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我“杀死”了我的孩子,但我不后悔

更新时间:2019/10/22 20:49:11 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

I Had a Late-Term Abortion. I Am Not a Monster.
我“杀死”了我的孩子,但我不后悔

I am a baby killer.

我是个杀死婴儿的人。

I stopped mid-step on my way into my office in Manhattan, and that thought scrolled through my brain yet again: “I am a baby killer.” It was an April day this year, nine weeks after I ended my child’s life.

在去曼哈顿办公室的路上,我停下脚步,脑子里再次闪过这个念头:“我是个杀死婴儿的人。”那是今年四月的一天,是我结束我的孩子的生命九周后。

I decided to keep walking.

我决定继续走。

That is a choice I have to make every day: Give up or keep moving. I have been choosing the latter, over and over again.

这是我每天都要面临的选择:是放弃还是继续前进。我一次又一次地选择了后者。

I consider myself “pro-life.” But that phrase is heavy with multiple meanings. Like “pro-choice.” I identify with both of those terms. I am a walking contradiction.

我认为自己是“生命派”(pro-life)。但是这个词很沉重,有多种含义。就像“选择派”(pro-choice)。我对这两个词都认同。我是一个活生生的矛盾体。

It all began in January. My husband and I went to our 20-week anatomy scan. We watched in amazement and excitement as the tech showed us all the precious growing parts of our baby girl: her spine, left hand, right ankle, 10 fingers, 10 toes, lips, tiny little tush. After the appointment, I downloaded all of these images to my phone, where they are still stored. “She looks perfect,” the tech said. My heart swelled with pride when she added: “Your baby is being nice. She isn’t moving too much.”

这一切都始于一月。我和丈夫去做了第20周的解剖学扫描。我们惊奇又兴奋地看着技师向我们展示宝贝女儿所有宝贵的成长部位:她的脊椎、左手、右脚踝、10个手指、10个脚趾、嘴唇、小小的屁股。检查结束后,我把所有照片都下载到了自己的手机上,一直保存到现在。“她看起来很完美,”技师说。当她补充说“你的孩子很好,她不怎么动”时,我的心里充满了骄傲。

Not until the end of the appointment did we get our first hint that all was not well. “I see something,” the tech said. “I’m not sure what it is. Come back tomorrow.”

直到检查结束时,我们才得到情况极为不妙的第一个提示。“我看到了一些东西。”技师说,“我不确定是什么。明天再来。”

What followed was a few weeks of agony: an amniocentesis, a fetal M.R.I., multiple ultrasounds. After much waiting, we learned the diagnosis: severe brain abnormalities. There was a small empty space where brain matter should have developed in our child’s frontal lobe. She also had agenesis of the corpus callosum, which meant that the middle structure joining left and right hemispheres hadn’t grown properly. And there was a third abnormality, a “rough” area of gray matter.

接下来是持续数周的痛苦:羊膜穿刺、胎儿核磁共振、多种超声波检查。经过长时间的等待,我们得知了诊断结果:严重的脑部异常。在我们孩子的额叶有一小块空空的区域,本应该有大脑物质在那里发育。还有胼胝体发育不全,这意味着连接左右大脑的中间结构没有正常发育。还有第三个异常,一个“粗糙的”灰质区域。

We knew the diagnosis but we didn’t know what it would mean for our daughter’s daily life. It was explained to us that she would face seizures. Hourly, daily, weekly or monthly? No one could say. She would face developmental delays. Could she breathe? Yes. Could she feed herself, crawl, walk, talk? No one could say. She would face cognitive impairment. Would she know what was happening to her? Would she know us as her parents? No one could say.

我们知道了诊断,但不知道这对女儿的日常生活意味着什么。我们得到的解释是,她会癫痫发作。是每小时、每天、每周还是每月都会发作?没有人知道。她还会面临发育迟缓。她可以呼吸吗?可以。她能自己吃东西、爬行、走路、说话吗?没有人知道。她将面临认知障碍。她知道自己身处的状况吗?她能认出我们是她的父母吗?没有人知道。

What was certain was pain, confusion, frustration, isolation. Precisely how much? Exactly how severe? Only time would tell.

可以肯定的是痛苦、困惑、沮丧和孤独。到什么程度?到底有多严重?只有时间说了算。

If you identify as “pro-life,” what does that phrase mean to you? I know that in advocacy circles, it means, essentially, “anti-abortion.” But what does life mean to you — the life that you are “for”? Does it mean breathing on your own? Does it mean having a heartbeat? What are the markers of a life of quality, of purpose, of meaning? If your brain was not functioning following a traumatic car accident, would you want your body artificially sustained indefinitely? What is the threshold of experience for you to want to continue living?

如果你认为自己是“生命派”,那这个词对你意味着什么?我知道,在支持它的圈子里,它的意思实际上就是“反堕胎”。但生命对你意味着什么——你所“支持”的生命?这是否意味着自主呼吸?是否意味着心跳?有质量、有目的、有意义的生活标识是什么?如果你在出车祸后大脑无法正常工作,你是否希望你的身体被人为地无限期延续?你想要继续活命的体验阈值是什么?

I’m asking honestly. People’s answers differ. If it’s hard to imagine answering these questions for yourself, can you imagine being asked to answer them for someone else?

我是在诚实发问。人们的答案各有不同。倘若想象着替自己回答这些问题很难,你能想象被要求替他人回答它们吗?

My husband and I chose to end our child’s life. Many imagine this as an impossible decision to make, one that would take hours of deliberation. I will be honest with you. You may not want to hear this, but the decision was obvious to us. Our child would not be given a life of pain and suffering. Instead, we would take her pain on as our own.

丈夫和我选择了结束我们孩子的生命。很多人猜想这是个难以置信的决定,一个将需要数小时斟酌的决定。我将实言相告。你可能不想听这个,但这个决定对我们显而易见。我们不会给孩子一个充满痛苦与折磨的人生。相反,我们会把她的痛苦当作我们自己的来承担。

I regret that we had to make the choice. I regret that she was so sick, so broken. But I do not regret the decision we made. Within 15 minutes of the diagnosis, we knew what we had to do: We would become baby killers.

我很遗憾我们不得不做这个决定。我很遗憾她病的这么重,这么残缺。但我不后悔我们的决定。在诊断后的15分钟内,我们便知道我们必须要做的:我们将成为婴儿杀手。

Am I punishing myself by using that term? I don’t think so. I want people to know: I ended my child’s life. At 23 weeks and six days into my pregnancy, I had a “late term” abortion. When people ask, “How could you?” I reply that allowing her to live would have been a fate worse than death. Her diagnosis was not fatal, not incompatible with the bare mechanics of a living body. But it was incompatible with a fulfilling life. And that makes all the difference to me. That’s why I call myself “pro-life.”

我是在用这个词惩罚自己吗?我不这么看。我想要人们知道:我结束了自己孩子的生命。怀孕23周零6天后,我进行了“晚期”堕胎。当人们问起,“你怎么能这样?”我回答说,让她活下来会是一个比死亡更糟糕的命运。她的诊断并不是致命性的,具备了一具活体的基本部件。但不具备一个充实的人生应有的东西。而这对我关系重大。这是我称自己是“生命派”的原因。

The night before our abortion (a procedure that takes three days to complete), President Trump delivered the annual State of the Union address. I did not watch, but later I saw his comments about late-term abortion make the rounds on social media. Who are these monstrous women and doctors that, in his lurid language, “rip” babies “from the mother’s womb moments before birth”?

我们堕胎前一晚(这个过程需要三天时间完成),特朗普总统发表了年度国情咨文。我没有看,但后来看到他关于晚期堕胎的言论在社交媒体上流传。这些可怕的女人和医生是谁,用他耸人听闻的话说,在婴儿出生前把他们从母亲的子宫里“扯”出来。

My child was lovingly cared for until her last heartbeat. She was gently laid to rest after her footprints were stamped in black ink on a rectangle of paper. Those same footprints hang on my bedroom wall along with a locket containing her ashes.

我的孩子得到了温暖的照顾,直到她心跳停止那一刻。她的脚印被用黑色墨水印在一张纸上的矩形里,然后她被轻轻安葬。那些同样的脚印和一个装着她骨灰的挂坠盒挂在我卧室的墙上。

Is this not the picture of maternal feticide you had in mind? I am not a dark shadowy imaginary figure. I am a grieving mother.

这不是你脑中想象的母亲弑婴情景?我不是个黑暗模糊的虚幻角色。我是个悲伤的母亲。

President Trump lamented the “living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and their dreams with the world.” I, too, lament their unlived potential. Through a fluke of nature, my beautiful baby was given a broken brain. A brain that would have limited every moment of her life. If she had made it to full term, what love and dreams would she have shared with the world?

特朗普总统哀叹,“活生生、有感觉的漂亮宝宝们将永远得不到机会,与世界分享他们的爱和他们的梦想。”我也为他们失去的可能性而难过。一个天然的意外,给了我漂亮的宝宝一个残缺的大脑。一个将限制她生命的每一刻的大脑。倘若足月出生,她将和世界分享什么样的爱与梦想呢?

Do you know what I find more chilling than the specter of a ghoulish doctor “ripping” babies out of their mothers’ wombs? The idea that my husband and I should have been given the diagnosis, told of the dire outcomes — and then sent home to hope for a natural miscarriage. Is it any less barbaric to be told that your child will suffer and then be deprived of any ability to protect her?

你知道我发现什么想法比一个残忍的医生把婴儿从母亲子宫里“扯”出来更令人胆寒吗?丈夫和我应该得到诊断,被告知可怕的结果——然后被打发回家期望着自然流产。比起被告知你的孩子将会受苦,然后被剥夺任何保护她的能力,它是否不那么野蛮?

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Most of the related initiatives are designed to help those who have suffered “miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn death.” Where do I fit in? If my body had recognized that my baby was sick and miscarried naturally, I know that I would be offered immediate, unqualified compassion. But because I was faced with a choice, I am made to feel unworthy of support.

10月是关注死胎及流产月(Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month)。大部分相关举措旨在帮助那些遭受过“流产、死胎和新生儿死亡”的人。我属于哪一种?如果我的身体先前意识到孩子生了病,然后自然流产,我知道我将会被给予迅速、无条件的同情。但因为我面临一个选择,我就需要感觉我不值得得到支持。

I mourn my daughter’s absence every day. I whisper her name in the morning when I wake up. I breathe it out before I go to sleep. She is present in my every thought and action.

我每天都在哀悼女儿的离去。我早上醒来时轻唤她的名字。睡前呼出她的名字。她活在我的每个想法和动作里。

I pray you never have to face a decision like the one I faced. You might swear up and down that you could never make the choice I did, but you never know for sure until the time comes. I know I made the best choice for my child. I do not regret it, and I will not hide it.

我祈祷你永远不必面对我这样的决定。你可能会发誓说,你永远无法做出我所做的选择,但你永远无法确定,直到那一刻到来。我知道我为我的孩子做出了最好的选择。我不后悔,也不会隐瞒。

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