Should I have an abortion? It was an unplanned pregnancy, but it was also a question I couldn’t believe would ever cross my mind. I still painfully remember the day I sat in that church pew, a lifelong Catholic, a pro-lifer.
Should I have an abortion for my unplanned pregnancy?
I knew I wouldn’t have that abortion. I knew I believed in the sanctity of human life. I knew that baby, even now at only a few weeks old would feel unimaginable pain if I were to choose to end its life.
That physical pain might only last a few minutes, but would I want to undergo that kind of pain myself – even for a few minutes? And beyond the physical pain, would I ever recover mentally, emotionally, spiritually? Those were questions I already knew the answer to.
I looked over at my other children, innocently sitting next to me on the hard church pews, oblivious to the fact that I would ever consider terminating an unplanned pregnancy. Would I choose that kind of pain for them, even for a few seconds? What mother would? I couldn’t imagine and yet mothers all over ask themselves, “Should I have an abortion? Should I terminate the pregnancy?”
Terminate the pregnancy – I knew that’s what the doctors would call it. They’d nicely say I had chosen to terminate an unplanned pregnancy, to “expel fetal tissue.” Could I look at it so clinically, so calculatedly, so coldly and so self-centeredly?
The Shock of an Unplanned Pregnancy
My husband and I had thought we were done having children. Our littlest guy had just begun kindergarten, and I had just donated all our baby stuff that summer. After we had struggled for so long, life had just begun getting easier. Although a lot of work still needed to be done on the home we had spent years building ourselves, the major construction was finally done. My husband had just begun making top salary after drifting for years. I had just gotten a position as youth minister of our Catholic church and was planning to update my teaching license the next year.
This unplanned pregnancy was throwing a wrench in our plans, and, for one brief moment, I sat in church and wondered why God had chosen to give this baby to us. Why us? Why now?
To make matters worse, I became extremely ill, suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum. I drove myself 35 minutes every other day and then daily for IV infusions until my blood pressure dropped so low the doctors decided I could no longer make the trip and I was put on a home IV.
Concern increased for both my health and the health of the baby. I was sent to see a specialist to test the baby for Grave’s Syndrome and other concerns. Fortunately these tests would eventually turn out negative, but a bit of the fear was still there for the full nine months.
The home IV also had major issues and had to be redone three times. I eventually required a deeper PICC line and suffered blood clots and a possible allergic reaction to the medication. Severe hyperemesis gravid arum lasted through four and a half months, and I was still nauseous and weak off and on through much of the later months (although how much was hyperemesis gravidarum and how much was stress related, I will never know).
I sat in that church pew, surrounded by people, friends and family, who had no idea of the thoughts running through my mind, “Should I have an abortion?”
I looked at the empty spot where my husband would have been most other days. He was working this day and hadn’t come home again (at least, that’s what I thought at the time).
The unplanned pregnancy had been hard on him too. I wished he didn’t work so hard. The money meant nothing to me. I had asked countless times for him to work closer to home, take the pay cut, I’d go back to work, but he wouldn’t hear of it, saying I was so good with the kids I should be home with them. I wished I could talk to him about things that bothered me, but we didn’t have that kind of relationship, and I didn’t know how to stand on my own.
That was my fault.
What would he say if I had asked him, “Hey honey, should I have an abortion?”
I never asked the question. His answer wouldn’t have mattered to me. I knew this baby had a purpose.
Maybe I was stronger than I’d thought.
Unplanned Pregnancy – Should I have an abortion?
The answer was undoubtably no.
I would not. I couldn’t even think about it seriously.
This was my child. I didn’t understand it. I didn’t know why God had trusted this little soul to me. Why me? Why now?
But He did.
I don’t think I ever really asked myself the question, “Should I have an abortion,” but I did ask God why He wasn’t giving this baby to a couple struggling with infertility. Why, when I already had four boys and was parenting so much on my own already, would I be given this unplanned pregnancy when there were so many couples so much better off, so much more able to give time and energy and the best of everything, to a baby and when I had so little to give to yet another child.
My Unplanned Pregnancy Is Our Most Incredible Gift
It was a difficult time, a difficult pregnancy, a difficult delivery.
On Mother’s Day, my beloved husband suddenly told me he was leaving. He moved out literally a week later. Two of my boys would need to go to the emergency room with head injuries over the next six weeks. Child support would be sporadic. I’d find our retirement had been used for my husband’s new car, one he’d need to replace shortly to buy a bigger new car that could also fit the new baby. We’d lose our house. I wouldn’t be able to find a job, and I’d need to make the decision to withdraw a large sum from our bank account to make it through the next several months and help pay for the divorce my ex texted me about when the baby was three days old.
I’d always wonder if withdrawing that money was the right thing to do or not. I’d always wonder what I could have done to change things with my husband to get him to want to stay. I’d always wonder why I wasn’t good enough, why I was so stupid and unlovable,
But I’d never wonder whether I should have had an abortion.
There is no doubt in my mind about how great God’s plans are. How could I have ever seen what an incredible blessing that baby would be!
Look at this face!
This never was an unplanned pregnancy.
What I realize now is that this little boy was not planned by his father and me, but he was planned by his Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
He is literally a gift from God, and that gives him a purpose so much greater than my little plans ever were. He brings such smile, such joy, such love to our lives. He puts his little arms around my neck at night. He catches me every time I say a bad word (aka “stupid” the worst bad word ever – according to a four year old!). He is a constant light in our sometimes dark world, and I wouldn’t trade him for a second! I thank God every day that I am pro-life and that I trusted in God when all seemed lost.
I am the luckiest mom in the world, and I could not ask for any more love than I’ve been given in these five amazing boys.
Thank you Lord.
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