Thursday, February 08, 2007

Baby Pictures

I have a synapse missing.

I keep getting pictures of my soon-to-be twin nieces/nephews from my proud mother-in-law. The latest batch was ultrasound stills of them at 13 weeks. I know I'm supposed to gurgle with glee when I see proof of their existence. (I don't think I'm supposed to comment on their cuteness, unless a distinct resemblance to a hurricane on weather radar is an example of cuteness.)

But I can't open more than one picture. Because they truly squick me out.

(Not much totally disgusts me. Except eye injuries or watching eye surgery. Bleggh. The WORST medical experience I ever participated in didn't disgust me at all. It was flushing a "mummified" foal from the pus-filled uterus of an aged mare. Truly gross. And smelly. And yuck. But I wasn't disgusted by it. Just concerned about the mare, really. And worried that we were never going to be thorough enough and that this infection could kill her and angry that the former owner had shipped her to us with a temperature and how could he not have known that there was something wrong and do we have enough DMSO and where's the rest of the case of Ringer's Lactate and what's her pulse and how do we dispose of this crap and how do we keep the barn cats out of it? But my stomach never turned over.)

Ultrasound pictures of unborn babies make my stomach turn over.

Which is not a good reaction when the proud parents point to the picture on their refrigerator, he with his arm around her waist, she with a bright smile on her round face as they say, "Isn't it wonderful?"

And all I can think of are anti-abortion protesters.

There's a disgust and a hot rage and a feeling of nausea or maybe fear I feel when I see an anti-abortion protest, even on TV. It's like watching a lynch mob, or maybe a lynching. That hot sweat of fear behind the ears. The stomach cramps. The panic of, "I don't know what I can do. I don't know what to say. I need to go be safe somewhere else."

That's what I experience when I see an ultrasound of an unborn baby. Oh please don't make me look at this. Don't try to prove to me that you have life within you. I believe you, really, without the photographic evidence. No. No. I mean it. It's OK. I'm happy that your happy, but you don't need to show me ALL of your bodily functions, right?

Dear Butcher carries an ultrasound of our son in his wallet. And sometimes just knowing that makes me slightly ill.

So what do I say to the mother-in-law when she sends me pictures? The same thing I always say, "Thanks for the pictures! Bet you can't wait!"

But I wonder about the synapse.


Ambar said...

a distinct resemblance to a hurricane on weather radar

Yeah, that's about all I get out of ultrasound pictures.

So, are horse ultrasound pictures squicky too? :-)

Suisan said...

nah, they're just medical.

It's the abortion protests and the images of human unborn foetuses to dredge up an emotional reaction that gets triggered when I see a human ultrasound picture.

Besides, I have only ever seen one equine pregnancy ultrasound--we didn't ultrasound our mares at all. Nor did we palpate for pregnancy. One year the vet confirmed all her pregnancies (ten) through palpation and I think only two went to parturition. After that my Aunt swore off all palpations and ultrasounds--unless we were trying to locate a follicle to verify an estrous cycle. So it wasn't an issue.

CindyS said...

I don't mind ultrasound pictures but lately they have a new technology where you can see the facial features of the baby - that totally creeps me out.

All the same, I fell in love with my Godson when he was 11 weeks old - I saw him for the first time on the ultrasound and he didn't have legs or arms but I think it was the heartbeat that did me in. Love at first sight.

My advice, don't open any more e-mails until after the baby is born and maybe delete them if they are that upsetting. I'm all about knowing your comfort level and maintaining it!


Anonymous said...

Are you by any chance post-abortive?

Kate R said...

what about doug's description of the cadavers? That squicked me, slighty. The mention of the crane. .

Suisan said...

Oh screw you too, anonymous. Really.

This is precisely why the anti-abortion thing raises such strong feelings for me. I personally do not fall head over heels in love and admiration with unborn foetuses. Not even my own. Read up on my SBD category--I've written quite a bit in there about how I don't go on and on in emotional waves about the beauty and glory of children, solely because they are children.

I have yet to have someone pull out an ultrasound of one of her organs and ask me to marvel in wonderment at the perfection of its form. But really, the fact that the body can produce a perfectly formed organ really IS an amazing thing. But we're not emotional about it.

I used to go to a women's clinic--got harrassed every time I walked in and out. For having my PAP smear done inexpensively. But I was called names and had placards shoved up my face for getting affordable gynocological exams.

If I were post-abortive, are you assuming that I am overwhelmed with guilt for being so, and that's why I don't lke people showing me their innards? If I'm NOT post-abortive, I am supposed to be right with the universe of women who automatically adore the experience of pregnancy and childbirth, because that's the way a woman is SUPPOSED to act?

How about the idea that I have opinions and emotions which are not connected either to my uterus or my reproductive history? Hmmmm?

Great. Now I'm pissed off. Thanks.

And Cindy and Kate, I'll have to comment back after I've cooled off. Sorry.

GrannyGrump said...

If you're really okay with abortion, seeing pictures of what abortions routinely destroy ought not to bother you a bit. Why not think of it as an intellectual challenge? What sort of abortion technique would the doctor choose? Digoxin into the heart? Or an old-fashioned D&E with Bierer's or Hern forceps? Which limb would it make sense to disarticulate first? Would you use decapitation scisors? Get a copy of Warren Hern's "Abortion Practice" and contemplate whether the Hansen maneuver would make sense in terminating this pregnancy. Have fun with it!

CindyS said...

Sorry, no one will ever, ever, ever tell me what I can and cannot do with MY body. The day someone can make a decision dealing with someone else's body is the day we all lose freedom.

I'll stop while I'm ahead.


Fickle Fiona said...

Oh gosh Suisan.

I'm so sorry. Some attention seeking enthusiasts have found you.

You poor dear.

Is post-abortive supposed to be a new term for pro-abortion/pro-life? That's a new one for me.

Don't you just love when women throw stones?


sybil said...

hmmmm how long is one post-abortive

and is that a band, cuz it would ROCK as a name...

Pro-Choice is just that a respect of the right to choose. A person can feel it isn't right for them and still respect another persons right to do whatever the fuck they want with their body.

I really don't think that anyone is 'okay with abortion'. No one wakes up and says, 'Gosh I have a free day today....'.

And no one. Not one single person has the right to tell another person what to do with their body. Make the choice for yourself. Make the choice to help educate the masses in how to protect themselves and keep unwanted pregnancies from happening. Adopt - ALL children - just not the pretty, healthy, white babies.

The two of you anon and 'granny' and all the others clicking to decide if someone you have never ever met might need your help - go buy a clue, learn to read and figuring out how to quote correctly might be good for a laugh.

Oh and granny - I am fine with abortion if it is the choice of the person carrying the fetus. As that isn't a decision I have a right to make for anyone else other than myself. But really I have no want to check out others ultrasound pics or give deep thought to how to do it.

But really, really, what the hell does any of this have to do with the post?

Suisan said...

Grannygrump, did you read the post closely? Because in that post I talk about dealing with *pieces* of a *mummified* foal swimming in oceans of pus. AND I mentioned that dealing with the repurcussions of a natural abortion did not disgust me.

Anti-abortion protestors want to make everything emotional and hope that making you get disgusted about the process of abortion will change your mind. It doesn't work with me. Sorry.

D&C? Painful for the mother to some extent and can cause scarring in the uterus. Vaccum suction? Essentially the same as a D&C without as many risks of post-operative scarring. Chemically stopping the heat? If it's necessary, it's the way to go, and how do you know that the fetus is experiencing the end of its life? It has nothing to compare this experience TO.

A "Foalectomy" is a difficult procedure to perform, but it's certainly not unheard of. I know of at least two vets who have performed it. With an equine fetus, I think (although I'm not sure) the standard procedure is to separate the front limbs and then disarticulate the hips to ensure the least amount of trauma to the mare. I've never attended a human procedure, but I'm going to assume that taking out the largest section of the fetus' body first, most likely the head, would work best, followed by the rest of the body.

Would attending that procedure bother me? Probably. I've cried at euthanasias too. Does that make me EAGER to kill a horse? No. But it's often the very best choice for the horse itself.

Still think I'm "Post-abortive"? Hmm. Can't think what I said in the original post which would make you think so.

I think I'm a realist when it comes to extreme medical procedures, and I do not appreciate having people I have never met tell me that I should experience a heightened level of emotion regarding those procedures or the people who choose to do them to the animals in their charge or to their very own bodies.

Suisan said...

Cindy and Kate--you rock. Thanks for your support in this experience with the crazies. Geez.

Fiona--post-abortive doesn't mean that I'm pro-choice or pro-abortion, it's a phrase used to describe a woman who had an abortion. Therefore, if I feel a certain way, then I must have had an abortion. Because no one else could possibly have a negative reaction to a "Pro-Life" protest. Because all women automatically agree on this issue. Right?

Sybil--you're not swearing? Have you come down with the flu? If I were to ever start a band, you've already named it. :D ANd I just love this statement, you silly woman:

I really don't think that anyone is 'okay with abortion'. No one wakes up and says, 'Gosh I have a free day today....'.

Devon said...

Sybil and the Post-Abortives...

Yes, that would rock.

Fiona linked to that unfortunate woman's site. How pleasant, kind and Christian these folks are.

I wish they would spend more time helping improve the quality of life for all children and less time googling "fetus pictures" or whatever it was that led them your way.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Hope y'all don't spend any time going on about how good you are at sympathy, because you're really biting at it.

"It's the woman's body!"
You work on horses enough to deal with that kind of situation (dealt with it in a very old ewe) and you still can't tell the difference between the baby and the mother?

Look, just admit that you agree with killing a human for ease of the mother's life, but you don't believe it's murder.
We do. Thus, of course we are going to try to at least talk folks out of getting sick when folks justify murder.

And yes, I fully expect you to ignore this, and find some way to be immature and prove my point. *shrug* Old story. We utterly disagree on a direly imporant issue.

When you post "Seeing babies makes me sick" you're going to get some reaction. You don't want the reaction, get a livejournal and make it friends only.

sybil said...


This isn't my blog so I am not going to go into everything I do or don't believe about abortion. But I will say I am pro-choice.

Pro-choice means you support the right for each person to make an informed decision regarding their body. (I tried but let me know if you need even smaller words)

If men had children this wouldn't be a debate. It would never enter the mind of a man to have the government or stupid, fucking, small-minded morons tell them what they HAD to do with their body.

See we (meaning people who are pro-choice as I have no clue what anyone else in the thread is) don't feel the need to 'try and talk people into' anything.

Support - yes
Educate - yes
Inform - yes
Listen - yes

You want to try and play God with other peoples lives, go for it. But expect people to call you on it and the fact you spend more time looking for people to show them errors of their ways than HELPING the women and children you could have help guilt into a horrid situation.

How dare anyone stand out a clinic waving some sign and pamphlets trying to scare women when they are not going to be there in six months, a year, 18 years from that moment.

How dare you. Will you be there to make sure that child is fed? Will you be there to tuck her into bed at night? Will you be there to make sure there is a bed to be tucked into? Are you going to hug that baby and explain why it isn't wanted, ignored, abused, uncared for, seen as a burden or why he and his 13 year old mother have no home? Are you going to make sure every baby you rescue IS rescued and placed in a home regardless of race, health, or addiction? Are you going to ensure EVERY one of those homes or foster homes are good homes with real parents who want those children?

Or is that just the cost of doing business? Really what is a few unwanted babies, raped children, beaten mothers, homeless kids, starving babies or children who get to hear how much people want to adopt and watch while others find homes while they don't because they are the wrong color.

Hey if the fetus is lost because the father beat the shit out of the mother that is gods will and oh so much better than someone ending up post-abortive.

Good show! You must be oh so proud of yourself. You are against sex education in school too aren't you.

I mean I don't have to ask you. I don't have to talk to you. All I have to do is read that paragraph above and I know all about you. I can judge you without thought to maybe there is more to know.

Hell otherwise you would only post in a locked livejournal. Or you know, learn to read so you can tell if a post has anything to do with your agenda.

Seeing babies doesn't make me sick but people like you do.

Suisan said...

foxfier, it's not the reaction to the posts, and I don't tend to make inflammatory posts.

What's getting to me is that a person posted here saying that I feel this way BECAUSE I must have already gone through an abortion myself. That's a huge jump.

Part B is that when that same person posted the link to their own site, they edited it, which changes the post. those two actions together are not honest. I dislike having people make the assumption that I must have gone through a trial to have certain emotins about the legal process, or that I must have been a prisoner to feel a certain way about jails. To assume that I must have had an abortion is ridiculous.

And no one tried to talk me out of any sort of emotion. No one engaged me on the emotions involved or why I should feel them; it was all about how I SHOULD a) be disgusted by the medical procedures themselves (granny) or that b) I must only get this reaction because to you mind I have already commited murder.


sybil said...


Sorry suisan I think I just went off on a rant... feel free to do whatever with it

Maybe I should go post in my livejournal... tis locked you know

Oh and it does looked like I swore on your blog, so that makes you special... well hmmm never mind.

Devon! Don't give people any ideas. le sigh, I can see the buttons now *g*

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Sometimes I hate being right....

No, you support those you can see who are old enough to become pregnant having a choice in what to do with their bodies.

Frankly, there never was a debate-- that would require that you think too closely about something that obviously makes you a bit unhinged. Everyone has something like that. Most of us don't throuw it out so that anyone who speaks English and knows the net can find it.

sybil said...

foxfier sighed:
Sometimes I hate being right....

Good thing you don't have to worry about that often...

Or do you just say things based on no fact to make sure you are never right?

Is this a phobia of some kind?

protected static said...

Most of us don't throuw it out so that anyone who speaks English and knows the net can find it.

So what does it say about you that you seek this stuff out compulsively? Yeesh.

Suisan said...

Most of us don't throuw it out so that anyone who speaks English and knows the net can find it.

Gee, I talk a lot about Zorro and his ever abiding love for me, me, me, and me. I talk a lot about what I want in Romance novels. I talk a lot about what I enjoy in equine conformation. I talk a lot about what ticks me off in my career as a local politician. No one scours the web looking for *those* posts and posts them to their blogs with outrage.

(Actually, the equine conformation post has been picked up--and if you think the abotrion debate is insane, get on a horse message borad sometime when there's a flame war. No joke--I've seen posts which came close to death threats. Yikes. But no one on the horse message boards has made the assumptions about my psychiatric state or past medical history that these gals have. Pro-abort, indeed.)

This one post, really, comes as part of a series of posts about what makes me comfortable in my own skin, and what makes me comfortable within the confines of my larger family, and how I respond to the pressures people place on me to act, "More like a mother to the teenagers who speak in public meetings" or "Remember that your decisions and actions on the Board are (hand over heart) for the children."*

I hate that crap, and I've gone on record as saying so. And I'll continue to do so. And I still don't think that makes me post-abortive, not that anyone has the right to care about it, actually.

*(Acting more like a mother to the seventeen year old who interrupts his elders at meetings: I am not his mother. I am a professional. I assume he has a mother and that he came thre to be heard and respected as an adult. When an adult interrupts me, I tell them to please wait their turn. If they refuse, I start getting angry. It's up to his mother to teach him some manners, not me. "For the Children": Well, we can play that both ways, now can't we. How about losing the hand over the heart and the tears and try to figure out what benefits the most children in the District and act accordingly. Stop crying in public meetings and I'll be better able to hear your concerns.)

Suisan said...

Sybil--spew and rant all you want. What can I say that would stop you anyway? ;)

Suisan said...

Foxfier--I just reread your first post.

I never said "seeing babies makes me sick." Never. I guess that's what you hoped I would say.

I said that seeing an ultrasound of a human at thirteen weeks (and being expected to come up with some sort of gushingly positive reaction) "squicked me out". Which means that kind of rolling sensation in the stomach, or having your fingers and palms tingle, or sweating somewhere new and odd.

Because seeing THAT image took me back to a place of fear and anxiety--being harrassed by anti-abortion protestors.

I never said that seeing a picture of a baby made me sick. I see pictures of babies and children all day long, and I usually enjoy it.

Good critical reading skills there, love.

bmmg39 said...

"Pro-choice means you support the right for each person to make an informed decision regarding their body."

--and, apparently, another person's body, too, if you should find that person's existence inconvenient.

Anonymous said...

you do have a right to how you feel and only you will ever know why... I'm preg now and when I see others pics It is looking into Gods wonders its amazing but I see life and a new blessing not matter in somebody. I have other children and have lost also sometimes a picture is all we have but I respect your opinion and I am glad that you are talking it out and not holding it all inside. Happy New Year.