I can’t change my past; if I could I would a thousand times over. Even if the situations were exactly the same; if I knew then what I know now, I would change my decision, I would not have aborted two children.
But I can’t change my past; I can only hope to change your future.
I grew up, as the child of evangelical missionaries, in Quito, Ecuador. My parents were loving, the country was beautiful, and the school we attended was wonderful. And yet I still managed to find my fair share of trouble, trials, and heartaches.
During my time in Ecuador, before I managed to graduate from high school, I had been raped by a stranger, sexually molested by my best friend, and I lost my brother in a motorcycle accident.
I tried to conform to the lifestyle I was raised in, I tried to “believe in God”, but after a while it was just too difficult. Besides, I was already “damaged goods”; my virginity had been stolen from me on more than one occasion, by stranger and by friend. I was worthless, I felt worthless; I was bad, so I figured I might as well have fun being bad.
As I left the missionary environment and was out from under my parent’s roof, I was free to live life the way I wanted. I tried going to college but soon joined the military.
In the Army I could drink as much alcohol as I wanted, smoke as many cigarettes as I wanted, curse as bad as I could learn the words, and yes, I could have as much sex as I wanted. And I did it all…with total disregard to any consequences. I wasn’t even thinking about any lasting relationship, much less birth control; I was trying to bury my pain.
One day someone thought he was going to divorce his wife any marry me. I ran off scared to an assignment in the desert (this was in the mid 19080’s before Desert Shield/Desert Storm). Shortly after arriving in the Sinai I realized I was pregnant.
I was young, 21 years old, I was very single, and I had no idea who the father was. I was so very very scared and I had no one to turn to. The military was very good and very quick to “fix the problem”. No options were discussed, ever. As soon as it was obvious that this was an “unplanned/unwanted pregnancy” there was only one option presented to me.
It was not called an abortion; the term termination was used instead. Maybe if they would call it what it is – murder – moms would think twice before killing their babies. But it was so easy; it was presented to me as the only option. I was sent off to the hospital to have my pregnancy terminated.
I remember the day as clearly as if it were only yesterday, even though it was 20 years ago this year. I should have a son who would be turning 20 years old this year. But I remember the day…I remember laying on the gurney, being wheeled into the operating room. As I lay there the thinking about what I was really about to do, big tears started to run down my face. I remember one of the nurses looking at me, patting my shoulder and saying, “Oh don’t worry, it will all be over before you know it.” Well, she was wrong, it’s never going to be over, I will remember the day I aborted my child forever. I will cry for my child, I will never cease to wonder what he would have been like, especially as I look at the two wonderful children I do have.
But my story is not over. Oh, how I wish it were, but it’s not.
I went on to get married, and I figured I was doing good to find someone who would want to marry someone like me, especially after the lifestyle that I had led. We had a son, and he is the sunshine of my life. I’m not going to speak to the state of my marriage, for that is a whole different topic.
Shortly after the birth of my beautiful boy, two months later, I was pregnant again. My husband was not happy at all. I had just had a baby and I was now scheduled to attend a military leadership school. But they would not let me go if I was pregnant.
The pressure was put on me from many sides to terminate the pregnancy. I mean, we didn’t mean to get pregnant again so soon. All I could do was remember my first child and hold tight to my second. I felt the world spin around my head as I was being led down an old familiar road again…the road that had billboards which read “DON’T WORRY” “IT’S OK” “IT’S NOT THAT BIG OF A DEAL” “IT’S NOT REALLY WRONG, IT'S NOT A BABY YET”. And every single one of them was a lie.
And again, never once did anyone offer me an option, or even discuss options with me. Oh how I wish they had, how I wish someone would have sat down and tried to talk me out of aborting my children. And this child, this second one was a product of my marriage. I look at myself with disgust! Because of my renewed faith in God, I believe I have been forgiven, but forgiving myself is a different matter, one I struggle with.
If you are reading this, and you are contemplating an abortion, regardless of what your religious beliefs are, please please go talk to someone about the many options to abortion. There are so many out there, and many of the agencies have nothing to do with any type of church. Many do, but you do not have to be a member of any particular church to receive help from them.
Just go talk to someone…for your sake and for the sake of your child. Once the abortion has happened, you will remember it for the rest of your life. No matter what people will try and tell you, it won’t be over in a few minutes; it’s not like getting a flu shot.
I live with the image of my two sons on my mind, knowing full well that I am the reason they are not alive. It is a burden I will carry with me for the rest of my life, a sorrow I will never be rid of. Please, reconsider; find someone to talk to…don’t believe the lies, there is another way.
Recently, the woman who wrote this story made the following painful comment:
ood days but lately my babies have been on my mind an awful lot. I guess because one of their birthdays would have been this month or next month. I don’t even know for sure how far along I was. The guilt just really hurts worse some days…"