I saw a film at the age of 18 about how a fetus develops and it had a profound impact on me. Remember, I didn't care about natural birth back then, but I knew that pregnancy was a special thing.
I had a friend that got pregnant our freshman year of college and I went with her to the health clinic for a pregnancy test. As we walked out, I remember saying to her, "Your baby might already have a heartbeat! That's around day 18!" She told me to STOP talking about it. She was going to drive to Lubbock for an abortion. As naive as I thought I wasn't, I thought that stuff only happened in the movies. I couldn't believe I had a friend that was going to have an abortion. Well, she did, and she was pretty depressed the rest of the school year. It was pretty awkward after that. Neither of us knew what to say and it just hung there. I don't know if she dropped out, transferred to a different school, or what. I never saw her again.
I am fortunate I never ended up pregnant as a teenager. I always said it was the only thing that would have made me quit smoking though. Like I have said before, I was irrational and compulsive as a teenager. Like Brad Paisley sings, I couldn't "see past Friday night." I think most teenagers are this way. They can't see the effects of their actions on others or on their life down the road.
I work with the 14-15 year old girls at church and one of them made a very mature statement the other day. She said that she believes that things always work out - if they haven't yet, you just aren't to the end. I loved that.
I wanted to share this post because I know the daughter in this story. She is a truly a beautiful person - inside and out. I know so many other people that are adopted and others that want to adopt. I believe that life is precious. And that things can work out with love, patience, and understanding.
I woke up with a high fever, sore throat, and my whole body ached. My mother insisted on taking me to see my doctor. At the doctor’s office they gave me several tests and the nurse came back to tell me that I had strep throat and that it was an easy fix with antibiotics but that she also had some other news. She told me that I was expecting a child. I was excited but scared of the unknown. At the age of 17 I wasn’t sure how I was going to be responsible for a baby. On top of that I was terrified that I was going to disappoint my father who had high hopes for my future.
While lying in bed crying trying to figure out what I was going to do, my mind was going one hundred miles per hour. I was only 17 and I had my entire life ahead of me. Abortion came to my mind but I immediately dismissed the thought because that was something I could never see myself doing.
One afternoon when I came home from school my mother had her friend over. When she saw me she asked me if everything was okay because I looked sick. I started to cry and she assured me that she could help me. My mom had already talked to her about my pregnancy. She insisted that it wasn’t a baby yet and she would go with me to a doctor in Mexico who could inject me with a drug that would cause my period to come. I felt relieved by the information she gave me because it made it seem like I wasn’t going to have a real abortion. To me at the time I thought, “well hey it’s just an injection versus the process of an “abortion”...not realizing it was the same thing.
While waiting in the doctor’s office in Las Flores, Mexico I started questioning myself about whether this was the right thing to do. My mother’s friend continued to assure me that it was not a big deal and that everything would be normal again. When the doctor called me in he didn’t even check how many months I was or my medical history. He told me that the injection was going to cause my period to come. He said I would feel some cramping and discomfort. He said if I started bleeding a lot for me to go to the emergency room. After the first injection I asked the doctor if my period was going to come and then he then told me that he could give me a second injection to make sure. So that’s what we did. The whole process made it seem like there was a problem with my menstrual cycle not the fact that I was pregnant.
I cried all the way home.
That evening while lying there waiting I started to feel the discomfort, pain, and cramping. The pain was there but nothing was happening. I kept going to the bathroom but still no period. That’s when regret hit and I started to ask God, “What have I done?” I asked God to forgive me. I felt like it was the wrong decision and that it was irreversible now. While lying there confused I was watching an episode of "The Little House on the Prairie." It was an episode of a lady giving birth. To me that was beautiful and made me realize that it could be okay to have this child. That’s when I began to pray again and said, “Please God let this child live and I will name her Grace.”
About 4 years ago in a conversation with my daughter I told her that I felt bad because I promised God that I would name her Grace but ended up naming her after Elvis Presley’s wife (Priscilla). LOL Then my daughter proceeded to tell me that I did name her Grace. And I said, “What do you mean by that? And she told me that her middle name Ann meant “Grace.” God is good!
I have an amazing daughter who is my best friend who has given me a wonderful grandson and is currently pregnant with her second child. But what I’m most proud of is that she has a heart for God that will lead this generation toward its purpose! I believe everyone has a purpose and I hope that this story will help someone make a decision that will allow the life growing in them to have a chance to fulfill their purpose.
My story could have ended just like millions of other women that made the same decision I did. As you read this story I hope that it will encourage you to make the decision that gives life.
Someone told me that they were shocked that I did not harbor anger towards my mother for going through with an abortion. The fact is, is that she was dealing with so many issues that had nothing to do with me. She was a teenager and thought she was going to be alone and was misinformed about the life growing in her.
I believe that there are countless women who have made the decision to abort and live with regret everyday of their life. And on top of that are demonized and made to seem like monsters. My mother at 17 was no monster she just did not know what to do. I fully believe in everyone’s right to life, and by some miracle I got to have mine even though from the beginning my right was taken away. Information is key and every women should know that what grows inside them will feel, will love, will marry, have children and dreams just like the women that carries them.
As someone who shouldn’t be alive, I am so happy that I am! My husband and son and this little baby growing inside me I am sure would second that. My mother lived through being a teen mom and learned as she went. And I know other young women who knew motherhood as teens would not work out for them and made the very brave decision of adoption. I hope that this story will reach the hearts of the conflicted and cause a pause before making a decision that is permanent.
Thank you to Priscilla, and especially Esmerelda, for sharing your story. It is sure to touch someone's life and give hope where there may be none. You are both strong women and no matter what someone is going through, your story gives hope that through hard decisions, wonderful things can come to pass.