A Quick (ish) Catch Up

Hey guys,

How are you all doing?

Am I the only one that can’t believe how quickly the year has gone by?! I vividly remember exactly how I started this year and I’m amazed at how much has gone on. I stopped making New Year’s resolutions a long time ago because as you know, they don’t count for toffee. Thankfully, I have achieved a few of the things I was quietly hoping to and even though I’m not quite the person I hoped I would be, I’ve made progress.

I hope you’ve been enjoying the abortion series? I’ve had quite a few messages on twitter and via email and I thank you all for your kind words, constructive criticisms and encouragement. I’ve got one more story to publish to wrap up the series and then it’s on to the next challenge. Heaven knows what that one will be but I’m looking forward to it. If you have any ideas about what you’d like to read about, please send me a message and I’ll do my best to tackle as many as I can.

I’ll be setting up a Facebook page in the next few days so if you are on Facebook, please look out for the Waila Caan page and like it! I’m also on Twitter and my twitter handle is @WailaCaan. It has taken a while but I’ve finally managed to maintain some level of consistency with my tweets.  All things are indeed possible. My email address is wailacaan@gmail.com so please, however you choose, send in your ideas. I could do with inspiration.

In other news, I have a flu and it’s doing my head in. I’ve had a constant headache for the last 48hours, my nose is blocked, the sneezes are epic and this chesty cough is the stuff of dying men. I look a hot mess. I find blowing my nose a pointless exercise (the more you blow, the more it clogs up) so I’m one of those annoying snifflers. I must have really irritated the woman sitting next to me on the train this morning because she dug in her bag, pulled out a pack of tissues and offered me one. I say offered but really, it was an order. Her eyes said “girl if you don’t take this tissue and blow your nose I will slap you silent.” I couldn’t tell her I had tissues in my bag and pockets so I cheesed like she was offering me a scarce commodity and thanked her.

In other news, something has been bugging me lately. I’m really worried about the power of celebrity as fuelled the media. They have become gods and goddesses, idols, to our generation, propagating and reinforcing warped morals and ideals. I wonder what the Church is doing while all this is going on. We need to get out there and give people, young kids and the youth in particular, an alternative. They need to know that there is another way and that there is more to life than nudity, sex, alcohol, drugs and materialism.  I fear that I might have to lock my children up in a room and only let them out to play in the snow when it falls. If this is the world they will be born into, only God can help them.

Anyway, back to work I must go. Please don’t forget to send in your ideas.

Love,

Waila

The Abortion Series: Adiva’s Story

When you’ve been with someone over 4 years, you probably would have talked about love, marriage and having babies. My boyfriend and I had gone down this path. Sex wasn’t something we frowned upon though we are Catholics that go to church every Sunday, pray the rosary and try to live a sin free life. He always said that our only sin was sex and maybe God understands.

At the start of the year, I had the flu (or so I thought). Like most people, I didn’t go to my GP. I self medicated.  By Valentine’s Day, I knew there was definitely something wrong. We spent our Valentine’s Day in a walk in centre in Bolton. The first thing the GP asked me was “when last did you have your period?” My heart sank. I knew I was pregnant. At this point, my boyfriend was visibly shaken, probably worse than I was because immediately I thought I was pregnant, I had already made up my mind that I wasn’t keeping it.

Flash back to 2 years ago. I had this abortion conversation with my friends and swore with every living cell in my body that I’d never do it. “Over my dead body!” I said… but look how quickly I made the decision once I was in the situation. The GP ran the necessary tests and yes, I was pregnant. Everything else she said was a blur. My boyfriend kept consoling me. He said we’d have the baby and get married later. I was 24, he was 25. We were probably at the right age. Was it the right time? The right circumstance (pregnant before marriage)?  No. I knew my mom would kill me. I quietly rang my GP and made the appointment.

On the appointed date, I woke up early, my boyfriend and I said a prayer, he rang a taxi and we went to the clinic. It was the worst day of my life. They didn’t let my boyfriend in. I was alone. He had to sit in the waiting area for the next 5-6hrs. I filled out paperwork concurring that I was in the right state of mind to kill my unborn baby and had a scan to show that the unborn baby was growing healthily.  The nurse took a sample of my blood and kept asking if I was sure I wanted to do it. I had to see a therapist who explained the series of emotions I might go through after the abortion. I got stripped down to my panties and then they gave me a hospital dress and wheeled me into the theatre. This was the first time I cried. I swear I wasn’t emotional; I was just numb so I don’t understand where the tears came from. I kept asking if I could see my boyfriend, they said no. I prayed again, told God I was sorry but needed him to understand.

Once I was in the theatre, the doctors smiled and told me to stop crying. They’d seen my type so many times. At this point, I was being injected with anaesthetics. I was saying the Hail Mary…and woke up 15mins later in a recovery room, my clothes next to the bed along with a note explaining I might be dizzy but to put on my clothes when I felt ok. A nurse came in later and gave me a glass of orange juice and some biscuits. I dressed up as fast as I could and made my way down to the waiting room. He was there, waiting. He called a taxi, we went back home and both cried for the next hour. We had nothing to say so we cried. He promised to be with me forever, which I know is true but it can never erase what happened. Right now, we live with the guilt that we’ve done something so terrible.   

Apart from the sinful aspect, it is a very scary process. I was shaken and there was nobody to hold my hand or whatever. I kept wondering “what if I die, what will I tell God? Will he forgive me? Can I still go to heaven?”

The whole thing messes with your mind.

****************************

This a non-fictional account of Adiva’s (real name withheld) experience and I would like to thank her for having the courage to share her story with me and the rest of the world. I am beyond honoured my friend.

If you have an experience you would like to share, please email your story to me @ wailacaan@gmail.com and be assured that your identity will be withheld.

xxx

Waila

The Abortion Series: Life For Life

            I sat by her bedside for hours, stroking her left hand where it lay limp against the rumpled blue sheet. I couldn’t stop staring at her breasts. I remembered how they cradled my head while I wept at the death of my mother. The very same breasts fed our daughter Dani. Now the doctors say they are cancerous. Organs that once nurtured life had become advocates of death. At the thought of death my blood ran cold and I shivered. My stomach began to churn and I made it to the sink just as it relieved itself of its contents. Father, why us?

           “You have to make a decision soon Mrs Williams. The cancer is spreading fast and we will have to start the treatment as soon as possible to give you a fair chance of survival.”

Didn’t my opinion count for anything? She was willing but I couldn’t let her die, leaving Dani and I behind. Dani needed her mother and by god I needed my wife!

            “What about your son?” my heart whispered.

“Honey, are you okay?”

I looked across to the bed to find her staring at me, concern forming creases along her forehead. Making my way over, I sat on the edge of the bed and took her hand in mine.

“Why us Debbie?”

 “Sweetheart, I’ve told you not to think that way. You will get through this.”

“WE will Debbie, I am not letting you die!”

“I can’t have an abortion Darren, I can’t sacrifice the life of our son for mine. What kind of mother would that make me?!”

“I need you here with me, I can’t raise two kids on my own. If you go ahead with the abortion, in time, we can have other children.”

“And if we can’t?”

“We already have Dani, she’s enough for me. There’s no replacing you, don’t you understand that?”

“I can’t do it Darren. It goes against everything I believe in. ”

“We don’t have a choice! If you have this baby you will die. Heaven knows I would give anything not to be in this situation but it is what it is. We can’t afford to let our hearts do the thinking. Dani and I need you here. We can have other children, we’ll adopt if we have to.“

“It won’t be the same…”

“And our family won’t be the same without you in it,” I interjected.

“Oh Darren! Do you think this is easy for me? I’m terrified of dying. My head is saying one thing and my heart, another. I know it makes sense to abort the baby and start the chemo but my heart won’t let me.”

Leaning over I gathered her in my arms and we wept at the hand that fate had dealt us.

“Mummy!”

We pulled apart just as Dani came bounding through the door, my mother-in-law following closely behind her.

“Don’t jump on the bed darling, mummy isn’t feeling very well.”

Reaching down I lifted her onto the bed so she could give her mother a cuddle.

“Mummy, grandma says you’re going to heaven. Is it true?”

Glaring at my mother-in-law I responded, “No baby, mummy isn’t going anywhere. She’s  sick but the doctors will make her better.”

Her eyes darted around the hospital room taking in the army of machinery surrounding her mother’s bed. As she noticed the multitude of cables attached to her mother’s chest, her little eyes widened and the tears began to fall.

“Don’t go to heaven mummy!”

She tightened her grip around her mother’s neck and wouldn’t let go when I tried to take her in my arms. Nothing I said consoled her. She sobbed uncontrollably while I stroked her hair and tried to assure her everything would be alright.

Our eyes met communicating the words our lips could not speak with Dani present. She couldn’t bear to tell our daughter she was leaving her. I pleaded with her to change her mind and knew she had when she nodded and turned away from me. A fresh wave of tears engulfed us both and we wept silently for our unborn son who would make his entrance into the world a dead man.