January 31, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - I opened the door of the clinic, leaving the bright, warm afternoon behind me. Disoriented from the change in light and temperature, my heart raced. My palms felt sweaty. I blinked, adjusting my eyes to the dimly lit reception area.
Discreetly, I didn't look anyone in the face. From my peripheral vision, I noted an attractive black woman scratching a pen on a clipboard full of forms. Another woman, much older than I was, flipped through a ragged magazine, silently agreeing with my rule not to make eye contact.
I felt small and unimportant. I stood hesitating, working up my nerve again.
Somewhere, a radio station played an instrumental tune which I'm sure was meant to soothe me but only sharpened my fear.
My mind rehearsed all the reasons why this was a good idea. Nobody cared. Nobody would ever know. (One thing I've learned in life: Whenever you say, "No one will know," the most important people already know: That's you and God.)
I ignored the tiny fluttering of protest I felt in my tummy. (Is that the baby?) I felt my decision waver, but as if on cue, the receptionist stepped out from behind her imposing counter to greet me. Again, it was all about me.
Yes, she understood my dilemma. How right and smart and modern I was for coming by. I felt sympathy. I grew bolder.
Would I care for some water? I pushed past the niceties and dutifully accepted a clipboard and pen. Even before I finished, a cheerful nurse (I assumed) called me to the back. I barely remember writing my name, listening to the nurse describe the procedure, making my payment.
A shriveled doctor with cold hands strolled in, repeating the same information. I nodded my understanding. Yes, I had signed everything.
I saw the receptionist again. She handed me a paper gown and offered another smile that silently told me, "You're so brave."
Dutifully, I lay down on the paper-covered bench. The pain medicine made me woozy. The music seemed louder. Was the doctor humming between my legs? A nurse entered the room to witness my shame. I covered my face with my hand. I felt the doctor's cold, dry hands on my skin. I ignored the clattering of instruments, his incessant humming.
"It's not too late!" I thought. Then it was.
I felt the cold scraping inside of me. One, two, three. I muffled a cry. Tears, hot and hypocritical, slid down my face.
I welcomed the warm rush of blood I felt between my legs wishing I could die, too.
I don't remember what happened in the next few minutes.
The nurse wheeled me into a "recovery area," where I was told I had to rest with my feet up for 30 minutes. As I rolled down the hall in an odd bed/chair combination, I looked forward to having a moment to myself. Everything had happened so quickly!
I wanted to cry, scream, and cry some more but preferably in private. Out of sympathy or perhaps a sad habit, the nurse stuffed a few tissues into my hands. With a good push, I passed through the swinging doors to join a miserable company of four other women.
Except for the quiet crying of one young woman, the room was as quiet as a grave.
The nurse gave us a pep talk about the recovery time, having sex, and what to take for pain. I don't know what anyone was thinking. It hardly seemed appropriate to ask. I knew that what I just allowed to happen was wrong, wrong, wrong.
I watched the clock's minute hands spin slowly around. I wanted to flee, to run and hide.
My friend pulled into the driveway and whisked me away. I wasn't supposed to drive. I don't know why, but I turned to look back.
I left my baby behind. I denied her her life. I took everything away from her in just a few seconds. Her first smile, her first step, her first kiss. All her happy life, stolen by the only person she should always count on -- her Momma.
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I can't find the words to explain the depths of my misery, how I felt then and for so long afterwards. When I couldn't cry anymore, I found new ways to help me forget -- no smother -- the anger, the guilt, and my great remorse.
My life is so different now. Many sad experiences happened between that first abortion and the godly life I have now. Before my visit to the Cross, I submitted to three abortions.
Sometimes, when we sit around the dinner table, Kevin my husband, Ryan and Jesse our boys, I think about the other three that should be there. I wonder about the relationships I stole my from living children too. Together we should be laughing, loving and living.
I know that God has forgiven me. Without a shadow of a doubt I know it. Still, sometimes I don't want to be forgiven. I want to go back and do it over again. I want my children.
I know that by the Holy Spirit, they are with me, waiting not to condemn me for my sins against them but to love me and let me finally be Momma.
Rachel's Vineyard Ministries
808 N. Henderson Road 2nd Floor
King of Prussia, PA 19406 (610) 354-0555 (office)
(610) 354-0311 (fax)