Carrying the Weight of Regret

By Brooke Bowen, A Post Abortive Mother

Often times as I begin to grow older and reflect back on my life, I realize that the sins I have committed myself have cause much more damage to my soul than the sins others have committed against me. I sit daily and reflect on how a split-second decision changed my life forever. I cry and weep and wish with every fiber of my being that I could go back in time and change some of the things that I’ve done in my life. I try my damnedest to go back and right all of the wrongs I’ve ever committed in my life, but there’s one wrong that I can never make right and that kills me inside.

Abortion truly is a fifteen minute procedure that last a life time…. and if I could give anything to take back that 15 minute procedure, I would.

When I entered the abortion clinic on that first fateful day… I entered that of a broken young girl just out of high school. I had dealt with so much that year….rape, abuse, stalking, and now I was pregnant with a man who had done the most evil things imaginable to me.

All my life I had identified as pro-life, but its crazy how quick flawed human beings will throw all of their ideals out the door as soon as they are in a difficult situation. I promised myself that my situation was different, I had extenuating circumstances…what I was doing was okay, even though in my heart I knew it was wrong.

I remember sitting in the small white waiting room with nurses and the woman who was to perform my abortion…. tears streaming down my face, this was never somewhere that I ever imagined myself being. I remember the nurses holding my hand, consoling me… they were so kind. “Honey, you don’t need to cry. Anyone in your position would be doing the same thing as you, no matter what they say,” the nurse assured me. I was told to come back the next day due to the twenty-four hour waiting period law that was instilled in Kansas. They were going to do a two-day procedure on me due to some high-risk problems and size issues.

I came back the next day and sat in the waiting room for about an hour next to several other women. I looked around at the other women, each face sad, broken, scared… no one wanted to be there. It felt almost as if some of these women were in the clinic because they felt they had no other options. Some women were even there with their other children. I was finally called back to do the beginning of my procedure. I was to have laminaria inserted into my cervix to dilate it and prepare me for the actualsurgical abortion the next day.

The actual laminaria insertion took no longer than two to three minutes. I was given some instructions on how to take pain killer and how to prepare myself for the procedure the next day. It’s crazy how the human mind works, because as soon as I got home…I instantly felt this massive surge of regret. I didn’t want this to happen….no, no,no. I couldn’t go through with this. I had to stop it. This baby was half me. I would be killing a part of myself to get back at someone else. I would be getting rid of something innocent because I couldn’t handle the things someone else had done to me.

I began frantically searching on the internet to find ways to reverse abortion. I found a website of a Catholic Hospital in Chicago that had been successful in removing luminaire sticks and allowing pregnancies to go to term. I read that I was at a much higher risk for pre-term birth and miscarriage, but some chance at life was better than none. I kept telling myself, “Don’t be scared of the angels of death until they’re knocking at your door. There is always hope.”

I called the hospital and was told that I needed to get the luminaire sticks removed within 24 hours if I wished for the reversal to be successful. I was told not to go to anEmergency Room, as Emergency personnel would not be comfortable doing something like this. I needed to either come to the hospital in Chicago or go back to the abortion clinic and just have them remove the luminaire.

I waited until 8:00 AM the next morning to go to the clinic, this would have been about the same time the drive to Chicago would have taken me. I was stressed, crying, frantic, every scared and nervous emotion you could think of…but I still had hope. I was taken back to the surgical room, and I asked the nurse, “What would happen if I just had the luminaire sticks removed? Can I just not go through with the procedure?”

She looked at me, eyes wide and nervous looking, “Oh, honey….Dr.Nauser already snipped the umbilical cord yesterday. It’s gone.”

With those words my entire hopes has been crushed. It hit me so hard. Even if I had driven to Chicago, my efforts would have been in vain. I had just made the worst decision of my life…and it was all over right then. Dr. Nauser entered the room, and gave me twilight anesthesia and then performed the abortion. I woke up about an hour later.

I felt no physical pain, none at all. I was numb, but the emotional pain was the worst type of pain I had ever felt in my life. The kind nurse was still in the room with me watching me. She squeezed my hand when I woke up and told me, “You made the right decision. You would have looked in that baby’s face every day and remembered all of the pain you went through. It would have hurt you so much.” She held my hair back when I stood up to throw up from all of the medicine in my system, or maybe the nerves….I could tell she sincerely thought she was helping me, I don’t doubt her intentions at all…but, in reality, I believe that she hurt me more than anyone has ever hurt me in my life.

I think that a lot of women’s rights advocates argue that abortion is this sort of powerful weapon that will save a woman from abuse of feeling the pain of her rape daily. I’m here to tell those advocates my story. The story of how I laid in bed that night and cried and cried and cried…more than I have ever cried after my rape or after a man hit me or after I had a screw driver held to my face. I laid in bed shaking….just thinking that maybe, just maybe…that baby had been sent to me as a gift by God. God sent me that gift as an apology to all of the wrongs that had ever happened to me in my life.

What better gift than motherhood? What better gift than a tiny person who will unconditionally love you, no matter what your faults are–and I have a lot of faults.

This was to be my beautiful thing out of a bad situation, but I was too foolish to see. I know that when I would’ve held my baby for the first time in that delivery room, I finally would have felt closure for my situation…and to this day I still have not found that. I struggled a lot with determining whether or not my unborn baby had a soul yet before I got my abortion… I now know that that baby had a soul, because if they didn’t…my soul wouldn’t feel so empty.

I know that my baby had a purpose of being there, because if they didn’t…God would not have sent them. I know that they would have been a beautiful soul and a world-changer, because great things come out of adversity. I know I wouldn’t have regretted motherhood or giving life. I have never met one woman who regretted giving life, but I have met so many who regret abortion…and I am one of those women.

I know that my little baby was a girl.

Every time I see a cute little biracial girl running, dancing, smiling, doing anything…I imagine my baby. What would she have been like? A Carmel-skinned, big-haired cutie? Would she have had brown eyes or blue eyes? Would she have looked like me? Would she love horses? Would she sing? Would she grow up to be a republican or democrat? I don’t know…but I do know one thing. I would have loved her no matter who she would’ve been or what she would’ve done.

I still love her, even though she never was, as she was half me and her mere existence taught me so much.

I feel she was a martyr. She brought me to God in all of brokenness and guilt. I now know that God will forgive me, even though I do not forgive it… but what hurts me the most is not knowing whether my baby will forgive me. I took so much from her. I took the beauties of life away. I took the amazing things that I take for granted every day of my life that I am completely undeserved of…. The stars, the moons, the clouds, galloping on a beautiful horse across an open field, her first kiss, her first steps, her first word, her first everything….

I know where her body is– torn apart in little pieces in a medical waste dump, thrown away like trash….but I don’t know where what matters, her soul, is. If she’s in Heaven sitting on Jesus’s lap–smiling and laughing with the other aborted and miscarried babies or if she’s stuck as some sort of little ghost in Purgatory… trapped in the walls of the evil place that is the abortion clinic. I don’t know if she can even fathom the complexity of my situation, how much I regret, how someone who took her life still loves her.

I don’t know if she’s sad I didn’t want her. I don’t know if she’d be happy to have a sibling on Earth, or if she’d be jealous and upset that I had another baby. What makes that baby wanted and her not? The mere means of conception or the relationship with the father? Would she ever even want to meet me if I ever undeservedly made it to Heaven?

I will never know these things in this life on Earth, and I carry that with me every day. It is an immense weight I hold on my shoulders.

A weight that will never leave.

I will never be able to be one of those happy older women who sits and reflects on their life and says, “No I wouldn’t change a thing!” I will always have this one major regret… I will have it until I’m 95 on my death bed….and it sincerely kills me inside.


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