I was born and raised in a conservative, Christian home where I was taught right from wrong, and the importance of doing the right thing, even when it’s hard. Because of my Christian upbringing, I’ve always had a high regard for the sacredness of life. I’ve considered myself pro-life for as long as I can remember. If I could, I would’ve been marching alongside the wonderful warriors marching for life this past week.

While I was confident in my stance on abortion, I wasn’t as confident in my own resolve. I didn’t think women, myself included, should have the option to freely terminate their pregnancy, but I also wasn’t sure how I would react if I ever faced an unplanned pregnancy. What would I tell my parents? How would I finish my education? These were the thoughts that plagued me as I waited for my period every month. I even joked at one point that a miscarriage would be the best case scenario as a pro-life college student. I think a lot of women feel this way to some degree. We know that ending the life of a child because we’re in college and terrified of what everyone will think is wrong, but we also know the alternative would cross our mind. I am fairly certain that I would’ve chosen life. I know that it’s a decision I would’ve struggled with and lost quite a bit of sleep over, because I simply didn’t understand the impact losing a child could have. Today, the decision would be easy.

A few months ago, everything seemed to be going wrong for me. A relationship that I was so invested in ended unexpectedly. It left me in pieces. I didn’t know how to continue existing without his presence in my life. In fact, I still miss his friendship to this day. On top of that, I was constantly tired. Everything ached and I was irritable and sick. I chalked it all up to the break up taking a toll on me. I wasn’t sleeping and was living life in a haze, riddled with going through the motions during the day and crying at night. These were not my best moments. The symptoms didn’t alarm me until after a little over a month had passed. When I finally started counting weeks, I knew what had happened. All the symptoms made sense. I was pregnant. Around 8 weeks pregnant to be exact. My world stopped turning. Time stood still. I’ve never been so scared in my life. I had no idea what I was going to do. I didn’t want and couldn’t support a child, I was barely supporting myself. The father of the child had a new girl in his life. I knew that we were completely over. I had years of school ahead of me and I simply wasn’t ready.

Less than 24 hours later, before I had even wrapped my head completely around it, I started bleeding – a lot. The cramps were unbearable. The reality that I was miscarrying was undeniable. My heart shattered.

It’s a feeling that will haunt me for the rest of my life. It no longer mattered that I wasn’t ready to be a parent. It no longer mattered how I was going to tell my family and friends. Feeling that life ripped out of me, and seeing the flesh of my once child changed my entire perspective.

Emotionally, I shut down. I rethought every single moment of the past two months, replaying memories of me staying up late or drinking with my friends. I evaluated every last second, gauging how it could’ve affected the life I didn’t know was growing inside of me. The cause of miscarriages is predominantly unknown, and yet, I blamed myself. I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone, not even my closest friends. I was ashamed, heartbroken, and empty. Months later, I still haven’t emotionally recovered. In fact, I think about that baby every single day. The reality of losing a life, one that was formed in love, is still nearly too much to bear for me. My ex-boyfriend was supportive, but visibly relieved. He thought we’d dodged a bullet. I still get nauseous every time I hear the phrase “best case scenario” – this was not the best case scenario by any means.

Once I came to terms with what had happened, I tried to imagine what it would’ve been like to go through everything I had, knowing it was my choice. To feel that pain and see the human flesh, knowing that I was solely responsible. For what? Because I was scared and afraid to face the consequences of my actions? It’s inexcusable. It is so easy to be scared and to feel like you have no choice. It’s easy to look for the fastest way out, no matter the cost.

I have been there and considered all avenues. It’s easy to see the situation from a logical standpoint, and to make a decision based on reason rather than emotions. The repercussions however, are not easy. After just around 8 weeks, I could see clumps of flesh and the cramping was excruciating. When you’re staring at a flat stomach and picturing the life ahead of you, it’s easy to lose track of the reasons you believe in life. When you’re staring at flesh and blood, the emotions are raw and life changing. It’s too late.

I am pro-life because I wouldn’t wish the way I felt on any woman. At such an early stage, I could see the flesh and blood of my child. I could feel it being ripped out of my body. It’s a feeling I didn’t understand or put much stock in until I was in the moment. In that moment, the idea that abortion is murder was reaffirmed in my mind. I knew that helpless, thriving children are killed every single day. In my opinion, it needs to be stopped. I should never have been able to consider choosing between life and death for a child that I created. I should never have been allowed the opportunity to decide on my child’s life as if it were trivial. Much like the intensity in the sense of wonderment parents experience meeting their child for the first time, losing one is earth shattering – whether that child was planned or not.

Every single child deserves a chance. So many couples are looking for newborns to nurture and cherish. Can you imagine how they feel, knowing that women are discarding children like unwanted baggage when they’d give anything for a child of their own? In life, there are consequences for every action. This is no different. I’ve spent quite a bit of time asking God why. Why did this have to happen to me, especially when I was already struggling? Why do people believe that abortion is okay? I don’t think I’ll ever have all the answers, but I know that God was teaching me a lesson and He was calling me. He was calling me to stand up against the injustice against His children.

Miscarriages are devastating. They take a piece of your heart and they remind you how sacred human life is. You don’t have to be ready to bring a life into this world to feel the pain of losing one. I wasn’t even close to ready, but I’ll feel that loss for the rest of my life. While I still struggle, I try to find peace in knowing that miscarrying is a natural tragedy, not something that I did. I don’t know that I would’ve recovered if I had selfishly chosen to end that life growing inside of me.
That time in my life forever changed me. It broke me and it built me into a stronger advocate for life. It’s okay to be scared. Don’t let fear convince you to do something you’ll regret. It’s something that will stay with you forever.