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When I was 17, I was told that my twelve-week preborn baby was “just a blob of tissue” and “had not begun to form” and was definitely “not a baby.”

I was scared, in crisis, too afraid to tell my parents I was pregnant and time was NOT on my side. I crossed over the state line, forged my name and naively underwent an irreversible medical procedure. I was told not to worry–that this was a safe, easy, simple procedure and that my parents would never have to know.

During the procedure my legs shook uncontrollably and I couldn’t stop crying. The woman standing at my bedside tried to comfort me by saying “Remember dear, once this is over you can go home and never have to think about it again. Life will be back to normal.”

For the next several years I tried to play “normal” and avoided any thoughts about what had taken place– a term known as denial.
Eight years later, as I was viewing an ultrasound of my second pregnancy, my life would immediately start to spiral downhill, out of control to I place where I wanted to die. I saw a baby! My baby! And she was fully formed! Her tiny little hand was in full sight and the nurse commented that she was waving to me. I went numb. I wasn’t prepared for what I saw on the screen. As tears were streaming down my face the nurse asked me if I was okay and I lied and said “yes” when inside I was dying. THIS WAS NOT A BLOB OF TISSUE! “What have I done?” And the sad reality was that the baby I was seeing on the screen was YOUNGER than the baby I had aborted.

Shortly after my delivery, I began to have horrible nightmares of my daughter such as seeing her body parts cut up and placed in old medicine jars, or of her screaming out for help and I wouldn’t save her. Also, I had intrusive thoughts like me wringing her neck and breaking it. Not understanding what was happening to me I thought I was going crazy and I had a hard time bonding with my newborn baby out of fear that I would harm her.

I sought help through professional counseling and discovered I met the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder with delayed onset. I also struggled with anxiety, self-hatred and depression to a point where I truly did not want to live anymore. I contemplated suicide and thankfully never attempted it.

After my counseling, I went back to college and secured an undergraduate and graduate degree both in social work. Today, I am a Licensed Master Social Worker specializing in post-abortion recovery work.

The experiences I had after my abortion are similar to responses from other women who were not privy to fetal development prior to their abortion(s). Hundreds of women I have been in contact with say the same thing over and over again “I didn’t know it was a baby, they didn’t tell me it was a baby…the counseling I received consisted of telling me why abortion is a good decision for me.

Once women make the connection that there is actually a baby being formed and growing in her womb the “mother” in her often bonds to the baby immediately and the dynamics of the abortion decision drastically change.

Not a day goes by where I don’t wish I would have seen and known that it was REALLY a baby.

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