A tender and often difficult subject in our culture is the loss of a pregnancy that ends in abortion. While many women grieve their loss, political, cultural, and social dynamics can make it difficult to talk about how they feel or what they’ve experienced. In this blog post, “C” openly shares her experience, her sense of loss, and her journey toward healing with the hope that other women who resonate with her loss will experience healing, as well.
It was 1976, I was 25 years old, and my world was crumbling. After only one year of marriage, my husband and I separated. My mother had just been diagnosed with cancer. Then, I discovered I was pregnant. I always turned to my mom for advice, but I couldn’t burden her. My marriage was broken, and the last thing my husband and I could discuss was having a baby. I’d made such a mess of my life that I was too ashamed even to turn to God.
My friends advised me that it wouldn’t be fair to bring a child into the world while I was in so much turmoil. The Roe versus Wade case three years earlier legalized abortion, and the mindset back then was that a fetus wasn’t a “viable” human being until it was born. After convincing myself that I was making the right decision, I chose to terminate my pregnancy.
I remember the day of the abortion clearly. It felt surreal. Everything was happening in slow motion. I was cold and shivering, and felt alone and abandoned. My doctor tried to put me at ease, explaining that I would be “good as new” after he, in his words, “cleaned out the unwanted tissue.” As I was taken to the operating room, I kept repeating in my mind, “I can’t do this,” but I couldn’t say the words out loud.
When I woke up in the recovery room, I felt an overwhelming sense of loss. It was too late to change my mind. I felt I’d never forgive myself for what I did.
After the abortion I got on with my life. I put a big smile on my face and buried the memory of the whole experience. Soon afterward, my husband and I got back together. God has blessed us with three wonderful sons and in the last five years, a precious daughter-in-law and two beautiful grandchildren.
With all these blessings, one would think my life was perfect, but I felt a cloud hovering over me most of the time. I had problems with sleeping, eating, anxiety and depression. Even though I cherished my sons and grandchildren, Mother’s Day was difficult for me, and I didn’t know why.
One day, when I heard someone mention the word “abortion,” I fell apart. I sobbed uncontrollably while my son and some friends consoled me. Someone told me that a local center (Selah) offered a post-abortion support program, and she shared the help and healing other women like me had experienced. At the time I didn’t think I needed it. Two more years and two more Mother’s Days passed. By then, I had made the correlation between my abortion and Mother’s Day. I was grieving because my unborn child was missing from our family. At that point, I knew I needed help. Another post-abortion support program was starting, so I joined the group.
We spent the next several weeks surrendering our secret as we began to heal the heartbreak of our abortion procedures and the damaging effects on us. We expressed our anger and experienced the power of forgiveness. We mourned the loss of our unborn children and released them into God’s loving care. Amazing things started to happen. My wounds began to heal. The dark cloud began to dissipate and I felt joy in my heart again. I experienced forgiveness and grace that covered the trauma of my abortion and gave me new hope for the future.
I wish there had been a pregnancy medical center like Selah that I could have turned to 35 years ago—a place where I had been given the information and the support I needed. Now in the memory of my unborn child, I am grateful to offer hope to others who need it.
Everyone’s experience is different. If you feel the weight of a decision in your past that hasn’t turned out the way you expected, we are here to listen and help, just as we did with C. Call us, or contact us through the website. We want to help.