I remember talking with some girlfriends in high school (1986?) when I was about 16 – give or take a year. The discussion was about pregnancy and abortion.
All I remember thinking at the time was, Dear Lord…I don’t ever want to have face a situation like that ever. To have to make that choice (between keeping a baby or aborting it). Please, I don’t want to have an abortion – EVER.
Fast Forward to 2008: Here is my story
Be Careful What you Pray for:
My children were 6 and 4. Although I was already past 35, I was still yearning for another child. I have always loved children. I grew up the youngest of four and even though I am nearly 10 years younger than my older sibling and 20 years younger from the eldest, at least I knew I had siblings. I knew they existed. Holidays and life in general were beautiful surrounded by lots of people.
I’ve often heard people say that the prayers we pray, that are in “accordance” with God’s Will for our lives are often fulfilled. Maybe not right away in all cases, but at some time or another.
However, the reverse is also true. We can pray for something we believe we earnestly want and not receive the blessing. Or, a prayer that goes against God’s will might be granted…only to have that fulfilled prayer turned into a life lesson. A lesson that will leave us with scars.
Onto the story.
So, I’d started praying for another child. I knew I was probably crazy to be doing so. And I was told point blank so by my spouse. While my first pregnancy was a dream; easy, pleasant and a piece of cake so to speak – My second was not. It was difficult. Completely opposite of the first experience.
So, while I was “mildly” surprised when I recognized I was expecting…I also was not surprised. I knew the moment it happened exactly what was going on.
I went to a pregnancy center near my home and had results confirmed. They also performed an ultrasound but asked me to return in a week to verify it…because my positive test was so early on in the waiting game.
I did go back a week later and that appointment lasted much, much longer….
By the time of my second check in, I was about 6 weeks along.
I looked at the black and white screen. I kept trying to make out the baby, it’s heartbeat..fingers or toes. But I’m not an ultrasound technician. I couldn’t make out anything. My anticipation was mounting. While I had prayed for a baby, it had been a week (or more) since they’d confirmed the baby’s presence. I had initially been shocked to learn my prayer had been answered.
Why would I be shocked?
If God is so good about answering our prayers and fulfilling our desires why wouldn’t I just be grateful? Because, I had been told long before that trying to do so would be a mistake. My last pregnancy had been so hard on me physically I had come to consciously accept I would only ever have two. That is until my heart got in the way. So, I had taken the last few weeks to work my brain over and accept the surprising news. Which I finally had…the previous weekend. And now I was both excited and joyous. I was finally going to have my dream of a “big” family.
And then – it all shattered into a million pieces.
The ultrasound technicians were left in a quandary. The baby’s heart beat that had been there during my previous visit had now disappeared. There was no sign of it.
I now sat waiting for the Dr. to come in. I was finally waiting to find out the results from my 3rd ultrasound. And I was still hoping for the best….until I heard:
Dr: “You have mis-carried”
Me: “How can you be sure?”
Dr: “We can’t see the fetus?”
Me: “What if you can’t see it but it’s still there?”
Dr: “We can’t detect a heartbeat”
This was insane. I wasn’t ready to give up.
Me: “But I still feel pregnant”
Dr: “You will until your body stops producing hcg and you have a cycle to expel it”
Expel it? The scent of a horror movie was building in my mind.
In reality, I wanted to wait. I wanted this pregnancy to end on its own. I didn’t want to force this “it” out. What if the Doctor (and ultrasound) were wrong???
Me: So, what are you suggesting I do?
Dr: The pregnancy needs to be terminated.
I know I gave her a blank look, if not a look of devastation.
Dr: You need to have an abortion.
Me: What!?!? No! I am not having an abortion. That has never been an option in my book. There are no other options?
Dr: You can try using a pill instead….
And that is when she handed me a prescription slip; which read (in a nutshell) RU486.
If I was the type of woman who was known for fainting, this might have been the moment. But as it were, I felt the heat rise up behind my eyes, followed by a lake of tears. I’d heard of this “wonder” drug before. But in my case, I didn’t have to go looking for it. It found me.
I was ready to throw up.
That night, it started. And it sucked. Gut wrenching aches and pain; compounded by guilt.
Why, Why, Why?
The next 12hours were painful emotionally. Watching what my body was doing floored me.
How had man been able to find a way to take something fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) deep inside me…designed to be a unique being and turn it into a glob of (now dead) human tissue. The sight of that evening…of witnessing this drug at work was overwhelming.
I’d wanted a baby…but not at this cost. Not at the expense of having to witness the death of something that was supposed to be a miracle.
Dear God, What is your plan? I believe in you and trust my life to you. You blessed my soul with the knowledge of this child. Help me to understand….
But the journey was still not over yet and my ultimate compromise was yet to come.
Part II is next…..