His Grace is Sufficient for Me - Tammy
I can remember all too well standing there on the Atlantic City Boardwalk after exiting the clinics backdoor. I still was light headed and nauseous from the anesthesia and I was alone, waiting for my boyfriend and best friend to pick me up. The air was cool and I scrunched down to my knees to hide myself from the wind. The 40 minute drive back home was long and quiet. I thought that by aborting my unborn, unwanted child I would be removing the problem. With this choice came a fist full of more problems, problems unseen at the time and problems untold at the pre-abortion counseling.
My name is Tammy and 21 years ago, I had an abortion. Sixteen years old and still in high school, I didn’t really even consider any of my options. In fear of telling my parents and with a boyfriend who questioned if the child was his, abortion seemed to be the only logical answer. Making this decision ridded me of possible scorn from my parents and ridicule from society (I didn’t want to be the high school drop out because I got knocked up). Disposing of the fetus that was inside of me left a void, a space, emptiness within myself.
The next 14 years of my life I’d wasted by trying to fill that emptiness with everything and anything: food, money, sex, men, drugs, and more. These things would only satisfy for a moment and then the void would return. With this returning void came much pain and with each attempt to fill the void came only more pain.
Recognizing that my efforts to find happiness were futile, I became suicidal. Hopelessness and despair consumed my heart and my destructive, reckless choices landed me in prison. During my incarceration, God was at work in my heart. I began reading the Bible and corresponded by mail with a Christian lady. Her letters inspired me and Gods Word brought hope. I found a willingness to seek help and a desire for change in my life.
After serving 2 years in a state penitentiary, I paroled to a 1 year intense Christian based discipleship/recovery home. This recovery home experience was life changing and you know that void I had mentioned in my previous paragraphs? The void has been filled – filled by the only One who can satisfy. Jesus has filled that once hollow space with His agape love.
Today, I walk with Jesus! Not to say that I don’t still make bad choices but when I make them, I ask for forgiveness and repent. 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV says "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I know that without a doubt that I am forgiven for taking the life of my unborn child and forgiven for every sin. My regret is that it has taken me so long to turn to Jesus. He has been waiting, patiently for me to come to Him, as He is waiting for you right now.
The gift of life (fertilization) is nothing short of a miracle. When I look back on that time when I was pregnant, I see how my choice to have an abortion was selfish. Much of my pain could have been prevented had I not been so eager to conceal my sexual sin resulting in my pregnancy. I only ask that you would please, consider all of your options when faced with the choice to abort or to bring forth life. Choose life!!!
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV says, “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.”
Had an ultrasound been available to me when I was considering an abortion, I truly believe that seeing that precious form within my womb would have saved that babies life.
An Ultrasound Technician Speaks
The following is an interview with Sherry Havira, Ultrasound Technician from Choose Life of Northern Alabama. The name of the client mentioned in the interview has been changed to protect her identity.
Project U: What would you say the impact of seeing an ultrasound has on a pregnant women and/or the unborn child's father?
Ms. Havira: It becomes a real baby, the image becomes proof or confirmation to one or both parents or even a grandparent. An abortion-minded or abortion-vulnerable mom sees with her own eyes the way her baby is positioned, arm slung over it's little head or legs crossed ,or a preferred sleep position which is mimicking mom on the table getting the ultrasound. I've had literally dozens of clients and their mom's say, "That's what I/you do when you're scared/sleepy/contemplating..." We even had an abortion-minded client say, "Look! It looks like she's praying!"
Project U: What is the most memorable story you have of witnessing a women who saw an ultrasound? What was her demeanor/attitude before the exam compared to after?
Ms. Havira: A client, Mary, came to us after her positive pregnancy test stating she was now going to have an abortion. The counselor convinced Mary to have a free ultrasound exam and she agreed. She was laying on the table waiting for the doctor and had a really bad attitude and was saying she was NOT going to look at the screen. As the doctor scanned her belly (she thought she was a couple months pregnant and she was 5 1/2 months along!) her baby came to life and was moving all over the place. The doctor was describing what he was seeing and mentioned that her fingers were moving as if she was "playing a piano”. He asked Mary if she wanted to know the sex of the baby. She said "No." It was then that His (the Lord’s) small still voice whispered to me to, "ASK HER IF SHE PLAYS THE PIANO." After a slight hesitation, thinking I would sound ridiculous, I asked her and I watched as a tear slid down her face. She looked at me and said, "Yes. And I'm a music major." She then turned her head towards the image of her baby's face and asked, with a softened attitude in her voice, the sex of her baby. The doctor said, "It's a little girl." She wept and the doctor and I about burst into tears with her! After we give the ultrasound exams, we do some further counseling with the girls, give them a picture of their baby and ask them to fill out a couple questions on our exit survey. Under the question, "What impact did the ultrasound image have on you? " Mary wrote, "I SAW HER FACE!". But she was still unsure about her plans. This is when we "let go and let God”. Six months later I received a call from Mary asking if she could stop by Choose Life and see me. (I still have this image burned into my mind.) Twenty minutes later she walked through the door carrying a tiny pink bundle in her arms and tears started streaming down her face as she said, "Thank you for being here that day." She asked if I wanted to hold her daughter and presented her to me as if she were an offering. She was. This baby WAS a thank offering to Him. Unbeknownst to me at the time of her ultrasound Mary was heavy into drugs and that was the reason behind her wanting an abortion. She said to me as I was holding this tiny miracle, "She saved my life. I'm clean." I said, "You saved her life too." She said, “We saved each other!"
Project U: What would you say to people who have an opportunity to financially support a crisis pregnancy center's purchase of an ultrasound machine? Is it really worthwhile?
Ms. Havira: We owe it to Him to support a ministry that gives these babies the opportunity to live...like us!. It has an impact on future generations too. For example, when a girl chooses life and she is pregnant with a baby girl, she has also 'chosen life' for her grandchildren because the female fetus has all the eggs she will ever have while she is still in utero!
Abortion-Minded Until I Saw Pepper - Meagen Weber
An ultrasound played an important part in keeping my first child..I was sent to the radiologist upon finding out I was pregnant because they had suspicion of tubal pregnancy. The radiologist told me that my baby was the spot on the screen that looked like a little speck of pepper, I was 19, in shock and on the verge of break up with the dad so the whole way home all I could repeat in my head is "pepper, pepper, pepper" I agreed to have an abortion and then my mom and my sister convinced me not to...all this to say my daughters middle name is Pepper!! So yeah, the ultrasound had a life long effect!!
Ultrasound Shows Twins - Anonymous
I was 21 and had been with my boyfriend for 3 years when I found out I was pregnant in December 2007. My initial reaction was shock, as I was, at the time, a college student, with 6 months left until graduation. My boyfriends reaction was also shock, as we had always used contraception. However, we were also very happy as we loved (and still love) each other very much, and so decided that we would keep our baby.
Later that day we told his parents of our situation. To say that they were displeased is an understatement. His father started hollering at us, and asked whether we were keeping the baby or "dealing with it", as he chose to put it. When we said that we were choosing to keep our baby he went totally mad, all directed at me, saying that I was selfish and that I was messing up his sons life etc etc. He said it would be a simple procedure, it would only take a few minutes, and then everyting would go back to how it was before, and that I would know nothing about it! His mom wasnt quite so bad, she just said she was disapointed in us, and that she was sad about all the "couple things" we would miss out on by becoming parents. However, as my boyfriends father rules in his house,his opinion stood,and he decided that if I kept the baby, I would no longer be welcome in his home, nor would my boyfriend, and he would have to move out. Not once was my college education mentioned.
Because of this, we decided that an abortion would be the lesser of two evils, so to put it, in our situation. The day we went to the clinic I cried and cried. When they called my name, I went with the nurse, for my dating scan, as I had no idea how far along I was. I wasnt looking at the sceen, but when she said that I was expecting twins, my heart stopped. She asked if I was ok and I said I was. She asked if I wanted to continue the procedure and I did. As the nurse was prepping me for theatre, I suddenly felt I had to get out. I told the nurse who was putting the needle in my arm to stop as I wasnt going through the produdure, and she said are you sure. I said yes and she actually hugged me and said "you will not regret this".
I won't pretend we had an easy time from his family, but they came around to the idea of being grandparents. My Pop was also very supportive. The pregnancy itself went as well as it could be considering I was in college, with everyone looking and talking about me, as if I was the first pregnant person they had ever seen. I graduated when I was 29 weeks pregnant.
The trouble started when I went for my 32 week checkup. I was told that I had severe pre eclampsia, and that I was being admitted to hospital for monitering as the babies heartbeats were very slow and they seemed very small for their gestational age. As you can imagine, I was terriified. 19 hours later, I was being wheeled down to theatre for an emergency c-section. I had a little boy named Michael, weighing 2lbs 120z and measuring 12 iches, and a little girl named Caroline weighing 1lb 5oz and measuring 11 iches. They both had severe problems with breathing and others and sadly Caroline passed away 5 hours later inside her incubator. I hadnt even seen her apart from a 5 second glance when they lifted her out of me as she was so sick they took her straight to the neonatal intensive care unit, and I was too sick to go there. I did get to hold her and dress her later, though it broke my heart. Michael however, stayed in the neonatal intensive care unit for 9 weeks until he was allowed home. He is now a happy, healthy 11 month old boy.