Abortion Story: Newport Beach, CA
Submitted to Abort73 by a 30-year-old woman on November 29, 2015.
This isn’t an easy story to write. I’ve gone back and deleted this several times out of fear. I started writing this one year ago when I still lived with guilt and shame and just couldn’t post it. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready for the judgment. I wasn’t ready to let go. The story I’m about to write was traumatic to say the least. It’s not pretty, it’s not heroic. It’s one that may come as a shock to some, but it’s a story that needs to be told. It’s time. I no longer feel bound to my sin. I no longer live in fear of what people will think. I am free and because I am, I will share this. If I’ve reached at least one person by writing this, then it’s served it’s purpose. So, here we go. (gulp.)
I’ll just start by giving a brief background. Everything in my life leading up to this traumatic moment was an absolute mess. My marriage. My friendships. My relationship with God. All of it, an absolute nightmare. I lived a life being angry and selfish and figuring things out on my own. I was bitter at the way my life turned out, and it was one poor choice after another. I wore a mask; to everyone on the outside, I was a happy mom and wife that loved my life. On the inside, I was giving up. I was ready to walk away from my marriage and never look back. As usual, I wanted to take the easy road. As I said, it was one poor choice after another. Out of respect for my husband, I won’t go into the specifics, but I found myself in a bad situation. I was pregnant.
I was almost 24, with three kids already, and I couldn’t have another baby. In my mind, this was the worst thing that could happen at the time. I didn’t tell my husband. I didn’t tell anyone. Life was already complicated enough. and this would make it even worse. I researched several options. I went back and forth for two weeks trying to figure out how to fix it. I needed to get rid of this “problem,” and I needed to get rid of it fast. I found myself researching abortion clinics. I had to do it all in secret so my husband wouldn’t find out. I found myself in an abortion clinic in the middle of June, 2011.
I was numb. I couldn’t believe that I landed myself in that awful place. I could have run. I could have just told my husband. I could have asked for help. I could have searched for other options. But I didn’t. This clinic was everything you’d imagine it would be. It was located in a shady area of Tacoma, Washington. The outside of the building was grey and the trim was a faded mauve color. There were some picketers, but I was told over the phone when I made my appointment to ignore them. The interior was plastered with cheap, outdated decor. They tried to make it warm and inviting but let’s be honest, a place like that is quite the opposite. The receptionist was very sweet. She took my money, and I was treated like a queen. I was then taken into a room to discuss the procedure with a nurse. At that point, I burst into tears. She was a bit cold with me when I started crying and was almost annoyed as she told me maybe I wasn’t ready yet. I stopped crying abruptly and told her that I needed to do it. I was just scared. She offered no words of encouragement other than, “Think of it as a potential human. It’s not formed yet, it’ll be ok.” Those words stung. I knew the truth as I had already given birth to three beautiful children. I knew life started at conception. I knew it and I still moved forward.
After crying and speaking with the nurse, I was told to take a pregnancy test and then meet the ultrasound tech in a different room. They need to actually see the pregnancy in order to go through with the procedure. The pregnancy test was positive of course, but when they did the ultrasound they couldn’t see the baby yet. I was still too early, and I would need to come back a few weeks later to have another ultrasound. I rescheduled my appointment for two days after my 24th birthday on July 15th.
It was now the 4th of July, and my family and I went out to spend the day together. It was a 4th of July I will never forget. Carrying around that secret was almost unbearable. Every time I looked at my almost 2-year-old, squealing and smiling in his stroller, or when I watched my older two kids laughing on the little kiddie rides they were on at the fair, I felt the guilt just seep in deeper. As I look back on those weeks of waiting, I realize just how hardened my heart was. How deceitful I was. It’s still not easy to think about at times. The day was great and on the outside; I was trying to enjoy my little family. On the inside, I hated myself. We watched the fireworks together, and I held my babies close, wishing things were different.
The next week my birthday rolled around. My husband and kids made me a cake, and I drank almost a whole bottle of wine. I knew it wouldn’t matter because of what I was about to do two days later. I had to go through with it. Having another baby wouldn’t fix my life. It wouldn’t fix my marriage. I told myself this over and over. Getting rid of it was going to save my family.
The day finally came, and I made my way back to the clinic. I told my husband I had a doctor’s appointment. Just another convenient lie I told him. I arrived at the clinic and was seen right away. I was brought back into the ultrasound room and this time my pregnancy was visible. I was 12-weeks pregnant. For some reason, I asked to see it. The nurse asked me if I was sure, and I said “yes.” There it was. That tiny little gummy bear I was all too familiar with. Two years before I was looking at that same shape when I was pregnant with my 3rd baby. I asked to be alone for a few minutes. The nurse looked confused but left me anyway. I just stared at the screen and cried uncontrollably. I was crying so hard I began to shake. I whispered over and over, “I’m so sorry baby. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me.” I didn’t even pray because I was sure God wouldn’t hear me. He was done with me.
The nurse came back in, told me to get dressed and that I would meet with the doctor. I chose a medical abortion because doing it the other way was too expensive. A medical abortion is one where you take two sets of pills, and it causes you to “miscarry” as they say. I met with the doctor and she explained to me how everything was supposed to work. If I had any questions or concerns, or if anything went wrong, I was to call them. These people act as if they truly do care, and they make you feel like you are important and are doing the right thing. How I wish I knew how it really was. They gave me my first dose of pills at the office and then told me to take the second dose two hours later, after I got home. I was told I would start bleeding by the end of the day and it would feel like minor period cramps and the whole process would be completed within two weeks. I swallowed the pills. The doctor left, and I went home.
I remember driving home and breathing a sigh of relief. I went through with it and didn’t get caught. This would take two weeks, and then I could move on and fix my life. I got home, took a nap, and then took the other dose of pills. Sure enough as the doctor said, I started bleeding by the end of the day. I told my husband I started my period. He believed me. Things were going smoothly. I had nothing to worry about. Or so I thought.
Conveniently enough, because my husband was in the military at the time, he had to leave for a month for training. He left a week after my abortion started. Again, I felt like everything was working out perfectly. By the time he got back, I’d be done bleeding and everything would be great. Well, what was supposed to be only two weeks, turned into three, and then four, and then huge blood clots started coming out. I bled so much one time I felt like passing out. I called the abortion clinic and told them what I was experiencing. They told me that wasn’t normal and to go to the E.R. WHAT? They said they would help me if I had any concerns or if anything went wrong. They were supposed to HELP WOMEN. I was no longer their problem. They got my business, they took my money, I was now someone else’s problem. I couldn’t go to the E.R. I didn’t want it being traced back to my husband. I dealt with the blood clots and told myself it would take care of itself and go away soon. I ended up bleeding for three months before landing myself in the E.R., where they told me the fetus was still attached and my body was trying to get rid of it but couldn’t. I had a D&C to flush everything out, and they told me I was in the clear from that point on. I told one of the female nurses my situation, and she assured me my husband would never know because of patient confidentiality. I told him I had a ruptured ovarian cyst that was really bad. The bleeding eventually stopped and I was fine—physically.
I held my secret in for two years. TWO WHOLE YEARS. I never told anyone. I carried it with me, alone. Not a day went by that I didn’t think about that baby. My marriage continued to go down the drain and one night in January of 2013, there was a big blow up between my husband and I, and I told him everything. It was so hard and I expected a divorce. I expected him to hate me and tell me what a horrible person I was. Instead, he got down on his knees and faced me as I sat on the couch crying, and he told me how sorry he was. He hurt for me. He cried as I cried. He held me and told me he couldn’t imagine having to keep that to myself the whole time. I told him all the details. I told him just how I felt about it all. Everything came spilling out of me. The burden was slowly lifting off my chest. Even though I had told him everything, I still didn’t seek help in dealing with it. It wasn’t until another year and a half later that I finally shared it with someone else other than my husband. A friend of mine reached out and told me that it was something that she wanted to help me deal with. She broke it down for me and made me realize just how traumatic of an experience it was. I never had time to truly process it. I got it done, pushed it aside and went into survival mode. For 2 years I couldn’t think about it let alone deal with it. It wasn’t after that I shared it with our small group at church earlier this year that I realized just how badly I was still hurting. To be honest, I still haven’t gone to counseling. It’s something I know I need to do. and I know it will help, but just talking about it and getting it out in the open gives me tremendous amounts of freedom. Since telling my husband and getting through 2013, I gave my life back over to Christ. It was a face down in the carpet, sobbing mess of a prayer. I knew in that moment He had already forgiven me. I know I am forgiven, and I don’t have to be bound to my sin. I am no longer that person. I am not my past. I know He’s holding that baby safely in His arms and we will meet one day. I am made NEW.
I know that by sharing this, no matter how freeing it feels, that the pain doesn’t just dissipate. I know that I’m forgiven and my marriage is better than it ever was before. However, every February, ( my due date) I think about how I could have had another baby. This coming February, I should be celebrating my baby’s 4th birthday. That is still extremely painful, and I will never stop morning his/her death. That’s what it is. It was a death. An innocent life was taken. Don’t ever let anyone downplay that for you. Don’t believe the lies that you can move on and have a normal life. You won’t. The women that have had an abortion and say that it never affected them are either lying or emotionally disturbed. You don’t just go through something that traumatic and come out fine on the other side. As someone once said, “Abortion kills twice. It kills the body of the baby and it kills the conscience of the mother. Abortion is PROFOUNDLY anti-woman.” There’s no way to sugar coat taking the life of the unborn. I will carry it with me for as long as I live. That is the most painful consequence of it all. I imagine what my child would have looked like and what kind of person they could have grown up to be. You don’t just walk away from it.
If you’re reading this and have either gone through the same thing or are thinking about having an abortion, please talk to someone. Speaking up is the best thing you can do. You are loved. You are valued, and you matter. Your baby’s life matters, and there are other options. You don’t have to go through it alone. PLEASE either contact me personally at lmjmusic13[at]yahoo.com or CALL 1.866.482.LIFE.
There is HOPE. I am living proof that God can take something messy and ugly and downright devastating and turn it into something beautiful. I believe He is using me throughout this process, and I hope I can be a light in someone’s dark time.
Location: Newport Beach, CA
Date: November 29, 2015