As I started putting my blog together, setting up my front page and introducing myself, I had all these ideas of how I wanted to start posting. I wanted to start off chronologically and kind of tell you my life story. Now I see that’s not going to work for me, I have too many thoughts and ideas running through my head, too many things I want to share with you. Besides, just my life story would be kind of boring for y’all. lol So I will just have to try and put things in categories and hope it will all somehow make sense to my readers!
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Abortion has always been such a controversial topic, even a “hot” topic! I do not ever wish to cause heated debates or arguments with my blog, nor do I want my blog to ever be political in any way, form or fashion!!! I will from time to time try to touch on current affairs or topics in the news, social media, etc and try to relate something in my past experiences that I think might help someone that might be dealing with similar situations. So Abortion has been in the spotlight again lately, as it was in the ’70s and ’80’s right when I found myself in need of making a very difficult decision in my early, young life.
As I previously stated, I grew up in an extremely small farming community. Everybody knew each other, families had known each other for generations. Families were proud of their “upbringing” and lived by unspoken moral conduct and raised their children on Christian faith and beliefs. I was raised as a good ole Southern Baptist, and taught right from wrong, based on family tradition and taught to live by what Baptist believed that the Bible taught us was pleasing to God. I was basically a good girl, although, I’m the first to admit, I was my momma’s “lil devilish child”. I had a rebellious streak that ran deep. I tried to stay in control and do what was expected of me, but my inner wild child was always begging to be turned loose!!
My parents were very strict, they were loving and generous with showing their love, but they had rules and did not hold back when it came to enforcing the rules or taking away privileges when we broke the rules. I was a “Daddy’s girl”, nothing made me happier than to please my daddy!!! I was always striving to do better and to gain his approval. I had a healthy fear of disappointing him. I was not scared of him in the way it may sound, he was the most loving father any girl could ever wish for, he was never abusive in any way, form or style. I just did not want to disappoint him. I couldn’t tolerate seeing disapproval in his eyes. So that was my motivation for doing well in everything I set out to do.
By the time I was dating boys in high school, I remember thinking that I didn’t really want kids, not right out of school anyway, like most of my friends always talked about. In fact, I wasn’t sure if I ever wanted kids. I wanted to finish high school, go to college and start a career, this is what Daddy said would be a wise choice in life, so once again, I felt it would be a plan that would please Daddy and make him proud. I was really enjoying high school, then at the beginning of my senior year, I wasn’t feeling well, I passed out for what seemed like no real reason. When momma took me to the doctor, he ran several tests, then came back and informed us that I was pregnant! I almost passed out again right there on the spot!! See, at this point, I had remained a virgin because I was too scared of becoming pregnant and disappointing my Daddy. I was way too frightened to take a chance of being an unwed, teenage pregnancy, which was very taboo back then, especially in this very small community! When I protested and insisted to the doctor that it was impossible for me to be pregnant, he sent me for x-rays. The didn’t do ultrasounds back then. The x-ray showed that I had a large tumor, not a baby, but a large mass attached to my right ovary. The doctor told my mother and informed her it had to be removed ASAP. He described it as large as a grapefruit. I was admitted to the small country hospital and prepped for surgery early the next morning. The “mass” turned out to be an 18 pound encapsulated malignant tumor. The doctor was able to remove it all intact, along with my right ovary. He said because I was so young, he didn’t want to do a complete hysterectomy just in case the other ovary could still produce hormones, but that he felt I would never be able to have children. This was almost 40 years ago, and they just didn’t know near what they do now about cancer or anything else medical for that matter. But, as I already said, I didn’t think I wanted kids, so I wasn’t too upset over this news, and I had just lost 68 pounds overnight with this surgery! I was ready to recover and finish my senior year in high school!!
Now, let’s think about this for a minute….. I had been out of school for surgery and recovery, I return 68 pounds thinner (I’d always been a chunky girl) and now the one thing that had held me back from having sex was the fear of getting pregnant, and the doctor just removed that fear for me. Senior year in high school, now the boy I’d always wanted to date was asking me out, and I finally turned my inner wild child free! Six months later I was pregnant! Yes, pregnant! How did this happen? Well, yeah I know how it normally happens, but the doctor said it couldn’t happen to me!! And the father of the baby didn’t want the responsibility, didn’t want to get married, so he walked away and left me alone to figure out what to do and how to tell my parents. You have to understand, being an unwed pregnant teen was a shameful thing in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Abortion was still very controversial during this time as well. Roe vs Wade had only just legalized abortion in 1973. Besides, with my Christian beliefs and upbringing, I wasn’t sure how I felt about abortion but really didn’t know if I could face my parents or even my friends. I was scared senseless. For the first time in my life, I felt out of control, totally alone and really had no idea what to do about anything in my life.
I finally decided I had no choice but to tell my parents, so I mustered up all the courage I could find within myself, drove to the nearby town, and called my momma to tell her…. I know, really brave! Couldn’t look at her in the face and tell her! So my parents began trying to decide what to do, without involving me in the planning. I had been the “bad girl” I had shamed and disappointed them, now they had to decide what to do with me. In their opinion, there were two options: 1. abortion or 2. Edna Gladney Home, where I’d go stay until the baby was born, then I’d give the baby up for adoption and I’d come home like nothing ever happened. Remember, I didn’t want kids? So what’s the big deal? My parents are going to make my “mistake” go away. But something didn’t feel right. This didn’t even seem like “my” parents, it didn’t feel natural. I knew abortion went against their Christian beliefs, and knowing how my momma felt about kids in general, I wasn’t sure she’d ever be able to live with the fact that her grandchild was out there in the world being raised by some other family. But, the decision was made, and the day came that we drove 100+ miles to the abortion clinic. Daddy sat in the car while Momma and I went inside. I went through all the necessary paperwork and procedure up until I’m undressed, on the table, and the doctor walks in, I started crying, told him to get away from me, I had changed my mind. I got dressed and walked back out to the car and for the first time in my life, I stood up to my daddy. I told him, without fear of disappointing him, that I didn’t care if he kicked me out of his house or even out of his life, but I could not kill or abandon my baby. We drove home in complete silence. He did not kick me out of the house, but for the remainder of my pregnancy he did not let me leave the house except to go to doctor appointments, and he did not speak one word to me. I was scared the entire time I was pregnant, I was very unsure of my future. I was depressed and didn’t know if my Daddy would ever speak to me again. I constantly worried if I had made the right decision or not. I felt like I was always making wrong choices no matter how hard I tried to make the right ones.
Then the big day finally came, I was in labor for 32 hours, I had a natural birth and delivered a beautiful baby girl. She was the most precious thing I had ever laid my eyes on, but then she coded and luckily they revived her. But she coded and was brought back 5 times in the next 24 hours. I had never prayed so hard in my life. She had to stay in the NICU for 5 weeks. When they finally let me have my baby girl, my original Sunshine to bring home with me, I knew at that moment that she was and always would be my entire world. I knew it would be me and her against the world. I knew I’d do whatever it took to keep her with me and to provide for her.
And now, 38 years later, I can without a doubt tell you that I made the right decision. I can tell you I have probably done a thousand things wrong in my life, but I got at least one thing very right!!! I will never ever regret walking out of that abortion clinic! I gave birth to my best friend. And don’t worry about me putting all this on the web and my daughter stumbling upon it… She truly is my friend, we talk about everything… She knows every detail of this story, HER story, even all the details that I didn’t share with y’all!
Walking away from abortion may not be right for you, I am not condemning anyone for their choices, but I hope that if you are facing that choice and you happen upon my blog, perhaps you’ll take time to consider all the possibilities. Try to think ahead 5, 15, 20 or 30 years and imagine how you might feel about the choice you are about to make. The best advice I was ever given was this: “Try to live your life in a way that leaves you with no regrets” Think about it! Think adoption instead of abortion!
until next time,