A Heart Laid Bare

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This is going to be the most difficult thing I’ve ever written in my lifetime.  I apologize in advance and must prepare you in all fairness…if you are looking for something encouraging, this is not it. You may be tempted to turn away, but I pray, oh how I pray, that you won’t.  This is going to come at a great cost, at such great exposure for more pain.  But please understand…I have to speak now.

The year was 1986.  I was a junior in college, and I had everything going for me….a spot on the dance team, an almost perfect GPA, an attractive, athletic boyfriend, and a belief that I could do almost anything. My goal was to get a PhD and become a psychologist.  I was fiercely competitive, so when the grades for each exam were posted, I was not satisfied unless my student number was placed by the highest score on the list.

But things suddenly changed.  I began experiencing severe illness that made it difficult to attend class.  My boyfriend took me to see a doctor, and that’s where the shocking news was delivered.  I wasn’t sick at all.  I was pregnant.

This was not my plan.  

This would change everything.

So many questions flooded my mind.  This is a Christian college…can I even stay?  Are we able to be good parents?  How will we get by?  But in my heart, I loved my baby.  I dreamed of what it would be like to hold her for the first time.  I wrote letters to her and even poetry.  It wouldn’t be easy, but we could do this.  My boyfriend and I told our parents the news and made plans to marry and raise our baby.

Oh, the pressure that an unplanned pregnancy adds to the stress of a relationship that is already outside of the will of God!  We began to argue incessantly.  He’d storm out the door, and I’d sit crying, asking myself how on earth I could bring a baby into this.  The stress and tension continued to escalate so badly that I began to lose hope.  I realized that we could not be married. Not like this.

So I ran away.

I broke up with my boyfriend, withdrew from school, and moved home.  I still loved my baby deeply and wanted the very best for her.  I weighed out my options, but each one of them seemed to come at a cost to her.  I could keep her, but what about the stigma of being born to a single mom with no money and no good job?  What about the tug of war that would commence between my and my boyfriend’s family over her?  I could give her up for adoption, which seemed like a very good option, but what if they mistreated her?  The one option that I could not consider was the thought of ending her life.  That was wrong, and I did not believe in it.  Not ever.

And then came the doubts.  “Nothing has to change at all.”  “You can go back to your life, just the way it was.”  “It isn’t fair to bring a baby into these circumstances.”  Somehow the lie began to take hold that the most merciful thing to do for myself and my baby was to keep her from being born at all.  So in February 1987, I made the most regrettable choice I’ve ever made.

I took my baby’s life.

Please forgive me, because I have worked so hard to push this out of my mind.  The painful memories are so very repressed, but I must revive them.  It is too important.  I walked into the abortion clinic, wishing to God that they wouldn’t call my name. My boyfriend wasn’t there and didn’t even know that I was doing this.  I dreaded the sound of my name, but inevitably it was called, and I was taken back to be educated about birth control options, as well as what to expect with the procedure.  I was also given a sedative to help me relax so that I would dilate more easily.

When the drug had time to take effect, they began the process of dilating me.  The doctor was all smiles as he spoke to me, but it seemed like he was overcompensating in a strange and dark way.  He noted that I was actually 11-12 weeks along, not the 10 that they’d assumed,   No bother, they would do the procedure anyway.  When the sound of the machine finally commenced, I suddenly came to my senses.  I was writhing on the table as I begged them to stop.  Sobbing, I cried out, “I’ve changed my mind, I’ve changed my mind.  Stop, I don’t want this!”  The doctor became angry, grimacing as he told me it was too late for that.  Everything began to go black, as the nurses attempted to control my movements and the doctor searched for just the right angle to rid me of my child.

Oh, my child, my dear sweet soul.

Darkness enveloped me, as the room began to spin around and around.  What was happening?  Why was everything spinning? I heard the most horrible sound ever, as my baby went from the safe warm place inside me through a tube and into a jar covered with masking tape.  If you’ve heard the sound of a large object being sucked into a vacuum hose, you have some idea of it.  But this wasn’t a sock or a toy, this was a baby!  My baby!  By now, I was heaving, uncontrollably distraught at the emptiness of my womb, and at the presence of my baby in that jar.  The room continued to spin, as I experienced not just the horrific feeling of a body being torn from mine, but the unimaginable sensation of a soul being ripped away from my own.

The procedure was finished, and the doctor and nurses now despised me.  I couldn’t compose myself, couldn’t dress myself, couldn’t thank them for what they’d done.  No, upon being carried into the “recovery room” a bawling mess, I fell crumpled on the floor, holding my stomach, rolling from side to side, unable to so much as keep my gown from making its way off my body and onto the carpet  I lay on that floor in unspeakable physical, emotional, and spiritual agony, grieving the loss of my baby.

And they hated me for that.

The very next evening, I attempted to join my baby.  Believing now that I’d crossed a line that could or should never be forgiven, I loathed myself.  I felt so empty without her, wishing I could go back in time just two days and protect her…keep her. By God’s good grace and mercy, I did not succeed, and slowly, he drew me with his love.  He beckoned me, for reasons I still fail to understand, to come back to him and his unfailing love.  I begged him for forgiveness.  I had him at hello.

That was 28 years ago, and my boyfriend and I have been married for 27 of those.  We went on to have five more biological children and adopt another.  God has been overwhelmingly, abundantly, exceedingly, and most undeservedly kind to us.  Every single day, though, every single day I walk around with a hole in my heart where a baby once was.  And I see the true version of things.  There were answers.  There was hope.  There was a way.  Abortion was not the answer–not for me, and certainly, most definitely, not for my innocent child.

I finally had to tell it, I need to tell it, because I am sick.  I am overcome with a nausea so deep I could produce bile right here and now, because we are silently enduring the most horrific lie.  Having just learned that babies are now being cut open and sold for parts like old cars in a junkyard, we continue to abdicate to the lie that there simply are no better answers for these women.  FOR GOD’S SAKE, not only do we owe babies more than this, we owe the MOTHERS more than this!

Please, can we PLEASE get loud with our love?  Can we not cry out to these mothers who deep down, as I was, are wishing that anyone at all would present them with some hope that there is a better way?  Can we not stand up to our government and tell them not another dollar will we pay for this massacre?  Can we not lay ourselves down for these precious souls who deserve so much more than being sold for parts or even just tossed from a jar?

As a grieving mother, I’m begging you to stop this holocaust.

Note to reader:  In Christian circles, there is sometimes a pressure to embellish one’s testimony.  In contrast, my temptation has been toward minimizing my own.  I long to protect my loved ones, especially my children, from the painful truth.  I pray you join me in recognizing my baby’s story exactly as it took place, in an attitude of grace and prayer for my family.

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34 thoughts on “A Heart Laid Bare

  1. Thank you for telling your story and honoring your daughter. I am so grateful for your voice for the voiceless. I am praying for you. ❤

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. Grace is so amazing. The God we serve and love is unfathomable. I pray on day I will meet you and the child you will be reunited with one day in heaven. You have touched my heart. ❤

  3. I am in tears but thankful for your story. Although I have not personally endured the pain of abortion my heart grieves all mothers who have…and their unborn babies. America and the world needs to hear this story and the countless others out there in all its heart wrenching details. Abortion is not God’s plan but he is unwavering to us in his infinite forgiving love.

  4. Dear One…I am you…I have walked where you have walked…I will cry and mourn with you…your beautiful baby and mine would be about the same age. God’s grace and mercy is the only thing that has seen you and I through…old wounds have been opened for us both…I recently told my sons about their sister or brother that is with the Lord…please know that you are not alone…and you are not alone in this fight against one of satan’s greatest lies…to all of humankind…praying along beside you…I mourn the loss of my baby every single day and I too am sick…but our Lord is greater and loves us beyond what we could ever imagine. I am only upheld by this knowledge of God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness. One day, you and I will hold our babies close…look into their faces and be with them for an eternity. Hug.

    • I wish I had words to express how much your comment means to me. Words are simply failing me. Thank you so very much, and please imagine a very tearful embrace from me.

      His mercies are truly so tender. Much love.

  5. As difficult as it was to read, your story touched my heart. I do not know this kind of emptiness. I only know what it is like to carry a child for 40 weeks, then have my little boy be Born Still. I only know what it is to have a second child with me for only 14 years and then have to say good-bye to him also. Yes, I cried for you while I read this. I do want to say Thank You for sharing your story, and yes, your pain, so that others will hopefully reconsider their own options. Hugs!

    • I am so very sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine your pain, and the fact that you would offer such encouraging words means so much to me. Thank you, and a big hug to you, too.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your story of loss & REDEMPTION. I hope that it will encourage other women (and men) to share their similar stories. What a promise we have in Jesus that one day, you & your baby will be reunited and live in unconditional and complete love. By making the difficult decision to share your story, you’ve comforted another mother; making her realize she is not alone. Blessings to you & your family.

    • Thank you so much for your encouragement. I’m humbled by the number of people who share the same regret, yet have experienced God’s amazing grace. I pray that this will help other women to choose life. Hugs!

  7. There but for the grace of God go I. I was you, but only a sophomore in college. We had a shotgun wedding and I gave birth over winter break. In your story, I hear truth. Thank you for speaking the truth, at great personal expense. The truth will set many women free, I have no doubt. Thank you, and all blessings to you. You are so loved.

  8. Thank you so much for your encouragement. I am so happy you chose life. Right now on Twitter, many moms like you are sharing their stories under the hashtag #UnplannedParenthood, many with photos. They’re so heartwarming.

    I’m blown away by your kindness along with the other kind responses here. Thank you so much, again.

  9. Hello there brothers and sisters let me tell you something that is from my heart I cannot remember the year when this happened but I had a girlfriend at the time and her name was Roseann we had a relationship she got pregnant and tell the truth I’m not sure at the time it was mine are not. We lived in the city of Edmonton at that time we found out she was pregnant. I drove her to the Royal Alex hospital where she had a portion. We had to realize sometimes men husbands or boyfriends hurt when the lady they love has a abortion. Even at that time was pro-life it hurts me deeply when we throw away unborn babies to the garbage, I believe it is a country in Canada or the United States are countries eventually will pay for the crime that were doing to on boring children.. The sad part is just approved abortion pill I don’t know if that make it easier or harder, one thing I know for sure what a woman does it in the clinic for outside the clinic with this bill they will be facing this alone.. Rev. James

    • I am so sorry for your pain. It’s true that the father’s grief is often overlooked. Like you, I feel there will be judgment for what we are allowing and promoting in this country and many others…I’m so grateful for mercy and redemption. I pray that others will come to know the One who saves. God bless!

  10. I will pray for you. I lost my first baby I was only about 4 weeks along just 17 but had been married a year — long story it was the hardest thing I ever went through. Thanks for sharing we push down the feelings but the grief never goes away. I also went on to have 5 more children the last boy/girl twins God bless you

  11. Thank you so much for sharing your story! It is hard to read, but it is so important! So many people still have a disconnect to what actually takes place. I cried as I read. I hurt for you. I will pray for you and your family. ❤️ May God bless you and continue to give you courage!

    • Thank you so much for your gracious comment. I pray that lives will be saved by this testimony. The responses have been incredibly kind, without exception. Thank you for your prayers!

  12. My heart aches for you. Please, note that my grief is for you, as well as your child. While your baby did suffer, it was for a moment, and she has been loved on by Jesus, Himself, during all those years since, while you have continued to be in pain. Abortion is abhorrent, and I so appreciate your willingness to risk vulnerability to save other babies like yours. I hope that the first face you see right after Jesus’, when you reach heaven, is your sweet baby’s.

    • You are so sweet. Thank you very much. I believe you’re right…she will be right there waiting. That’s both a wonderful and a fearful thought to consider. How I wish that other women could understand how this “choice” affects them for the rest of their lives. I hope this does something in the way of that.

  13. May our gracious Lord continue to shower you with His grace, healing and hope Thank you for sharing your story and your heart….

    • And thank you very much for your gracious words. Honestly, I never dreamt of such an outpouring of love and grace. I knew there would be some, yes, but I also expected some hostile replies. I haven’t received even one…from either side. Thank you, again.

  14. Thank you for your story, very similar to mine 43 years ago. I became a Christian, but kept silent for 14 years, until I got much needed help, from a group in the 80’s called Women Exploited By Abortion. Your description of the abortion itself is exactly how I felt. I was rushed into a restroom after to change clothes and leave but almost bled to death. Their only concern was getting me out of the building so I didn’t die there. Now with all this coming out in the news, it brings it all back. I pray God will keep exposing this horror and shut their doors for good. I now volunteer at a Women’s Resource Center, where we do ultra sounds and save about 150 babies per year, which is about 85% of our clients. Thanks again for your bravery and remember we will see our babies in Heaven 🙂 Can’t wait!!

  15. Angelia, 28 years ago on February 11th, 1987 a very small, very early little girl came into the world. I wasn’t supposed to live and many had suggested my parents do the “merciful” thing and end the pregnancy.

    But here I am. Completely healthy and happy to be alive.

    I bet your children and your husband are grateful to have you as well. Thank you for being honest, for telling a story that many are too ashamed to tell.

    • I’m so thankful your parents were courageous and stuck with their convictions…and I’m glad you are happy and well! Thank you for sharing this with me, and many blessings to you.

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