#shoutyourabortion Crystal’s story

Today I have a guest blog by my friend, Crystal. She has decided to open up after 15 years of silence to tell her abortion story. With so much media attention and the new social media campaign on Twitter to #shoutyourabortion Crystal wants those considering abortion to know what she has gone through. Please read and share.

It has taken me a very long time to get the courage to write what I am about to write…15 years to be exact. The subject is controversial. Opinions have been spewed, laws have been made, stories have made the news…but my story and opinion have remained under lock and key, until today. If anyone has the right to speak on this topic, it’s me. Not because I am better than anyone else, not because I am some right winged conservative. I am a mother, a woman, a lover of life, a believer in God…and a murderer. Sounds harsh. But I have been on BOTH sides of this fence. The fence that is dividing this nation. The “abortion” fence.

Fifteen years ago, I made the decision to end a life for my own selfish reasons. At the time, I really didn’t comprehend the magnitude of my choice. I didn’t understand how devastating abortion is. Not only on a child, but on a mother and yes, even a father. Did I know it was wrong in my heart? Absolutely. Did I care? Of course I did…to an extent. I was 17 years old. A senior in high school. Unable to really understand how my decision would affect my emotional, spiritual and mental state of mind. How would I know that this one choice would cause me to spiral into a state of depression and deal with years of PTSD? How would I know what grieving over the loss of my child would feel like? All I honestly cared about was my reputation (which I felt was ruined at the time) and my parents never finding out about what I had done. (Eventually, the truth came out. That’s how God works).

Do you understand what it really means to create a human being and then to end that life? In all of the world, there is not a single human being with the exact DNA and fingerprint. Do you understand how incredibly special that is? This child I had created was an individual, a life, a person, a gift and I made the choice to dispose of that gift.

My story isn’t much different than many other women. I was young and full of life. I was planning my future, enjoying the luxuries of being a senior…going to parties, homecoming events and football games. During my senior year, I made a choice to take my relationship to an adult level…which in-turn resulted in me getting pregnant. It was a devastating blow to the plans we both made. He had just been accepted to college and was planning his own future. Having a child didn’t fit into any of that. So, being that we thought we were adults and capable of making big decisions, we decided to abort our child. I was one week shy of my second trimester. I was beginning to show. And quite honestly, I couldn’t hide it much longer. People around school began to talk, rumors were flying and I just wanted it to go away.

The day we went to have the procedure done, I skipped school. We had borrowed money from friends because we couldn’t tell our parents. No parental consent needed to end the life inside of me anyway. Maybe Planned Parenthood assumed that I was old enough to make such a huge decision on my own. The moments that followed were horrifying and would set the stage for the emotional trauma I would face years later. The anesthesia was administered and I watched as the lights above me began to fade. When I woke up, it was over and I was in hysterics, crying my eyes out in the arms of a nurse. “God hates me. God hates me”. I went home puking and bleeding heavily, exhausted from the medication.

The next day, I woke up and went to school as if nothing had ever happened. As if I hadn’t just murdered a human being. And that was how my life went on for the next few months. It’s really easy to ignore the mistakes you make when you bury them deep within the pits of your spirit and cover them with lies, drugs and alcohol. It’s really easy to forget those harsh and ugly truths. God will always bring light to those dark places. I was completely unaware of the anguish I would face over the coming years of my life.

The years that followed were filled with grief stricken moments of heartache. Moments I hid from the world. I cried every, single February. The date is burned into my heart. Ironically, my daughter was due to be born on the anniversary of the day I ended the life I created years prior. Isn’t that crazy? Isn’t it crazy how no matter how deep you bury something, God always sheds light onto it? I had a very hard time even driving past the Planned Parenthood building without breaking down. To this day, I cry when I have to visit the OBGYN because it brings me right back to that place. The flicker of the lights, the way the paper feels and sounds when I sit down on the table. I believed for years that I was unable to have a baby…not because anyone told me this but because I felt if I killed a child, God would never give me another one. One of the many lies I believed. Even when I did get pregnant with both of my kids, I was left me feeling guilty at times.

For many years I also believed that it wasn’t my place to speak up on the subject. As hard as it was for me to hear about babies being aborted, children being murdered and abused, who was I to speak up about the subject? Heres the truth…these women who are proudly hash tagging their shout outs about abortion are in complete denial. They believe it is their body. And rightfully so. If you want to cut off your toe, who am I to judge you? There will be consequences to being toeless. That much I can say. Those wedges wont look quite as nice this summer. But to really believe the life INSIDE of your body is your body and is yours to dispose of is a little far fetched. I have two children. Yes, I birthed them FROM my body. I created them…can I end their life because they are being spiteful little jerks? No. These women are using this form of prideful boasting as their own way of ignoring the facts. Shouting it out and masking heartache with pride is only a momentary thing. They use the freedom to abort their “mistakes” as a form of birth control. They KNOW in their heart what they have done. At least I did.

crystals story

No one likes to admit when they are wrong…it takes a toll on one’s ego. It takes COURAGE to admit to yourself that you made a mistake. It is much easier to ignore it and boast when you feel completely destroyed at the choice you’ve made. I can assure you that the grief they are about to experience isn’t what they are prepared for.

I was nearly 4 months pregnant when I terminated that pregnancy. FOUR MONTHS! That child was alive. That child had a heart beat, fingers and nails and toes. In fact, that baby (yes, it’s a baby…the same way that YOU were a baby inside your mother’s womb) had a heartbeat after 18 days. Most women don’t even know they are pregnant at 18 days.

The point I am trying to make is this… There is grief that occurs with EVERY abortion. It may not happen the day of or even 6 months after. It took a year before I even recognized what I had done. I too, went on my prideful way and continued on with my life. The dark place where you hide that secret eventually gets exposed and it hurts. It’s painful and it can never be changed or taken back. I lived a long time feeling condemned for the choice that I made. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about it in some way, shape or form. The day I stopped running from it and hiding was the day I felt the weight of the burden lifted from me. The day I allowed God to forgive me and heal me was the day I stopped mourning so painfully over my loss and my mistake.

The world will tell you it doesn’t affect you. The world will tell you this choice is yours. The world will tell you that isn’t a human being…but at some point the truth will catch up to you.

I am not speaking about this topic because I have a strong opinion on it. I lived it. I have been on both sides of this fence. I speak about it because I feel like it is the only way I can redeem myself, it is in honor of the child that I didn’t allow to speak.

If I can touch one person’s life with exposing my heartache, if I can reach one woman who feels the same pain every day and hasn’t been able to shake it or stop one child from being disposed of, then the fear of writing this is worth it to me. As scary as the reality of having a child is (and I know, because I have 2…as a single mom, there is nothing worse than remorse and regret over ending a LIFE. I will forever be able to feel the pain that a person feels when they lose a child. But by God’s grace, I have been given the opportunity to also feel the love of a child.

If I can leave you with a final thought, it would be to do whatever you can to avoid an abortion, the lifetime of pain and heartache from it is not worth it, and everyone deserves a chance to live.

The opportunity to be born

This blog is a risk. It’s not something I normally blog about. I could get hateful comments, I could get people unfriending and unfollowing me. But I’m not here to please everyone.

The other day I became aware of the twitter hashtag #shoutyourabortion and it’s like the twitterverse is on fire. I normally don’t go on to Twitter, but I wanted to see what the fuss was all about and quite frankly, the hashtag makes me want to learn what these people have to say.

The two women who started it did so to let other women know they don’t have to feel shame in their abortion, and they want to break that silence and the stigma because not all women feel shame for having an abortion, and you don’t have to feel shame either, if you’ve had an abortion. Abortion is legal in this country, it’s a law that women have the right to access, I’m not here to argue that.

And I’m not here to shame you as a person for having an abortion, if you’ve had one. But my point of view is different. The unfortunate thing is when we have differing opinions on such a divisive topic, we can get nasty. I feel that’s why a lot of Christians might remain silent because they don’t want to be lumped in with the others who are shouting hate at people. Search #shoutyourabortion on Twitter and you can see how people talk to one another… you’re ignorant, go educate yourself, I’m right, you’re wrong. Just another religious nutcase, etc.

How can I be supportive to a woman who’s in a situation where she feels abortion is her best option AND also be supportive to the life that is inside of her? Do those who are in the for abortion category want people like me, who are not for it, to agree with you, even if it goes against every fiber of my being? I’ve never been in that circumstance, but if I feel strongly about something, are you asking me to remain silent? Just as the #shoutyourabortion crowd are not silent, why do I need to be silent because I feel we are #madeforlife?

If my daughter is going to harm herself by pulling on the stove handle, or by walking into the street, am I going to sit idly by and allow it to happen because she feels like this is what she wants to do? No, I want to say something, I want to protect her, I want to tell her there’s another way.

In the case of abortion, I firmly believe, there’s a human life inside of you with its own DNA, with functioning organs that are developing and that there’s a heartbeat inside of that tiny baby. I don’t just believe that, there’s overwhelming evidence that it’s true. Not only that, but through the advancement of sonograms we can see babies smiling, sucking their thumbs, and we also know that they feel pain because they recoil when a needle for a test is put into them. Another body, is inside of your body. There are two bodies here, the woman’s and the tiny, living, heart beating, brain receiving information body inside of the woman’s body. That tiny body is a person BECAUSE of all these things…it has DNA it has a fingerprint. That person will have dreams and a personality, if given the opportunity. Just please process that information and don’t allow it to wash over you like it’s not true.

The disheartening thing from reading the posts with the hashtags, for me, is that so many of the women seem to convey that the reason for their abortions was because having a baby was inconvenient. A lot of things are inconvenient, like making a return at the mall the day after Christmas. And children are a lot of work, but is inconvenience to what you want in life a reason to choose abortion? I’m sure as a child I wasn’t always convenient or fun, but life is not always about what’s convenient. Sometimes we have to do hard things in life. Having a baby you didn’t plan on is a hard choice. Abortion is a hard choice and so is adoption. Adoption is an alternative to not wanting to parent and I wish that more women would consider alternatives to abortion, like adoption.

When Rob and I adopted our daughter Reagan, she forever changed our life. Those who know our story, know that on day four of her life, our daughter was diagnosed with a rare genetic, metabolic disorder. This test is done on newborn screening, after birth, and it’s a fairly new test. It’s become standard just within the last 10 years here in Florida and I’m not sure if all 50 states have these as standard tests. At age 13 months our daughter would suffer a traumatic brain injury, due to her genetic metabolic condition; she lost all her skills, gained a g-tube and we’ve been working hard to help her regain her milestones and skills back ever since April 2014.

But when I look at her, I am so grateful that her birthmom chose adoption. In the midst of a very difficult life circumstance, Reagan’s birthmom chose to give Reagan a chance.

Reagan’s life and story has impacted thousands of people. Her life has challenged Dr.’s because every single thing she is able to do, she should not be able to do. Her brain was so severely damaged that she should not be able to walk, or move much at all. Her life matters. Everyone’s life matters.Balloons

Some people might choose abortion due to a potential disability. If presented with Reagan’s genetic disorder prior to birth, I can bet a lot of people might select abortion. The information on Glutaric Acidemia Type 1 is insanely scary when you look online. But then I look at my child’s eyes; she is not her disorder. She has a feisty personality, she is defying all odds given to us by the doctors in the hospital. She’s walking more, falling less and trying to talk, eat and drink more. Reagan goes to a regular preschool and is a pretty popular classmate because she likes to give everyone hugs. There’s no way I can know the full impact of her little life but I can guarantee you that anyone who has watched her life story unfold has never witnessed more determination or adversity defying by another person, let alone a two and a half year old. We can’t shield ourselves from pain all our life…pain will come, adversity will come, this is life here on earth.

The only way we know greatness, or great people, is because they were given the opportunity to become great. They were given the opportunity to be born.

Converse heel stretch

The reason we choose one decision over another is because we want to control our life’s outcome and we want it to be the very best. But we can’t control better outcomes. You’ll never know how that unborn life could have impacted you, your loved ones, or the world. You’ll never know how you could have grown as a person through a situation you didn’t think you could handle or didn’t want. You’ll never know how you could have become your very best self by overcoming adversity or seemingly impossible odds, you’ll never know.

If you’ve had an abortion, please hear me…I am not here to judge you or condemn you. And I don’t think you’re a terrible person. The purpose in me writing this, is to offer another viewpoint to a woman who might be considering abortion.

Through Reagan’s life and the difficulty we have gone through with her, one thing I have learned is that your current life situation is not going to last forever. We have mountains and we have valleys. Maybe you’re a woman who’s in a valley right now. You aren’t ready to be a mom, you are financially having a hard time, you have no family or friend support. Or maybe you’re on top of a mountain, and you feel having a child would fling you into a valley. I want to encourage you to make an adoption plan. There are SO many families who, like us, have never been able to conceive, ever. There are people who want to be a mom and a dad but haven’t been blessed in that way. You could bless them with the child you’re not ready to parent. Your life might be tough through the nine months of carrying that pregnancy to term, but you can give the gift of the life inside of your body to a family who will love and take care of that child forever. If you are considering abortion, would you please consider adoption?

Maybe you’re afraid that during those nine months you will feel the baby kick, you’ll start to feel emotions and love. You might catch yourself making dreams for that child and for you, you’ll see them smile on a sonogram and your heart will melt…you might start feeling like, you can do this mom thing to the child growing inside of you. Or maybe you don’t want to go through those feelings and you prefer to just end it with abortion. Can I ask you something? Is it possible to do something even though you don’t want to? Is it possible you could carry a child for nine months, for a family who would give anything to have a child? The #shoutyourabortion movement is really loud, like a clanging gong. But I pray you can listen to the soft voice that is inside of you, the voice who says “I created your inmost being,” and allow what is being knit together the chance to live.  What is being knit together inside of you is #madeforlife.

Psalm 139:13-18

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—