I was 16 years old.
I was given a new name and then was drugged…I didn't like the IV. My dad held my hand but I started to get really fidgety. They upped my drug dosage. I was wheeled away. I was so cold, but they gave me a blanket. I counted backwards from 100…99…98…
The end of my first baby's life.
It was always weird for me when I was pregnant with my first born, because people would always ask, "Is this your first?". I hated that question. I didn't know how to answer.
"Um, no, I killed my first baby, this will be my second." That wouldn't work. "My first is in heaven." That won't work either, people will think I miscarried. I landed on, "This is my husband and I's first."
It has been 13 years since I had my abortion. Even though I have been forgiven and set free from the bondage I was once in, the memories of that time in my life and my fateful decision still hurt so deeply upon remembrance.
I'll never forget when I called to tell my dad I was pregnant. He was so kind and loving towards me. I'll also never forget the words out of my grandmother's mouth when I told her the same thing, "I'll take care of it." What? "No, I'm keeping the baby."
Three months later she had "it" taken care of.
The three months I was pregnant when I was 16 were probably the three hardest months of my life. I was very sick, I felt very alone, and I was being torn in directions I wasn't prepared for. Everyone had a solution to my "problem," but no one wanted to hear mine.
I wanted to keep the baby…at first. I figured I could get married and start a family. After talking with others and them telling me how I would miss such important things if I had a baby, like prom, I thought it would be better if I gave the baby to someone who couldn't have children. Nope, people didn't like that idea either.
During this time, my mom totally checked out of the situation. She almost became numb to the whole thing. She had her own demons to deal with and couldn't handle mine.
My dad, a wonderful father, had decided that abortion probably was the better choice. I don't think he really believed that, but he had pressures of his own.
One person in my life even wanted the baby for themselves, but I couldn't bear that person raising my child.
Did I mention that my grandmother, who I thought was my "best friend," stopped talking to me during this time? She wouldn't even look at me.
The final straw was when my other grandmother came to visit me. She convinced me that having an abortion really would be the best decision. She spoke to me so kindly and she showed me love. I was desperate for any signs that I was lovable at that point, so I agreed right then and there to have an abortion.
I went to see the doctor who would perform the abortion. He had the nerve to tell me,"Only a fool makes the same mistake twice." He seemed so wise…I wonder how many mistakes he's performed over his lifetime.
The night before the "procedure" I asked the baby to forgive me. I held my tummy and cried.
The day arrived and my dad accompanied me to the hospital. Yes, the hospital, not the local abortion clinic. The doctor thought I would do better being at a hospital where I could be totally put out…drugged to unawareness.
He even had my name changed so there would be no record that I had an abortion…I did have a fairly prominent family. That afternoon I didn't have an abortion, Sandy Charles did. Sandy Charles gave up hope that day…Sandy Charles let them stick a needle in her arm, drugs in her veins, and a murderer into her private domain. Sandy Charles offered her baby up for slaughter.
I slept for two days. When I woke up I was at my grandmother's, the one who wouldn't speak to me before but was now serving me toast with a smile. I had moved in with her because my stepmom didn't want me anywhere near her…I was bad. I ate the toast. Nothing was ever spoken about my abortion. It was a new day. It was like it never happened.
To be continued… (read part 2 of my story here)
Under the fierce fluorescent
she offered her hand for me to hold
she offered stability and calm
and i was crushing her palm
through the pinch-pull wincing
my smile unconvincing
on that sterile battlefield that sees
my heart hit absolute zero
Leave a Comment
Kristen - Moms Sharpening Moms says
I went ahead and read part II of your story as well, and your courageous heart is absolutely inspiring. Your story will undoubtedly minister to many. Thank you for your transparency.
I also went ahead and read the rest of the story.
The part about how detached you were rings true! It is that way with many types of past wounds.
Your ability to identify specific changes – ability to hug and to enjoy children – is great. Many people know the promises about being set free, but only some actually LIVE it and experience it. Many blessings on your writing and ministry! Your voice is a much-needed one.
I’d like to offer a little enouragement from a different perspective. My mom had 2 abortions before she had me. She was young and on a very destructive path. I found out about this when I was 17 (now 26) and she struggled so much with accepting forgiveness on this issue. But oddly enough, it gave me purpose. My mom’s decisions made me realize that God has a promising purpose for me. He didn’t have to give her a 3rd chance to have me. But for some reason I’m here through her. My mom’s deepest regret is where I find deep confidence in a plan that God has for me.
Rebekah @ It Only Gets Better says
Thank you for sharing this. Many people need to hear it.
Oh Sarah Mae – I wish I could travel back in time to hug that sixteen year old you. But I am sure Jesus was there already. Holding, hugging, comforting, loving, forgiving.
It is an honor to hear your truth.
Ann Voskamp@ Holy Experience says
Grace is the most beautiful thing….
You are loved.
And all His grace-bathed daughters…
A Simple Country Girl says
… sharing your tears
and moving ahead without fear
thank you for gracing me
with your story
brooke clarke says
Sarah Mae, I so appreciate your honesty. Your courage is inspiring and will give you so much depth in your relationship with God and others. I love 2 Corinthians 1:3-7…it has given me so much courage and purpose in sharing my own story of sin, confession, repentance and healing. Thanks for sharing so openly! Blessings, Brooke
Between readin this post this morning and reading @tothink’s still birth story last night (http://www.tothinkistocreate.com/2010/01/11/living-water/) I’m a blubbering mess.
A friend of mine is going through a hard time right now and it was her who reminded me of the song “Blessed be your name”… so blessed be His name… in the land that is plentiful… AND on the road marked with suffering.
It is stories like these that help people understand the very real value of each little life. To the mother. To those around her. To God.
THank you for sharing.
Thank you for your openness. Your words cause deep reflection and a pause to my day.
Sarah Mae, you inspire me with your courage to share such a personal heart-wrenching story. I am so thankful for the day that the Lord called you to himself and gave you not only salvation, but forgiveness and hope.
with much love,
||| laura frantz ||| says
I am so sorry for all the sorrow that your heart has had to endure. Much love to you today.
I’m so glad I came by today. You are a wonderful soul and thank you so much for being honest in your writing. Your story is so needed and I am passing this on to others who have struggled in the same way. How awesome that the Lord sees past where we are and draws us to Him to lead us forward for His Glory. You are being used by Him and that is clear.
Mary @ The Writer's Block says
Sarah Mae, What courage, what a blessing to Christian women your story is! I am encouraged by your testimony of God’s faithfulness, forgiveness, and ability to set free!
I can’t wait to meet you at Blissdom (you’re coming, right?). I’m going to give you a big hug!!!
Sarah Mae says
No, I wont be at Blissdom – but Ill be at Relevant! 🙂
I am on my way to read part 2. Though tear streaked eyes. Thank you for being so open and true.
Oh my gosh Sarah Mae. I too, wish I could have been there to give you comfort…but oh how wonderful God’s grace is. To share this with everyone really shows how wonderful you truly are. I know that it took more strength and courage than you alone could muster up. I don’t know what else to say….besides I you.
Jessica Jones says
I am so sorry you had to go through that but thank you for sharing it! Iknow that could not have been easy to say (type)
OK, the html didn’t show but that’s OK. It’s supposed to be I “heart” you. You are so wonderful Sarah Mae.
Serena Woods says
Sarah, I am overwhelmed with compassion for you right now. 🙂 Overwhelmed.
The courageous spirit you have when you write moves me to tears. Your story that you openly share in your posts makes a relationship with Christ so real. Thank you for opening your life so that others may open their hearts and minds to the love of Christ.
donna o says
Thank you for your willingness to be so open about your past. it is so easy to say “I confessed to God” and be done with it. And sometimes that really is all we need to do! But there are moments when we are presented with the opportunity to share our strength and His forgiveness with others. It makes us vulnerable to misunderstanding, vulnerability, and you were so willing to take that chance :0).Many will be blessed and encouraged by your faithfulness! Cyber hugs!
Wow, what a hard story to tell. Thank you for sharing, it will and probably already has blessed someone today.
Sarah Mae – thank you for sharing such a deep dark story, and the second half which is filled with so much hope. I have tears in my eyes for you, and what you’ve been through.
I volunteer at a local pregnancy center, I hear the pain of women just like you on a weekly basis. The clinics tell women that it will be over soon, but they don’t tell them about the years of agonizing regrets that the women will face. It is an ugly industry.
Thank you for sharing your story, it may give other women courage to share their own.
Holley Gerth says
Sarah Mae, you are a truth-teller, a woman who opens her heart and spills it out–beauty and brokenness together–like the woman who poured out glorious perfume and wiped the feet of Jesus with it. The fragrance of His work in your life fills your words and brings hope and healing to all us. Thank you.
Your words are filled with transparency, honesty, and bravery; I know your story will touch a lot of women. Thank you for sharing this. I just know God is using you to bring many others hope.
Melissa Multitasking Mama says
Bless you for having the courage to share your story. I sat in a clinic and faced a similar decision when I was 16- Jared is 13 1/2 now and I thank God I don’t have to wonder what if….(((hugs))) to you. God uses you in incredible ways!
Yes, that question of how many pregnancies have you had….threw me every time also. Even at 50, when a OBGYN asks, I remember the one I discarded so thoughtlessly. A few years ago, a Dr asked me why I seemed at peace with it when so many women can’t reconcile their hearts with the action. I told him it is one thing. I know I’m forgiven. The grief is a simple sadness for the young girl who didn’t know, didn’t want to know, didn’t know where or who to go to. I have forgiven her also.
Thanks for sharing your heart. I hope many women will find such peace.
We are beloved…..anyways….in spite of ourselves. Grace is that good. THe good news is really this good.
Thank you so much for your honesty. I went through the same thing when I was 17 and sometimes I feel like my whole life is a lie. I bask in God’s grace every day and know He loves me. But I can completely relate to filling out medical forms and having to answer how many pregnancies you’ve had and such. I can’t participate in fundraisers for the Christian Pregnancy Center because it stings a little too much.
Becky @ Farmgirl Paints says
Oh my goodness. Thank you so much for being so transparent and honest. That could not have been an easy post to write. May God use your life experience to help heal old wounds in many!!
Thank you so much for sharing your story and not being ashamed to share what the Lord has forgiven. Praise God!
Cathy Davis says
I just wanted to reach through the screen and give you a hug. God’s grace and redemption power is what enables us to share these stories. Funny how so many of them are similar.
I love you even more for being bold (with the same resurrection power that raised Christ!) and sharing your story.
Nichole Lemmon says
Thank you for sharing your testimony to help other women choose life and avoid the suffering you went though or to help them find healing.
I want to offer this link for help finding healing: hopeafterabortion.com
Also, there is a group of women (and men!) who are standing together to share how abortion has impacted their lives: SilentNoMoreAwareness.org
It’s so easy to mask the reality with a nice euphemism like ‘choice” and so again, I thank you for sharing.
Oh my, what beautiful honesty!
Praise Jesus for the Grace we all receive, and for the loveliness of his daughters.
Thank you so much for this Sarah Mae.
Linda Scoggins says
I too had an abortion, actually 2. I was 17 and then at 18,a year later after I got married I got another one. I didn’t think much about it then. I guess I tried not to think too much about it. But after I had my 3 sons and they were gone fishing with my husband, I was working around the house, listening to Focus on the Family and a dramatized story came on, “Tilly” by Frank Peretti. It was about a woman who had an abortion and she was dreaming about heaven and all the aborted babies. I broke down and sobbed my eyeballs out. Then I asked forgiveness and I’ve been so changed since then. I want to do something to help other women who’ve been through this. Linda
Margaret Kildee says
I wish I could/ve been your grandmother! together we would have kept your baby. thank you for sharing your story. hopefully you will help other 16 year olds.
My first baby died in her sleep when she was 9 weeks old, so I know a little about what you are feeing.Thank God, I had 6 children after that and appreciated them so much. so will you.
Love to you.
kirsten H says
Oh Sarah, I am so so sorry for your pain.
Mary @ Passionate Perseverance says
thank you for sharing your story. may it bless all who read it.
I am so sorry for your pain. Clearly, abortion was not the right choice for you, and equally clearly, you were not allowed to make a choice at all.
My own experience was very different. My abortion saved my life, and I was loved, supported, and treated respectfully every step of the way. I will forever be grateful that safe, legal abortion was available to me when I needed it, and that I had the right to choose. I am so sorry that you did not.
May you know peace.
Your story is heart-wrenching — a friend of mine had the same experience. I’ll probably become the most hated women in the blogosphere for this, but “my husband and I’s” is incorrect. Would you say “It’s I’s first”? Tell people it’s “my husband’s and my first” or “it’s my and my husband’s first” but I’s is NOT personal possessive.
Sarah Mae says
Lisa, LOL! Ill try and make sure to say that! 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing your story.
Wow. I am going to save this story to show my daughter (who is only 3 years now) when she is old enough. I hope by doing so she can learn from you so that she never has to go through what you went through.
You are very brave to share this with the world.
As others have said, you may have felt alone at the time, but you were, in fact, within the loving arms of our Lord who shared your heartache.
Mom of Unborn Child says
Too many of us are unable to speak out, even years later as we hide in shame. My family does not know about my abortion, I made the decision while my parents were in the middle of an ugly divorce. I had no family to turn to, I was at Catholic school and could not tell a teacher, and the baby’s father did not “rescue” me when I said “It’s my problem,I’ll take care of it.” He offered to pay, I refused because I felt it was my responsibility.
I made my CHOICE because I had been drinking, and was convinced the baby would be born brain damaged because of my actions. I didn’t want an unhealthy baby-my parents were divorcing and I had nowhere to turn. I went for my FIRST gyn exam to Planned Parenthood-where they gave me 24 hours to abort “It” or it would be too late. They never called “it” a baby.
Years later, I found out my parents divorced because my Mom was pregnant and my Dad insisted she abort-we were a rich family and did not need to be burdened with another child. In our family home, two babies were aborted. Nobody knew about mine.
Years later, I married, waited 5 years to have my perfect child, and gave birth to a son who was later diagnosed with autism. I wasted the life of my unborn child.
Forgiven by God, not forgiven by self.
FaithBarista Bonnie says
Wow. All I can say is God is real in you, Sarah. What a beautiful, courageous woman you are. I finished your story in Part II, and I was smiling, “Hallelujah” here in the dark with you. Thank you for sharing God’s powerful work of turning darkness in light — and how warm and bright it is!
wow, i’m off to read part 2. my heart aches for you. i’ve known people who have had abortions but they’ve never explained their deep deep inner feelings. were you saved at the time? just curious how this all played a part in your walk with God.
i’m loving your blog Sarah! thanks for sharing.
Danielle - ExtraordinaryMommy says
Sarah Mae – what courage to share such a deeply personal story. I am confident you have inspired many. Thank you for such amazing honesty. You are a remarkable woman.
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