Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My Abortion Story...My Miscarriage Tragedy...

Leslie of Goodbye House, Hello Home
Leslie's Story:
This post is in honor of National Sanctity of Human Life Day and of the memory of my daughter who I lost to abortion through a choice that I made. I am going to be sharing my story with you here. Some of the details may be unbelievable, but I assure you that they happened. I saw them with my own eyes, heard them with my own ears. I know that one in four of us women reading have had one or more abortions; I wanted us to be reminded that, no matter what we have done, we are loved by a Father who gives us a grace covering all sins. The world calls abortion a choice, a reproductive right, a freedom, but after this choice I experienced nothing but the knowledge that my right had been wrong; my so-called freedom resulted in nothing less than the chains of depression and the bonds of suicide. God found me in the midst of my shame. He gave me His grace after my choice. 

I was nineteen, sitting in a lobby in a Miami, Florida clinic. It was a mid-spring day in 1987, and I was waiting for my name to be called, waiting and watching the dazed faces of the other young women who also waited for their names to be called. While I waited, I mused over the months that had led to this appointment. 

Too many long nights with too many strangers had led me to too many bad choices, and somehow I knew that this would be one more bad choice to follow up the rest, the last bad choice to hide the other bad choices. But it had to be done. 
A few months earlier, when my period hadn't come, I hadn't been worried right away; it had always taken me a few months to get worried. Anemia and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis had made all of my periods unreliable. It had been at least four months, though, since my period had last come, which was unusual. One night, reclining on the sofa in the living room, I felt movement in my lower abdomen. 

Something was alive inside of me, but I was in nineteen and in college. I couldn't decide then which I felt more strongly: that I didn't want to be inconvenienced with a baby, or that I didn't want anyone to see the evidence of my behavior. Anyway, abortions were legal, and, after all, it was just a fetus. 
Image courtesy of africa/freeditigalphotos.net
I got out our phone book and searched for abortions through the yellow pages. I found an ad claiming to assist pregnant teens and made the call. When I told the woman on the other end of the line how long it had been since my last period, she made me an appointment for the next day. I pulled into the parking lot, surprised to see that it was actually a branch of Planned Parenthood. After a free urine test, it was confirmed that I was twenty weeks pregnant. Since I was in my second trimester already, I couldn't “terminate” at a clinic; I’d have to go to a hospital. The appointment was made for two weeks later. 

It would cost $1,000 in cash. I didn’t have enough, so I asked my dad’s friend Maria if she’d loan me some money. I lied, telling her it was for my textbooks for college. She obliged, and I soon had the cash in hand. 

I carried on as usual for the next few weeks, anticipating the trip with some fear and yet some excitement. I packed a small bag with a few things, since I had been told that it rarely was, but it could be, an overnight trip, depending on my body’s reaction to the “procedure”. 
“Leslie Brill?” I was called to the open glass sliding window by a middle-aged woman who handed me a clipboard upon which a plethora of forms was attached. These were just your everyday hospital forms: name, address, SS#, allergies, etc. I wrote down all I knew, signed, and handed it and the cash back through the window. 

I waited, picked up a magazine, pretended to read something, flipping pages, nervously flashing a half-smile at the waiting room people. Then my name was called again, and a nurse holding a clipboard escorted me into the examination room.  

“Get undressed and put this gown on. I’ll be back for you in a bit.” I did what I was told, waiting on the papered exam table. When she came back, she rolled in a machine and had me lie down. She lifted up my gown and squirted some cold, clear gel below my navel, and then turned to watch a screen that faced away from me as she moved an odd paddle attached to the rolling contraption back and forth across my belly. 

Curious, I asked her if I could see what was on the screen. “No” was the answer. I asked her if it looked like a baby. “No, it’s nothing but tissue and membranes,” and even if I did look, I wouldn’t know what I was seeing anyway. Although disappointed, I accepted her answer. She was, after all, a nurse, a professional. She was probably right. 

She then told me that a laminaria would have to be inserted in the opening of my cervix. “What is that? What does it do?” I asked. She explained that it was a piece of seaweed that would expand to dilate my cervix. I asked to see it, and she showed me what looked like hardened tobacco rolled into a cigarette. My feet were put in the stirrups; a cold instrument assisted the nurse in inserting the laminaria. “That wasn't so bad.” I had thought it would hurt more.




She told me that I would need to wait for an hour. I was to drink as much liquid as I could in that time. I got re-dressed and slipped off for an hour to visit the local Burger King, where I sipped as many sodas as I could. I returned to the hospital waiting room, where my name was called again. I was inspected to make sure that the laminaria was still in place and doing its job. It was.
I was once again escorted to a room and instructed to put all my belongings in the bag I had brought, and to put on another hospital gown. I was helped into a rolling bed and rolled through several corridors and through several sets of double doors. Finally they rolled me into a room along the back wall and set my bed (Bed B) up in the corner. My belonging were put into an armoire at the foot of my bed.

A different nurse came in the room, drew the curtain between us another girl and I closed and took my blood pressure and inserted an IV into the top of my left hand. She also asked me if I wanted some juice or crushed ice. I accepted the ice. And I waited some more. I recall not knowing exactly what time it was because there was no window in the room. Neither was there a television.

A hospital intern pulled up a chair next to my bed, introduced himself and started asking me all kinds of personal questions, and as I answered, he jotted on the forms on his clipboard. The questions, which inquired mainly about my sex life were quite humiliating to answer, especially to a male stranger. He then went to the other side of the curtain and as he proceeded to ask the girl in Bed A the same set of questions, Bed A’s mother angrily replied, “That’s none of your business” and told him to get out, which he did. I’d have told him the same thing, had I known his inquiries weren't mandatory. I found out later that they were a gathering of facts with which the hospital could use to advertise their abortion services better. 

Then, the two nurses I’d gotten familiar with seeing came in the room together, accompanied by the doctor.A stainless steel rolling cart with a few utensils, what looked like a large folded blue paper towel, a bottle of betadine, some cotton pads, and a clear plastic bag (of what looked like water) with plastic tubing coming out of it were on top of the cart.

The doctor was gentle, but unfriendly as he asked me to pull up my gown, which I did. A nurse washed and dried my lower abdomen twice with the betadine and pads, which left it stained brown. Then the blue paper was draped across my stomach. It had a cut-out hole about 3” across in it. While this was being done, the doctor was connecting the plastic tubing from the bag of water to a large needle. I got scared. I hate needles, but I asked the nurse nearest to me if I could hold her hand, and she let me, as I looked the other way. Thankfully, the doctor wiped an anesthetic over the skin exposed by the hole in the paper, and I didn’t feel the needle entering me. Nor did I watch what the doctor was doing, however, when the bag was emptied, he simply left, taking a nurse and the cart with him.

The nurse that had held my hand told me that I would probably feel contracting, and that that was simply the uterus expelling the fetus, that it may take up to four hours, and that when I felt the urge to push, to call her by pushing the nurse’s station button on the side of my bed.

A few moments later, I was shocked and horrified by what began happening to me. My abdomen had begun to convulse, violently. It was as if whatever was in there was fighting for its existence. I didn't make sense why a tumor of tissue would jump and thrash like this. I had never felt this much movement from the fetus before. I watched the skin on my stomach roll and undulate, and it was terrifying. It was at that moment that I began to question if I had been misled. The thrashing suddenly stopped.

Then the pain started in my back and in my front. I had no idea how long I was in labor because I didn't care. I was in anguish as I tried to understand where I was, what I was doing, and who I was. Even as I remained silent, inside I was screaming. As I felt the urge to push, I also decided, like the girl had, to not call the nurse. I would rather have been alone than to have been with a stranger. Soon I felt something large and warm pass out of me. I was afraid of what it was.


Just then, the nurse came into the room to see if I’d like some more ice. It was the nicer nurse, the one who’d held my hand tightly. She could tell that something had happened, and she came over and asked if I was all right. I told her that I had pushed something out, and she lifted the covers and looked. She said she’d be right back, and to just hold still. I did. She returned pushing a rolling cart upon which was a white bucket; she shut the door behind her. I looked over at the bucket, which was the size of a Crisco can, and saw upon it a long hyphened number and below it my last name, with my first name on a hastily handwritten label on the side.



The nurse took the bucket and its lid and placed them on the bed beside me. She put on her gloves, lifted my gown again, and reached down to retrieve the mass that I had just expelled. I could smell blood and something I can’t even describe except to say it smelled like something that was decaying.

I knew now that this so-called tissue mass was not simply a mass of tissue, and so I asked her, as she was placing it into the bucket, “What is it?” I expected her to tell me it was a fetus, or tissue, or even nothing. But she turned her head to look at me between my bent-up legs, and she said, softly, “It’s a girl.” And my heart broke apart into a million little pieces.

As I retell this story, it is still amazing to me that this nurse answered me in this way. Why did she admit what I’d been wondering all along? Was it cruelty? Was she trying to shame me? Why did she say “it’s a girl” instead of “it’s a fetus” or “it’s a baby”? Why did she tell me it was a “she”? I think, now, that that nurse wanted me to know what this “procedure” really was. I am convinced that her motivation wasn't to distress me, but to enlighten me.

And then, once again out of curiosity, I asked, “Can I see her?” And after glancing toward the door to the room to make sure no one else was present, she held the bucket down at an angle so I could gaze at a most beautifully, intricately formed little person. She had ears and fingers and toes, and even a tiny behind. She was also red and bloody and burned. And my soul collapsed in that ten-second glance where I witnessed the truth. If I could have died right then, I would have.

The nurse neither smiled nor frowned. She put the lid on the bucket, put the bucket on the cart, and rolled my baby away and out of the room. Another nurse who I hadn’t seen before came in and removed the soiled bed pad below me and put a fresh one under me; she gave me a sanitary napkin contraption consisting of elastic and metal clips with which to hold it around my waist. I was told that, if I had to go to the bathroom, then I could, but I had to call a nurse for help in assisting me to the restroom.

Shortly after this, I was moved into a room a few doors down, the recovery room. It had a window (I could see that it was dark outside, even though I had arrived at the hospital clinic waiting room at eight that morning) and a television. I was alone, near the window, and I was brought a tray of food; however, I cannot remember a thing that was on it.

The nurse turned on the television for me because the remote that was on the side of my bed wasn't working, and she left the room. I tried to change the channels to find the news of what was happening outside, but the buttons weren't co-operating. I looked up as I heard a woman with a British accent speaking to me. The bottom of the screen read “The 700 Club”, and I was familiar with the show because my grandmother watched it. This woman said, “It doesn't matter what you've done. You may have committed adultery, stolen, lied, had an abortion… it doesn't matter, because God loves you, right where you are.” I heard nothing she said after that. (I found out later that the woman was Sheila Walsh.)

I must have slept well, because I remember nothing else except driving home (the hospital required me to be driven by someone else, but I lied and told them that I had a driver) the next day with my left hand out the window, staring at the mark left by the IV, which had started to bruise slightly, and hoping that no one would notice it and ask me about it. I spoke about my secret choice with no one.



Let’s flash forward seven years. I was twenty-six, married, saved and baptized, blessed with a three-year-old daughter and a newborn daughter, and during this time where I should be overjoyed, I can’t understand why I can’t shake the feelings of worthlessness and self-hate. The tormenting emotions of those days I spent in Miami were haunting me in my dreams and in my waking moments. Most of my nightmares consisted in my chasing the cart with my baby in a bucket down a long corridor, but never catching up to it. When I found myself driving to the Amtrak station because I wanted to lie down on the tracks and be obliterated by a train, I knew there was something seriously wrong. Thankfully, I turned around, went home, and confessed to my husband why I was drained of every ounce of joy and life that I thought I should be having as a new mom. I also sought the help of a friend, who prayed for me and directed me to a women’s center.

At the woman’s center, a new group was starting, a post-abortion recovery group. I was invited to join. Initially, I was reluctant to commit to the meetings, because I didn't want to be judged, labeled with a big fat figurative “M” for murderer or “A” for Abortion on my forehead, but I felt compelled to go. And there, with other women who felt just as ashamed and just as unworthy as I did, I learned that what Sheila Walsh had told me all those years ago: that despite my Choice, God loves me, no matter what I've done, right where I am.

And this I finally believed. 

I gave my daughter a name. Her name is Morgan, because she is a person with a soul and a mother who loves her. I know that I will see her again, and I know that she's forgiven me. I've also learned to forgive myself and all of the people involved.In fact, I found out that there was grace offered to me (and them) a long, long time before my Choice:

God makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet. God is sheer mercy and grace; not easily angered, he's rich in love. He doesn't endlessly nag and scold, nor hold grudges forever. He doesn't treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs. As high as heaven is over the earth, so strong is his love to those who fear him. And as far as sunrise is from sunset, he has separated us from our sins. (Psalms 103:6-12 MSG)                                             

And that's my story. When the nurse broke all sorts of hospital policy rules that day, I can't help but think that she'd wanted me to talk about what really happens. I wasn't going to let her bravery be for naught, and so it's in her honor that I've shared the truth with you.

If you are reading this right now and have had an abortion, if you are struggling with any of the feelings of hopelessness and self-hate that follows it, and if you can’t find peace with it, then I beg you to re-read Psalms above and believe it.

Did God see me there in the Miami-Dade Hospital? Of course. 
Was He there with me when my eyes were opened in horror at what I had done? Absolutely.
Did He still love me? More than ever.


And so it is with you. God was there when you made your Choice. He knows what happened and what you did. He loves you like crazy anyway. 
The lies that you've believed since that day: that you are no longer good enough, that you do not deserve to have good things in life—that you are tainted, less than, and dirty?
The even bigger lie that God can't forgive what you've done?
They're just that: lies.

But the truth is that there is Grace after the Choice.
I've experienced it, and so can you.
Start here, sweet friend, and find truth, because it truly will set you free:
National Helpline for Abortion Recovery
Option Line

If you can't quite yet reach out, then watch this series; it is a wonderful new television program called Surrender the Secret. It follows the lives of five women as they meet together and heal from their abortions. 

Grace is calling to you, too. Can you hear it?


The Boyd Sisters:
I am pretty sure that each and every one of us has been in this type of situation. A moment in life when we have made a decision or been placed in a situation that we couldn't do anything, but fall. That's what my friend did. My friend who chose to have an abortion, my friend that had a miscarriage, my friend who felt alone with her choice about the baby, my friend who wanted to keep the baby but the mother felt otherwise, my friend, your friend, our sisters, our brothers, our mothers, our fathers, our aunts, uncles, and cousins. That moment when we made a choice that became a defining moment in our life.......the abortion story.....the miscarriage tragedy. 

When we make regretful decisions or end up in horrible situation outside of our control, we must learn to forgive ourselves or learn to let go of that situation. When we don't, we tend to do damage to ourselves and create a false understanding of our identity. We are not our worst day, the worst thing that ever happen to us, or the worst thing we have done. You are what Jesus has done for you. He died for our sins and sufferings. He didn't come for the "good" or "just" people, He came into the world for sinners like you and I. (Matt 9:11-13, Mark 2:16-17) Your sufferings may explain you, but they do not define you. We are defined in Christ. We were created in the image and likeness of God and loved by Jesus. 

As always, we want to leave you with a challenge...Turn off everything, get in a quiet place, and listen to this song called Beautiful Life by Trip Lee ft. V. Rose. We would like for you to really listen to the words of this song...press Play. 



Understand that Jesus Christ loves you for who you are. Where are you in your life with the decisions you made in all. He already died for your body, He just wants to wash your feet. (John 13:1-17) We challenge you to really pour our your heart to Christ, turn away from your old self, and become a new creation in Him. 

#OldSelfNewCreation
Eph. 4:22-24  


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7 comments:

  1. Each pro lifer has a choice. There are 7 billion people on earth, they are all dying. In fact they are dying at the rate of 1.8 deaths per second. So a pro lifer can pass around stories like this and attempt to shame women into giving up their right to abortion, or they can save innocent babies that are dying. There is no logical reason to shame women and force them to give birth to a child that they don't want and that will suffer. Why? Because spending 1 second forcing birth allows 1.8 innocent born babies to die. You are doing a disservice to the human race. All you do is kill born babies to force the birth of fetuses you cannot prove are alive or human.

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    1. Hi thanks for really the post and for your comment! I honestly respect your opinion, but the story is just truly to help those heal from common repercussions (depression, heartbroken, emptiness, etc.) from choosing abortion. We want them to know that God made them and Jesus Christ loves them. We are all in this life together fighting for the love of humankind. I hope you have an amazing Tuesday!

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    2. Oh boy....Russell C. Crawford...the man who made up his own "laws" he refers to as the "Natural Abortion Laws". This is a guy who has no biology OR medical degree (he owns a steel building business...Texas Iron Buildings) but tries to outrageously claim there is *no proof* a fetus is alive or even human until AFTER birth. A sick man who tries to still proclaim Christianity, while promoting abortion on a grand scale. He states that if you save any unborn fetus, you are killing born children and adults. He runs a disgusting Facebook page and is personal friends with many hateful people who use fake profiles to behave like complete and utter fools online. He and his fellow admins are nothing more than proabortion trolls who harass anyone whom is antiabortion. I have screenshots of one admin calling a man a pig ho had presented human development facts, then "oinking" at him and saying prolifers taste like pork before she blocked him. He has told me that a miscarriage is the same thing as an abortion. One look at his personal profile on Facebook and you will see what he stands for. Look him up and look on his "About" page. If you have any experience in the abortion debate on Facebook, you will recognize MANY horrible fake trolling profiles as his "friends".

      His opinion is not one to be respected.

      Matthew 7:20




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  2. This post was heartbreaking at first, but then so uplifting. I truly hope that this can be an inspiration to anyone who has been through this; as well as those who feel the pain or shame of ANY mistake. Jesus can help take that pain and shame away so that we can once again walk confidently with our heads held high. His grace is AMAZING!

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  3. God bless you Leslie for sharing the TRUTH so that others may know the TRUTH before they fall for the Abortion Industry's LIES.

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  4. I recently wrote about the Church's response to women who have had abortion... and my own views that were shaped by it.

    http://www.scissortailsilk.com/2013/08/27/to-women-who-have-chosen-abortion-i-am-sorry/

    Thank you for sharing this story. The Lord used it to bring a new level of forgiveness to my heart.

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  5. Good will heal all broken hearted this was reall confession!

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