5 years have past now since I became pregnant with my first baby. Half a decade. I go weeks now without thinking about the season of life I was in where I'd wanted to kill my baby every day. 23 years old felt so grown at the time, grown enough to indulge in an affair with a man 10 years older who promised so much, grown enough to make my own choices, but when it came time for the consequences 23 felt light years away from maturity. And looking back now, it was.
I was unashamedly pro life. I had so many hard set morals that were unshakable. But when the certain disaster that comes from a toxic relationship came to a head, I found myself on the door step of a crisis pregnancy center waiting for them to open the morning I'd found out I was pregnant. My hope was that they'd abort this baby faster than my reality would sink in, and erase a summer of poor choices...and any threat against my bright future. Looking like I led a noble life was important to me, looking like I was a good, moral, Christian person was important to me. Having a white wedding and living life in a socially acceptable and recommendable order was important to me. Except that I never was able to bridge the gap between who I was and who I wanted to be.
So, there I was stuck in the middle. Shame, guilt, regret, and bitterness ran through me and the idea of having a baby this way made my blood run cold and had me running to the toilet over and over again. The soft Christian music playing overhead that once flooded my car made me want to vomit. To my dismay, I'd gone into a place that did give honest, unbiased information about abortions, but that tried really hard to help a mom choose life for her baby. I filled out my forms and the entire meeting with a counselor was a blur, but I remember when the paperwork asked if there was anything they could pray for, I wrote one word: abortion.
Each morning I laid in my bed until I had to work at 4 or 5 in the afternoon. I cried and stared off into space. I called abortion clinics nearly every day, the nearest one was a little over an hour away. I asked a lot of questions and what I wanted to hear was that someone could offer me freedom from the deep emotional bondage I was in. Nobody ever could do that.
I was sitting in my car one rainy afternoon around 10 weeks along eating a bagel in a parking lot. Depression and heartache were heavy in me, but I GRIEVED. I grieved my reputation-all but a couple friends completely abandoned me, I grieved hurting other people in this process, I grieved my choices and the feeling of a clean conscience, I grieved my future. Coming from a broken home and painfully dysfunctional family made me want to break these cycles and do better. It was my main goal in life. I'd lost everything when God punished me for this affair with a baby.
Scrolling through Facebook, a friend's dad posted a random article. I had nothing better to do. That website had a few articles I may be interested in, and one was the story of a doctor on the East coast who'd been aborting babies up to 41 weeks on Sundays at the clinic. He called them Sunday babies and his staff testified how he'd laugh at their size. The doctor would turn the babies breech in utero before inducing the women and then before the head was delivered, he'd insert scissors into the base of the baby's skull and cut the baby's spinal cord.
I sat in that car and wept. I saw no difference between what I'd be doing and what this man was doing. In the days following, knowing myself as a deep feeler and one prone to guilt and self-loathing, I thought I'd begin writing about my experience with an abortion if I had one. I'd go through start to finish and after, every emotion and sound. So in a phone note, I wrote:
“You’re going to feel a poke. The nurse told me that part as the cold needle slid into my vein. None of the staff were the monsters I’ve always pictured them to be. Even though I still secretly thought they were.
Like…how does NOBODY here think this is wrong? Who APPLIES for these jobs? They’ve never heard of God? So they just sit here in this office every day, commit murder and then have lovely dinners with their families? And nobody sees a problem with it? What am I doing here! I’ll bet if I just got up and left RIGHT now, God would help me. He would, I know He would.
Do you have any questions before we begin? This will only take a few minutes. He spoke through a dr mask and I couldn’t see his face because he was down between my legs but I hadn’t spread them apart yet. Maybe I won’t. I could just get up right now and figure this out. Get up. Get UP. Could he just do it with them clamped shut? Let me feel like i didn’t choose this, like its not my fault. His gloved hands are cold. Most professionals’ are. My legs are shaking and prickly with goosebumps.
And WHAT is that nurse doing? What in the HELL is her job?! Is SHE going to hold my hand and whisper that it’s okay? Because it’s not! She makes me angry and I could just slap her for standing there thinking she’s any help at all to the world. I hate her already and I hope she drops the tools & breaks them so I can just go home. Get up. GET.UP.
I wish the anesthesia was made for emotion. I could probably deal with the pain. I’ve had Pap smears before. Why do I have to be awake for this? If I were asleep I wouldn’t feel like id had a choice in the matter and I could blame all the murder and tragedy on these normal people, whom I was certain were at any moment going to take off their masks to reveal demons. But I need no further than to turn my head to the left and to see my reflection in a surgical steel tray. Is that where they’re going to put her? I hope they set her down gently and let me hold her maybe. Why would I think that thought? God, please teleport me to my apartment. Maybe I should rethink it.
I bravely & cordially smile like he’s a dentist asking if I’m ready to have my braces put on. Like, it will hurt but it’s for the best. I’m pretty and happy now without braces. This will be the same. It gives him the go ahead like he’s just checking under the hood real quick.
My mind goes a million miles a minute. It hurts so badly and I am cutting into my hands with my fingernails oh my GOD my baby is being cut up like this and she hurts too Okay stop I changed my mind. STOP! STOP! Put her back!!! Is She in that machine? Why does it sound like lawn equipment? God! PLEASE IF YOU NEVER DO ANYTHING FOR ME AGAIN, take my baby out of that machine and put her back. Or I will trade places with her. I promise I will love her please God. I CHANGED MY MIND STOP!!
But I cooperated and lied as still as if I were dead because I think I am inside. People do this all the time. I am going to just be like everyone else and forget about it. But I can’t. I can’t ever be anything from here on out my whole life is changed. I can’t even. What would she have looked like? First word? Dance recitals, would she have been a ham & done something hysterical instead of her routine? What would her nickname have been? Is there a baby boy out there whose wife was just killed? Oh my God her wedding. And her dress. And her children. MY children. What if they later wonder if I wanted to kill them too? Like I’m going to have a husband or children NOW anyways.
What exactly is 3 hours in this bed supposed to recover me from? Not my regret.
coffee grinds. Snotty tissues and Diapers and pencil shavings. They end up in the garbage because they belong there. Babies aren’t garbage. I am garbage, I should go to the dump and spend my life there because I am a baby killing piece of trash and I do not deserve better than what I gave my first child. The nurse didn’t tell me I’d feel that."
For weeks, I texted all of my friends, lost and looking for the one piece of advice that would cause my pain to disappear. Even my most liberal pro choice friends were adamantly against me having an abortion, knowing it'd lead to my demise.
One thing that still sticks out in my mind is my mentor's words during a heated phone conversation where I told her I wanted an abortion, but I DON'T want to give the baby up for adoption because I'd love it at that point. She asked me, "THEN WHY WOULD YOU KILL IT IF YOU'RE GOING TO LOVE IT?"
I didn't abort my baby. I had that baby and named him Asher. He is 4 now.
How then, can I title this post "Aborting My Firstborn Baby" when I didn't? Because I ALMOST did. My entire life, like one of those choose-your-ending Goosebumps, would've crumbled if my story was different. Some choices we make, we never realize the gravity of until after it's happened. Some choices are so small, we'd never trace where we are now back to them. But THIS choice, the choice to keep my baby, changed everything from that point out.
I now have a truly beautiful life. I am blessed beyond measure despite what I thought I would deserve, and though it took me a few years, I no longer feel guilt or shame about the choices I made that led me to becoming a mom. It doesn't rattle me. It doesn't embarrass me to share because the devil can't use against you, what you've brought to the light. He loses his grounds to it.
I have a husband who came into our lives when Asher was 10 months old, and has been his dad ever since, eagerly, happily, officially adopting him nearly a year ago. This healed many wounds I carried. I wondered often laying in that bed of mine in my early pregnancy, "What if I meet someone who desperately wished I'd kept this baby and who would've loved it?" That's exactly what happened, and maybe the prospect of a man coming in to save the day shouldn't have kept me holding on, but it was more than that. It was the idea of wholeness and completion in a family that I got to create in love. In peace. In security.
We have a beautiful home with 2 beautiful girls, and all that I worried about in that lonely bed this time 5 years ago, has never come to pass or rear its head. None of it. I worried about a step family experience for my son that reminded me of what I had. I worried about half siblings and him not feeling wanted. I worried about not being able to teach him about God because I had disqualified myself from Christian-dom with my choices. I worried all day and tormented myself with negative thoughts as punishment.
I think in a way, an abortion would have been a punishment to myself too. Because when I chose life for my baby I chose life for myself too.
Today, my sweet boy lights up my entire life with love, pride, laughter, joy, and gratitude. He is smart and kind. Funny and sweet. Cute and witty. At the adoption hearing, Asher's biological father had to give a testimony as to why he was voluntarily giving up his rights as a parent before they were terminated. On the way out of the courtroom, I stopped him in the doorway with the judge looking at me as if I may need arrested. My husband looked at me, unsure of what I was doing. I cried as I told him "Thank you for this little boy. He is smart and kind. Funny and sweet. Cute and witty. He is perfect and we love him so much we would die for him. He is the best thing anyone has ever given me, so I forgive you."
Asher has grown me, matured me, made me wiser, more loving, deeper. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I got to tell him that last night laying in his bed with him rubbing his forehead while he fell asleep. I am so thankful for every experience I get to have as his mother, and he got to over hear me praying that over him tonight as he fell asleep in my arms. I can never get away from all of this thankfulness in my heart because I feel like I owe the life of my child to those who prayed for us. To God's perfect love and ways.
For all of the prayer warriors, those I was aware and unaware of, waging spiritual warfare on our behalf and impressing a conscience and God's will on me, I am grateful. I am indebted. It's because of you that I did not destroy two lives 5 years ago.
I don't have the mental space to often think on the time I was sad and single and pregnant these days, but when I do, I thank God that my abortion story ended in a baby whom I'd give MY life for.