If I could think, I would be hard pressed to make sense of what's happening all around me. Those voices I hear ... are they doctors and nurses? ... are distant echoes to the laughing, breathing momma who nurtured me for fourteen weeks before she collapsed on the kitchen floor. I would have happily gone on to the next place with her, but that was not to be. She has left me behind, growing, more or less, inside her brain-dead body.
She can no longer form words. Can no longer form thoughts. It’s arguable that we shouldn’t even be referring to a “she,” to a “her,” because if she’s brain-dead, as her family has consistently said, then she meets the legal criteria for death in all 50 states, and what’s been tethered to machines in a hospital in Fort Worth for the last seven weeks isn’t exactly a mother. It’s an artificially maintained ecosystem, an incubator for a fetus that has somehow been given precedence over all other concerns.
I'm 21 weeks old now, unable to stand on my own two feet, unable to do anything but wait inside this sterile womb. Thanks to the good old state of Texas, my life is going to be a sideshow at best, a nightmare at worst, and almost certainly some ungodly place in between. The truth is, I'm nothing but a convenient case for political point-scoring, a "use case" for the records. And in the meantime, momma has been turned into a petri dish created to keep me alive until I'm born. Then, having served its purpose, they'll toss that dish aside, an empty shell with no hope of being filled.
Momma didn't want this, and if I could think, neither would I.