"Life Sunday... thank you from the bottom of my heart for choosing life. Deut. 30:19. Lymtwcs."
The verse she mentioned goes a little something like this:
"... I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live."
I've been thinking a lot lately about the choice I made -- the choice to bring Solaya Haven into the world. It wasn't an easy choice, and all the feelings of uncertainty and worry have recently come screaming back to me. I received an email about a month ago from someone who follows my blog. This young lady (let's call her "Mary") is facing the fallout from unplanned pregnancy. Her situation is very similar to mine in that her boyfriend has demanded that she have an abortion. The question she asked me was this: "How did you decide to not have an abortion? How did you not let him make you do it?"
How did I not LET him MAKE me do it? That very question makes me nauseous. I have no idea how to answer it. Words can be very powerful things. I would bet my next 18 paychecks on words being the most powerful things in the world. You can't touch them, and they can't physically touch you, but once they leave your mouth and enter the universe, they will never disappear, and they have the ability to haunt someone for the rest of his or her life. Words can be kind and they can be forceful. They can be supportive and they can be toxic.
I guarantee that "Mary's" boyfriend's words are forceful and toxic. I guarantee they're riddled with lies and deceit. I guarantee the source of them is fear. I know all of this because I've heard them. I heard the same threats she's hearing ("I'll leave you if you go through with this pregnancy" and "no one will love you if you have this baby"). Excuse me, sir, but it makes me physically sick that you have the gall to try and force a young woman into an unwanted abortion.
I wonder how often this happens. How often is a baby aborted because the father forced the mother into it by threats and lies? I can say from experience that it's not easy to say no. It's nearly impossible to say no to terminating an unplanned pregnancy, especially when the man who "loves" you threatens to snatch away that "love" if you don't agree to do what he says. I've gone through it, and I've survived. Through lonely nights of tear-soaked pillows and lonely mornings of holding my own hair back as I suffered yet another lonely bout of morning sickness, I survived. Through lonely trips to the obstetrician's office and lonely trips to the maternity section of Macy's, I survived. Through lonely phone calls to the awful people at Planned Parenthood and lonely trips to see Ky, the adoption counselor at Bethany Christian Services, I survived. Through lonely, terror-stricken drives to my family to tell them I was pregnant, I survived. I was a single mother-to-be the whole time, but I survived. I was alone because I chose to bring a baby into the world. Breaking a relationship and being left alone sobbing on the floor of your living room, knowing that you're facing a terrifying journey, and knowing that the other half of Baby's biological makeup will not support your decision: that's the worst feeling I've ever felt. No pregnant mother should ever have to experience that.
It's not easy to say no, but I said no. I chose life for my baby. "Mary" also asked me when I first got excited about having a baby... did it take a while, or did it hit me when I held her in my arms for the first time? I'll admit: the night Sol was born was the most terrifying night of my life, hands down. I was really a single mom. It was real. I was holding physical proof of single motherhood. I had no idea what I was doing, and there was no man standing next to me, kissing my forehead and telling me what an amazing job I had done. I was going to spend the next million nights with this tiny, screaming stranger, and I was going to spend each of those million nights all alone. I think I cried more the night Sol was born than I had during the entire pregnancy (and that's saying something).
I'm not sure when I first got excited about being pregnant, or when I was finally excited about the baby in my life. I don't remember the exact moment where the switch went off and I said, "this is okay, I can do this." It must have been somewhere in the last year, but I don't remember when. I wasn't always excited. I cried far too often and I spent too many hours pondering/believing the things that Sol's father told me would happen. Maybe someday I'll write about just how close I was to having an abortion, but not today. Today I celebrate life. Today I celebrate the fact that I have proven that man wrong. Abortion was not the "only choice," like he told me it was. What a beautiful choice I made in bringing this little lady into the world. There are so many people who love her more than anything. When I try and picture a life without Sol, my heart literally aches. It physically hurts me to think about where I would be if I had made a different choice.
Oh my sweet Sol, you are a good choice.
The best choice.