I really can't remember how old I was. I know I was in 10th grade because my boyfriend at the time was a Junior and we were supposed to go to his Junior Prom. I convinced my parents that they still had to let me go because they couldn't ground me for a "Biological mishap." I went to the prom anyway. I can't remember if that was before or after the abortion.
I remember my mother found out I had gone to Planned Parenthood because she found a piece of paper with the name, "Wanda" on it. It was the fake name I used to get a pregnancy test. I can't really remember having any type of real conversation with my mom about options or ideas to keep the baby. The only thing she told me then was that she didn't want the boy's parents involved because they were Catholic and would make me keep the baby. That would change my whole life and I was too young to take care of the baby and she worked all the time.
I don't even remember who paid for it. I remember being in Spanish class at the time and I told the boy next to me that they were going to call me out for the abortion. I think I thought it was cool or something. I remember I brought my best friend at the time. I watched a video about it and spoke to a lady who was making sure I wanted to do it. I didn't think I had a choice and really did not feel the severity of what I did until years later. It kind of seemed like a medical procedure type thing. I remember afterward we actually went out to a Mexican restaurant.
I don't remember much about the procedure. I remember a sucking sound and a few cramps. I think I haven't really thought about the details too much. I do remember that I used to count every year as to how old the child would have been now. I think now about 26 or so. I lost count. When I light candles on Friday night I have a custom of lighting a candle for that baby and one that I had a miscarriage with. I now have a 10 month old son. When I sat in the OBGYN office one day and saw a string of ultrasound pictures that belonged to a woman sitting next to me, I couldn't believe that the baby already looked so developed. I was there to get my first one. It was then that I could clearly see with my own eyes that there was a little person forming inside of me. I went to the library and checked out books on babies in the womb. Colored pictures taken inside the body. It was amazing. It was then that I realized that a baby is a baby when you want it, but when you don't it is only a parasite living off of your body, or a problem that needs to be "taken care of".
It seemed that growing up in Oklahoma, every girl I know in high school got pregnant it seemed. I can't say that I have had any real help in getting any healing. I don't think I ever even knew I still thought about it that much until today when I heard the broadcast on Relevant Radio here in Rhode Island. It was very touching. I did at one time purchase a Jewish book on healing after the loss of a baby. It was very well done. Since then which was a couple of years ago, I have not thought about it much. I was very saddened by the loss of my previous baby to a miscarriage. I knew however in my heart that the body knows best and G-d had his reasons.
I do think it is a strange world we live in where we can freely dispose of an unwanted child when we wish to. Then again, I do not think anyone wants to see back alley abortions re-surface either. I do believe, of course, that if the life of the mother is at stake, a doctor has to make the appropriate decision to save the mother as best as he can and do his best to save both if possible, but it is not always the case. In these cases, a living parent has to be kept alive if possible for the well-being of the family and G-d willing, the unborn child can be helped.
My life has changed immensely due to the birth of my son. I do not look at these issues in the same light. I have found myself over the years and still do find myself asking the soul of my little baby to forgive me. I feel so sorry for him/her sometimes because G-d tried to send them to me, but I didn't let them be born. Even while writing this, I feel such an inner sense of sadness. I had not really realized I felt all of these emotions until I heard that radio broadcast. Now that I am older, I do feel that having abortions will later cause any woman to have feelings of regret down the line. How can it not? You were once given life within your body and the person extinguished it. It really is committing murder in your own body. Strange as it sounds, the feelings of not many memories and the seeming levity, or at least carefree attitude the whole thing in my experience undertook, made it seem like a frivolous medical procedure. Now I know that I wasn't the only one having these feelings all of these years. There must be so many women out there who feel the same if not worse. Thank you for allowing me to write this down. I do not think I have ever even written anything about it. I hope this can help someone else. G-d Bless all women and their children born and unborn, Melissa.