Angie* is willingly giving us permission to share her story so that others can realize there is hope in the midst of a difficult situation. All client experiences with Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers are kept with the highest confidence. The stories that are shared come from the real-life experiences that our clients, staff and volunteers had during their unplanned pregnancy.
*Her name has been changed but her story is true.
When I was growing up, we were taught it is a sin to have sex before we are married. While this may or may not be true, the way it was taught to me was psychologically damaging.
When I got pregnant the first time at age 20 it was a very scary thing for me. I knew I did not want to be a mother and I did not want to have a baby. My life was a mess and I didn’t want to reproduce anything like me. Not only that, but what would my parents do? I would surely have to find somewhere else to live. I was scared. I didn’t have anyone I trusted enough to really talk to about it, and if I just undid it who was really going to know unless I told them? I went to an abortion clinic and I had an abortion. No one told me about the emotional pain or damage it would cause, but I was damaged anyway so what did it even matter to cause a little more? That was my thought afterward. Art allowed me to process. My life moved on and not in a better direction…
Pregnant Again: Not a Good Thing!
Fast forward three years, I found myself in the same predicament, but with a different set of circumstances. My life was probably even more of a mess at this point. I had lost my nannying job. I was no longer in school studying film and acting. I wasn’t taking dance anymore. I was in an extremely dangerous and toxic relationship with a man seven years older than me. I was living at home, constantly walking on eggshells. I was lying to people in my life and covering for others. I was lying to myself and denying anything about my truth. I was ignoring God on all possible levels. I was so far from my walk with Jesus that even though I knew He was always there, I continued to give Him the middle finger as I lived my life the way I wanted to. It was about me. I had zero respect for my body and what I put into it.
The day was March 13, 2010. I was admitted to the ER after taking a blow to the face a few hours earlier. They needed to do a CT of my face to make sure nothing was broken, but they must do a urine analysis first. The Dr. came in and told me he had some test results that I might want him to share with me in private. He glanced at my mom who was sitting in the corner. She was already pretty upset with me for lying to her again and I thought, “Big deal if she knows. He’s either going to tell me I have THC in my system, or my alcohol levels are extremely high.” I told him my mother could stay; but nothing could have prepared me for what came out of his mouth next… “Your test results came back positive for pregnancy. Were you aware you are pregnant?” I looked at him and then at my mom. “There is no way! I take birth control regularly! I have for three years! I cannot be pregnant! Is there another test you can run?!” I was panicked. He said they could run a blood test, which they did. I was indeed pregnant. I can still remember the stunned silent look on my mother’s face. When she finally did speak all she could say was, “You are not having an abortion. We support life in this family.” Oh, if she only knew… But she wouldn’t learn the truth until several years later when I would be fighting for my right as a mother not of one, but two boys…
When we left the hospital, I remember feeling more alone than I had ever felt in my life. I had always struggled with suicide and depression and now I was carrying a life inside me and I couldn’t just do what I had before. Nope, I had to face this one. I had choices I needed to make, and I needed to figure it out. What kind of mother was I even going to make?
The Father Putting Pressure on Me to Choose Abortion
When I finally told the father, it only caused more problems. The things he said to me haunted me for years.:
How could I do this to him?
Why didn’t I just go have an abortion like I did last time?
I was already a murder.
Why was this time different?
Since when did I care what my parents thought?
I was an adult and I could make my own choices…
Yes, I was an adult, and I was choosing to keep this baby. I wasn’t trying to trap anyone, but I did not want to go through the emotional torment of another abortion (the first one still haunted me) and I knew myself well enough to know that I wouldn’t be able to place any child of mine for adoption.
A Place of Real Help
A lady from the church I attended told me about the Advice and Aid Pregnancy Center. I called and made an appointment. The moment I walked into Advice and Aid, I knew my baby was loved. They did a free pregnancy test and sonogram for me. They told me about their Journey’s pregnancy education classes and that even though I might feel hopeless in that moment of my life and scared, they were there to offer me as much hope and love as possible.
I took classes through their Journey’s program throughout my pregnancy. I earned points to be able to purchase things for my baby from their store filled with new baby items provided through donations.
Birth: I Really Could Do This With the Right Help By My Side
My advocate encouraged, educated, and showered me with the light and love of Jesus as I grew my baby boy. I always felt loved and safe when I was at Advice and Aid. I could talk about my relationship with my baby’s dad and they didn’t judge me. I remember so many times I would feel miserable and alone and I would get to Advice and Aid to learn about what week of pregnancy I was in and I just felt warm and safe and at peace. My baby boy was born on a beautiful fall day in November, 2010. He was born in the water, with wonderful midwives chosen from a connection Advice and Aid had provided. My baby had everything he needed when he arrived. I had more confidence in my choice to become a mother. I started the Bridges parenting support class at Advice and Aid after my son was born.
I loved Bridges. It was a time I could talk with other mothers who had unexpected life changes too. The Bridges staff would feed us and encourage, educate and love us. They introduced us to wonderful speakers such as lawyers who answered our questions about custody or court, and therapists who helped us understand boundaries and raising children in a healthy and safe environment. The more I grew, the more I knew I needed to get away from my son’s dad.
Having to Get Out of an Abusive Relationship
I was scared though. How do you get out of an abusive relationship successfully and alive? So many people thought he had a right to be in my son’s life, yet they didn’t know what kind of person he really was. On top of that, I had been taught incorrectly about sex, forgiveness, and grace my entire life, and now this man thought he owned my body because he played a role in making my son. His family pushed for marriage at first because it was the “right thing to do.” But I knew he did not love me and I wouldn’t be married to someone who wanted to own me. I tried to allow him visitation and even gave him a chance to show me why we should be a family.
The cycles just kept repeating; each time a little worse than the last. It was like this before my son was born, it wasn’t going to change after. Why would he become less abusive? He thought my body was his property. My son wasn’t even 9 months old when it happened and changed my life even more.
This would be my third pregnancy and I had already determined to keep my baby, even though I was shocked to find out and I felt sick about how it happened. The day I found out, I remember wanting to pack up my baby and run, but where would I go? No, I would face this head on this time. Things weren’t good in any way. The only peace or glimmer of hope I found through that 9 months was Advice and Aid and Bridges group. It was the scariest time of my life. I endured a great deal of emotional, physical, sexual, and mental abuse from the boy’s father. This was the norm for me. It was slowly becoming the norm for my son. I used to sit in therapy sessions with a therapist that was introduced to me by Advice and Aid, and tell her about the things my son’s dad would say to me. I was scared he was going to kill me. She told me I needed to get out; that he would likely kill me if I didn’t.
Another Birth: And a Miracle for Me to Leave the Father
My second son was born at 37 weeks in April of 2012. Things continued to get worse with the father, who I was then living with because I felt I had nowhere else to go. The women at Advice and Aid kept praying with me and encouraging me to have hope. They helped me put a safety plan into place and continued to help me search for resources.
In September of 2012 Advice and Aid introduced me to supporters of their organization who had an apartment for me to rent. This was an answer to prayers that was long awaited. I moved in with my boys that Fall. Over the next seven years I rehabilitated my life in that apartment. I fought for my boys in court and won. I have had them for 3 years now. Though we no longer have contact with the dad, the long term effects of the abuse are still there. Healing takes time and every day gets better and we heal a little more.
Where I am Today: A Good Place
I went back to school and became a licensed massage therapist with a specialty in trauma and certified trauma informed yoga instructor. I have been practicing for 3 years now. My relationship with Jesus is stronger than it has ever been, and He continues to show me more each day who I am in Him and the incredible mother He intended for me to be. He gives me the courage daily to stand in my truth and shows me what unconditional real love is.
I wouldn’t be here today without Advice and Aid and all the beautiful people God placed in my life through them. I don’t believe in coincidences. I totally trust in the Lord and believe He has a plan for every life.
The one theme in Angie’s story is that she continually found the hope, education, strength and resources she needed at Advice & Aid.
And while we can’t keep the bad from happening to you, we CAN be here to comfort, educated, guide and help every step of the way.
No matter where you are in your story, reach out to us. We’re here for you!