During my freshman year in college, I became pregnant with my first child. I was dating my future husband and was deeply in love. Sadly, neither of us took precautions against pregnancy. When I found out I was pregnant, I panicked because two of my older siblings already had unplanned pregnancies and, even though my parents loved their grandchildren, I didn't want to disappoint them. I felt like I had failed them. The father of my child was also in college and living at home with his parents, and he was also afraid they would be disappointed in him. He brought up getting an abortion, and because of my own fears and insecurities, I looked up the phone number and made the appointment.
I have blocked out most of the details of the worst day of my life. I can't remember the exact day of my abortion or even recall what day of the week it was on...but that single day changed my life forever. Only a few memories remain. At the clinic, I remember sitting on a cold, metal chair, waiting with other girls. I never looked at their faces. No one talked. I remember being taken into a room and told what was going to happen. No one acted like it was "abnormal" or wrong. I think I was probably emotionally numb. I wouldn't let myself think about what I was about to do. I don't remember asking any questions. I can't remember the procedure at all. My baby died alone. I was oblivious. But afterwards, on the trip home, I was devastated and guilt-ridden. I felt so empty.
My baby's father and I ended up breaking up for a while afterwards. I tried desperately to cover up my pain and was determined to "make it right" by marrying the father of my child. I pursued him relentlessly. I was trying to fill the emptiness in my soul. We eventually got married and were able to conceive our second child. But that pain never went away, even after my daughter was born. During my pregnancy, I was in constant fear that something terrible would happen to the baby or to me and ended up on bedrest during my third trimester.
After giving birth to my daughter by c-section, I experienced "secondary infertility." Without taking any contraceptives, my son wouldn't arrive until six years after my daughter. I was also never able to deliver vaginally, because my cervix failed to dilate even one centimeter, despite powerful doses of medication and laboring for 24 hours. In the following years, I developed over 13 uterine fibroid tumors that hemorrhaged monthly, causing anemia, which resulted in a hysterectomy. The surgeon who performed my hysterectomy decided to completely remove my cervix, because it did not look "healthy." I have always wondered if my cervix was damaged during the abortion, but I received "twilight sleep" drugs and cannot consciously recall anything about it.
Over the years, as a result of aborting my child, I have experienced overwhelming grief, pain, loss, embarrassment, anxiety, fear, and shame. But with God's help and good counseling, I was finally able to forgive myself and now experience peace that passes all understanding. My heart is healed at last—and I will be silent no more!