The below is all one true, heartfelt confession. Read with compassion.
“Right after high school I moved to the beach with my cousin, my parents were separating and I felt like there was nothing going right at home. Once I was there for a while I met a guy, he said all the right things and made me feel special and like I was the only girl in the world, boy was I wrong. Shortly after us dating – for maybe a month – the last thing I thought possible happened; I got pregnant.
The same week I found out, he also found out he had another child in this world. I didn’t know what to do – I was terrified that he wouldn’t stay around, and as much as I don’t want to think it I seriously doubt my cousin would’ve taken care of us both. Eventually his mother found out and threatened to take his inheritance away if I didn’t “take care of it”. I’d always known I wanted a baby and here was my first chance and there was no way I could keep it.
A week or two later arrangements were made. We picked him up that morning because his mother made him come to make sure we went through with it. I went into the building alone. I felt like I was sitting around all these women who wanted to get rid of their babies and I didn’t.
I wanted to keep my baby but I couldn’t.
As I sit here as an adult I think of how stupid that sounds – I could have left, I could have moved back home – but I didn’t, I was so young I just did what others told me to do. I still have flashbacks from it; I wasn’t knocked out, they gave me gas, I couldn’t move, I just wanted to scream for them to stop and leave my baby alone. I went back home and felt violated, I wanted someone to step in and stop what was happening. I convinced myself what happened didn’t happen that way. For 15 years I told myself and anyone else who asked the lie. I told them my baby was taken away from me – that he did it – and in my mind it was the truth. Years later, I still lived the lie.
I reunited with my first love and my life was the best it had ever been. We were in love, we lived in our own perfect little house and this man loved me just the way I was. Then it happened again. I got pregnant and this time it was a happy time. Neither of us had ever had children this was our first time together and we were in love and perfect. For the first time in my life I was completely supported. I was taken in a family that loved me and would do anything for me. Everyone loved this baby. We were scheduled for our 20 week ultrasound the next week, one night I woke up because I felt wet and I thought I peed myself. I looked down and saw what no pregnant woman ever wants to see… blood.
My mother and father in law went with me to the hospital because my husband (at the time he was still my boyfriend) had to be up early for work. We sat in the hospital for 4 hours before they even checked me. My baby still had a heartbeat and the bleeding had stopped, so I thought everything was ok. Then the doctor said the babies cord was already in the canal there was nothing they could do but to induce my labor and to deliver him. Ten hours later my SON, my first born baby came. The baby everyone loved and wanted was here and gone at the same time.
I was convinced this was my fault – that I was being punished for what happened with my first baby.
I did nothing to protect that baby and so this one was being taken away. I went into a deep depression because I knew this was my fault; because of what I let happen. I couldn’t allow myself to tell anyone what I had done and why this had happened. I’ve never told a soul until now.”
Let’s get something out there right off the bat – this is not an abortion discussion. This is not a faith discussion. This is a confession of heart break that has been held in the dark for over fifteen years. This is real life for this mom and many others, and this is being said out loud for the first time in over fifteen years so that she can make an effort to move forward. And you know what? I’m proud of her. I’m proud because in the moment that she hit ‘send’ she was getting something off her heart and honoring both of those children by being an example of strength and resiliency. She’s the example that you only have to get up one more time than you’ve fallen. All of our children should be so lucky.
If you have something on your heart that you need to say, send it here. Get it off your chest and find some semblance of peace. Maybe you’re prominent in your community and don’t want to feel like people pity you, or your self-employed and are afraid it’ll impact your business. Maybe you’re a dad or grandparent who has feels pushed to the fringes and you don’t want to take away their voice. Or maybe, just maybe, you’re just someone who hurts and can’t let something go. Type it out, send it in a message, and take another step forward. You’re strong, and you’re resilient. Be the example.