Stories: Abortion & the Loss of Motherhood

The other day I attended a small gathering of Christian men and women.   As the speaker started to talk about families she also started to talk about abortion.  Hearing that one word was a reminder of why Women in His Presence exists.

If you were to ask me the purpose of Women in His Presence, I would tell you that it is going to be a women’s ministry without walls.  It will be a ministry that any woman can participate in no matter what church she does or doesn’t attend.  It’s to provide a service that creates opportunities for women to gather, be encouraged, and use their gifting.   But the foundation will always point women back to the Bible because the decisions I made without it, scarred me forever. The Bible and Jesus eventually saved me and if I would have had this in my life in college, it would have saved my unborn baby.

It was my 3rd year in college, spring semester that I found out I was pregnant.  I remember being in the dorm restroom taking a test while my friend waited outside the stall.   The double line appeared quick and like that fear struck me.  “Crap, I’m pregnant.”

My mind had such quick thinking in that moment induced by fear.

  1. I can’t have this baby.
  2. I’ll lose my college softball scholarship.
  3. I won’t be able to play softball.
  4. My boyfriend is not the one. “Though he was 10 minutes before.”
  5. I don’t want to be a single parent.
  6. Who is going to want a girl with a baby unmarried.
  7. Will guys think I’m easy?
  8. I’m going to have to move back to Houston and go to school to be a teacher instead.
  9. I’m not the kind of girl who sleeps around.
  10. What will people think of me.
  11. I know not to get pregnant because my parents had me in high school.
  12. If I have this baby, I won’t be able to give it up for adoption.  I know the moment I would see it, I would want it.
  13. I’m going to be single forever and my dream is to be married and have kids.

This was not what I planned and it wasn’t a part of my dreams.  I was pro-life before, but when it happened to me I felt as if I needed a way out of this mistake…this accident.

My next step was to call my boyfriend and tell him I was pregnant and that I was not having it.   He didn’t say anything that day and I didn’t give him the chance to anyway.

I remember getting it scheduled pretty quickly.   That day, my boyfriend drove me to Corpus to an abortion clinic.  I cried the entire way up there.  Part of me wanted him to say something. Part of me wanted him to ask me to marry him so I wouldn’t have a baby in shame.  Once we got inside, I continued to cry a lot.  I remember a worker coming up next to me telling me that if I didn’t  stop crying the doctor wouldn’t do it.

Once I stopped crying enough, they took me back to the room.   It was determined I was almost 6 weeks. They explained the procedure and what would follow and then it happened. I mainly just remember the sound of the suction and thinking it was all just a clump.  I never thought it had a heartbeat.

After that, I remember filing it away pretty quickly and living life.  After that I had two serious relationships, in which there came a time it was appropriate to share that with the other person.

Each time, I was afraid they would no longer like me and each time the facial expression was of disappointment.

It wasn’t until I was in my early thirties, that the abortion came back and effected me emotionally and mentally.  As I started to become a follower of Jesus Christ and not just a believer and church attender, I began to know Jesus.  In reading the Bible I started to see how the Lord is a part of creation from the beginning.  I began to realize that my decision out of fear could have been given to the Lord.  If I knew the Lord, I would have known that life wasn’t perfect and that I can’t control my life and make decisions that aren’t mine to make.  Had I known the Word, I would of held on tight in the storm knowing that there would be a blessing waiting on the other side that I would treasure forever.  A treasure far more valuable than my career, relationship status, or myself.

The years to follow I struggled with infertility.  At first it was unexplainable and then low levels of endometriosis.  Not the best case scenario to conceive, but not impossible.  The infertility was a constant reminder that at one time I could, but it wasn’t happening now.  At church retreats or conferences, I would hear other women tell their stories of the after affects of abortion.  The emotional pain, regret, shame, and secrets.   Yet, they always testified, “But God gave me children.” So there I sat, wondering why I didn’t get a second chance.   

Divorcing in my 40’s brought another reality.  The opportunity to even attempt to have kids looked real impossible.   

So when I first moved back to Houston it hit me again.  “Here I am in Houston, single, and working in education (which I do love but didn’t plan).” And at the time of the abortion, the thing I was most trying to avoid was being unmarried,  working in education, and living in Houston.

I can’t begin to tell you how different I feel not having kids when around women my age.  I can’t tell you how many times I feel regret when a kid asks me, “Do you have kids?” The answer is, “I don’t,” but inside I’m saying I did.

The regret never goes away no matter how forgiven I am and grieving still comes for what should have been.  God’s will is always better than my will.  Sometimes, it’s a hard lesson to learn and live with.

This is my story of loss and the insight I gained when I became a follower of Jesus Christ and sought God’s truth and wisdom through scripture.

Erica Salazar

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13

 

Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Psalm 51:6

 

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The Power of IT: Abortion

In my life there have been certain focuses and strongholds that have falsely formed my value and self-worth. Therefore, this series is a sort of testimony on each area before and after coming to Christ.

Before Christ:

I remember a distinct memory from Girl Scouts. We were making a clear ball ornament and decorating it with puff paint. I chose to create three babies holding hands. There was a peach, light yellow, and a baby blue one. I wrote across the bottom, “Save the Babies.” I have faint memories of abortion and women’s rights protests on TV which must have been the motivation of me choosing a side. Sometime between the age of 11-13, it just didn’t seem logical to kill a baby inside a woman’s body. Fast forward to my first couple of years in college; I felt the same way.

However, one day I realized I was “late.” After softball practice, I sat in the dorm community restroom taking a pregnancy test while a teammate waited by the sink to hear the results.

Very quickly two pink lines appeared indicating I was pregnant. Panicked, I told her, “I’m pregnant and I can’t have this baby.” Like that, my position changed because it was happening to me.

Many things raced through my mind at once:

1. Why is this happening to me? I’m a “good” girl. (To my false standards)
2. I’m going to lose my softball scholarship.
3. I don’t want to go back home and live in Houston.
4. I don’t want to become a teacher. (I don’t know why this popped in my head because I was an international business major.)
5. I don’t want to be single forever. Who is going to want to marry me if I have a child already? I want to be married. (Keep in mind I was 20, and having a child outside of marriage was uncommon to me.)

I called my boyfriend immediately and told him that I was pregnant, but was having an abortion. I never asked what he thought or for his opinion. It was a done deal. When I told my coach, she said that she knew this was going to happen. However, I was the last person she thought it would happen to.

The day of the abortion I was wearing black jeans and a gray shirt. My boyfriend drove me in my Ford Ranger to Corpus Christi which was 45 minutes away. I cried the entire way up there. I sat there hoping he would ask me to marry him so it would be “ok” in my mind to have the baby. As we sat in the lobby, I cried uncontrollably. Selfishly, adoption wasn’t an option because I knew if I had the baby I wouldn’t let it go. A lady from the abortion clinic told me that if I didn’t stop crying then the doctor wouldn’t perform the abortion. At some point, I gathered myself together and had it. At that time, they didn’t do an ultrasound, so I just convinced myself at six weeks of pregnancy that it was just a blob.

Following the abortion, I just picked up and moved on with life not giving it too much thought unless I was getting into a serious relationship. That information was always difficult to break and always received with some hesitation and disappointment.

What was going on in my life when I came to Christ:

Again, I was married during this time, but not in a hurry to have kids. I wanted everything to be perfect in my career, our finances, and our quality time. As I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord in Savior, I began to read the Bible and that’s when I was convicted again of what I had done.

I remember reading Jeremiah 29:11 and realizing that everything would have been ok had I had the baby. I also realized had I read the Bible, then I wouldn’t have made that mistake. Fear wouldn’t have dictated my decision. Instead, God’s truth would have and I could have rested and held onto that comfort.

I didn’t know it at the time, but later I struggled with infertility. Many times I would hear testimonies from women who also had abortions and their emotional struggles and scars. However, their testimony always ended with, “But God blessed me with kids.” My story wasn’t having that result and I started to wonder if God loved me less.

My Life Now as a Follower of Christ:

Although I am forgiven, I still struggle with that decision. However, there were three things I was trying to avoid that happened anyway.

1. Living in Houston.
2. Being single
3. Being a teacher
(I happen to actually really love teaching.)

Going through a divorce, one thing that also sticks out is that I would have never met my spouse had I not gotten an abortion. That decision ended up being course altering.

Conclusion:

The truth is, an abortion was a way for me to control my consequences not my body. I exercised my bodily rights/freedoms when I engaged in intercourse. It was a false sense of control much like the deception Eve fell for.

Psalm 139:13 NIV
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

Psalm 139:15 NLT
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

To God be the Glory