It was the summer of 1994, and I was a 25 year old divorced mother of 2 boys. I found myself pregnant for my ex-husband, and as his physical and emotional abuse increased, I was so confused about what to do. The thought of having one more person to be responsible for was overwhelming. I already struggled as a single parent, and I had no idea how my ex-husband would take the news. My greatest fear was that I would be trapped in that abusive relationship for the rest of my life. I felt that I couldn’t bring another life into the messy and unpredictable life that I was living. How could I tell my mother that I was, once again, facing an unplanned pregnancy? I have to honestly say, I can’t even remember the exact day that I made the “choice” to have an abortion. I think back now and realize how selfish and self-serving I really was. I will never get the chance to know how my baby would have changed my life.
Without telling my ex-husband or anyone else, my best friend took me to the abortion clinic in Beaumont, TX. I can’t remember much of that day, and I try to remember the procedure itself, but I just can’t bring it into focus. I can’t remember what the abortionist looked like, or even if he talked with me about what he was about to do to me. When it was over, I remember being in a “recovery” room with a lot of other girls. I remember some of the girls crying, but I don’t think I cried. I don’t remember much of the drive home. I can’t remember how I felt afterwards, and it drives me crazy to know that I can’t remember something so life-changing (or should I say life-ending?). The wall was beginning to go up – the wall that would block out the trauma of that day.
That wall continued to grow taller the next couple of years, as I kept my dark secret hidden. I was always terrified of anyone finding out what I had done, especially my ex-husband.
By the time 1996 rolled around, I was living in Dallas, and my boys and I were doing great on our own. My boyfriend was a single father of twin girls, but when I became pregnant, I can’t remember whose idea it was that I have another abortion. Again, I had all the same excuses as before about being a single parent – only thinking of myself and what people would think of me and how hard my life would be.
I don’t remember much of that second abortion, but I do remember lying on the bed at the abortion clinic. They had given me so much medication, that I couldn’t think straight. The abortionist came in and examined me. I remember him telling me that I was 12 or 13 weeks pregnant. 12 or 13 weeks!!! At the time, I had no idea what was involved in aborting a baby. I had no idea of how the procedure was done. It breaks my heart every time I think of what I did to my baby. I wish I had known more, maybe I would have stopped him. I don’t know.
Although I struggle to remember other details of that day, I can’t even remember the time of year, much less the month that my baby died. I remember throwing up on the way home, and I remember hating my boyfriend. I broke up with him shortly after the abortion, and he threatened to tell my mother what I had done. If there was anyone in the world that I didn’t want to know, it was my mother. I was terrified for several weeks, until he finally left me alone.
I continued living, as if nothing was wrong with my life, as if I hadn’t had 2 of my children killed. My life seemed normal to everyone around me, as I continued to work and raise my boys. To others, I was a great mom, a single mom who was able to balance it all. I had everyone fooled. I had this huge wall around me, so no one could see what was really going on in my heart. Even I couldn’t see what was going on. I was living life, pretending that none of that other stuff had ever happened – just a bad dream or something that had happened to someone else.
Then, in 1997, I met the man to whom I am married to today. We fell in love and soon were engaged. I was terrified to admit my sins, but I finally was able to tell him that I had 2 abortions. He asked me a few questions, and then we never spoke of them again. I never brought them up, so he didn’t either. There have been times in our marriage that I believe my sins were there causing us problems, and we weren’t even aware of it. For example, the subject of having children was something we never could agree on. I came into the marriage with my 2 sons, and he had a daughter. All 3 children lived with us, but I wanted another child. I wanted a baby so badly, and he would never agree to us having more children. I longed for a baby and longed to be pregnant again, and I know it was because I was trying to make up for my abortions. For many years, a part of me resented my husband for not giving me a baby. I held on to that resentment for a long time, and once I started healing I was finally able to understand how misplaced my anger was. I was angry with my choices, but blaming my husband.
Today, I wish that young girl could know the pain that she would suffer. I wish that frightened girl would have realized that she had other options. I wish I would have known that it didn’t matter what others thought of me. I wish I would have known how much I would grieve the loss of my babies and how much I would physically ache for my children.
I attended a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat in July of 2010. That retreat was God’s free and undeserved gift of grace to me. I began my journey of healing that weekend and found God’s love, forgiveness, and mercy. I learned I was not alone, and I was not being judged. It was a healing that I never dreamed possible. For so long, I had pushed memories and details of my abortions away and never allowed myself to think of the children I had lost.
My grief and my sadness for my children are what I want others to NEVER feel. I am finally at peace, knowing that I have been forgiven and that my children are safe in Heaven with Jesus. God graced me with his mercy and healing, and He desires this for all of his broken children.
The Lord has put it on my heart to share my story, and His plan for me continues to unfold. I share so others will know God’s forgiveness and to help others learn from my mistakes. There are many layers to His plan, most of which I will never know. But in April 2013, our amazing God gifted me with 2 beautiful granddaughters. Each time I look at their sweet, innocent faces, I know that I want them to never, ever have the “choice” I was given. If I have to stand in a room full of strangers and tell my sins every day of my life to be sure that they will be safe from abortion, then that is what I will do. For them, I am Silent No More!