445 || One Face of Abortion, and It’s Mine
I feel it is critical to share the truths about abortion from someone who has personally made this devastating decision. And that’s why I’m telling my story.
In the Beginning
I was just barely 18 and in my senior year of high school when I first got pregnant. I was a teenager, pregnant out of wedlock by a cocaine addict, and I was scared. I felt hopeless and alone. I didn’t feel ready for a baby even though I had obviously put myself in the position in the first place.
Immediately I searched for an abortion clinic. I think in my mind I felt like it would be less traumatic for me and more humane if I aborted my baby early. I think part of the reason I was so comfortable with my decision was because I had a very close family member whose mother had forced her to have an abortion a few years before when she got pregnant at the young age of 14.
Not long before she got pregnant, I had stood with that same family member and her parents in Pennsylvania, carrying anti-abortion signs. I tell you this not to condemn my family member and her mother but to bring light to how easy it is to say one thing and then do another when you’re confronted with the situation. Also, I share it to shed light on how confusing that can be for teenagers.
I found a clinic a few hours from my home and made an appointment for the following week. I was a little nervous for fear there would be protestors or ministers outside trying to make me feel bad about my decision. That happened to my close family member when she had her abortion. But, to my surprise, no one was outside when my boyfriend and I arrived. In fact, you wouldn’t have known there was even an abortion clinic there. It looked like any other medical complex offering medical services.
I waited with the other women, filling out papers and making a payment for my procedure. The initial exam revealed I was about 5 weeks pregnant. I wasn’t surprised, I knew it was early. They told me what I could expect before, during and after the procedure and explained they would use rods that got larger and larger to slowly open the cervix so they could suck my baby out.
They started an IV and told me I would begin to feel drowsy. I don’t remember anything else after that.
I woke up in the recovery area feeling very out of it with abdominal cramps, which were expected. Once I felt well enough, I left with my boyfriend, and we headed to a friend’s house nearby. I slept most of the evening. We headed back home the next day, and I recovered over the next week as if I were simply having a menstrual cycle. I didn’t mention anything to my parents, and I hid it well enough that they didn’t suspect anything. I didn’t think much of what I had lost at the time and soon moved on to another relationship.
Within six months I was pregnant again.
Back to a Clinic
This time, I found a local clinic just 45 minutes from my home. Again, I wanted to abort my baby early and immediately made an appointment. I wanted to end both pregnancies quickly so I wouldn’t get attached or bond. I wanted the babies out of me as soon as possible.
With both pregnancies, the week before each appointment seemed to drag on. It was impossible to forget I had a baby growing inside of me. I thought about it everyday—probably every hour—but I tried to look forward to my appointment.
The second clinic was different from the first. There were protesters outside who wanted to talk, and I quickly walked past them. I didn’t afford them the opportunity to start a conversation with me. Once inside, I recognized a girl I had just graduated high school with a few months earlier. We both agreed to keep the secret between us.
Unlike the first one, this clinic gave me an ultrasound. To this day, I cannot forget the moment I felt connected to a baby I didn’t want to feel connected to. I had a special, living person growing inside of me. I pushed past the feelings and continued with the procedure anyway, convinced it was for the better.
But this recovery hurt me—emotionally more than physically. I grieved and cried over my decision and my loss. I vowed that if I ever became pregnant again, I would never have another abortion.
Even though I continued having pre-marital relationships, living life as if nothing had happened, I was very intentional about avoiding additional pregnancies. And I didn’t share my dark secrets with anyone. I buried them deep inside.
Moving Forward, But Not Moving On
About a year after my second abortion, I joined the Air Force and left it all behind me. Years came and went, boyfriends came and went, and one day I met Alan. We both felt the chemistry instantly, and we fell in love. I shared my dark secrets with him, and he loved me still. A year later, when I was just 21, we got married.
We enjoyed a few years of marriage, blissfully unaware of what was in our future.
One day my sister called with news. She was pregnant. Not only was she pregnant, she was expecting twins! I was so excited for her. Not long after they were born, I made the trip to see my two, beautiful nephews for the first time. They were perfect little babies. Amazing in every way—the most precious, adorable, blue-eyed, blonde-haired, laughing, giggling chunksters I had ever laid my eyes on. I was in love, but the hard reality was about to set in.
My husband agreed we could try for a baby, and that’s when the abortions I had forgotten so many years before began to haunt me. What if I couldn’t have children? What if I had been damaged during one of the procedures? Things I had never even considered started consuming my thoughts. Although I had never had a relationship with God, I knew in my heart He was in control, and I worried. What if God was planning on punishing me for my abortions by not allowing me to have a child now that my heart was yearning for one so deeply? I suppressed the thoughts, fears and emotions as best I could and waited.
It didn’t take long, maybe two months, and I was pregnant. I was so overjoyed and elated! Maybe I wasn’t being punished after all. But just a week or two later, I noticed some spotting when I used the bathroom. I called my doctor who did a blood test that confirmed I was having a miscarriage. I was devastated. My heart hit the floor. I felt like this was the punishment I deserved for my past mistakes. I cried and cried and tried to move on, hoping I would get another chance.
How could my heart burn for a baby when I had so desperately desired to terminate my other two? It was a difficult time of dealing with my past as it bubbled back up and collided with my present. I was struggling with the loss of my pregnancy and the abortions I had so easily chosen earlier.
Nowhere to turn and no one to talk to. The pain was real, and the regret was even more real.
Only a month after the miscarriage, I was pregnant again. This time, through God’s miraculous, unending grace, I didn’t miscarry. We had a perfectly healthy, baby boy in our arms. I had no experience in my life that compared with that moment. Words cannot describe the day I held my baby for the first time. The first time I heard him cry and breathed a sigh of relief. How I feel when I watch him sleep so peacefully, breathing so gently, sucking so naturally. Looking at him, I realized what I had done. What I had sacrificed.
Those pregnancies weren’t just pregnancies. They were life! They were living souls I had sacrificed out of my own selfish desires. They were precious babies I would never see breathing peacefully, sleeping gently in my arms. I had interrupted their lives; I had interrupted God’s plan for them. I had taken an innocent, beautiful life from this world.
And it didn’t only hurt them, it hurt me.
I was wounded from the inside out. My heart was happy for my new blessing but broken at the same time. I would never have memories with those babies. I would never get to watch them smile for the first time or feel them hug me for the first time. I would never get to hear them say, “I love you mommy,” or watch them someday fall in love and have babies of their own.
No one told me this at the clinic. No one told me that I was making a decision I would never forget—one that I would never completely heal from.
Well, I want people to know.
I want them to have the opportunity I passed up so blindly.
My husband and I now have four, wonderful blessings, and every time I get pregnant—and especially when I give birth—I mourn the deaths of my unborn children. And with each pregnancy, it gets worse, not better. I mourn my abortions more than my miscarriage. Abortions are not just procedures. They leave you with a hole never filled in this life. An open wound that can never be healed.
You will never forget your babies. You will always regret your quick decision.
Please don’t make the same mistake I did. Please, save a life. I promise with every part of me you won’t regret it. Once you meet your perfect, precious baby, you’ll see what you would have missed. Please enjoy it. Please cherish it. Children are a blessing from the Lord, a reward from Him. (Psalm 127:3)
by Tiffany Green