The spermicide stung.
A suppository, which dissolved on the inside, the bullet shaped insert created a sudsy barrier to the cervix.
The birth control of choice in the back end of the 1980s for a late-twenty something to whom the pill was entirely too deliberate and required a schedule of intent. Planned unpregnancy was unacceptable to the morally ambiguous.
The conception, therefore, was never expected.
Waking on up on day 49 in the context of a cycle which rarely deviated from 33, swollen, doubled over in cramping pain, crawling the length of the second floor apartment to vomit into the toilet and then the call to mother was also not to be predicted.
Being asked as soon as she arrived if there were any possibility of pregnancy was the moment of clarity, like the climax in a Woody Allen movie. Maybe because the topic of deliberate fornication had not, up until that point, ever been insinuated let alone confronted head on.
Starkly deliberate, almost methodical, was the manner in which mother and daughter prepared to travel to the lab to obtain the pregnancy test. The trip was entirely without drama, outside of what the situation inherently bore.
Sitting for the blood draw, followed by a need to urinate and the discovery of brown spotting indicating flow made the day shorter and the issue apparently self resolving. The test was negative.
The aftermath proved protracted. This potential mother had to face decades later the very likely reality that, in spite of one test result, what had since been revealed about the lability of hormone levels before and after a conception failed suggested that, for probably less than three weeks in the late 80s, the daughter had been with child.
Nobody survives abortion.
The woman experiences – unless drugged – visceral, cramping pain and nausea. The conceived embryo bears disengagement from the warmth of the womb and a perilous trip down the vagina at the hand of either muscular contraction or mechanical suction. But, once completed, the process leaves a wake.
Thought waves. Turbulent speculation. Transient recollection. Lifelong wonder.
Whether spontaneously induced, by the body, or provoked by surgical procedure the abortion separates the giver of life from life. How can this enmity not persist until time becomes eternity?
The awareness that life was, and then was not, plants its own seed. A name. Features, on a face. Hands. Feet. Grasping to assign place, a certain purgatory, allowing imagination to become a branding memory and remembrance to burn its own birth.
The sting, of death.
Copyright 5/13/22 Ruth Ann Scanzillo. All rights those of the author, whose story it is and whose name appears above this line. No copying, in part or whole (including translation). Sharing by direct blog link, exclusively – no RSSING. Thank you for being trustworthy.