There is Help Out There

  Julia
Colorado,  United States
 
  Almost a year ago I was exploring the sandy shores of New Zealand with my boyfriend, with whom I had been for only a handful of months.  While in New Zealand, we found out I was pregnant and immediately gushed in the love of the life we had created. He and my unborn child were my world. Together we were great, but for some reason I was hesitant to tell more people about our baby.  My boyfriend would ask me why I hadn't told my family yet, and I would always come up with excuses. I mostly relied on the excuse that I wanted to wait until three months to share the news with anyone.  I guess deep down I was actually trying to protect myself from their opinions regarding the pregnancy.   I finally felt brave enough to tell my family, and their words hurdled back at me and plagued me with doubts.  How would we raise a family when we are both in our early 20's?  Why would we do this when we had only been together for less than a year?  They told me things like they would support me, but they wouldn't support me financially.  My older sister soberly said she resented my child. All their statements have wounded our relationships deeply.

All of my joy and happiness was shattered in a matter of hours.  All of my doubts that I had been hiding from flooded into my mind.  Ultimately the doubts drove me to side with my family.  My boyfriend was distraught.  He begged me on hands and knees to save his child; he would do anything to be a father.  We were a family, but out of nowhere we were divided.  In a matter of days we flew back to the States, we went our separate ways, and I had an abortion.  Literally, it only took days.

The doctor I chose to see was a private doctor.  He was the same man who delivered me at my own birth. He gave me life, and now I was going to see him to talk about potentially ending the life within me.  I still cry at the twisted irony of all this.  As I entered his office, the women behind the counter were friendly, but I could see the pain behind their eyes when they knew why I was there. The doctor called me in and we talked about how far along I was.  He performed an ultra sound but didn't want me to see the image. He told me that if I were his daughter, he would do the same thing.  He told me I was young.  He wrote me a prescription to take a pill for the next day right before I came in and he would perform the procedure.  He said it would be simple.  I walked out of the office feeling numb and hopeless.  Not to mention, this whole time my own mother was the one who drove me to the office and would later drive me to the abortion.

The next day I woke up and told my boyfriend that it was all happening, that I didn't feel equipped to be a mother, and that I didn't think we could provide for a child.  I took the pill and arrived at the office, full of chills and withholding tears.  They walked me to a room where I was loaded up with pain killers.  To be quite honest, the rest is hazy.  I drifted off into sleep, and I only have a couple snapshots of a nurse holding my shoulder telling me "everything was going to be alright".  Then I remember waking up.  That was it. It seemed like such a routine procedure, and I woke up in a state of grogginess...  I walked out of the office telling the doctor I felt relieved, words to which this day I cannot believe came out of my mouth.

After landing back in my bed after the abortion, I cried. I cried for the death of my baby, for the confusion that led me there, and for betraying my partner.  I bled for a few days after the abortion, a constant reminder of the life that I just ended.  Even now, when it is my time of the month, I have flashes of the days after the abortion, and I fall back into tears.  Life after the abortion has been such a lesson, and it has not been pretty.  I fell into a deep depression and lay in bed for two weeks, not eating or talking to anyone, only crying and begging my baby and boyfriend to forgive me.  I didn't know how to relate to my family anymore, after they were so supportive of the abortion. (I am still struggling with this).  I felt hopeless and weak.

For the next few months I drifted from place to place, trying to regain some semblance of stability, but in reality barely floating by on a bed of tears.  Every person I met, I felt as if I had to tell them about the abortion as a way to explain myself.  And every person I told reacted differently.   By God's mercy, my boyfriend asked to be together again and I drove to be with him across the country.  On my journey to his state, I decided to stop in Colorado to participate in a post-abortive healing retreat, and I felt more encouraged than ever that this way God's message of forgiveness.  My boyfriend was so loving and although he was betrayed, he still wanted to be the family that we are.

I wish I could say we are still together. Unfortunately, the pain from the abortion has been too difficult for us to overcome together. I am still battling times of depression, though I have healthier ways of dealing with the pain instead of staying in bed for days at a time.  I have found a voice through the written word, and I hope to share my story with anyone who will listen.  My new motivation for life is to be the love and support for women who are where I was a year ago.  I want to make sure they know that there is help out there. That is why I am silent no more!

   
   
Priests for Life
www.priestsforlife.org