I had been very sick. I was always nauseous, and for months, I couldn’t keep any food down. I had been seeing a gastroenterologist who had prescribed a few X-rays, and I was taking a lot of medication for acidity and nausea.
One day I was rushed to the emergency room and had to be admitted to the hospital because I was totally dehydrated. Of course, as standard procedure, they took a pregnancy test. To my surprise – and to the surprise of my very concerned parents -- there I was, pregnant at 24 years old!
The news went from “Congratulations, you’re having a baby” to “Sorry, but we have to terminate the pregnancy!” My doctor told me that since I had taken all sorts of medicine and had had a few X-rays, the pregnancy had to be terminated because there was a high probability that my child would have mental and physical disabilities.
The emotions that enveloped me that day were beyond words. I didn’t know what to do. I kept whispering, “Don’t I have a say in this matter?” I was young, very sick, excited and scared all at the same time. And then as God always finds ways to work His magic, a certain obstetrician gave me options! I believed that the obstetrician was sent to me by God. He ordered a meeting with a medical specialist so that I could get a more scientific and complete assessment of the medicine I had taken and their effects on the fetus -- my baby.
While I was staying at Elizabeth General Hospital, I shared a room with another woman. She apologized for having overheard my conversation with the gastroenterologist, and she consoled me by saying that “God will find ways.”
I didn’t know what to do. I was laying in the stark white room –shaking, feeling cold and confused. Michael had phoned in and had assured me that he would support my decision no matter what it was. His family encouraged me to pray, and they hoped for guidance and courage for me.
By the time the medical specialist came, I had calmed down – but was still unsure of what I needed to do. The medical specialist assured me that all pregnancies have risks. There were no studies that stated that the medicine I had taken would result in mental illness for my baby. The only thing she pointed out was that there was a chance my child would be born with a cleft palate.
So there I was, 95 pounds and pregnant with my first child. My baby would be the first generation to be born in this country! I wanted to do everything right. In my mind and heart, I had to take care of this child.
(excerpt from "Out of Status")
Today, that beautiful child is celebrating her 23rd birthday. She graduated from Rutgers University last May and is now pursuing a career in nursing. She hopes to work in the maternity and neonatal department. A quiet yet dedicated girl with a huge heart. We are so proud of her.
I am beyond blessed that I chose LIFE.
Happy Birthday, Coley Pooh.