Malinda is a volunteer here at Advice & Aid, and has willingly given 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.
My Story Begins
Very Young & Unexpectedly Starting a Family
I never thought I would ever consider abortion. My boyfriend and I were very committed to each other and had talked about getting married. He had already graduated from high school and our plan was to wait until the time was right. We would continue to date after I graduated from high school and I would go to college.
But I became pregnant the summer after I graduated from high school.
When we discussed our options, I immediately rejected adoption and abortion. We both wanted to keep our child and we felt that this just changed our plans of when we would marry. However, we knew that our families would not be pleased with this news. His family received the news better then we expected but my family did not. They did not want me to marry or keep the child and pushed me to consider either adoption or abortion. I quickly rejected both options.
Our Family Grows – And Unexpected Complications
Estranged from my family, my boyfriend and I married when I was 8 months pregnant. We lived with his parents and made plans to eventually move out and start our lives together. After our son was born, I reconciled with my family. Much to our surprise, three months after giving birth, I once again became pregnant. Again, abortion was never an option. My thinking was, “We’re married now. A growing family is normal.” We had another son, but it quickly became evident that he was born with health problems that would put a strain on our marriage and finances. However, I was committed, through thick and thin, that we would be in this together. I would do whatever it took to make things work. My husband continued to struggle to find steady work but I was able to find a full-time job. We found a small but affordable duplex to rent and I felt like things would finally settle into a routine, until three months later, I discovered I was pregnant again. Frightened that we would have another child with health issues, I did contemplate abortion a bit more but decided against it. I felt that since we knew this pregnancy was high-risk, I would just be super careful and watch things carefully. Thankfully, our 3rd son was born perfectly healthy. However, the responsibility of our growing family was a causing a bigger strain on our marriage. Since our middle son needed 24-hour nursing care that we couldn’t afford and I couldn’t be his caregiver because my job was supporting us, we decided to place him in a state hospital that was three hours away. We would still be his legal guardians but he would be somewhere that would be able to give him the specialized care he needed.
The Unthinkable During a Hard Time
My husband was still unable to keep a steady job to support us and the burden fell to me to make ends meet, so I began a part time job in addition to my full time job. Several months later, I became pregnant again. Our marriage wasn’t good, and I was stretching myself thin working two jobs and taking care of two babies at home and parenting our other one from a distance. I felt like I couldn’t take the addition of another child from a man who wasn’t willing to take on the responsibility of our growing family. Unaware of anywhere to turn to for help, abortion felt like it was the only option for this pregnancy. I told my husband what I was planning on doing. While he didn’t want me to abort, he didn’t try to stop me.
I squeezed the appointment into my hectic schedule thinking it would be a
solution to my “problem.”
My marriage was still rocky, I was still working two jobs and caring for 3 small babies and the ‘termination’ of one of my babies–the sibling to my boys–was always lurking in the back of my mind. Time went on and our middle son passed away when he was six. Not too long after that, my husband and I divorced.
Through the friendship of a co-worker, I joined a Bible study and began to deal with my past abortion and start the healing process. It was there that I met a wonderful man who committed to caring for me and my boys, and we were married.
A Purpose – Helping Other Women Just Like Me
One Sunday, the church we attended had a guest speaker from a local organization called Advice & Aid. They help women who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy, and they looking for volunteers. I immediately decided to become a volunteer to help women who found herself in the same position I had just a few years earlier. Abortion is never the only option and I wanted to assist an organization that is dedicated to help women know that. After attending a New Volunteer Information meeting, one of the volunteer requirements for anyone who experienced an abortion is mandatory attendance of an Abortion Recovery Class. I was excited to attend because I wanted to help other ladies and share my story with them if it would help them during such a stressful time. The class is appropriately called Forgiven and Set Free, and it helped me to further sort through all the emotions I had gone through during that time of my life. It even helped me deal with feelings I had been experiencing after my abortion. The leaders were caring and always mindful of the confidentiality for everything discussed and shared by the participants in the class. Every exercise and discussion was thoughtfully planned out to help me as we walked the journey of healing together.
After completing the class, I then chose where I would be most beneficial to the women who came to Advice & Aid for answers to all their questions. I have volunteered in different capacities over the years. It has been so satisfying to serve, to love on and listen to those who are hurting like I was and be here for anyone who comes through Advice & Aid’s doors.
To learn more:
If we can help you in any way, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can be reached several ways:
Website: www.AdviceAndAid.com (a private Chat Box on every page)
Online Scheduling: Scheduling (You won’t even need to speak with anyone during the scheduling process)
Hotline: 913.962.0200 (Monitored 24-hours a day)