I was seventeen and madly in love with the most awesome guy ever. My dad had just been diagnosed with COPD, and my grandmother had terminal brain cancer. My mom spent most of her time working or taking care of her mom. My boyfriend and I found ourselves alone a lot.
"What do you mean, your period is late?" he asked. I went to get a home pregnancy test. Positive. Crap. Then we went to the women's clinic, and it was confirmed. No. I'm only 17 – this can't be happening. I can't tell my parents; we can't tell his parents. Adoption isn't an option, because I don't want some kid tracking me down in 18 years and turning my life upside-down. We have to think.
Then my grandmother died. I scheduled the abortion for the day of her funeral so no one would wonder why I'm missing school or upset. Done deal. Mentally, I shut down. I was giving the spirit of my dead baby to my grandmother to care for.
The day of the procedure, I went in numb. My boyfriend handed over the money and waited in the waiting room. I was talked to, given medicine, and told to change clothes, sit on the edge of the table, lie back, and relax. They said there would be noise and some discomfort. No one said they were going to vacuum the baby out and keep going around until they knew they had it all.
It hurt, like hell. But I deserved it. The notes in my chart said I was "overly emotional" because I cried in the recovery room. I got dressed, went home, and said nothing. I went to my grandmother's funeral that afternoon as if nothing had happened.
The next day I was doing laundry (not normal for me), and my sister opened the wrong loaf of bread. I flipped. That's when it all spilled out.
For the first time in my life, I watched my superhero dad cry, and it was my fault! My mom blamed herself, and I was happy to let her.
It was the middle of my senior year of high school. I barely graduated. I pretended for a long time that it hadn't happened.
Then, when I was 24 and my mom was dying, I realized I had killed the only grandchild from me that she would ever have. I started going downhill from there.
I had my son two years later, and he is my life.
When I came to Christ at the age of 28, I finally had to come to terms with what I had done all those years ago. I had to forgive myself.
I'm still haunted by that decision to end that pregnancy. I now realize that it is something you carry with you forever. I try not to be judgmental about women who want an abortion, but when they hear how it has haunted me, they usually reconsider and start looking at adoption.
Oh, how I wish now that I had that 18-year-old – a child to find me today, so I could say, “I loved you so much that I wanted you to live with someone who could care for you.”
I know the struggle is real, but so is that baby.
Note: The author of this testimony prefers to remain anonymous. "Jane A." is a pseudonym.