Years before my son, I chose abortion. It was my choice. Maybe because of where I was at in life. Maybe because I was too ashamed to carry a child at the time. Maybe because I didn’t know more. I wish I had known more.
I knew I wanted abortion, but even more I knew it was wrong. I knew the thought of it made my stomach sick. I knew I didn’t want anyone to know. I knew I was scared. And I was too paralyzed with fear to run from what my heart was telling me not to do.
When I was pregnant for the first time they didn’t call my baby “a baby.” They called my baby “a fetus.” They told me I’d receive counseling but all they did was give me a paper to check off boxes asking if this was my choice and if I was raped. They turned the screen away so I couldn’t see my baby in womb. So I couldn’t see my baby’s beating heart. They did everything possible to disconnect my mind to the fact that I was carrying a baby. A human. My child. As they continually said, “This is a fetus.”
Fetus. Not life. Fetus. Fetus. Fetus. Fetus. Fetus…
When I was pregnant for the second time they congratulated me right away. As my son’s small body showed up on that screen, she pointed to him and called him my baby. “There’s your baby. There’s your baby’s heart.” The same gestational age as my first baby. And I cried. She smiled. She patted my leg.
She didn’t know my thoughts immediately rushed to my first baby. That this is what my first baby in womb looked like, but I didn’t get to see. I didn’t get to see my first baby squirm around the way my son was on the screen. I cried not only because I was happy for my second child, but because I was sad for my first child.
Because I wanted abortion, I took my first baby’s life. Because I was born, because I can talk and breathe air and because you can visibly see me in front of your face, I had the “right” to take my first baby’s life away. That is my “right.”
When we want our baby in womb then it is a baby. We call it a baby from the start and the doctors call it our baby and send us off with “what to expect” books and a million congratulations. We have baby showers and we buy pinks or blues and everyone around us is in celebration, too.
But when we don’t want that child…
There is a disconnect with abortion. When we want an abortion it is only a fetus. It is not yet life. And we totally support abortion because the baby on that screen doesn’t fully look like a baby yet. We are repeatedly told that it is not yet life and the doctors at the clinic drill it into our minds that it is only a fetus and send us on our way with antibiotics and a paper with our signature that signed life away.
You know, sometimes in the quiet we wonder what if we never signed that life away.
When abortion comes there’s no congratulations. There’s no happy at the end of the day. When abortion comes so does the dark. The innocence once felt in the soul disintegrates, because abortion came.
They say there will come relief but it’s been all this time and I’m still trying to catch my breath. For so long I couldn’t move forward like they said I would. I’ve let the silence overcome me and I’ve wished and prayed and begged to go back to that day. To run out of those doors.
But instead I stayed. Room full of women waiting for the same thing, we all stayed. I believe in healing and believe me, I’m healed, but it didn’t come easily. I ran and I screamed, cried and fought, forgave and released. There will never be a day where I will say I’m proud. I’ll never live without regret.
And so here I stand, on the other side of it all. I see people scream for their right to choose. I see people joke about it being our human right to “kill fetuses” because it’s our body.
I look at my son and I’m so glad he made it. I’m so glad for his life. I’m so glad his mama values life today. I look at my son with joy, yet I’m burdened. For the ones who didn’t get the chance to make it, to choose for themselves, because their life isn’t viewed as valuable unless they are wanted.
I stand on the other side wishing the world knew.
Oh babies, you are loved. Your lives still matter. You aren’t forgotten.
This story was written by Kaitlyn Heyd and was originally published on her blog An Evangelist’s Wife.