Telling my Story

Tennessee,  United States

I have been living my life with a secret, a burden that has haunted my life for almost ten years.  My husband now and maybe four friends know of this painful past that I have been hiding.  I would say for probably the past four months God has been lovingly nudging me to finally deal with this burden and to help others so hopefully they will not make the same mistake and live their lives with this pain.  One night I prayed for God to help me through this journey if this is his will for me, to help others from making the same painful decision.  One day I walked into church and our pastor’s message was about the story of Jonah and the Whale. He spoke of how Jonah was running from God, and how we should not run from his will for our lives.  I feel like telling my story is the first step for healing and helping others.  I am tired of running...

 I had got pregnant at 18 years old; I was two months pregnant when I graduated from high school.  My boyfriend and I decided that we wanted to have an abortion.  We saved up about $400 to have it done, made the appointment, and the night before all I could do was to think what this little baby inside of me would look like, what would I name the baby, and if it was a boy or a girl. I got up that morning and told my boyfriend I couldn't go through with it.  Six months later I had a sweet little baby boy.  He is an honor roll student, in the Junior Beta Club, and has a huge heart.  My son’s father and I got married when he was nine months old (I was 19 years old). 

Almost four years later I had another little boy.  Their father and I were very young, had the wrong priorities, and were beginning to have problems within our marriage.  He had a family member that was mentally abusing me, telling things like a dog was more important to her than I was, making fun of my weight, and telling me I deserved to be beaten by my ex-husband (he was my husband at that time).   After so many years of the mental abuse and my husband not supporting me I began to mentally go to this dark place.  I had no fight left in me, no self-confidence, and to some extent no care.  After 5 years of marriage it was officially over and my whole life was starting to change.  I had begun to have sexual relationships with men, seeking love from someone.  I wanted to feel loved and cared for.

 About eight months after my divorce I had met this guy and began to date what I thought was exclusively.  One month into dating him I noticed that I was starting to get sick every day at 5pm.  I took a pregnancy test a couple of weeks later and of course it was positive.  I was terrified!  When I called him he sounded very disappointed and said, “you’re not planning on keeping it are you?"  I had spent days thinking about what to do, I was a single parent, barely getting by financially, and was severely depressed.  The next several days he would constantly let me know that we were not serious and that he did not want to be with me exclusively.  

One of my cousins had found out that I was pregnant and wanted to adopt the baby.  When I brought this idea to the father of the baby he told me that he would never agree to it and that he would take the baby from me if I tried to adopt it to my cousin.   My boys were old enough to know that I was going to have a baby if I started to show.  I knew they would be crushed if I had the baby and it was taken away.  The father of the baby said he would only agree to me aborting the pregnancy.  I was so confused and scared, so I decided to go through with it thinking that he was leaving me with no other option.

 I made the appointment, he gave me the money, and when the day of the appointment came he decided that he could not take me.  A friend from work drove me there, I got out of her car, and I heard her say just keeping looking forward.  When I looked over, I saw a handful of protestors on the other side of the gate.  They were pleading with me not to go in, wanting me to walk over to them.  They seemed scary to me.  I went in to the building and it was locked, you had to be buzzed in after you gave them your name. 

It was kind of dirty in there.  They would call about five women back at a time.  We first watched a video about abortion, got an ultrasound (which I refused to look at), then they took me back to the operating room.  As I lay on the table, I looked to my left and saw a picture that a child had colored on the wall.  That was the last thing I remembered.

 I woke up in a room with several other women, most were crying, I was.  They quickly got me up and let me leave.  I had felt almost like we were a herd of cattle being quickly shuffled from one room to the next.  Getting home was almost unbearable; I was by myself, left alone with my thoughts.  The guilt and knowing that I could not turn back time was instant.  The father of the now aborted child did not show up until late that night and only stayed for a few minutes.  I saw him a few more times after that, but then I never saw him again.

My two boys and I moved back to Tennessee to be close to family so I could go back to school and get back on my feet.  I continued the dating and the sexual activity with men, still trying to fill a void.  I believed in God but did not live my life that way.  I hid my dating men from the boys; I guess I was ashamed of my behavior.  I continued  to deal with severe depression as well.   About two years after moving back home I had meet this guy at my place of employment.  After a couple of months dating, he told me he wanted to marry me.  My mother and I went shopping for wedding dresses.  I was working at a girl’s home and everything seemed to be coming together.  I had started to feel sick everyday so I took a pregnancy test.  This time when I saw positive I was not as nervous.  When I told him he seemed happy.

I went walking around my neighborhood one day and when I came back home there was a voice mail on my phone.  When I listened to it, I was devastated!  It was his aunt telling me that he was living with his girlfriend and that I was the other woman.  I called her and the girlfriend was there telling me they had been together for like two years and that they had planned on getting married.  When I talked to him later that night I could tell that he couldn't decide who he wanted to be with.  I was so hurt and angry!  I had put myself in this position again.  I had confided in a person very close to me, and after talking to them decided that I was going to have another abortion.  I ended up having complications due to the second abortion and had to go back to the clinic three days later.  I chose to cut off communication with the father of the child, and have never spoken to him again.

 I was depressed, suicidal, and guilt stricken.  I decided at that moment I had to change my life.  I enrolled in school, stopped dating, and became celibate.  A little over a year later I was finishing up my degree and met what is now my husband.  We started going to church together before we were even married.  He definitely helped me become closer to God.  We got married and I thought that we would quickly start having children.  A month after we got married I found out that we were expecting.  We were all excited even the boys.

Right away I started having problems with the pregnancy.  At 19 weeks they sent me in for an emergency ultrasound...the baby's heart had stopped beating, she was gone.  The doctor gave me the option of being induced to have the baby or have surgery.  I chose surgery because I thought it would be easier to deal with if I did not see the baby.  They scheduled me for surgery the following Monday, three days away.  Early Monday morning my water broke.  My husband rushed me to the hospital and I had a little baby girl about 30 minutes later.  I knew that the Lord wanted me to see her, at first I refused but after about an hour, after everyone left the room, I asked the nurse to bring her to me.  She was so tiny, she had little toes, little fingers, a sweet little belly, and she had a name...Madison. 

They told us that it just happened, that it was just bad luck.  The next two and half years, my husband and I had endured six miscarriages.  In the back of my mind secretly I thought God was punishing me.  I had come to the reality that I was never going to have another child, nor did I deserve to have another.  Maybe my call was adoption.  My husband and I decided to go to a specialist just to see if we could ever have children.  After a ton of blood draws it was discovered that I had a hereditary blood clotting disorder. I quickly got pregnant again but my numbers were staying on the low side of the scale.  I asked the nurse what that meant and she told me, "If I were you and your husband I would not get your hopes up."  I walked out of the office crying.  Seven months later I had a healthy baby girl.  I asked the doctors one day how I was able to have my two boys and they said they didn't know.

 Every day I live with the guilt of the choices I made, of the abortions.  At one point I had confided to a friend about the abortions and she had started to turn her back on me.  I have lived with this secret because of the pain and because of the fear of judgment by other people.  I want to start to heal from this, to get past the shame and start to live my life for GOD.  I know with coming out with my story and pain that there will be some that will turn their backs to me, for a past mistake, but I want to help others from making this same terrible mistake. If I could stop just one scared girl from walking through that door or let a girl know that I am one who will not judge them, I want to do that. And for anyone who judges you for a PAST mistake, please remember that they too have made past mistakes, and that they would not want to be condemned for theirs.  Those who truly love you will not leave you!  Most importantly GOD will never leave you!

Priests for Life