January 25, 2013

I chose life.

I wasn't going to actually write anything about this, but I felt moved to add my story to the plethora of others as hundreds of thousands attend the March for Life in Washington, DC. I won't lie and say my hands weren't trembling as I hit publish. 

My story isn't unlike thousands upon thousands of others. 
Indeed, on the surface, there's nothing even remotely remarkable about it.

....

I found out I was pregnant two months before my high school graduation.

It certainly wasn't what I was expecting to hear when I went to see my doctor for a LEEP procedure to treat my recurring cervical dysplasia. I had an inkling as I sat in my paper gown waiting for the nurse to return with the results. But I was hoping I was wrong. 

When the nurse walked in and announced that I was indeed expecting, I began to cry. And not just silent tears rolling down my cheeks. Full on sobbing, head in my hands, crying. I sobbed all the way through the doctor calculating my due date. I sobbed all the way through them giving me a big, white plastic bag full of prenatals and that stupid American Pregnancy magazine with the glowing, happy face of an expecting mom. I sobbed all the way to the front desk and through making a follow up appointment. When I got to my car, I laid my head on my steering wheel and tried to catch my breath from all that I had just learned. Every single plan was changed. How could I have been so stupid?

And then it crossed my mind. 

I don't have to have this baby.

I gave that thought about three seconds of my time and then I remembered everything I had seen.

When I was a preteen, my mom taught confirmation class at our Catholic church. As part of her teachings, she would talk to the teenagers in her class about the realities of abortion. So, she had in her possession pictures, pamphlets and writings about early fetal development and abortion factoids. Now, my mom was careful about not letting me see these things, hiding them away in a dresser drawer, since I was young and impressionable. But I was also sneaky and a bit of a digger.

I read through the every pamphlet. I looked at every picture. I remember the distinct sadness I felt at learning that something like this really did exist. Suddenly the rosy picture I had of the world was shattered. 

....

I decided right then, in my car, in the parking lot of my OB's office, that it wasn't up to me to play God. The tiny speck growing inside of me had a full set of unique human DNA. And that child deserved every chance and opportunity that my own mother had given me.

I didn't even try to hide my pregnancy from my parents. I couldn't. I called my mom on the way home from the doctor's office, and between big choking sobs uttered out the words, "I'm pregnant."

My mom responded in a way that will stick with me forever. 

She stifled a laugh and then said, "It's not the end of the world, Jess. It's a baby. We're going to love it, and you'll see that this will be the best thing that will ever happen to you."


In April of 2003, I chose life.



....


63 comments:

  1. I don't think Jessie or I will ever forget that phone call that evening. Owen is such a blessing. I, as one of many I'm sure, am so glad you chose life. He was, and still is, a blessing. :)

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  2. :) I was thinking about that phone call earlier as I was writing this. I can never thank you and Jess enough for sticking by my side. That phone call and the support I received from y'all cemented what I already knew. Y'all were the truest friends I'd ever had. <3

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  3. This. Is. Awesome.

    Also? I love your mother. LOVE.

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  4. What a simple, beautiful piece of writing. Thank you

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  5. Just found you from Dwija's FB post. Such a beautiful story!! And what a beautiful child. Thank you for being brave and faithful. I'll be following ya now! :)

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    1. Yay! That Dwija..love her. Thanks for following and reading and all that jazz! :)

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  6. Dwija sent me over and I'm so glad she did!

    You and your mom are awesome!!!

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    1. :) Thanks! She is pretty dang awesome!

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  7. can i just say that i love your mother? i can only hope that if one of my kids is ever in that situation i will say something just like that.

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    1. Right?! The way she handled it was beautiful. I'm sure she was disappointed in my actions, but she never once made me feel badly about myself. Love her!

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  8. Dwija sent me. Crying. God bless you!!

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  9. Ahh! I wish every mother would react that way. Your blessed in every way you look at it, and I'm sure you don't regret the choice you made that day. I really don't know what was of my life, before I had my daughter, it's the most important choice I ever made. God bless!! Thanks for sharing, I'm sure you shall be a inspiration to anyone who chooses to read this entry.

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    1. Most important choice ever. I don't think any mother would ever say she regretted having the children she does. Ever. Period. The end. :)

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  10. This is beautiful, Jess. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. You're welcome, Cynthia. Thanks for reading! :)

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  11. I found this post from Dwija.... God bless you and your family!! Happy tears!

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    1. Awww! So much crying! ;) God bless you, dear. Thanks!

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  12. And just like that, in crying. Full on sobs. This is beautiful in every way possible.

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  13. I am crying as I read this, what a beautiful story! I am so happy you chose life and so amazed by your mother and her perfect example of love!

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  14. I legit just cried at the end of this. What your Mother said about "its not the end of the world, its a baby." My mom always says the same thing. Whether it was an accident or unplanned she always says "It's life it should be celebrated." I feel the exact same about this matter. And I do think it has entirely to do with growing up Catholic and teaching CCD with her. Life is beautiful, to stop it so early is a shame.

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    1. I love, love, love you Ari. High fives for great moms! <3

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  15. I am crying after reading this. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

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    1. No, thank you Jen. I'm sure you get hundreds of emails from people telling you exactly what I'm about to tell you...

      Your blog, your words, your experiences are making an impact. They were a huge part of bringing me back to the Faith. I am forever grateful.

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  16. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story, Jess! (Also? Your mom rocks! You, too, love.)

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    1. She does rock. I hope she reads through every single one of these comments and sees the love. Thanks Hallie! :)

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  17. I'm so glad Jennifer Fulwiler pointed me to this post via Twitter. It's the best thing I've read all day. Thank you. I hope you've told your mom (at least once) how great she is.

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    1. :) I hope she knows. I'm sure she knows. Thanks Cheryl!

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  18. What a beautiful child!

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  19. Brought tears, Jess. I wish more parents had the reaction of your mother. We can pray!

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  20. Just beautiful! Crying over here. You are so brave, and I look up to you. Thanks for sharing your story, I know it took a lot. I will be following your blog! And wow, your mom! What an example!

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  21. Hallie sent me here. Hi Hallie {{waving!!}}
    I loved this post, Jess. You are so brave.
    Beautiful family!
    Your children are blessed to have you as their mommy. <3

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    1. Thank you..I am so, so blessed to be their mom.

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  22. Both you and your mom deserve huge, heaping kudos. Thank you for giving your son life!

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    1. She deserves all the kudos. All of them. Thanks for reading, JoAnna!

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  23. I'm bawling my eyes out. This is beautiful. I made the same choice the summer before my senior year of high school. My son will be 21 next month. He was at the March this year (and several years before). God bless you <3

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    1. God bless you and your son, Amy. :)

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  24. Jess, I love your story! It's similar to mine, I chose life and my son was born in July of 2003. My parents told me "a child is never a bad thing. A child is not a punishment for sin. A child is a gift." So thankful for the support of parents who loved the Lord and loved me and my boy through the past 10 years!

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    1. Wow. I like the way your parents put it. They are so right. A child is never, ever a punishment. Thanks, Lydia!

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  25. This is beautiful. I found out I was pregnant before my senior year of high school and am so glad I chose life. My son will be 21 next month and has attended the March for several years now. God bless you <3

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  26. Well, I already commented on your quick takes post...but really truly love this post and I pray that if or when the day comes that a child of mine must say to me what you had to say to your mom that I will be guided to give such a loving and practical response. God bless.

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  27. I think you should be proud to share this. So many young moms are afraid to do it and maybe don't choose life, I think it is important to show, that yes, you can do it and it was the best thing that ever happened to you:)

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  28. Jess, love this, as everything you write. My mother had a similar response to my pregnancy a few years ago. More often than not the right thing and the easy thing are not one and the same. You made a beautiful choice. What an inspiration you are!

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  29. Imagine how many more lives could be saved if people reacted more like your mother in these situations. Thank you for sharing your story. I am so happy for your son. How wonderful that he exists and is here to tell HIS story.

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  30. Wow. Jess. Wow. If that didn't bring tears to my eyes and put a lump in my throat, I don't know what did! God bless you and your beautiful family.

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  31. Blessings to you, your wonderful son, and this beautiful testimony.

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  32. I hope you don't mean that because you chose life, you want to force everyone else who may not have your beliefs to "choose life" as well.

    I'm ad your life worked out very nicely and I'm sure you had to work hard to get here. But not everyone has the support you did.

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    1. Hi Meaghan! I'm really not being snarky, but I have to ask how me sharing a personal testimony equates to me trying to "force everyone else who may not have my beliefs to choose life."

      ?

      I can't even force my own kids to eat their vegetables.

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  33. Thank-you for sharing your story. This is how news of any pregnancy should be responded to - with love and compassion! I'm sure it hasn't been an easy road, but that initial reaction from your mom formed the basis and I have no doubt is has made all the difference!

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  34. Beautiful! Found your story thanks to Jennifer Fulwiler's tweet! Bless you and your family! I pray always for those who don't have the support they need, that it comes to them in time. Even those who choose otherwise can return to a love of Life, and are often the more fervent because of it. Like Bernard Nathanson, who founded NARAL then became an active prolife advocate!

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  35. Bless you and your family! Please remind everyone to pray for those in need, who don't have the support, that it might come to them in time. Pray also for the ones who did not choose life, for among those have come most fervent allies, like Dr.Bernard Nathanson. He founded NARAL, even aborted his own child, before becoming prolife while still an atheist. He later became Catholic, because of the kind of love shown here.

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  36. Instead of droning on about the moral evil of abortion in ideological abstract terms, perhaps pro-lifers might promote raising a child as a fun experience ... an opportunity that may never come back?

    I have two friends (totally unrelated) who became parents by mistake in the late 1990s. Both decided against abortion in the end despite feeling ambivalent about the pregnancy. Neither has found a partner to marry despite dating different persons over the years. Today, they realize they would never have experienced parenthood if "the Accident" had not happened.

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  37. This was beautiful. Thank you for sharing your testimony. God bless!

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  38. Such a beautiful story--thank you so much!

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  39. I kept seeing this posted on FB and Twitter with the added: "have tissues handy." I couldn't bring myself to read it, and then... I did. And I'm so so glad. So happy for you, for your son, so moved by your mom. God blesses us in incredible and frightening ways, doesn't he?

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  40. Thank you so much for sharing! This is beautiful.

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  41. I've been reading your blog for few months now. This was a beautiful entry and one that I can relate to. I found out I was pregnant two weeks after my 18th birthday. I chose life on Nov. 17th, 2003. He will be 9 in July. My moms response was similar to yours and they were so, so right!

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  42. This is so beautiful Jess. I love the reaction and support of your mom; she sounds like an amazing woman. As a fellow Houma girl, I feel a kinship to you. Your babies are beyond beautiful, and sweet Owen...You did good mama!

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