I’m a 29 year old woman who may never have the chance to give birth again in my life. I feel like I am less than a woman now than I ever was.
Editor’s Note: I have changed the names of the people involved, I’m not sure if the original names I received in the email were real, but I changed them just to be safe.
Growing up around livestock, you get an intimate look at the life cycle of many different animals constantly. I didn’t live on a farm, but many of my friends did, including my boyfriend Brock. His parents owned a small dairy farm in rural Iowa where we would spend a lot of time during the warmer months. We were high school sweethearts and we were in love. I loved him so much that I gave him my womanhood when I was a junior and he was a senior in high school.
We talked about how our life would unfold, the children we’d have, the house we’d raise them in, where they’d go to college, everything. I was looking forward to the future that we had planned together.
Problems started to arise my senior year, Brock went to a community college 20 miles away, so we still got to see each other pretty much the same amount we saw each other before. However, my senior year, I was voted homecoming queen. I was ecstatic, wearing the crown was amazing, and the king that year was a boy named Jason. We danced a lot at homecoming since Brock couldn’t make it, I enjoyed it, Jason was wonderful, too wonderful, I started having second thoughts about a relationship with Brock.
By the end of my senior year, Brock and I had a rocky relationship, but we still deeply loved one another. He was spending a lot of time with his college friends, and admittedly I fell victim to advances by others on a few occasions, we wanted it to work out.
That summer, after deciding to go to an in-state university not too far from home, Brock and I had a long talk and we figured our relationship was back on track. He promised me he would propose to me when he graduated college the next year. We made passionate love that night, unprotected, and I drove home.
As luck would have it, that one time we had unprotected sex, I got pregnant. I had no idea how to tell Brock, and I wasn’t sure if he would be happy or upset. I underestimated his anger big time. After having punched out his car window and yelling every obscenity known to man, he stopped, told me he’d call me, then drove off.
The next day Brock called me, I was surprised, he seemed much more mellow now than he had the day before. He said he overreacted and that we would get through this together. We decided that we would keep the child and still get married about a year after he proposed the following May.
Things were going well with Brock and I, or so I thought, I still remember the exact moment it happened. I was at the farm with Brock, it was hot and he brought me a bottle of water, but this bottle had been opened with a little bit missing. At the time, I thought nothing of it, I drank the rest of the bottle quickly and thought something tasted a little off. I asked for another bottle and Brock took the old bottle out of my hand and took it inside instead of throwing it away in the garbage can 10 feet away.
That night the stomach pain started, it got progressively worse, to the point where I needed my mom to go to the emergency room with me. I’ve never felt a pain so bad in my life. Once I got there, they checked my pulse and attempted to get the baby’s pulse, but something was wrong, deathly wrong.
The doctors determined that I had miscarried, but worse, I was sick and had shortness of breath, and the doctors weren’t sure what was causing it. Blood tests were ordered and the next morning we got the results: there was a chemical that wasn’t supposed to be in my bloodstream, at all. After some more tests, the doctor said it was a substance called Dinoprost, and that it was often used on dairy farms.
I was stunned, I rarely even went near the refrigerator with the cow medicine in it, after learning it could be absorbed through the skin, I was devastated. Somehow, I had come into contact with it and it had killed my baby. My shock turned to horror as the doctor said it is most commonly found in a chemical that is used specifically to terminate pregnancies in animals, in a drug called Lutalyse. This was beyond strange since, Brock’s father did keep that chemical on hand, but It generally wouldn’t have been used at that time of the year.
My horror turned to rage as I thought back to a couple of days before at the farm, the water bottle, already opened, then acting strangely when he took the bottle away from me. Immediately we called the police, they went over to the farm and took Brock in for questioning, they also found a vial of the chemical was missing.
What happened next was an even bigger shock to my system, I was visited by two police officers at my home several days later, asking me questions about whether I wanted to keep the baby, my relationship with Brock, if there were any other men in my life, everything, for 2 hours. It was the most emotionally draining 2 hour span of my life. By the end I was in tears, they apologized for bothering me and left.
During this process Brock and I didn’t speak, we both knew what he did, but I’ve never felt the kind of anger I did when I heard the news that there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute Brock. Apparently, Brock showed them texts that I sent him one night that said our situation would be easier without a baby in the mix and that I “wished we could live together, just the two of us”, and apparently that is “proof” enough to the police that I intentionally took the chemical myself, or at least that Brock didn’t give it to me.
Brock and I haven’t talked since, he moved away after he graduated and I decided to delay going to school for a year. That year off turned into 10 years off, during which I met the real love of my life: Stephen. We have been married for 3 years and have had trouble conceiving. After talking with 2 different fertility doctors, they both came to the conclusion that I will probably never be able to have children, no matter what kind of treatment we do. The Lutalyse and Brock saw to that.
I have been cheated out of the joy of children by an incredibly immature ex boyfriend, and cheated out of getting justice by an incredibly inept law enforcement and judicial community. I really don’t know which is worse. Both set out to destroy my life and succeeded. While I am happily married, I am always going to wonder what my children would be like, if I would be a good mother, if Stephen would be a good father, I just don’t know and unfortunately, I never will.