The words were a sweet encouragement coming from the lips of a woman we knew was still deeply in pain, yet here she was grieving with hope and gratitude.
A week prior, she had sat in our office weeping as she told us she believed she had to abort her baby. It was beyond anything in her imagination that she thought she would do. She was soft, tender, and very willing to process verbally and engage in conversation.
The combination of her age and her partner’s health had pushed her to this decision. She was still in shock from this pregnancy as her doctor had told her she would be unable to conceive based on her own health struggles. She shared that this baby was truly a miracle. But she had spent the last four weeks since finding out she was pregnant wrestling and in turmoil about what to choose. She said that given many circumstances, she believed abortion was the most protective decision she could make for this baby. She was concerned her health issues and personal life decisions would jeopardize the health of the baby such that abortion was actually a better option than parenting. She grieved and said that even stating her decision out loud brought her great sadness. She shared that deep down, all she wanted was for her partner to stand up for this baby and tell her, “We can do this! We can make this work!”
We entered the ultrasound room. There was a somber silence as she silently watched the ultrasound screen. What happened next is a story that happens often but is not typically the story we share with you, our supporters.
As the nurse skillfully moved the ultrasound probe over the client’s stomach, the ultrasound did not show the development that was expected. After the ultrasound, the nurse referred the client to see an OB for further evaluation. As I closed my conversation with the client, she began crying and stated she felt far more sadness than relief. As she wept, she told me that though she had told us she was leaning towards abortion, truthfully she now realized she really wanted this baby. As I watched her grieve and as she absorbed the knowledge that she could possibly not have a viable pregnancy, the impact of what she almost did [abort] sank in.
We sat in silence for several minutes, giving her space to process.
She began sharing more of her story. She had been so excited to find out she was pregnant, but as the weeks went on, she got scared. Now that the choice was potentially no longer hers to make, she was devastated.
She looked up and told me, “I was so scared to come here before my appointment. I was afraid you would judge me for what I was considering. All you have shown me is welcome and care.” She went on to say that she felt so safe at Assurance in such a way that she could be vulnerable and “get it all out there.” She continued on and said, “I know I need to talk with God about what I was considering doing. I know he already knows, but I need to work things out in prayer with him.” We prayed together, and she left.
A few days later, we called to check in with her. She had gone to her OB who confirmed that she had miscarried. “God sent me to you,” she said. “Thank you. Thank you for caring for me that night, and thank you for caring enough to call and see how I am doing.”
We carry our clients’ stories; they are sacred. We have the honor and privilege to sometimes be the first and only earthly witness (in addition to our client) of the life formed inside her womb. Sometimes those babies pass into heaven before she can take any further step in either direction. The loss of those children is great, and women grieve deeply, often in a way that surprises them. As you pray for our clients, we ask that your prayers specifically include those mothers who lose their children through miscarriage and stillbirth.