The night I took my first pregnancy test, I had already been a mother for ten weeks. I couldn't believe I had let it happen or comprehend the enormity of the situation I found myself in.
As a teen, I believed true freedom was found in knowing good and evil and tasting both. Driven by the desire to fill the deep void within me, I learned to navigate through life with heightened self-awareness. I sought belonging and happiness in fleeting dopamine hits, adrenaline rushes, and substances that temporarily numbed my insecurities and inadequacies.
In August of my junior year, I met a boy whose character wowed me. Our connection was instant, and we became inseparable. He would write me long letters, hold doors, and treat me respectfully. We would talk for hours about everything and anything, and I could not have imagined life any better.
I became pregnant, and the fear of what would become of me gripped me. I kept my pregnancy a secret for two weeks, not telling a soul. As a single mother living alone in poverty, I imagined a lifetime cut off from my family. I thought, what would people think about my family? Would my boyfriend's church community judge his family? I believed my grandmothers would worry themselves to actual death, and my siblings and cousins would become just like me!
The shock gradually wore off, and I was in self-preservation mode, desperately seeking a solution. I grabbed a phone book, flipped to the Yellow Pages, and there it was, “Abortion Services.” I decided then and there to put it all behind me with $500.00. I dialed the number,
and a woman on the other end instructed me when and where to come. She informed me they would need proof of pregnancy documentation for the procedure. My eyes fixed on an ad for free pregnancy confirmation on the same yellow page. I quickly booked my same-day appointment and drove to the free local pregnancy center.
Arriving at the Pregnancy Resource Center for my pregnancy confirmation, I found solace within its walls and the warmth and safety they seemed to provide. I poured my heart out to their professional staff, sharing my intentions to terminate my pregnancy, my reservations about motherhood, and the fears surrounding my future and relationships. They listened with empathy and understanding, providing me with the confirmation I sought. I left the Pregnancy Resource Center that day, determined still to have the abortion with my pregnancy confirmation in hand.
The following day, the gravity of my situation came to a head as I mustered the courage to share the news with my boyfriend and family. Their reactions were a mix of shock and disbelief that seemed to unravel the fabric of our carefully woven lives at rocket speed. My parents, driven by their fears and insecurities, demanded an abortion, while my boyfriend's family fought to maintain their positions within the ministry. All of our relationships became strained under the enormous weight of our circumstances. Division and isolation set in, and everyone began to hustle for their own self-preservation, fueled by their individual liberty, goals, and aspirations.
Three days later, I found myself at the abortion clinic, leaving several hours later with prenatal vitamins in hand. I had decided at the clinic to carry to term following my ultrasound. My parents were furious and refused to support my decision. My boyfriend's parents, consumed by concerns for his future, distanced themselves, urging him to do the same and instead focus on his college and career goals.
Despite all the uncontrollable variables and uncertainty, the Pregnancy Resource Center became a place of safety and belonging. They provided the support I desperately needed to help me navigate the shock and trauma of my situational circumstances. Countless times, I felt alone, suffocated by the pain my experience had provided me. They guided me through my darkest moments, helped me pick up the pieces, grieve my shattered dreams, and focus on the good in the process.
Fast forward two and a half decades, and I would not change a thing. I married my boyfriend after graduation, and he joined the military. We have weathered highs and lows together, striving to build a life filled with love and joy in raising our three beautiful children. The road was far from easy, but our challenges made us stronger. The courage we strived and fought for back then has made us who we are today.
Looking back, I realize that every tear shed, every doubt battled, and every step taken in the face of uncertainty was a testament to the strength and resilience within me. Through it all, I discovered the power of belief and the importance of embracing the support of others. I learned that it's okay to ask for help and that vulnerability can lead to profound growth, grit, and resilience.
Today, our most significant achievement is that we defied the odds and refused to let circumstances define us. The Pregnancy Center helped me focus on my core values and character, focusing more on who I was becoming, not just who I was at that moment. My husband and I are proud of the life we built, one decision at a time.
To anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation, I want you to know that you are not alone. We are a pro-woman, holistic non-profit organization. We strive to provide clarity in your pregnancy decision while caring for your body, mind, and spirit. You are more than a number to us. Reach out for support today!