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Regret Will Inevitably Come Knocking

What I am about to share is truly my darkest hour of life. I have a “no-regret” policy when it comes to the way I live, but I cannot seem to shake the regret of my abortion. I have regretted it since before it even happened, but I know other women who have gone years before regret eventually came knocking. Trust me when I say this: Regret will inevitably come knocking. The immense regret, selfishness, shame, and down right pain I feel on almost a daily basis is often too much to bear. I hope that by sharing my story I can influence even just one girl or woman who is considering abortion, and prevent her from making unquestionably the worst decision of her life.
My mother refers to it as, “the incident.” My grandmother calls it, “your little procedure.” But I like to call it what it is: murder. Over seven years and two kiddos later I can say with full confidence that when you have an abortion, you are not removing tissue. You are ending a human life. I look at my God-given children that I was able to conceive and deliver, and I can’t help but know in my heart that the “tissue” (as my mother, friends, and the doctor called it) was so much more than just that. My son was at one point “just tissue.” I was at one point, “a speck without a heartbeat.” My mother started out as, “just a clump of cells.” So what makes any other baby different? How come all tissue-like clumps of cells aren’t given the same amount of respect that all of us were entitled to when we were that miniscule?
I fell pregnant at the age of fifteen. I was pushed by my older family members whom I looked up to, to lose my virginity. I was literally made fun of for still being a virgin. Obviously, I was not raised in a Christian home. I became caught up in the world, hormones, and peer pressure, which is eventually what led me to become pregnant. The moment when two lines show up on a pregnancy test should be nothing but pure joy for a woman. For me it was anything but pure joy. Fear, shame, panic and shock are just a few of the initial emotions that flooded my head. I am confident that if I was given some time that I would have become extremely overjoyed that I was carrying life, but time is something I did not have much of.
Less than a week after my mother found out about my pregnancy, it was over. There was absolutely no discussion about what would happen. Since I was too young to even drive, after school on Monday my mom drove me to Planned Parenthood. I told her that I’d need an appointment, but my mother informed me that they could just, “Do it right now.” My mom’s selfishness is what ultimately caused my abortion. There was no way she could endure the shame and humiliation that went along with people finding out that her teenage daughter was pregnant.
It was no surprise that I was right and they only did abortions on Thursdays. I never wanted an abortion but I would never dare speak against my parents. The days leading up to that Thursday I would rub my tummy, and even take my headphones and play music for the baby up against my skin. Looking back I can’t exactly pinpoint the emotions I was feeling. I definitely loved my baby, but I didn’t fully realize just exactly what it was. A human life. I understood that it was my child, and that I loved him or her dearly, but for some reason at the time I wasn’t totally aware of the reality of what was growing inside of me.
When we got to Planned Parenthood I had to be escorted inside by my mom and two of the employees because of the violent protesters. They were screaming hateful words at me, and drawing physically close enough to be uncomfortable but not close enough to be illegal. I absolutely detested those women but now ironically I hope to some day become one, (except going about it in a much more loving and effective way!) I won’t get in to the exact details of the procedure, but my pregnancy was terminated at about 5 weeks along. My mom justified it by saying it didn’t even have a heartbeat so it was literally, “nothing.” It’s not the actual abortion procedure that has the most impact on your life, but the effects it causes afterward.
It seemed like things were fine for a while, I didn’t seem to think about what had happened too much. However it eventually caught up to me. After what would have been my due date hit I started to lose it. I couldn’t help but think that I would have had a tiny baby in my arms. I would have had a human who unconditionally loved me. I did have a human who unconditionally loved me and I murdered them. You would think that with each passing year the pain would lessen, but the opposite is true. Each year that goes by marks another missed birthday… Another kiss on the forehead that I can never give… Another tantrum I cannot calm. It marks another, “I love you mommy” that I will never hear. I have found comfort knowing that God forgives me and that Our Mother Mary is holding and loving on my sweet baby. As much as that knowledge helps, there is absolutely nothing that can take away the fact that I will never get to meet and hold that precious blessing I was given.
Since my abortion I have had two beautiful and healthy children. I feel so undeserving because there are so many women who cannot conceive babies and yet there I was, pregnant and blessed with a child, and I threw it all out the window. I want to reach out to anyone who is pregnant and considering abortion, but even more I want to reach out to the parents of young people who become pregnant. I felt absolutely helpless and at the mercy of my parents who decided I would have an abortion. I think we need to pray for the parents of teenagers so that they may have open and loving hearts when they hear their daughter is pregnant, or even that their son helped conceive a child.
I reach out to young girls who feel pressured in to sex before they are ready: Even if you think you’re ready, you aren’t. There is a reason God calls us to wait until marriage to engage in sexual activity. Parents of teenagers, preach abstinence rather than, “safe sex” because believe me, I thought I was engaging in safe sex, yet I became pregnant. The anger, shame, regret and self-loathing that I feel on almost a daily basis is something I would never wish on anybody. Respect your body, respect your child– Choose life. . If you can’t emotionally, mentally, or financially take care of a baby, there is someone else who can! Adoption is an amazing gift to all those involved.
You can have this baby. God will help you get through it. Don’t make the mistake I made. You can’t un-do an abortion.

::Our guest writer loves being a stay-at-home mom to two young children. She is devoted to helping young girls who are faced with an unplanned pregnancy. As a Catholic convert, she absolutely loves digging deeper into the Faith and building a stronger relationship with Jesus Christ every day.::

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June 29, 2012 - 2:10 pm

Emily - What a poignant post…
I’m so terribly sorry for your pain and suffering, but thank you for your witness, thank you for your strength to share.
May God’s healing peace surround you, my sister.

June 29, 2012 - 2:13 pm

Tricia Stevens - Thank you for being so honest and open about sharing your story. I can only imagine how difficult it was, and I am sure your doing so WILL make a difference.

My heart hurts for you. Please never forget that God truly loves you and has completely forgiven you. I have my own regrets and often have a hard time forgiving myself. What has helped me trying look at your own story as if you were reading a stranger’s story. Wouldn’t you have compassion on that person? Try to extend the same compassion to yourself.

May God bless you!

June 29, 2012 - 4:14 pm

Kerri - Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry for the pain you had to endure and how that pain lives with you still. I hope your story will touch someone else who needs to hear it and can be instrumental in saving another life. Wishing you many blessings!
Kerri recently posted..When I grow up …My Profile

June 29, 2012 - 4:29 pm

Charla - Your pain is so evident. At 15, others definitely share culpability. Thank you for sharing this not only for others who feel the same regret, but for those who share fault. God knows you mourn your child and yes, he or she is in the arms of the Blessed Mother.

June 29, 2012 - 5:11 pm

Amy - Thank you so much for sharing. It takes courage. I am so sorry that you had to endure this. A similar thing happened to my husbands aunt, back in the 70’s. She got pregnant as a teen, and her father forced her to have an abortion. No one ever talks about it. :( I often think of that baby. I pray you find healing in your sharing. God Bless.

June 29, 2012 - 6:58 pm

Joan - Thank you so much for sharing your story. Know that God’s mercy is endless

June 29, 2012 - 11:02 pm

Erin - Oh simply crying here for you my dear. I just want to hug you and take away your pain.{{{}}}
Erin recently posted..Hug Your Loved Ones Extra Tight TonightMy Profile

June 29, 2012 - 11:18 pm

Erika - What a heartbreaking story. Thank you for sharing. Remember that no matter what God forgives you when you are sincerely sorry. Mother Mary’s arms are not only holding your little one, she also reaches her hands out to you. God bless you!
Erika recently posted..A War of Words: Religious LibertyMy Profile

June 29, 2012 - 11:19 pm

TJ Burdick - Incredible story. It is one that must be shared with many. Congratulations on writing it. God is surely wrapping His loving arms around you and everyone who reads it.

June 29, 2012 - 11:57 pm

Michelle - You are so very brave to share your story. I admire your strength to address this and to help other girls who may be in a similar situation. I’m so sorry that you are still hurting. I do think there is one thing wrong with your post… you state that you will never get to meet and hold your baby. While you won’t here, you will one day in heaven. ((((HUGS)))) and prayers for your heart to heal.

June 30, 2012 - 1:36 pm

guest - Michelle: It’s so cool that you say that, because after this post was published I thought the same thing. It’s almost as if God needed me to read my own words in order to be able to fully understand and remember that. I WILL meet my baby some day in heaven. That fact alone is enough to help me strive to be the best person here on earth that I can in order to get to heaven to meet my child.

June 30, 2012 - 1:44 pm

guest - I also want to say thank you to everyone for your loving comments. I definitely know that God’s mercy is endless, and that I am forgiven, but the emotions that continue to linger are the same emotions that you would always feel if a family member or close friend passed away. You will always miss them, just as I continue to miss my baby even though we were not able to meet on this earth.
Thank you again to everyone for being so considerate and loving. I truly hope that sharing my story will help someone avoid a lot of unnecessary pain and save the life of a beautiful child of God.

July 2, 2012 - 11:28 am

MONDAY AFTERNOON EDITION | Big Pulpit - […] Regret Will Inevitably Come Knocking – Catholic Sistas […]

July 2, 2012 - 4:47 pm

Michael - I had my thirteen-year-old daughter read this today. We talked after about how hard it is to navigate life at her age, with so many huge decisions and consequences. You excellently described consequences that she can’t yet imagine.
This has been a great conversation starter in our home. So, really, you have made something good happen out of your pain.
Thank you for this! God bless.
A grateful dad

July 4, 2012 - 8:45 am

John - If you haven’t already, please look into the healing experience of a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat. It is the gold standard for post-abortion healing – nothing compares. It is infused with the sacramental love, forgiveness and healing that our Lord wants for you.

http://www.rachelsvineyard.org

July 5, 2012 - 1:32 am

Stilbelieve - Your remembering is not you, it is Satan whispering in your ears telling you that God can never forgive you now for what you have done. This is the worst part for girls/women to deal with – regret for what they did. In you case, you didn’t do it, your mother made you do it. But never mind, it is regret that you live with now. Don’t let Satan continue the victory he scored over God. Don’t let him ruin your peace of God’s forgiveness. This is Satan’s true victory, keeping you from forgiving yourself after God has forgiven you. Your story is a very important one that must be told to help other girls/women avoid the future regrets they will have. They will have them just as you. What they need to know is that God’s forgiveness is more important and powerful than Satan trying to hang on to a victory by his continued whispering – “he can’t forgive you now.” Abortion, whether self sought or forced such as in your case, is only part of Satan’s victory. His real victory is the battle over whether you will surrender totally to God’s forgiveness, or whether you will hang on, unintentionally, to Satan’s continued whispering, whispering that never stops until you accept God’s forgives – totally, and thank him for his love for you and your child each time Satan continues to try to claim victory over your life. What is the name of your child that Satan is claiming victory over? If you haven’t named him, give him a name. Talk to him and tell him how much you love him/her and how much his younger brothers would have love him/her, too. Tell your child how much you are looking forward to meeting him/her in heaven and holding him/her in your arms. Tell your story, but kick Satan out of the picture – don’t let him continue to claim victory. You have an important story to tell. Finish it, and tell it; tell the other tormented women the unbelievable happy ending in knowing God’s love for you and your child.

November 28, 2012 - 10:14 am

Hope S. - My dear sister in the Lord, I am in tears reading your story. I believe with my whole heart that you WILL get to see your baby, that he or she has forgiven you and watches with a hopeful heart from heaven, looking for the day her mommy comes home and you can be together always. Please do not despair; you loved this child and it was taken from you by those in authority over you. I pray that you will find healing and comfort, and know that you are being prayed for. May God comfort you beyond measure.

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