I had an abortion.
I was 20 years old and pregnant. Scared. Angry. Confused. I was completely alone.
This is my story.
I was working at a local bar. I was going to college. Living on my own. I met a guy and we were just friends. Having fun. One night we were careless and had sex. A few weeks later, sick as a dog and so not thinking I was pregnant, I went to the school clinic.
“You are pregnant.” I still hear those words over and over again. I passed out. So overwhelmed I went home scared and went to bed for days.
Finally I had to face the day and went to class, but I could not think. What in the world was I going to do? I’m 20. Pregnant. In school. In debt. A waitress. Alone.
A week passed, and I was a wreck and still sick. I went back to the doctor, and they asked me to go speak to someone. A counselor. Ugh. Now I am pregnant and apparently crazy!
I went. I told her my sad sob story, and how I had not slept or eaten in days because I was so sick. She was so sweet. She got me a sprite and crackers, and she held me while I cried. I still remember how gentle she was and how she didn’t judge me or shame me. It felt like motherly concern.
She gave me the names and numbers of several places to call and to explore all options. She never persuaded me one way or another. I knew she couldn’t. I wish she had.
One place – adoption
Another place – a midwife, doctor, gyno
The last – abortion clinic
I went home and cried, and at the time not a “believer,” I asked God to kill me. I believed only that He hated me and was continually cursing my life. I was a nobody to Him. Man, the lies I believed!
The next day, I visited one place that was very pro-life. This place showed me an abortion video the first five minutes I was there. I was still so sick I could not even watch it. I stood up, puked, and went running out.
I went to the school campus and did an amazing amount of research. I look back now, and I am sure it was all wrong info. I went back and forth for weeks on what to do.
I finally made the hardest choice and called my mom. Now, let me tell you, my home life while growing up was not happy. I couldn’t wait to leave, and by calling home, I was expecting the worst.
My mom was very supportive in any choice I wanted to make. I could come home. My dad just said, “Whatever you want to do…but don’t let one night ruin your life, and it’s not really a baby.” I know now he was wrong. But I hung up, still thinking, well, if I do this, I will just go back home. Their reaction was not what I had expected. I will keep the baby and move home.
“Don’t let one night ruin your life” – it rang so loud. I could not make my choice. Confusion came from his words, out of desperation or maybe from fear. Suicidal thoughts were consuming me.
Somewhere in all this mess, the guy shows up. He is so mad at me and says he can’t be a dad and won’t help…etc., etc.
I am still seeing the counselor, and some days, she just holds me while I cry. I was running out of time. I changed my mind.
So I scheduled the appointment. By now, two friends know. One is super-against it but loves me…but she is mad. One is super-“whatever you want to do, I will love you and be there for you.” Their hearts were added to the long list of hearts I was breaking.
So my super-supportive friend, she took me. We went and had lunch before; she was still trying to stop me, but supportive. We finally went. I don’t remember much. I do remember the heartbeat. I remember the sono. Twins. Pregnant not with one, but with two. Was this the reason I was so sick? Maybe. I remember the pain during and the color pink. All I could see all around was pink. I cried. And cried. And as soon as it was done, I left. I did not wait. My friend carried me out. I went home and cried and was alone. She had to go to work. She left crying. She had tried to stop me after the sono. Why hadn’t I just left? Not just a murder of one, but two.
I threw up all night and drowned my sorrows with every alcohol that was in my tiny apartment. My super-supportive, totally against the abortion friend showed up and just held me. To this day I am grateful for her love in the moment when I needed it most. She knew God, and I believe He used her to come and save me.
Somewhere in all this mess I had to continue school. And work. And try to function. I continued to drink more and just shove all that pain, shame, guilt, grief, and failure deep down. Hating myself. Unforgiving of myself and of many others. I turned ice-cold. My smile gone. Negativity set in.
One day the guy showed up, and things went really bad. He said he would have paid for it. Or if I had just given him more time he would have come around and would have helped. We could have been parents. More time. Trust me, dude, I wish I had more time. I wish I had walked out the day of the sono. I wish I had taken more time to think. I wish I had found a support group, or called my grandmother or some more family. I wish I had had more time.
I went and saw the one safe person I had during that time, my counselor. I cried, and she listened. I felt such shame, and I didn’t know how to go back living life as a murderer. I asked for any type of drugs to make the pain stop! She looked at me, crying herself (first time I had ever even noticed her emotions), and she spoke life over me. I had made a choice. But I didn’t make it lightly like many others she had seen. I had been changed. I was older than my age, and she was so proud of me. I was still going to be a world-changer, and I was going to save lives. We cried and cried until there was a tap at the door. The janitor. I had been in her office for over four hours. I believe that God sent her to me. I never saw her again. I never understood her words in that moment. But now I believe she planted some seeds.
I never could see the guy again without major drama. I had to quit my job and start somewhere new. I had to change my degree. I still couldn’t get rid of the thoughts or memories of these sweet babies I had denied life to. I could change everything about my life and myself, but I was haunted by what choice I made.
I drank. And drank. My relationships in my life got worse. My emotions were even worse. I cried very easily and was a wreck. I had two stuffed animals I had bought in their memory, but even that became so painful. I shoved them in a box along with my broken heart. My sono. My hopes and dreams and desires. My pain.
Somewhere in all that mess, I met a new guy and – you guessed it – got pregnant. Not even two years after the abortion. Before, I told my new boyfriend I made a choice: no matter what, I would have this baby. Or babies. I prayed for two. Two. I needed two.
This time my story ends very differently. The guy and I had this baby. I love him and protect him with everything I have. The guy and I moved, got married, and God redeemed us. God saved us both. This man loves me. Loves his son. He never ran away. His daddy had left his mom when she was pregnant. She had been brave. Why hadn’t I?
I got pregnant again and had a baby girl. I love her and protect her with everything I have. Her daddy didn’t run away. Why did I run away from my first two?
After her birth I was thankful for two. For God trusting me with two lives again. But even then I still carried heavy grief. Heavy chains of shame.
That is when He met me one night. He asked me to finally open that box and deal with my pain. I woke up sick. I dreamed about that choice almost nightly. Those babies had truly never left me. The next day, I looked for the box. The box was gone. No sono. No animals. I thought even worse of myself. How could I have gotten rid of all that! The box is gone, but my brokenness remains. I could never be set free from my choice.
For days I relived my choice. I recalled all the details that for years I could not remember. I once again was a mess. No forgiveness. I had made a choice. I had no choice but to live with it. Bed for days!
So God asked me again to trust Him. It was time to let go. I had no idea how or where to do this. I needed a safe place. That week, at a church, there was an announcement on an abortion class. Rachel’s Freedom. I e-mailed while I was still in the church parking lot. I drove home in fear and pain. That night I told my husband I felt like God wants me to deal with this wound. He was very supportive. I went to bed thinking, God, if you want me to do this class, you better show me a sign.
Middle of the night, I had a dream. I dreamed of the box. The color. The location. The contents. My hubby got up, went to the attic, and the box was there! In the wee hours of the morning, I rejoiced. In the same moment, I realized it was time. Opening the actual box opened up the box in my heart. I wept for hours. How could I have been so stupid? So selfish?
Now, after two kids, I know they are babies from day one! My choice was not right.
I took the class and dealt with my pain. Forgiveness came! Shame left! God showed up and showed where he had been during this painful time in my life. The color pink – yep, that was Him. He was there. He never left. It didn’t happen overnight, but He came to me every night offering love, hope, and forgiveness. Eventually I asked him, and he broke those heavy chains off me!
I received forgiveness and forgave myself. I received a vision of my daughter and son playing in heaven. On a swing. Whole. Healthy. Peaceful. I doubted for a long time this vision. A son. A daughter. But confirmation came with the stuffed animals in the box. A boy and girl stuffed animal. God had never left me.
I am pro-life now. It was my choice. The wrong choice. I will never judge or shame another individual for her choice, but I will speak up for babies who still have a chance. I will speak up to the mommas who still have a chance. I will tell them about my pain and the grief and the shame that came with wrong choice. I will share my story of being restored. I will encourage the mommas. He is the great I am. He is the One who will provide. He is the One who has good plans for us. He is the One who loves us. I will walk alongside others who make that choice and show them to the One who will never forsake them. Show them to the One who will forgive them and break off those chains. I will make sure that no girl ever feels alone or feels like the wrong choice is the only option.
I share my testimony so other precious lives will be saved. That is the best choice I can make from all this.
Written by Kaleena Barnett