My two unplanned pregnancies pushed me to the brink, but I will never

My life with two children that I did not plan for, is far greater than any
life I could have had without them.

BY {related_entries id=”alternate_author”}My two unplanned pregnancies
pushed me to the brink, but I will never regret choosing
life{/related_entries}

October 11, 2011 (LiveAction.org) – Scrolling through Facebook, I saw a link
to an article called “How My Abortion Made Me a Better Mother.” If I
could only use one word to describe how I felt after reading it, it would be
sad. Completely sad. The image of the clot coming out of Ann and knowing
what that clot actually contained. Knowing that at 6 weeks, that clot had a
tiny creation inside of it – his/her eyes were beginning to form, hair was
coming in, he/she was able to move around, facial features were beginning to
develop along with all essential organs. The clot that she was so relieved
to pass was a future mother, father, teacher, doctor, philanthropist, best
friend, sister or brother. My response to Ann’s story is not meant to
condemn her but to share the other side of this painful, life-altering
circumstance.

I was 18 years old. I just walked across my high school graduation stage. I
had college applications out to all of my favorite universities. I was on
top of the world! Two weeks later, I was in the bathroom at my parent’s
house about to take a shower. It was a casual decision to take a pregnancy
test. I didn’t really think I was pregnant, but my boyfriend and I were
sexually active and I was late for my cycle. I decided to take the test,
just in case. I got into the shower, washed my hair, got out and there it
was: two lines. Positive. My heart sank. Actually, my whole body sank to the
floor. I cried and cried and cried and begged God (just like Ann did) for
this to not be true. “Please be negative. Please be wrong. Please, oh
please, oh please.”

I called my boyfriend over. When he got there I was in a ball at the top of
my parents’ stairs. He walked in and ran up the stairs. “What’s wrong?
What is wrong?? Talk to me!” I just took the test out from the tight grip
of my hand and he said, “Oh no. No, no, no.” After collecting himself,
he reassured me that “everything would be ok.” I just sobbed. I thought
about all of the things I would not be able to do, all the plans I had, what
my family would think … It just seemed so impossible. Fear was paralyzing
me with each new thought and question and possibility.

As Michael and I talked more he made it clear he would not support a
decision that involved abortion. At the same time, others were saying things
like “Lindsey, you always think of others, now you need to think about
yourself.” What they meant was, get an abortion. I had other friends offer
to take me to the clinic themselves. This all sounded very tempting to a
vulnerable, scared 18-year-old girl. This could all go away. I could go off
to college as planned. I could return to the life of a normal, 18-year-old
girl and no one except a few close friends and Michael, would ever know this
happened. But there was a different voice in all of that.

Join a Facebook page to end abortion here.

One of my best friends knew of a crisis pregnancy center in town. She knew I
needed some direction. My mind was all over the place and fear was taking
over. I went to the center and met a sweet lady who counseled me. She talked
to me about all of my options. After listening to her, I knew that as
“convenient” as it seemed, I could not end this child’s life for the
sake of my own fears and plans.

The director of the center and my counselor, vowed to stand by me and help
me through things. I accepted that life was not over – it was just going to
be a whole lot different than I planned. I sat my parents down and told
them. I cried. And cried some more. I knew I disappointed them but they
still loved me. I didn’t understand how they still loved me but now that
I’m a mother, I completely understand it. I went to labor and delivery
classes at the center and they helped me explore my two options: parenting
vs. adoption. The center put me in contact with an open adoption agency in
my home state and I spent the next several months consumed with this
decision.

To sum up the 7 months of walking through the adoption process, it was
anguish. The more I saw the value of this life growing inside of me, the
greater the pressure to make the right decision. I would spend many days and
nights with the two workbooks that the agency sent me: “Is Adoption Right
for Me?” and “Is Parenting Right for Me?” Every single question forced
me to think about where I would be in a year, in two, in ten.

If I chose adoption would I want to see him before saying goodbye? Would I
want to have contact with the adoptive parents? If I parented him, how would
I provide for our needs? What would our budget look like? How would I finish
school? The questions on both sides engulfed every second of every day. I
would picture my routines each day with my baby involved in them, then I
would picture my routines without him in it but knowing he was with a
wonderful family.

It was a cool October day. I was sitting on my parents’ deck four months
from giving birth and I still had not made my final decision. The adoption
agency sent me a package of adoptive family profiles that morning. Before
opening them I prayed, “God, if the parents to my son are in this stack,
please show me.” I took a deep breath and started reading them. Page after
page, story after story and photograph after photograph showed the intense
desire of these couples to have children. They were all so precious. They
were all so willing to open their hearts and homes to a child. That, in and
of itself, was a huge weight on my heart.

You choose what you will wear for the day. You choose what you want to eat
for dinner. You aren’t supposed to choose the parents of your child. This
was heartbreaking.  After scrolling through, I stopped at a couple that
stood out to me. “This is it”, I thought. I emailed the agency and told
her my decision. Over the next few months, I wrote my son letters that I
would send with him from the hospital.

After writing an entry to him in my journal, the next page contained a
budget on how I could make things work to parent him: how much I would pay
childcare so I could finish college; a list of options on where we could
live; how I could pay off debt to make things easier. I was so conflicted.

Just as the opinions mounted on getting an abortion earlier, the opinions
mounted on placing my son for adoption. Some said, “How could you give
your son away?” Others sent me private letters asking me to consider their
friends as adoptive parents. And yet, others said I was selfish for even
considering parenting when I wasn’t married. The closer I got to having my
son, the greater the pressure. I went to a counselor, talked to my parents,
and prayed. And prayed. And prayed.

February 14, 2003 I had my son. I chose to hold him and kiss him before
saying ‘goodbye.’ I didn’t want to have any regrets. When I held my
baby, I just sobbed. My mom stroked my head and tried to hold back her own
pain so she could comfort me. Michael had to walk out of the room as this
entire situation became unbearable for him to handle, as it did most of my
family and his.

I handed my baby over to the nurse and they took me to a private room.
There, I sat in the dark, staring at the ceiling. I couldn’t stop crying.
I couldn’t imagine my life without this child. How in the world would I
ever get the strength to say “goodbye”, much less return to a normal
life? Nothing about my life would ever be normal again.

The back and forth was tearing me apart. I asked my doctor to please not
discharge me yet. She gave me one more night at the hospital to think. That
night I lay in my bed. All the lights were out and with an uncontrollable
burst of emotion, I held the railings to the bed, shook it and screamed with
my teeth tightly grit. I have never experienced pain like this and hope to
never again. It was unbearable.

The director of the crisis pregnancy center came to see me. She had become a
loyal friend over those months and knew how torn I was. I was sitting in the
hospital room with her, my mom and my baby. I held him and couldn’t take
my eyes off of him. His little blanket was becoming increasingly wet from my
tears. Susan said, “Lindsey – tell God that you know this is His baby
first and you trust Him with your son’s life.” I could hardly get the
words out but I prayed that. A few moments later, I looked up and said the
same words I spoke when I found out I was pregnant: “I can’t do this. I
just can’t.” I could not spend a lifetime apart from this child and I
would do whatever it took to be the absolute best mother I could be. I would
sacrifice a social life, college experience, and anything else I had to, in
order to be this child’s only mother.

I called the adoption agency and cried as I told them I changed my mind. I
knew that this meant the precious couple I had chosen would have to wait
longer now. I wanted this couple to experience parenthood almost as much as
I couldn’t let my son go. The agency reassured me that I did not need to
feel guilty and this couple had not been informed of possibly getting my
son. That gave me some comfort.

The women at the crisis pregnancy center, family and close friends rallied
together to help me get the basic things I would need to leave the hospital
– most importantly, a car seat! I left the hospital feeling like I had the
best Christmas gift in the world and giddy like a child, said to myself,
“I get to keep this? And I get to keep it forever?” I vowed that day to
put every other dream, goal, and ambition I had under the dream, goal and
ambition I had to be a good mother.

Walking through the doors at the Women’s Resource Center was the catalyst
for everything that had happened since I found out I was pregnant. These
were angels on Earth for my son and me. In Ann’s story she shared that she
was so glad there weren’t those “crazy pro-lifers” at the clinic
waiting to yell at her because she was prepared to ask them if they would be
the ones to watch her baby while she went to school or they would be the
ones to get her groceries and give her a job. To answer Ann’s question
that she never got to ask: Yes, they would have. There are some who “stand
for life” with picket signs and yelling because they see how desperate the
need is to get through before this life is destroyed. I personally do not
agree with this route but I understand the desperation. Then, there are the
calm and peaceful supporters of life and women who vow to hold your hand
through the pregnancy and provide whatever needs you may have. They are
there for the life inside and for the woman who has to walk this difficult
road. So yes, Ann, I do believe (and personally know) that there are people
out there who would have helped you.

Pregnant Again

Over the next 3 years, Michael and I went through a lot. Part of my
commitment to being a good mother was to give my son a family that was whole
and complete – not broken. In the midst of trying to make this happen,
alongside finding out many things about a separate life Michael was living,
I found out I was pregnant again. Maybe this is the point in my story that
is more like Ann’s. I already had a child. I was already on a tight
budget. I was only 22, and already delayed in college. And now, I was very
unsure about my future with Michael. The first person I told suggested an
abortion right off the bat. No questions asked. No debating it and no
conversation. It was just cut and dry and clear to her that day. But I knew.
I knew now that what I would be destroying was not just a “clump of
cells”, or just a “clot of blood”; what I would be destroying was my
son’s brother or sister. There was no way I could do that.

Regretfully, I am now divorced and raising the boys on my own. It was never
what I wanted for my family. This is a scenario that I feared when I was
pregnant and this is a scenario that the pro-choice community could use as
one to justify an abortion: What kind of life would a child in this
situation have? To answer that I would say: What kind of life would these
children have missed out on if they weren’t even here? The hills we have
rolled down together, the beaches we’ve played on, the achievements in
school, the birthday parties … we all have parts to our life story that we
would like to be different. I would say that even more important than our
circumstances, is how we adjust to them, how we grow through them, and the
lessons we learn through them. We learn that people will let us down and
hurt us sometimes. I would say that a life full of love and joy in spite of
situations we may wish to change is still better than no life at all. I
would say that I believe in the power of God, to help us overcome and endure
even the most hopeless of circumstances.

Four years later, here I am. I finished college and I am a 2nd grade teacher
now. I didn’t get to “go off” to school; I had to stay in town where
family was. I didn’t get to move out on my own right away. I had to wait
tables and make money however I could. I have struggled financially and I
am, to this very day, on one of the tightest budgets of anyone I know. We
don’t have cable TV and I’m a “crazy couponer” (as my son says). We
don’t eat out much or splurge on vacations, but we enjoy simple things
like beach days, making homemade pizzas together and family movie nights at
home. I get to pack lunch boxes for my kids with little notes that say, “I
love you. Have a great day!” “You are so special- Have the best day
EVER!” I get to watch them wrestle and fall asleep in the same bed
together. I get to separate them when they fight and help them up when they
fall off their bike. I get to help them with homework and make them re-do
everything they get wrong on a test! I get to hear the words “Mommy, I
love you allllllllllllll the way to the top of Heaven’s clouds!”

This is worth everything I have to give up. It’s worth the tight budget.
It’s worth the stress. It’s worth the exhaustion at bedtime, the bags
under my eyes, the social life I don’t have and the car that’s a mess.
My life with two children that I did not plan for, is far greater than any
life I could have had without them.

This story is not just a story that was best for me. This is a story that
can be best for anyone. It is a story of redemption, perseverance and
courage. It is a story that saved the lives of two smart, vivacious, loved,
beautiful and joyful children. It’s a story that exposed me to the
painful, yet beautiful choice of adoption. It could have been Ann’s story.
It could be your neighbors’ story, your daughters’ story, and your
friends’ story.

I believe women have what it takes to face even the most difficult and
seemingly hopeless circumstances. They do not have to minimize their ability
to endure this and cling so tightly to one plan they had in mind for their
life. I wish Ann had known then that things would not have been as bad as
she had imagined. As a matter of fact, they could have been even better than
she could have ever imagined.

Love, support, encourage and be there for the “Ann’s” and
“Lindsey’s” around you. You never know the vast difference it could
make in their stories.

~Lindsey

Read more about the lives of Lindsey and her boys here.

Reprinted with permission from LiveAction.org

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/my-two-unplanned-pregnancies-pushed-me-to-the-brink-but-i-will-never-regret/

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