Illinois,  United States

1. I had an abortion because when I told the father of the child I was pregnant, he said he didn't want to have any more children.  He was very adamant about it.  I can't remember if he actually said to "get rid of it" but I knew he didn't want "it" and I was a much weaker person at that time and I just "had to make him happy" even at the expense of my own son and the new life I had within me.  [Pretty sick state I was in, wasn't it?]

2.  During the procedure I felt like this was the right thing to do because it would make the father happy.  I felt like I should have said STOP!  I felt unimportant.  As I watched the tubes next to me I felt sad...I remember saying goodbye to my baby...Maggie.

3.  After the abortion, I felt like it was done and over...go on... the baby's father was happy.  Life would be perfect. 

4.  As time went on after the abortion I started having a nagging feeling.  The father of the baby and I ended up getting married. Once we had a conversation about a niece of his that had just delivered her baby.  I compared it to my abortion.  I said something to the effect of, "Even though I didn't actually have the baby, the abortion was painful but in a different way."  He read the riot act to me telling me that I had no right to compare the birth of a baby to the abortion.  His reaction brought back the memory of the actual procedure.  I internalized it and went on. 

Through the years I thought about my second child, a lot.  I rarely discussed it with my husband because his belief is that soul doesn't enter the body until 3 days after birth.  I felt to him it was no great loss.  I would tell myself that the baby wasn't real because I had the abortion.  However, I felt as if something was gnawing at me which usually led to thoughts about the baby.  For some reason I knew from the day I had let "it" go, I just know my baby would have been a girl.  Mentally I had a name for her: Margaret Elizabeth -- Maggie for short.  Then I would tell myself, "No it's just my imagination. She's not real."  Still the feelings and thought would come through.  I already felt like an un-worthy human.

I started wondering if there were other women who had regretted an abortion.  I'm not sure when, but about 10-15 years ago, I started searching the internet for abortion regret.  That's when I found Rachel's Vineyard. When I found RV, I felt that I'd have to do it in secret and save the money to pay for it myself.  I could never tell my husband what I needed to do.  Rachael's vineyard was always in the back of my mind. 

5. I found help and forgiveness through Rachael's Vineyard.  In about 2009, I started making many changes in my life.  First of all I was going just write a check out of my own money and go to Rachael's Vineyard.  It was in February of 2010 that I went.  It was the best thing I ever did!  It was there that I felt the forgiveness of our Holy Father.  I learned that Maggie was real and she is in heaven with Jesus.  Maggie is like a little angel on my shoulder. 

I know that God has forgiven me but I still am unable to completely forgive myself. 

Priests for Life