Save your life by giving them theirs.

Florida,  United States

I was 19 years old the first time I got pregnant.  I was using birth control pills and likely missed a day in the cycle, because there was no other explanation for why I should have been pregnant. It was an honest mistake, and I was already three months pregnant when I received the doctor’s confirmation from my blood test results. In that moment, I accepted my pregnancy and I told God that if he needed a child to be born, it would be safe with me because I’d never have an abortion. I married my boyfriend (my baby’s father) when I was 5 months pregnant, but we were divorced by the time our baby was 2 years old.

I was a single mom by the time I was 22, when I met a guy at the gym who was a very young president of a local bank branch. He was 25 years old [and] a graduate [of] a high-ranking military college in the USA.... He was very successful and very charming. We began dating and fell in love. By this time I was working as a Pre-K schoolteacher at the same school where my child was attending. My new boyfriend was very romantic and wanted to sweep me off my feet, and asked me to move my child and myself to his home, where after a time he proposed to me and we got engaged. He then asked me to quit my job so that I could be home with my child and be a housewife to him. But after I quit my job, he became controlling and demanding in every aspect of my life. He was very jealous that my child was not his own, and demanded that we have a child together. I fearfully agreed. So each night when he got home from work, he demanded we have sex until I got pregnant. I was very young and fragile, now without a job, and dependent on him.

When I missed the first day of my period the following month, I went out to purchase a pregnancy stick test from the drug store. I couldn’t wait to get home to take the test! When I got home I followed the instructions and stood in wait starring at the little window on the stick that indicates a positive result, hoping I would see a blue line. My heart leaped with joy as it began to appear in that little window! I was pregnant, and very happy about it! I ran back out to the drug store and bought a package of infant sized diapers and some gift-wrap. I put the positive pregnancy stick test inside one of the little diapers and wrapped it in the gift-wrap as a surprise for my fiancé when he got home. When he walked into the house, I handed him the gift. He opened the wrapping, then the diaper, and when he saw the stick test he quickly dropped it on the table. His reaction was that of shock, a bit scared, somewhat happy and somewhat concerned. It wasn’t the reaction I thought he would have, but I understood this could be a shocking experience for anyone. I was thrilled at the thought that I was going to have another baby. But this controlling behavior and jealousy over my first child having a different father got worse. He demanded that I legally revoke my first child’s father’s rights so that he could adopt her. When I refused, he threatened to beat me, and told me that we would not get married, but that he would see to it that when my baby was born, he would take it away from me.

I panicked! I panicked beyond any situation I had ever experienced to that point in my life. I was afraid for my life, my first child’s life and now my unborn baby’s life. I knew I was in trouble and was somehow turned around by my own thoughts in my own despair, and believed the best thing to do was abort the child so that it’s father could never hurt it, or take it away from me. I thought that since abortion was legal, it was the accepted and right thing to do in my situation. I believed it would be the remedy I needed so that my child and I would by able to leave and never have to see him again. I privately sought an abortion and made the appointment.

I was 9 weeks pregnant. By this time my baby’s heart was already beating and all of it’s essential body parts were accounted for. Then I remembered my promise to God when I was pregnant with my first child. It was the week before the abortion, and when darkness began to consume me. Every day I sat in a dark room, starving myself and praying to God to please remove the soul of the child from its body before I killed it via abortion. I was crushed to a million pieces. I loved and wanted my baby, but not under those circumstances. I kept praying and pleading with God to take it from me and give it to a couple who could not have a child. When I had the abortion, my life was never the same again. I began to punish myself and became anorexic, which eventually lead to body image disorder, exercise bulimia and vanity issues that took on a life of their own for almost two decades following the abortion, regardless of where the issues originated.

I felt worthless, and that God would never forgive me for; a) breaking my promise, and b) aborting his gift of life and creation from my body. Nothing seemed to matter anymore, and three years later, I found myself pregnant again though the circumstances where not with an abusive man. It was just the wrong time in the lives of young people. Misguided again believing it was the right thing to do, I had another abortion. I was 7 weeks pregnant. Since I’d already had one and felt worthless, I went through it again, and now I believed this sealed my fate as an unforgiveable human being among all human beings.  I had my own little private ceremony for my second aborted child. Like the first, I loved it and wished I could have kept it. The ceremony was to make sure I would remember it always.

I was already punishing myself for the first abortion, and the second added to my unspeakable internal pain and darkness, anchoring me in my self-condemnation and perpetual doom. I yearned and grieved the loss of my two unborn babies for many, many years, until my anorexic, body image disorder and insecure vanity issues consumed me. In them I put the abortions behind me, shoving them way down deep and never addressing them again, while believing I would never be forgiven. It was now a secret that I feared would ruin my good heart and name among people if I ever let anyone know.

Today I am 100% clear and convicted that abortion is a “lie” that we allow ourselves to believe will cure our problems when we are faced with an unexpected pregnancy, regardless of how we became pregnant. Just because abortion is “legal”, does not make it the proper, accepted solution. As a people we have come to believe and look for all opportunities of convenience to remove our troubles, as opposed to dealing with them. The fact that abortion is an option does not mean it’s right for anyone. I was brave enough to go through with my first pregnancy at 19 years old and be a single mom, thank GOD I did, because it made me understand the true miracle of life, purpose, and the potential of womanhood. It made me understand my parent’s love for me, and their parent’s love for them. It made me want to be a better person and work harder to succeed.

I am now 48 years old, and when I look back at that brave little 19-year-old girl I was, who turned weak and aborted two children after the fact, I want to go back and save her from making those two grave mistakes. Understanding fully that I had better options than abortion whether I could raise them myself of not. I am so fortunate that I raised one child, but the truth is that there were two more children, two gifts from God that I refused. I wish I could see them. I want to tell them I’m sorry for taking their life so that I could save mine. I was wrong and I was selfish, further blocking my birthed child from the opportunity to have siblings. I cheated myself out of holding them and seeing their little eyes open for the first time to see me smiling back at them as I say, “hello, I’m your mommy”, like I did with my first child. I dream about who they’d be today, and what our lives would have experienced while they grew up. The laughter, the love, the hard times too, would have all been for the good of my life, and theirs. I believe they would have been boys, and for my boys that I will never see on this earth, I want to encourage women not to do what I did. Your baby is a gift to you, that will bring you blessings through raising it that you couldn’t possible imagine possible in your life. Life truly does begin at conception; I knew it the moment I found out I was pregnant, all three times. Now, I have a poem for my boys:

Misguided I thought I could save you
From an insecure mother like me
Lost in my fears that I’d fail you
Darkness was all I could see
The law said that I could erase you
As if you were not meant to be
And so I bought into this deluge 
Of lies wrapped in Satan’s deceit   
I knew you when I conceived you
I knew you belonged to my God
But I lived in a land built on freedom
Where rights made by man pierced my heart
I took away your right to have life
By acting on my right to choose
But I lost so much more than I bargained 
On the day they emptied my womb
My pain without you has consumed me
My heart devoured by lies
The truth of your life was my blessing
Which now is no longer disguised.
~Brandee - Florida


Silent No More Awareness Campaign: Reach Out - Educate - Share