Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Testimony

This is my testimony I gave at my local women's center (Clinton County Women's Center) fundraising banquet on October 18, 2008. I wrote the following the day after the banquet:

Well, last night was my local women's center fundraising banquet. I gave my testimony of my abortion and my poem was also read. The banquet's theme was based around my poem "I Will Be Your Voice". The title of the banquet was "Will You Be The Voice?" I was sooo nervous about going up for my testimony. I personally did not read it but I was up front the whole time with my Anthony while it was read. Anthony and I were introduced and then Holly, the director of the center, started reading. I guess, according to Lindsey and her husband Jarrod, that my testimony caught everyone off guard. I don't think they were expecting to hear from someone who had experienced the tragedy of abortion because when the first line was read they noticed people sitting up straighter, eyes getting wide, etc. Lindsey said as they were reading it you could hear everyone start sniffling. Made an impact indeed. While it was being read Anthony and I just held hands and I stayed pretty close to him. Couple of times I just buried my head in his arm. After Holly read it she brought us up on stage and thanked us for sharing our story. As we went back to our seats we got a standing ovation. It was just awesome. Next they read my poem and of course I got most teared up with that. Overall, the banquet was really good. Didn't really care for the food but I'm not a chicken person lol. After the banquet was over I had a lot of the ladies from the center come and give me hugs. I know them all pretty well and it was great to have their support. Also a lot of other people came and thanked me for sharing my story and my poem. I talked to a woman who volunteers for the center who had an abortion (I had met her once before at the table host dessert buffet) and we talked for a bit like only those who've been there can. The guest speaker, Jayne Schooler, was good and we got a free book she wrote called "Mom, Dad...I'm Pregnant." It's a very good book. Right now I just feel so great. I feel so proud.

I've decided to post my testimony that was read at the banquet. I wrote most of it and Holly added some things (and I approved) to help people have a little more understanding.

Here is the story of the biggest mistake of my life..........my abortion.

I grew up as a Christian and knew that abortion was wrong. I never thought that one day I would be in that situation. In July 2002 I met who would later become my husband, Anthony, and we starting dating. I found out in November that I was pregnant. I wasn't on any type of birth control, which was naive. I honestly thought getting pregnant would never happen to me and I was so scared when I found out that I was. Anthony already had a 2 year old daughter from a previous relationship and I knew he probably wasn't ready for another, especially since his first daughter was born at 25 weeks. Waiting to find out whether my pregnancy test was positive or negative was such a long wait. When I found out it was positive I remember just being in shock and thinking that this wasn't happening to me and it wasn't true. I told Anthony and at first we really didn't know what to do. I was so scared and I absolutely did NOT want my parents to find out. I was afraid of what they would think of me and that they'd be disappointed and mad at me. We talked about an abortion, and I felt like it was the only choice I had. I wasn't thinking clearly at all. Before, I just couldn't understand why anyone would ever have an abortion, but you just have no idea how difficult it is until you're living in the situation. I did end up telling my best friend and she said she would support whatever I decided to do. I could tell though she didn't want me to have an abortion. I wish now she would've talked me out of it! I wish I would have known that there was help and support for me at a place like the Clinton County Women's Center, but I didn't know.

So I thought I would call a medical clinic "just to get information". I called a clinic in Columbus, OH and the woman who answered was nice and before I knew it I had an appointment. Talking on the phone with her I was scared. I was afraid of her judging me and thinking I was a bad person, but she was very calm and acted like it was no big deal. So in November I went for my first appointment. I honestly don't remember much about that appointment. I know I filled out papers and they did an ultrasound. The ultrasound was for the purpose of determining how well developed and how large the child inside me was. They did not show me the ultrasound. It was not a happy event like going to the doctor for a pregnancy check-up. I do remember wanting to see the ultrasound screen but the lady had it turned away from me. Before I left I had an appointment to have an abortion on December 19, 2002. Until that day came I just went on with my daily routines. My pregnancy still wasn't real to me even at this point. I just felt like I was in a haze. To this day there is a lot I do not remember from the time I found out I was pregnant until the time of my abortion. I guess I've just suppressed the memories.

The day came and Anthony and I left for Columbus. We just told everyone we were visiting one of his friends that lived there and then we were going to go shopping. We arrived at the clinic, filled out papers, and paid them. It cost $350 to kill my baby. I was about 12 weeks along. They took me back and Anthony left for a bit. I went to this room that had a table with some stirrups. They put an IV in me. Everyone was very nice and we made small talk but they didn't really tell me what was going to happen. I was lying on the table talking to the nurse beside me and then the next thing I remember was waking up in a room with a bunch of other girls. When I woke up many of the other girls were crying. I guess it was from all the cramping, but I just felt numb. I wasn't cramping at all so I just went back to sleep. I woke up later and felt fine physically. I think that made the whole experience a little unreal too. I felt the same physically when I left as when I came in. The nurse took me to the restroom and checked my bleeding and then I was able to leave. Anthony and I drove back home. I slept the whole way back. After I went back home I went to work. Immediately after the abortion I didn't have much remorse. I honestly felt relieved, which I guess is normal. At times I tried rationalizing getting the abortion. I was taking diet pills at the time and I was afraid I had given my baby a birth defect. Of course that didn't really make it any easier. I went into denial.

Years pass and Anthony and I got married in 2005. We started trying in 2007 to have a baby. I found out I was pregnant in May and we were so excited! We thought right after we had the abortion that God might punish us and never let us have any more kids. Everything with my pregnancy was fine until Oct 6 when I had an episode of bleeding and I was rushed to the hospital. The rest of my pregnancy I was monitored very closely. Kyndra was born on Jan 10, 2008. It was such a happy day! Her birth has been such a great event in my life but it has also stirred up the worst. Since she has been born I think often about the baby I have lost. I think more about it now that I have in the first 5 years. I think it's because I see what that baby could have been and it grieves me. I didn't know then what I know now about fetal development. I wish I would've known. It breaks my heart to think of what I put my baby through. My only solace is that my baby is with my Heavenly Father and one day I will hold my little one again. Both my husband and I have asked for forgiveness and if we could go back, if only we could go back, we would have never, never chosen that for our baby. I did give my baby I lost a name. I feel like my baby would've been a boy so I chose Jordan Leigh.

I am now in the process of rebuilding my life and taking back what the enemy stole from me in his deceptive attempts. I am an active part in a local church. I am now a member of several online abortion groups, and I went through Christian-based, post-abortive counseling at CCWC. It has helped a lot. If there have to be others out there that have experienced what I have, and there are, (one in four), it is so good to know I'm not the only one out there with regrets, and I'm not alone in the decision I made. Well God is a God of second chances. I'm not alone. God's grace and forgiveness are unending. My life has been so much better since I've given it back to the Lord. He has given me the peace I desperately needed. However, I will never, ever forget the experience and I hope that I can help other women who have gone through the same thing or are considering abortion. People need to know what abortion really is and how deceiving many clinics are. People need to really understand what it does to the mother as well as the father, besides the obvious destruction of the child involved. The Clinton County Women's Center is there for women and men who are facing the same fears and mistakes that I experienced. My hope is that you will be there to stand in the gap with them. To make it possible to save others from this devastating experience.

The banquet ended up being a great success! There were 209 people in attendance and the money in cash, checks, and pledges came to $21,765. Later my poem was printed in the newsletter they send out. I will share my poem next week.


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Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29

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