16 and scared

Author: Frances

My own abortion is a subject I rarely talk about. It has haunted me all my life. I am 46 years old and had my abortion in October 1985, I was 16. I had become pregnant and shortly thereafter my high school sweetheart and I broke up. My parents decided for me that this mistake would be taken care of immediately. They did all the leg work. They found the doctor, they made the appointment and took me to that appointment. I remember it very well. I waited about 10 minutes and then the nurse came and got me and took me to a procedure room. This was at a regular OB/GYN office. I was given an IV sedative and was told to count back from 10, I think I made it to 8 and was quickly out. I remember thinking as I waited in the waiting room before the procedure that I would be feeling much better the next morning. I was 12 weeks pregnant and morning sickness was cruel. I woke up in the middle of the procedure and heard the vacuum, it was quite loud and the pain excruciating. I remember the doctor and the nurse were both startled when they realized I was awake. I was screaming out in pain and the nurse scrambled to draw up more anesthetic to put into my IV. A few short seconds later and I was back out. Next thing I remember I am coming to in a recovery room. The nurse got me dressed and they rushed me out of the office with my parents. I threw up in the hallway just outside of their office. I went home and slept until the next morning. I got up the next morning and remembered feeling great, I wasn’t nauseated, I didn’t throw up. I got ready to go to school. I was okay for a few weeks then rumors were circulated throughout the school that I’d had an abortion and the bullying began. It was relentless and it was cruel and I wanted to die. Guilt began to set in from what I had just done. No one ever explained to me the procedure of an abortion. I was just 16 and I had no idea what was involved. I didn’t realize at the time that I was killing my baby. It wasn’t until one day in drama class, Carol Johnson, I’ll never forget her name, totally called me out in front of everyone and informed them that I had just killed my baby. I was horrified and ran out of there and locked myself in the girls bathroom. I would not come out. I finally made it out of the bathroom after about 30min and went to the office to call my father to come pick me up. I told him what had happened and he came and got me. I didn’t go to school for two months following that incident. I stayed in my bed, getting up only to go to the bathroom. I didn’t shower, I didn’t brush my teeth, didn’t brush my hair and certainly didn’t care about eating anything. I cried all the time and I just remember thinking I wanted to die. My drama teacher Ms. Anthon called me several times to check on me. She was kind and non-judgmental when I told her what had happened. She was the first person that didn’t make me feel like a horrible person. I mean my parents didn’t make me feel bad, neither did my sister but I expected them to treat me well and not ridicule me. Ms. Anthon encouraged me to seek counseling and to try to forgive myself because God had already forgiven me. That was a foreign concept to me. It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I was able to actually forgive myself. I know God has forgiven me because I asked for forgiveness. His word says ask and ye shall received. Seek and ye shall find. I found unconditional love, grace and mercy. Jesus came to this earth to take on our sin, it was nailed to the cross with him. If God has forgiven me and sacrificed His son for me, then who am I not to forgive myself. That would mean that Jesus died in vain and I know that His sacrificial death was not in vain. I know that one day I will be reunited with that baby. I will hold that baby and I will have the opportunity to tell that baby that I love him/her. In the meantime, I will use my story as a testimony of the redeeming love, grace and mercy of God.