by Holly Faust
Seven years. It seems like an eternity. I was with someone who I adored although he always wasn't the nicest of guys. He was good looking and smart and when we met, I thought way out of my league. But I truly felt he loved me, and loved me for the real me, not who I was externally but my intelligence and my personality. We had a wonderful few years then things got bad he got abusive, mentally first, then physically and sexually. At first I thought that was the way it was supposed to be. After all my first sexual experience was about the same only to discover what happened then was date rape.
I was always told I would never have children due to severe endometriosis; imagine my surprise when I discovered I was pregnant. I was so excited and couldn't wait to tell him about it. I was about 6 or 7 weeks along. I told him and he seemed very upset. He told me there was no way he was going to have a child. Being totally against abortion, I told him no way. We seemed to get into more arguments, and the abuse seemed to get worse. I was determined to have this baby. I was about 12 weeks or so when the worst came. He told me if I didn't go get an abortion he would kill me. He actually held a gun to my head. We drove to some place in New Jersey.
To this day I still don't know why I agreed, I think it was fear for my life and my family more then anything. His father was a Doctor and this was the office of one of his friends. It was a weekend and it seemed like there wasn't another person on the planet. I was so scared. I begged and pleaded telling him I wouldn't tell anyone it was his. He just told me to shut up and stop being such a baby; this kind of thing happens everyday.
When we got in there I begged the Doctor not to do it. He seemed to ignore me. I cried and begged. I remember having something restraining my arms and that's it. I don't have any actual memories of the procedure itself. The next thing I remember is waking up home in my apartment. Things only got worse from there. I bled so much I thought I was going to die, and I cried so much I eventually became numb. The beatings got worse. Finally, I got the strength to leave. No one knew about what I went through. I just thought if I didn't talk about it, it didn't happen.
I met the man who I would marry a few months later. I had awful nightmares and I told him what they were about. Finally it became real. I had more nightmares and felt awful. After about a month of dating my current husband, I was shocked to discover I was pregnant again. It was only a year since my abortion. I was so scared to tell him. Then finally on the worst night of his life, his best friend's Mom had been killed, I told him I was pregnant. Nine months later we had our first of three children. My firstborn son was very ill when he was born. He ended up spending almost two months in the NICU and had surgery when he was three-weeks-old. I blamed myself; I thought God was punishing me.
We wanted to have more children, so we tried for months and nothing happened. I again thought I was being punished. A mass was found and removed from my right ovary, and I got pregnant again. I was horrified when the doctor gave me my due date, July 17, because my aborted baby was due on July 10th. The depression hit hard again. After my daughter was born on July 10th, I really took a nose dive.
I thought about suicide daily. I just couldn't handle the pain anymore. I thought my daughter being born on my aborted child's due date was a sick joke. I had no faith anymore. For two months I was in and out of psychiatric hospitals; no one knew what to do for me. I was put on med after med, but nothing helped. I attempted suicide three or four times. Then as quick as the feelings came they left. I was on enough psychotropics to kill a horse. Then again I found out I was pregnant and gave birth to my third child. She came a month early and had two dislocated hips. I discovered Rachel's Vineyard four months later while searching the web about abortion.
I looked up the site and found they had retreats. I called the contact person for the area where I grew up, and she told me the retreat was that weekend. I was shocked. I told her I’d have to let her know. She told me I could let her know up until the morning of the retreat. That night when my husband came home, the house was a nightmare. I told him I was going away. I went on the retreat and I discovered that I wasn't alone. I also discovered why for years I had heard two babies crying in my dreams. I was carrying twins. This was acknowledged a year later by my ex's father. I named them Grayson and Hope.
I had a difficult time again starting. Depression and thoughts of suicide or injuring myself continued for months. When my youngest child was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, and a routine MRI showed that she had a rare malformation of her brain. I again went to blaming and hating myself. The one thing that got me through was remembering that one of the women in my retreat group said that God gives special children to special people because he knows they will take care of them. It gave me the strength to go on. Now my children, those living and those in heaven, give me the strength to go on. I now help on the Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats, and I speak out publicly about the pain and shame of abortion. When my children grow up, I hope they won’t even consider abortion to be a choice.