I met John when I was in 4th grade and he was in 6th. I had a huge crush on him. He moved on to junior high and I moved on to other crushes.
On the last day of my freshman year of high school this same boy (young man) almost accidentally ran me over when my best friend and I were walking home. He ended up giving us a ride. We became friends over that summer and officially started dating sometime after the beginning of September.
In late October 1985, we started having sex. Neither of us even considered using any type of protection.
We broke up in December. In January I was spending the night at a mutual friend’s house. He came by, and we ended up leaving and having sex.
In mid-late February 1986, I started getting sick every day in biology class. I had no idea why. One of my girlfriends noticed and asked if I thought I could be pregnant. I went to Planned Parenthood in early March. Sure enough, I was pregnant. I had no idea what to do.
I told John and he asked who the father was. He wanted nothing to do with me. I had not been with anyone else. I knew it and so did he. But it was terrible. I felt quite alone. I never imagined I’d be in this situation.
I have an aunt who had an abortion when she was 16 and figured she’d understand my problem. She suggested that we go together and tell my mother. When I told my mother she asked, “Well, what do you want to do about it?” I said, “Um, I don’t know. I guess an abortion.”
We made an appointment at Planned Parenthood. I was 9 weeks pregnant. They said I needed to get in right away and scheduled me for the abortion the next week.
While the nurse was doing my intake information I asked what my baby looked like. She told me it was not a baby yet, but just a clump of tissue. It may be naïve, but I had no idea that she was lying.
The day of the abortion it was raining. My mom and my aunt took me to PP. They stayed in the waiting area with me until I was called back.
I don’t remember it but I changed clothes and the next thing I remember is sitting in a dimly lit room with several other women/girls watching daytime TV. It was Price Is Right. No one talked or really even looked at one another. One by one we were called and disappeared.
My name was called and a nurse took me into a room that was very cold, very sterile looking/smelling. It was green. Green that was not quite mint…darker.
I was on a bed and the nurse was telling me they were going to dilate my cervix and I might hear a loud noise and some other stuff I can’t remember. The “doctor” came in and they told me to start counting. Things started to fade.
I woke up crying and in pain. The nurses were going bed to bed trying to comfort, help, and advise women. I was told that when I could get up and dressed by myself I could go. I just wanted to lay there and cry. Eventually I was able to sit up on the edge of the bed. I was so nauseous. Then I was able to walk to a small waiting area nearby and eat some crackers and drink some orange juice. I went and got dressed.
My mom and aunt were in the waiting room. It was still raining and I was half lying down in the backseat. I just cried softly all the way home. They had bought me a bag of Oreos and a teddy bear that was wound around a vase with a pink flower in it. I hated that teddy bear for years. After going through Project Rachel I took that teddy bear to the cemetery and placed at the memorial for aborted babies. I didn’t hate him anymore.
I spent the day in bed. Crying.
I was also very angry. John, as it turns out, had won a trip to Hawaii and that’s where he was. I figured he didn’t even know or care what I was going through. As it turns out, he had called. It came out years later during a fight. I was yelling at him for this and he told me he had called. My mother was right there and was shocked. She had told him I didn’t want to speak to him when he called to see if I was okay.
Over the next few months John and I saw each other at school but didn’t really have anything to do with one another. I turned 16 and got my license, both in June. Over the summer we’d find ourselves in the same circle of friends. We started dating again in the fall. It was not a good relationship… ever. He was very jealous and possessive. We were off and on all school year long.
I was insecure, depressed, and angry. I had always had a very quick temper and the combo of depression and angry heightened my temper.
In March 1987 I had an incident at my high school. I had a fight with 2 security guards and wound up expelled and arrested (cite released to my mom) and charged with assault and battery on 2 peace officers. I was put on probation for one year.
Being out of school, not seeing my friends, having a boyfriend who did and sold drugs (crystal meth), and the abortion sent me even further into depression. I slept roughly 20 hours a day. At some point my parents let John move in with us (he was supposed to be in the spare bedroom and pay rent… yeah, neither of those things happened. I slept in his room and he never did pay rent).
Part of my probation was to see a psychologist. He put me on an antidepressant and a tranquilizer (for when I flipped out and threatened to kill myself and anyone else causing me problems.) When I tried to discuss the abortion, it was dismissed. I was told I did what was best. It would have ruined my life. No one wants to admit that abortion hurts. It obviously hurts the baby. It kills. But it also hurts other people involved.
One day that stands out in my mind was when I had flipped out. I was violent and throwing things. I ran out of the house and just wanted to get away. I ran a few blocks to the Catholic Church and just wanted to go inside. The doors were locked. I felt so defeated. I sat on the steps and just cried. My dad was out driving, looking for me. I got in the car and laid my head on his lap and was crying. I was asking him what was wrong with me and why I was so evil and that my soul felt like a big black hole. He had no idea about the abortion and had no idea how to help me. He just cried, too, and told me he didn’t know.
My parents finally forbid me to see John. My parents and I had a huge falling out and they did not want me living in their house. I went to live with my aunt. I snuck around to see John and got pregnant again. I had been on the Pill and took it regularly as I was also taking my other meds.
When I found out I was pregnant I knew I was going to keep this baby. Somebody would finally really love me and I’d have somebody to love. John wanted the baby also. We knew it would be hard but felt we could do this!
I don’t remember how I told my parents but the first thing my mom said was, “I am not a built- in babysitter.”
I was about 9-10 weeks. I made an appointment to see an OB/GYN and my mom went with me. When the nurse called me to go in the exam room, my mom stood up to go with me. The nurse told me, “You’re a big girl. You don’t need your mom with you.” I told her I wanted her to go in with me. The nurse was not happy about that.
After the physical exam the doctor told me to get dressed and the nurse would show me to her office so we could talk. When I was dressed and the nurse came to get me, she pointed to where the waiting area was and told my mom she could wait out there for me. I told the nurse that I wanted my mom to come with me. Again, she was not happy with that.
Right away the doctor asked me if I wanted my mother in the room. I said yes. Then she asked if I thought I was going to be able to take care of a baby. I said yes, I was going to be 18 by the time the baby was due, the baby’s father wanted to be involved, and we wanted this baby. Then the doctor asked if I thought I’d be able to take care of a baby that had something wrong with it. Initially I said yes. The doctor then said that there was certainly going to be something wrong since I was on antidepressants and tranquilizers, and that the baby’s father had been doing drugs (marijuana and meth). That completely deflated my confidence. She asked again if I thought I’d be able to handle a baby with something wrong with it. I said I didn’t know. She said she was going to recommend that I have an abortion and that I was too young to take care of a baby with problems. I was stunned. But, here was this medical professional recommending what was best for me. I’d already had one abortion and was fine, so what was the harm in doing it again? Especially if something was wrong with the baby. My mother said nothing. Later I realized the nurse was probably trying to keep my mother out because she probably thought my mother would not be okay with me getting an abortion. If they had me alone they could talk me into it.
So I was scheduled for an abortion the following week. I don’t remember what John thought when I told him.
I don’t remember much from the day of that abortion. I remember John called early, early and said his truck had a flat tire and didn’t think he was going to make it to take me. My mother told me it wasn’t her responsibility and she was not going to take me. John’s older brother and girlfriend (who had also had several abortions) called me when they found out John had called. His brother offered his truck and told me they would make sure John came to get me. He did. He dropped me off.
The only thing I remember about this appointment was waking up. I woke up, forced myself out of the bed right away, ate the crackers, drank the juice, got dressed and went out the back to the parking lot where John was waiting. He drove me home and dropped me off. No one was home and I went right to bed.
We spent the next year and a half off and on. In April of 1989 I broke it off for good.
Over the next few years I battled depression and anger issues. If I heard the word abortion I changed the subject, pretended not to hear, put on my “I’m okay” smile and didn’t acknowledge anything was wrong with abortion.
When I was pregnant with my next 2 children I was shocked to know what 9, 10, 11 week old BABIES were like. I was so afraid God was going to take these babies from me.
Over a few months several things happened that led me to the path of healing.
I started taking some classes at the junior college. I met a lady who was volunteering at the Life Support Center. I started volunteering there too. There was an article about The LSC and with it an article about Project Rachel. The meetings were held at the same Catholic school my daughters started attending.
It was very hard, but relieving at the same time, to go to Project Rachel. I learned that when I asked God to forgive me, He had. I learned that I needed to forgive myself (If God forgives me who am I not to? Am I better than God?), forgive my mother, aunt, John, the abortionist, PP people, the OB doctor…everyone involved. It was hard. It was hardest to forgive myself, I think. I wrote letters to some of them. I actually sent the ones I wrote to John and my mother. I also named my babies. Faith and Rene.
I ended up going through Project Rachel a second time. I had a hard time dealing with my second abortion and needed that extra counseling.
I will regret my abortions, the killing of my own babies, Faith and Rene, They have affected many aspects of my life. I had a very hard time trusting people. My own mother didn’t help me. If I had wanted to do some other life changing thing…quit school, become a prostitute, do drugs, etc., she certainly would have tried to stop me. Or at least she would have told me the wrongs of it. Or she would have explored alternatives.
I was lied to. The nurse at PP telling me my baby was a clump of tissue. The OB telling me there was certainly something wrong with my baby.
My oldest daughter found and read the journal I kept during Project Rachel. She was horrified and angry to discover her mother had killed her two older siblings. She hated me for a long time.
A few years ago John contacted me and apologized. He did get the letter I sent but was too involved in drugs (he says partially due to the abortions as well) to say anything to me.
I hope by telling my story I can stop even one abortion. I can bring life to Faith and Rene.
|Priests for Life