn’t force him to be a parent. Now he says it’s a disgusting frame of thinking; for a man to be so self-centered as to believe that if I woman keeps a baby neither of them planned for that she did it solely to “trap” or “get back at” him. He didn’t think about that until he had spoken to me. As he was breaking down and crying in my lap, I was breaking down and dropping teardrops on his fade. We had both made some pretty bad decisions in the past and needless to say we were now eating heartily at the Karma Café.

Karma

The first woman he felt like he could honestly say he loves is pregnant; he is over the moon happy and immediately went into nesting mode. She has the complete opposite feeling; she is miserable about the entire thing.  She isn’t ready for children and does not want to keep the baby at all.  He has reassured her over and over that he will be there throughout the pregnancy and is currently looking for a bigger space for them to move into together.  He just wants to settle down and share the rest of his life and build a family with her; she just wants to live her life a little more and travel and focus on her career before she even considers marriage and kids.

The tables, as he says have been flipped over and set on fire.

“She’s going to terminate the pregnancy and I can’t stop her. I can’t say or do anything that will make her even consider how I feel. She says she’s just not ready yet and I don’t know how to make her understand that I will do EVERYTHING until she’s ready. I’m going to lose my baby.”

It was a crushing thing for me to hear because knowing him for as long as I have, I know that this must be serious to him. I wished I could offer him some sort of anecdote that would change her mind, I know that his red-rimmed eyes were looking to me for the “secret” that only another woman would say that would change her mind, I had no idea what that secret was and I hated that I had to be the one to tell him that he couldn’t do anything at this point.

The more he spoke the more the room started to become warped through my eyes and his face started to blend into a series of colors. I felt a lump form in my throat and his voice became warbled; I swallowed the lump in my throat and my vision was restored when my own helpless tears hit my chest. I could only wish I had her problem and not the complete opposite; I wish my karma involved someone begging me to allow them to be there and support me. But karma doesn’t bring you what you want; it brings you what your past actions deserve.

Karma brought me a pregnancy that I already knew what I was going to do about; he and I had discussed it and we had agreed that a baby wasn’t ideal so there wasn’t going to be any conflict there.  I didn’t need a hand-holder for the procedure and we were still cool so we didn’t need to have a discussion in the moment either. But a call came in from my doctor that changed the very foundation that we used to make this decision. Karma knew that emotionally I’d recover, but what it also knew was that maybe I was so open to the idea of termination because if I missed this bus, another was already on its way. My dish: this could possibly be the last bus.

In between this incessant buzzing in my head I heard words like “make sure” and “possibly never”. I imagine she said my name several times before saying “I know this is a lot to take in, are you alright? Do you need a second?” I snapped awake and consciously processed what I’d just heard. I could go ahead and have the procedure done but she couldn’t guarantee that I’d conceive again. Ever. That was my risk. I’d need to sign a document advising that I fully understood before they would even book the appointment.

She asked if I wanted to call the father and I started to dry heave. She passed me the garbage can and I bent over it waiting for all my disgust to come out of my body; nothing came but silent tears. “Come back to me on Friday. Think about this and come back on Friday. I’m not willing to allow you to sign this document today.” I don’t know of anyone who has ever been hit by a train and lived to tell the tale, but if they had I imagine this is what it would feel like. Your entire being just mangled, unable to isolate where there’s pain because it hurts everywhere, including the tips of your hair strands.

I couldn’t go back and tell him what had happened because the fear was real that he may not believe me or he may not care at all. I couldn’t have an entire pregnancy behind his back and steal his right to be a father to his child; but I couldn’t just hop up on that table and not think that I’d resent him on the very day he called me as a friend and told me his wife/gf was pregnant knowing I was unable to have any more children and the last one I was pregnant with was his. Karma got me good.  That Bitch.

My gift as a person is caring too much about others. I put other people before me all the time because in my mind I’ve been through the worst of the worst and I’ve survived it. Many people couldn’t live through the things I have and so I make decisions that may hurt me in order to protect them. Ultimately, I don’t want anyone to have to feel the levels of hurt I’ve felt because I wouldn’t wish that kind of pain on my worst enemy. But it’s also my curse because in moments where I should consider my feelings/well-being first or even at all I feel guilty. I feel guilty about putting someone in a position that will make them awkward or uncomfortable. I feel bad about holding other people accountable for their behavior. I feel bad that I’ve made you feel bad for hurting me or not considering how I would be impacted.

I told my friend that all he could do was start the process of healing himself. If she doesn’t want this baby, he can’t force her to have it and whether this is karma or not, what’s happening is real. I recommended that he still offer her support because she may need it after the procedure and that he should consider saying a prayer or two. He said that he was gonna write a letter to the baby and bury it somewhere private and that although he didn’t know what his future may hold with/without her, he was changed and always would be. To see him as a changed man changed me and I think that’s what karma’s purpose is; not to teach you to sacrifice yourself to shield people from the pain associated with lessons they were meant to learn; but rather to execute behavior that shows you have learned your own lessons.

-B

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