1. Do you have a date or set of dates you associate with your loss? (YourJuly27)
I don't have a specific date for my loss, but it was two weeks before Christmas, so November and December are always hard months for me. I have memories pop up on my phone each year of when I was pregnant and didn't even know it yet, so I always think of that every year when I see them. Then during the first two weeks of December it's constantly on my mind.
2. What is the bird's eye view of YourJuly27 story? What has your healing journey looked like?
The birds-eye view of my story is pretty sad: A young woman who wanted to love and be loved so desperately her entire life. A hopeless romantic, if you will.
At the time I was a brand new, born again Christian. I met a guy on a dating app who also proclaimed he was a Christian. He lived in another state and so we talked on the phone, FaceTimed and did Bible study plans together on the Bible app for an entire month before seeing each other. He was very good at sweet talking and romanticized the whole thing. He truly made me believe that I was someone who he saw himself marrying one day and I fell for it all. A common case of Love Bombing if you will. Right before I flew out to meet him in person for the first time, God put it on my heart to choose to rededicate myself to the Lord, therefore I would practice abstinence until marriage. It was something I wanted to do for a very long time, but never felt I was actually strong enough to do it. Practicing abstinence was a strong hold of mine from a young age.
I told the guy I was seeing about it, as some men have expectations and he said he was totally okay with it. I was only there to see him for less than 24 hours and unfortunately one thing led to another and I wasn't as strong as I hoped I'd be. The guy I was seeing told me he knew I would cave, and then a week later he said he didn't want to see me anymore. I was very hurt, blind sided and felt used.
A month later while I was at work I realized I hadn't gotten my period in a while and I thought that was odd as I usually had regular cycles. I didn't think I was pregnant at all, but when I looked in an app I have on my phone that tracks my cycles, it had been 40 days since my last period which was odd to me, so I got a pregnancy test just to be sure. In my mind though, I kept thinking there was no way I was pregnant.
Sure enough there was a very faint second line on the pregnancy test and so I went to my best friend's house immediately for support. I took two more tests and they were positive, but the second lines were so faint that I wasn't 100% sure if I was. I called the guy I had seen, which was awkward and very comfortable as we hadn't spoken to each other in over a month and told him I took a test and it was positive. He immediately told me he didn't want to keep it and that he'd pay for an abortion. To be very honest, I was kind of relieved he said that. I was so afraid of having the baby.
I proceeded to call my mom next to tell her. She comforted me and told me everything was going to be okay and she encouraged me to keep my baby. Fear consumed me and I couldn't see past it. I didn't even try to see past it. It all felt like a terrible bad dream. I couldn't believe this was happening to me. I never thought it would.
When you're young you think you're invincible and that things that happen so commonly to others won't ever happen to you... until they do.
I was so uninformed. My period had just ended the day before I saw that guy, so I thought there would be no way I could get pregnant. I couldn't be ovulating because I just ended my period?? Right??
So I made an appointment the following day at Planned Parenthood to get another pregnancy test, just for them to confirm I was, in fact, pregnant. I wanted all of it to be over as fast as possible. I thought the quicker I could get it done the better it would be for me and the baby. I was 5 weeks and 3 days along, and I researched that heart beats don't develop until six weeks, so in my mind if I could have my abortion before six weeks, then that was a way I could justify it all to myself. I knew what I was doing was wrong and shameful and I hated myself for it, so I tried to find ways to justify it to make myself feel a little better.
I came from divorced parents and I never knew what a healthy marriage looked like. My whole life I so desperately wanted that for my future kids. I had a plan. I would get married, be financially stable, have a healthy marriage and then have kids and be able to give them what I never had, but this wasn't what happened. I was 26 and could barely take care of myself, I wasn’t even involved with the father in any way.
It wasn’t supposed to happen this way, is what ran through my mind constantly. I felt my only option was to have an abortion and I thought the abortion would be something I would just simply do and then I’d be able to go back to my normal life like it never happened. Boy was I wrong.
At the time the father had moved to the same state as me, so I met with him the day of my abortion, and he gave me the money for it. It was brief and very uncomfortable. My best friend went with me for support. I’m so thankful she was with me.
They took me into a room for an ultrasound first and asked me if I wanted to see the baby. I knew I couldn’t. It would have been too painful and honestly I knew I’d probably change my mind.
Then they took me into a second room with a doctor and allowed my best friend to come in with me. She was sitting right across from me and the doctor was at his desk to the right of me. He said I would have to take one pill in front of him that would stop the baby’s development. I think out of the whole experience this is the most traumatic part of it for me. I sat there with this pill in my hand just utterly shattered. I looked at my best friend as I cried and she started crying too. I felt paralyzed in that moment. Everything in me knew what I was doing was wrong, and the thought of killing my baby right then in that moment was the worst part of my existence thus far.
I wish I listened to that voice inside of me. I wish a lot of things were different.
I took the pill eventually and then the doctor gave me more to take at home along with a packet that had instructions on how to take them. I cried non-stop for 3 days. All I kept saying to my baby was how sorry I was.
For three days straight as I was going through my abortion at home, I kept saying, "I’m so sorry," over and over again.
I googled how big my baby was, as I was afraid of what I’d see when going through the process of it exiting my body. My baby was as big as an apple seed. I held on to that for some reason. I took my medicine at home the following day, and I laid on my bathroom floor alone while the excruciating cramps started. The medicine tasted so bad as it dissolved in my mouth that as a result, I threw up. I was afraid I had thrown up too soon before it could work, so that threw me into another frenzy of emotions. I called Planned Parenthood to be sure it would still work, and they assured me I was fine.
I started bleeding so heavily. As I stood in the shower and watched all of the blood run down the drain I held my stomach and kept repeating to my baby, "I’m so sorry."
From the very depth of my heart and soul, I truly was.
I hated myself.
To say I was ashamed would be an understatement.
I was so ashamed of myself that I couldn’t face God. I couldn’t talk to Him. I started avoiding Him, because of what I had done.
The father was never there for me in any capacity during my abortion. He texted me a few days later and asked me if it had worked. That was the last I heard from him. He never offered any kind of emotional support in any way. It made me feel even worse and more alone in it all.
For the next month following my abortion I had suicidal thoughts constantly. Nightmares that kept me up at night. Hearing the word baby or seeing a baby threw me into an even deeper depression. I didn’t believe I was worthy of anything good life had to offer anymore.
I struggled with deep self hate, guilt and shame. My mental health was suffering and no one told me this could happen. I only dressed myself for work, as I had gone back to work only two days later. I was still bleeding for an entire week. I didn’t do my hair, put on makeup or dress nicely. I didn’t think I deserved to. I couldn’t physically look at my body at all for that entire month.
By the grace of God, people were put into my life who led me to Hope Pregnancy Center where I started a 12-week abortion healing Bible study that saved my life and my relationship with God.
As I was going through my healing journey, I knew I wanted to provide healing for other women one day just like I had received, but I also knew my own healing needed a significant amount of time before I could do that.
Through my healing journey I was able to actually call my baby a baby rather than an, "It."
I was able to name my baby. The name I chose was Asher from the Bible meaning, to be “Happy and Blessed”. That’s truly all I wanted and hoped for, for my baby.
I started to be able to slowly forgive myself, just as Jesus had forgiven me. I thought if Jesus could forgive me, then I should be able to forgive me.I made the most beautiful, lifelong friendships with the other women in my group and with my two group leaders. We bonded together, shared our deepest hurts and struggles, and ultimately healed together. We ended our healing journey by meeting for dinner and writing a note on a balloon to our babies that we then released up into the sky. I watched that balloon float away as long as I could, even when I couldn’t see it anymore. I’d like to share what I wrote to my baby on that balloon:
“I love you more than you will ever know. Even though I didn’t get to meet you here, I can’t wait until the day when I will in Heaven. I think of you all of the time and you will always have the biggest part of my heart, always. I love you.”
3. What would you say to someone whose life has been impacted by abortion?
I would tell other women who have been impacted by abortion that it’s going to be okay. You’re worthy of life, of love, and of all the beautiful things God has for you still even if you don’t believe it yet. The pain, nightmares, and anything else you’re feeling or dealing with as a result, will subside.
There is joy, peace, and happiness waiting for you on the other side. Healing is essential, but everyone’s journey with it is different and that’s okay. I encourage you to find your healing and to not be afraid of it. The healing process is hard and can be very painful, but the freedom you feel on the other side is worth it all.
I'd say, "You are not a bad person and you are forgiven for your choice," if guilt and self hate is something you’re struggling with like I did.
Be patient and kind to yourself, and practice giving yourself grace. You are only human. You are so incredibly loved, fearfully and wonderfully made.
4. You now work for Support After Abortion. Tell us a little bit about the work this nonprofit is accomplishing, and your position there as the Provider Relationship Associate.
Like I mentioned, I knew as soon as I started my healing journey that God put it on my heart to want to do the same for other women one day.
I specifically remember the exact moment He put it on my heart.
The four-year anniversary of my abortion was last year. Around my birthday, oddly enough, God started telling me that I was ready to take on that journey. I didn’t know how that journey was going to look or what it would be like. I didn’t know where to start. I thought maybe social media would be a good start.
Eventually several months later in November, the time four years ago when I had my abortion, I was searching for a new job. I wasn’t looking for a job within the abortion healing realm, but as I googled jobs, a thought popped into my head to search abortion healing jobs. I didn’t think for one second I’d actually get a job doing that, but it was worth looking into.
Support After Abortion was the first to pop up.
I saw a job position they had posted on a third party website. I applied and then checked out their website. I looked at job openings on their website, but there were none, so I figured the job I had just applied to must have been an expired job posting. I wasn’t sure what would come of it, but I was in awe of their website and the work they were doing.
Only three hours later I received an email from Support After Abortion inviting me to an interview. I was shocked, but over the moon! I immediately replied back and scheduled my first interview. My next interview was only a few days later, and then only a few days after that I was offered a job. It all happened so fast and felt like a dream. I knew God's hand was all over it. It felt like everything I had been through had come full circle. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and joy to say the least.
At Support After Abortion we connect women and men who have experienced or been impacted by abortion and are seeking healing to those who provide that healing. Our main goal is to be a soft place for people to land and to meet everyone and anyone where they are at. We connect them with a resource or provider that is going to best meet their needs.
So much of abortion is talked about either in a very religious or political way, and as a result we have lost sight of the woman and/or man going through the pain and loss of it all.We want to encourage others to speak about abortion with compassion. It's not black or white, left or right. These are real people with real feelings going through real, difficult times and we want to help them find the healing they so desperately deserve.
We equip providers with the training, tools, and resources so they can best serve those who are hurting.
As the Provider Relationship Associate it's my job to cultivate and maintain relationships with all of our providers and prospective providers as well. Many providers are doing either everything or many things on their own, so I offer as much help and support as I can to them, so they can feel less alone and be able to do what they do to even better, leading to more people being helped and healed.
I also visit pregnancy centers in my area and will be traveling to conferences this year to share our message of hope and healing and equip leaders, counselors, pregnancy centers, and others
God is still molding me, healing me, using me and leading my life as I entirely trust Him to do. I am so excited to see all He has in store.
It's a beautiful thing He does: to take my abortion experience, something that was so dark and excruciating, and use it for good. It still blows my mind, and always makes me think: "What the enemy meant for evil, You meant it for good."
For whoever has had an abortion and reads this, you too will see your victory one day. I promise.
Support After Abortion "Shifting the conversation to compassion and support for those impacted by abortion."
The Support After Abortion AFTER ABORTION LINE is a free support service that provides real-time, compassionate, genuine care via phone, text, email, online chat, and social media messaging for women and men who have experienced abortion; for friends, family members, and others who have been impacted by abortion; as well as those who are considering abortion for a current pregnancy."
Call: 833-403-HEAL (4325)