Remembering My Son

South Carolina,  United States

It was in the month of May 1971. As the decision was made, I can remember feeling very sad and helpless to what was about to happen. At fourteen, life was difficult for me.

I come from a family of six. I was not a happy teen. I was finding ways of any sort to not be where I was. I was involved more in the party crowd, than school. I had a boy friend who was abusive, both orally and physically. I was a virgin and had sex with this boy in the back of his car, on a dark back road. I am being honest in saying I did not enjoy the experience and feel that I was talked into it.

A couple of months later, I had to have an emergency appendectomy. At his point I knew I was pregnant, but did not let anyone know. I was small and able to hide it from school and family.

During the examination before the appendectomy, the doctor entered the room and had informed my parents that there is a slight problem—I was three months pregnant. The surgery had to be performed differently to save the baby. I will never forget the anger on my father's face and the hurt on my mother’s.

After the surgery, I was told I was going to have an abortion and that is all there is to it. So with that information, the boy and I ran away to Florida, where he said he had family that would understand and help us out.

Traveling by thumbs and with $50.00 was scary. The scariest part was the boy would regularly beat me for claiming it was his baby and whatever other insecurities he had at the time. Finally, reaching the destination, and after sleeping under bridges, being under feed and abused, something inside me was telling me to go home.

After a month of feeling humiliated and not wanted, I decided to call home. They sent me a bus ticket and I returned. The next day, we went to the local hospital where we were introduced to Planned Parenthood.

It all was so traumatizing; I cannot remember if I was given the choice of adoption. At any rate, the procedure to have the abortion was arranged and plans were made.
My mother and I, a week or two later, flew to New York, where Planned Parenthood said this was the only legal and safe place to have an abortion. I do not know the amount that was paid.

I do remember the flight to this huge city I had heard so much about. I was thinking about the simplicity they had said it would be and this was the right choice, although I could feel the sadness coming from my mother and in me.

We arrived, greeted by a smiling woman, leading us to a bus that had several other, older ladies. They seemed as old as dirt, at age fourteen. But this small bus was taking all of us to the same place—a big hospital. I can remember looking up at the dirty, tall building. It was on a side of town that was not very becoming. Rather, it was in an area where street people, looking homeless and distressed buildings were. I was scared.

We entered the hospital and were instructed to have a seat and read some brochures that would help us to understand the procedures, before watching the video along with counselors to answer any questions. The wait seemed forever. I was more interested in holding my belly, thinking about this baby inside of me.

After the video, a doctor came in smiling and began to tell us of the procedure, concerning whatever level/term we were in our pregnancy and to which floor we would be sent. I was not familiar with the jargon, other than I was going to the fifth floor, because I was farther along than the others, but it was okay, because there were women there who I could visit with during my stay—which was to be overnight.

I was taken to a room that was very large which held eight beds and six women. The doctor came in with a nurse and I watched them fill the largest tube with this yellow stuff. I was curious and obviously missed the part of saline poisoning. The scar from my appendix surgery was not completely healed. The nurse put what seemed like a glob of this orange-yellow stuff all over my stomach.

They had inserted a vagina opener inside my vagina, which was painful, and then the doctor put his fingers inside of me and pushed my belly to find where a certain place of the baby was, so that the largest needle in the world to me at the time could be inserted. He then put the needle into my lower stomach and injected this stuff. He then informed me of what would take place and what my responsibility would be at certain times and then left. I was sobbing—full of fear and guilt. The nurse reassured me things would be okay.

As I laid there, the first couple of hours, my mother was able to be by my side. She would have to leave when the labor started even though I was against this and she was too. We tried our best to see if she could be there with me, but the rules stated she could not.
There I was, left to my own thinking of the unknown. The ladies that were there tried to comfort me with statements such as, "Don’t worry honey, it is simple. There’s nothing to be afraid of, it will be over before you know it." One in particular, sharing her experiences of other abortions and because of an affair she was having with her boss, did not comfort me at all. I was given no pain medication.

I was told that when this labor thing started, to pull the cord and a nurse would be there. I experienced a ten-hour labor, of contractions, and abdominal pain. The doctor would come in; look at how far I was dilated, then say it was all okay. They could not administer pain medication, because it would cause complications.

The moment I can remember is when my baby died. It was immediately, it seemed, after the injection. I could not feel the baby moving any longer. I became overwhelmed with grief; I did not know that is what it was at the time. I just knew I was very, very sad.
The time came to abort. They had instructed me to go to the toilet and sit and allow the fetus to come out. It should with no problem, then to pull the cord.

As I sat, feeling the last pains of contractions, being as curious as any fourteen-year-old is, I watched what happened. To my surprise, the baby came out and fell into the toilet water. Hanging by the cord that I knew was connected somehow to my soul. I did not think of pulling the cord—I was looking at my dead baby.

He was fully developed. I was looking at his tiny fingers and his tiny legs, toes, facial features, his little body; how his eyes were closed and all the blood that began to cover the appearance of him.

I had forgotten to pull the cord and when I finally did, the nurse came in, had a clear plastic bag, instructed me to stand and lifted the baby, put him into a plastic bag and cut the cord. She had asked me if I had immediately pulled the nurses cord, after the delivery, and of course, I did not know how long I was looking at my baby. But I did not pull the cord in enough time so that the afterbirth would not infect me.

I can remember the nurse being very upset and the staff having to rush me to another floor to have the after birth that may still be inside of me removed. This was not pleasant.
The room was cold, dark and smelled awful. There was a lot of rushing around and yelling taking place. Some was directed towards me for not following instructions on pulling the nurses cord immediately after the baby aborted. They were pulling all of these surgical instruments out and it was all scaring me. I could feel some severe pain happening inside me. I was still not given any pain medication.

I tried to fight the doctor as he insert in me this huge vagina opener, but it took four nurses to hold me so he could do it. I was screaming at the top of my lungs. At one point, my mouth was covered until I bit the nurse's hand. The doctor inserted his hand and forearm inside of me and began to scrape out whatever was left of the after birth. I can remember them yelling at me to be still, that it was my fault, I should have let them know and so on.

That procedure and the chance of infection made my stay a three-day one. I did contract a staff infection that gave me boils on a regular basis for years. Some have been lanced, they had gotten so big.

I cannot find words to explain my encounter with abortion. I have kept a journal most of my life after this. I am just now looking at the pain and suffering that this incident caused in my life and how it affected me in all areas.

I am a recovering alcoholic, by God's Grace, eight years, April 7. I truly feel and know that my recovery has helped me to be able to share and help other women and young girls to see that it is devastating to know that I was part of killing my only son. I have been able to have a daughter, years later.

I hope his will touch someone and let them know of the permanent scars that occur after an abortion. This is a small part of my story. I plan to write and publish a book on that part of my life.

Thanks for listening. And I want to make a difference in the continuing of any type of pro-life efforts that go on today in this world.

God Bless

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