My name is Nicola. I am 35 years old and, first and foremost, a follower of Jesus Christ, a born-again Christian. I am also a wife, mother to a beautiful son, a physician, and a writer. My life has been blessed beyond imagination since I have known the Lord and since He saved me from myself, after I repented of my many horrible sins and turned to him for forgiveness. I am forgiven. The only precious person that is missing from my life is what would have been my precious 9-year-old daughter, Anjali.
Before I knew God, I was the worst sinner. I could go into details of my early life, but for brevity, I was always somewhat troubled. I had issues with severe depression and turned to the wrong things for happiness, love, and pleasure. I was a huge partier. I involved myself in bad, ungodly relationships that were unhealthy for myself and the other person. I felt unloved and empty many times, even though I had a family that was there for me and many lovely friends. I also had once been a very high achiever before college but started to slip and fall into an unhealthy oblivion of cramming, indifference, and purging as a release from stress and emotions, while I was obtaining my medical education. Most of all, I did not know my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ yet, and this resulted in me becoming pregnant without being married in 2009.
I was in a relationship, but it was “complicated” as they say, meaning we were not exclusive. At first, the father of the child was so excited, but I was completely in shock and could only repeat one expletive over and over in my mind. But of course this would happen with the way I was behaving, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise. But I was only thinking of myself and what I wanted to do, how I wanted to behave, and the consequences for me, me, me because of my poor choices and actions. I was fearful, anxious, depressed, and deeply ashamed. I told only my close friends and brother at the time and got a variety of mixed responses, but they were generally supportive of whatever I would choose to do. I never told my parents and realized soon after that this was a huge mistake, as they would have fully helped me raise my child. But I was deeply ashamed and thought the pregnancy would ruin my future. I was an unbelievably selfish, despicable human being by choosing to then proceed with getting an abortion, despite continually going back and forth about what to do. At times I thought I was going crazy, hearing other babies talk to me, or even my own baby begging for her life. The last person that pleaded with me in her own way was a nun, whom I saw before I went into the clinic that fateful day. She looked at me silently and kindly, and I know she must have been praying for me. I don’t know if she was silenced by some damn laws or something, but I know God sent her. I was so ashamed, so I looked away and fearfully walked in.
Before that day, I had been seen once at Planned Parenthood, and it is still blurry to me. They did an ultrasound and did not show me. They also did some sort of very brief counseling, which did not help at all. The day of consisted in waiting in a series of rooms to be seen, obtaining an ultrasound again, which was turned away from me, and then a final waiting room, in which me and other women obtaining an abortion were facing one another in almost a semi-circle. I started crying inconsolably, because I did not know what to do next. I was so scared but when I kept looking around, everyone had their head down and did not make eye contact with me. That is not the way there. There was no one that came to console me or check on me. It was all on me. The father had already been separated from me over an hour or more ago, so it was all on me. Oh God, why didn’t I listen to my maternal instincts and run the hell out of there! Every cell in my body and my girl’s body knew there was something so wrong with this, but I was so stupid and selfish that I did not listen and leave!
I do not remember much after that. Maybe I dissociated or something. I don’t know. I was put under what must have been some sort of general anesthesia and did not even meet the doctors beforehand, or at least I don’t remember. I woke up after I presume it was over, and there was a nice white woman beneath me and an African American man, the former of which said something to me that I’m not sure of, and then I passed out again. After that I was put into a recovery room and then a room where all the women who had the procedure were facing each other again in a larger sort of semi-circle. They gave us apple juice and crackers because of the nausea and vomiting that could still occur. I went to the bathroom and the sick, evil, sinful part of me was relieved for a moment that I was no longer pregnant. But then when I went back to sit down, there was a black woman who was speaking outrightly and said aloud while speaking to someone about what we had done, that “We are all murderers.” She repeated it. And I knew she was right. That reality - those words - rung true. I looked at her and could not say anything back. There was no response that could be made to such a bold but true statement. I felt nothing and knew what I was.
After that I had a follow up appointment, but that was only after I went to the ER twice due to bleeding and horrible pain and cramping. All the while I was going to medical school rotations and was having a horrible time, trying to cover it up, lying to myself and others, having horrible mood swings. I don’t recall what emotional interaction I had with the presumed father. He was dead to me, and I had warned him that, if I did this, I didn’t think things would ever be the same. He did take me to the hospital when I needed, and ultimately, I had to have another procedure called a dilatation and curettage, to remove what is inhumanely called “retained products of conception.” No, not products, my baby! My baby was still there! I think I was going psychotic from all of that, and this was the worst time for me. I thought again that my baby was talking to me, and myself as well, and both of us screamed, “Momma! Momma! Momma!” But no one heard, and it was too late. I could not and did not protect my precious girl. I felt the full weight of what I had done. My life of sin crushed me, and I knew I was in hell. Unadulterated hell on earth to be followed by hell in the afterlife. I knew that was my destination, and I felt that that one decision made my life over, game over, end, nothing left now, because I had failed this very critical test of life—to choose between what was fundamentally right, to have my baby, or to kill my own flesh and blood.
After the abortion, I remained with the father for some time, and he suffered some ailments as well. Ultimately, I could not be with him anymore, because we both knew that what we had done, and I couldn’t look at him anymore. Also, there was further possible uncommitted feelings and behavior in the relationship that tore us apart. I was officially dead inside. I continued my lifestyle for another year but this time, numb and dead. I got much, much worse, even after seeking medical help. I was emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually dead and lost.
After some time, I left New York, which is where this all happened. I hated that city due to what I had experienced there. There were so many people around me at times, but it felt like no one cared. I had friends, but no one knew what depression I was battling. I wanted to kill myself. I went to the Brooklyn Bridge once to do it but realized it was not physically possible, and the sun was shining that day so I thought that maybe I would choose to live instead. I know God was speaking to me despite the evil that I had done. But I knew I deserved to die for what I did. I also called a suicide hotline once, which actually really did help me, and I felt better after talking to them. However, leaving the city was the best thing for me, although my feelings did not get any better after some time, and I sought out medical treatment for my severe depression. The medications did not work very well and even made me feel worse, so I had to stop them.
I started searching for anything else to do with abortion recovery and found a program through the Catholic church called Project Rachel. I secretly met with a wonderful woman weekly while I was in Florida staying with my parents. We walked through many spiritual exercises about forgiveness through Jesus Christ. It was so exhausting for both of us, but it was the start of my healing. All the while I was still in medical school. I had failed one of my step exams and had to retake it. I also missed the match, which is how medical students get a job in a residency program, due to my failure and general inability to properly focus. Somehow on my year off, during which I was jobless and living at home, I attended a course and was able to pass the test required, apply to programs, and get matched. Things were starting to look up, and I was happy for a short period of time when I knew I had a future.
But the depression hit me hard when I got to my intern year of residency because of the stress. I made two attempts on my life and told my parents about what I was feeling. They responded right away by coming the very next day. My mother and brother visited me to make sure I had support and did not try anything. I also got medical help as well.
I somehow got through my training, despite all the stress, and never tried to hurt myself after that. I am so grateful my parents and brother were there for me at that time, otherwise I would not be here right now. I know God sent them as angels on earth to help me and protect me from myself. I also had good friends that were there for me during my training and other supportive, caring individuals around me that got me through those days.
I finally graduated from my program, and I was high, like never before, on life. Right before that time I had a breakup and a brief, ill-fated attempt at a new “relationship”. I was prompted to forgive him and others who had hurt me in my life. I also let go of my victim mentality once I finally truly admitted to myself that I was the messed up one and that I needed to get myself right. I needed to stop pointing fingers and look at myself and change. I needed God more than anyone else to do this. I needed His eternal forgiveness. So, I started my real, tangible walk with Jesus Christ at that time. It was the most beautiful time of my life. Everything was perfect. The world around me was alive and fresh and new. I felt God’s presence so closely and intimately, and there was nothing else that mattered. I read the Bible, prayed, and behaved like a proper lady, lovingly, not out of obligation to the rules, but because I was being transformed by God Himself into a new creation through regeneration.
I moved to Seattle, and that is where Jesus performed His great miracle in me by me being born again. What does that mean? When we are born into this world, it is of the flesh. But in order to be in the Kingdom of God, we must be born again by the Holy Spirit of God. Within three church Sundays at a new church, which had been recommended by a friend, I experienced the Holy Spirit of God coming into my heart, delivering me free of the bondage of sin, healing me of depression and addictions, granting me salvation, and giving me completely pure, divine love, joy, and peace in my heart. I would have never, ever believed this would happen, that I, who did evil things, could be forgiven and walk with God. I cannot express to you how blissfully happy I was during that time, being so close to God. He continued to bless me soon by bringing me my husband several months after. We got married within sixth months of knowing one another but knew within a week that we were to be married. We bought a house a couple of years later, and concurrently, just this past November, we had our God-given beautiful boy.
I do want to say that I also attended Rachel’s Vineyard with my husband and was able to name and have a funeral for my child, who I believe would have been a girl. This was an extremely important experience of healing even after I got saved. I realized there was even more healing that I needed. My husband also spiritually adopted my baby.
I do not deserve any of what I have been given, but God has given me grace beyond what I could dream of. He saved my life so that I could give my testimony of His great love for me and for anyone who believes in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. All the evil that I was and did will be used for good, and I will fight for life for the rest of my life. There is no reason to ever justify willfully killing a baby, elective or not. It is better to die than to have the blood of an innocent on our hands. We must preserve life at every stage, no matter what. So I will stand up for those who are unborn, the most precious and defenseless of us all, for God, and for my beautiful angel in heaven, Anjali. And that is why I am silent no more!