Part of me Died that Day

Michigan,  United States
  I conceived my son on February 1, 2004 at the age of 25. I knew instantly that I was pregnant, but ignored all the signs. I finally bought a test, watched as the results showed positive and then went down to a local Planned Parenthood.

After submitting my sample for the test, I was told to go back and sit in the waiting room. I was there for 20 minutes until they called my name. I was taken back to a small, dark office and told that I was pregnant by a woman who never told me her name. That woman never once looked me in the eye or even called me by my name. When I muttered the words, “I can't have a baby”, she began to tell me of my “options”. Those options all had the same result: termination of pregnancy.

I wanted to do the pill form so that I could be alone and not have people know, but a person at the clinic convinced me otherwise. I was driven there that morning, March 11, 2004 with a friend who was the only person I had told. He was also the person I had to borrow money from to pay for it.

I gave a woman at the counter the money and she told me to wait. There were others in the waiting room, but no one spoke or really looked at each other. I was brought back to an exam room, handed a gown, told to strip down, and then wait on the table. A woman came in and said she was going to “look to see where the 'tissue' was located” and proceeded to do an ultrasound. I heard nothing and saw nothing, as she had the screen facing away from me. I realize now that that is not how ultrasounds are done when the pregnancy is wanted.

After that, I was sent to wait in a very cold, very dark room. I was alone. After what seemed like a very long time another woman came and got me. I walked into a very bright, but very small, room with a lot of equipment in it. I was told to get up on the table, lay back, and try to relax. I think they used a sedative on me because I just sort of remember waking up and told to get up. I was very groggy, but my first thoughts were immediate and sudden: I wanted my baby back. I wanted to undo everything I had just done. I wanted to know if they could tell the sex of the baby. I wanted to know so much. I was walked down a hallway to a large “recovery” room and placed in a hideous orange and yellow vinyl chair. I must have fallen asleep. I woke up again and there was a woman at the far end of the room. She noticed and said, “Your clothes are in that bag next to you. Go in there (points), change, and put the gown in the bin with the others.” When I came out of the changing room, she was still across the room from me. She said there was paperwork on the table next to the chair I had been sitting in. I was reading the paperwork when she looked back up at me. She said, rather rudely, “Take it and read it later. Call us if anything happens. The door out is that way (points).”

I was in a daze. I went home, laid down on my bed, and cried. My friend that was with me had no idea what to do. He tried his best to comfort me but ultimately left me alone.

Anger started to creep into my life after that. Being from an Irish family, I had always been a bit feisty, but it started to turn into anger and rage. I lost my joy. Happiness was fleeting and I spent most of time feeling like an outsider looking in on life. I was sad, lonely, and felt such despair. A few months after the abortion, my step-mom came to me to tell me that my ten year old little sister had asked her why I wasn't the same. She told my step-mom, “I want my sister back.”

Part of me died that day. Part of me stopped living when I took the life of my child. I was so overcome by the grief and other emotions that, eight months later, I moved over 2,000 miles away. I somehow thought that the farther away I was from where it all happened that I would forget it ever happened.

I went on a Rachel's Vineyard retreat in 2012 and started the healing process. There is a long road ahead of me, but at least I have started down the path toward healing and forgiveness.

It's been nine and a half years since my abortion. I grieve for my son every single day. I mourn the loss of my child. However, I no longer need to grieve and mourn alone: I am silent no more.

Priests for Life