I graduated high school the year of 2000 and shortly thereafter moved in with my then boyfriend, Brandon. He later became my husband and father of my sons and is now currently my ex-husband.
I found out that I was pregnant in 2002 and immediately had an abortive mindset. I spoke with Brandon, and he was unhesitatingly on board, and we had the abortion scheduled that same day. I remember feeling as if I was sick...it didn't feel like a pregnancy in my heart, and I didn't feel a connection with anything. I just wanted to continue with life without this "burden" and go back to "normal.” I had such a shallow and selfish mindset, and I was so young and immature. I counted the days leading up to the appointment with anticipation and excitement, not knowing the impact it would have on me later.
The day finally came, and the experience was smooth. We spent the majority of the day there, going through the intake process; there was a lot of protocol. I vaguely remember silent petitioners not far from the building and thinking angrily that this was none of their business and that my position is justifiable. The procedure itself went smoothly, no kinks, no trouble. I saw a girl I went to high school with in the waiting room waiting for her abortion appointment. I felt comfortably at peace and knew what I had to do was for my best interests. We weren't ready to be parents. I wasn't ready to be a mother. I was ready to be freed of this pregnancy and move on with my life as if it had never happened.
After the procedure, I remember sitting in the recovery room with a little cup of water and a couple of Oreo cookies...the amount of relief I felt was enormous. The clinic set me up with a few months of birth control and then sent me on my way. I didn't cry, and I didn't feel numb. I was back to "normal”. I felt as if they had cured me of cancer or something. Looking back on this, I can honestly say that I didn't learn a thing and that the impact of the actuality of what happened didn't hit me.
Several months later, I discovered that I was pregnant again. This time was different. That previous abortive mindset I had wasn't there...I was scared. I believe it was then that I realized that what I had done only months before was huge. The impact finally hit me, and it hit hard. I didn't want an abortion. However, I didn't want to be a mother. I looked to Brandon for guidance and, without hesitation, he scheduled another abortion and went to the bank for the funds to make that happen. I was numb with fear and filled with dread, anticipating the day of the appointment. When the day came, it was grim and rainy. It didn't feel like the first time.
I kept trying to voice my hesitation and my fear, but nothing came out of my mouth. So, I stayed silent on the ride to the clinic. We walked in and the first step was to an office to make the payment official. As we were talking to that employee, I was overwhelmed with anger and fear and tried to convince Brandon that we should leave. He wasn't on board with leaving, and we stayed. I cried silently in the waiting room...he pulled me aside into this little hallway, and I told him my fears. I sobbed and told him I didn't want to stay, that we could manage being parents, that we were both scared, but we could make it. His mindset couldn't be shifted. I knew what I had to do. So, I took my deep breath...and did it.
The procedure itself was out of a nightmare. I felt it...physically. Maybe the anesthesia had worn off. I felt the life being sucked out of me. The staff felt rough and unapologetic. I panicked and sobbed violently...I remember vaguely additional staff being called in to help calm me down and having to succumb to physically holding my arms. The procedure ended, and I was taken to a different recovery room...one that wasn't as relaxing as the first. I laid on a bed, crying in pain. A nurse then told me that I needed to go back into the procedure room as they did not retrieve the entire fetus. I. Completely. Lost. It. I remember very vividly screaming and yelling at them, "Murderers! You MONSTERS!" If I had been strong enough to get up and run, I would have run. They ran the procedure again, and it was even more painful...the suction was brutal and loud. I was in a horror movie of a nightmare. I would never be the same from that moment.
I later found out that my uterus had been severely tilted from the procedure. My OBGYN told me I may still be able to have children, but that I would either have a lot of trouble getting pregnant or have lots of issues during pregnancy...either way I hung my head in shame, in complete acceptance of my punishment. I was a murderer. The shame, anger, depression, anxiety, and resentment that clouded my life after those days completely consumed me. I never knew the right way to seek out true healing. I would just go to counselors and different counseling groups to try to manage my new depression, but nothing really helped. I was a woman consumed by undealt with pain and resentment and unresolved grief. Even with that and the deterioration of our relationship, Brandon and I still got married in 2004. Much of my resentment and unresolved hatred manifested into an unhappy marriage that came to head after the birth of our second son. We separated and about two years later finalized the divorce.
My experience can be written out in much greater detail, but I have decided to go with a short version of the events. I suffered greatly and still continue to suffer at times. I have just been recently called to life ministry, as I am currently a Coordinator for the Birthright chapter in my area. I have shared my experience with other women contemplating abortion, and I am equipped to minister to women that are grieving after abortion. I regret my decisions from all of those years ago, but I have sought and gained forgiveness in God's mercy and grace. The scars are still there, and they go incredibly deep...but they have made me the woman I am today. I am ready to break the silence and unresolved grief that consumes certain areas of my experience and be a blessing to those undergoing this unheard-of pain.