Several years ago, my mother had invited me over for lasagna, which is one of my favorite meals. I had not been feeling good for a few weeks. I was nauseous all the time and thought to myself often, “Why is this hangover not going away?” Even the smell of my favorite dinner was making me cringe as we were waiting to eat.
My Mother said, “Kailee, come up to the bathroom with me for a second.” As I went up the stairs with her I thought, “What on earth does she want me to come up to the bathroom for?” She started to take out a little package and open it. My heart sank and then began to beat like crazy as I figured out what she was doing…
“You are going to take this pregnancy test and I am going to sit right here while you do it!” she said.
“MOM – REALLY? You don’t have to watch me”, I shot back.
“Yes, I do. I need to make sure you don’t run it under the water.”
When I was done taking the test we sat together waiting impatiently for the results. I was scared to death. Finally it came up and sure enough, my mother was right. It was positive.
As I looked at the results tears began to fill my eyes. I had a baby growing inside me. I was in no shape to have or take care of a baby; I couldn’t even take care of myself.
My boyfriend and I had just started dating and moved into an apartment together. He was a drug dealer and we were using and drinking every day. I was 18 years old, addicted, and now pregnant.
My mom assured me that I was going to be ok and she would be there to support me and help in any way. I spent night after night not knowing what I should do. Should I have an abortion and make this nightmare go away as fast as possible? Should I place the baby for adoption? Should I try to become a mom at 18 years old while battling my addictions to drugs and alcohol? Thought after racing thought ran through my mind as I cried myself to sleep every night, alone and afraid.
My boyfriend decided he wanted to end our relationship. This was all too much for him. He was not ready to change his life and have a baby.
I had grown up in a home without a dad, due to his addiction to methamphetamine. My mother struggled raising me alone and I rebelled in every possible way. Not having a dad in my life caused me to crave male attention and love, which led to me becoming sexually active at the age of 13 and contracting an STD by 15 years old. The last thing I wanted to do was bring a baby into the broken situation I was in. I had absolutely no self-worth and hated who I had become. My biggest fear was repeating the cycle and having a baby become like me: a fatherless mess.
My boyfriend decided I should have an abortion and said he would give me all the money I needed to pay for it. My stepdad also thought that having an abortion would be the best thing for my life.
I thought becoming pregnant was the worst possible thing that could happen to me. With everyone whispering “abortion” in my ears, I thought it was my only logical option. Deep down, I wanted this baby. I already loved her and I was so tormented by all the lies of abortion. Lies like, “I would be doing my baby a favor. This would be the best thing for me so I could go on with my life. I would make a terrible mother.” Lie after lie after lie – and I was a lost little girl who began to believe them all.
Finally I had decided what I was going to do and I did not want to talk about it or discuss it with anyone. I told my mother I was going to go ahead and have an abortion and NOTHING was going to change my mind. I wanted this all to be over and I thought this was the best way to make that happen.
While at a meeting, my mother was talking about my situation with some other people and stated that she didn’t want me to make the wrong decision but she did not know how to help me. After the meeting, a man came up to her and gave her a piece of paper with a phone number on it and said, “Take your daughter here.”
She told me she was going to make an appointment at this pregnancy center. I thought, “Pregnancy Center – well they must do abortions,” so I agreed. I had no clue what a pregnancy center was or what they did.
Walking through those Center doors that day with my heart pounding out of my chest, I felt alone, ashamed, embarrassed and afraid. They took me into a room where I met with a counselor. She began talking to me and I immediately felt safe and comfortable with her. We talked about my situation and I told her I was going to have an abortion. She went over fetal development with me and I learned for the first time the stages of life after conception. She then went over a brochure of abortion procedures with me. She told me what the physical and emotional risks were. I had no idea all that an abortion entailed.
She then started to tell me about her life, and that she had been in a similar situation as me when she was 17. She told me how she kept her baby and surrendered to the Lord and He blessed her life. I was in awe of her story and immediately filled with a glimpse of HOPE. My darkness was beginning to be filled with little rays of light. Hope felt like God had a plan for my life and my baby’s. Yes I made a mistake by getting pregnant, but God was creating this life! We then prayed together and I felt a powerful sense of God’s love and protection like I had never felt before. My counselor then made me an appointment for an ultrasound and got me right in. Seeing my baby for the first time was life changing. I was 8 weeks along and my baby was moving all around the screen. So full of LIFE! Joy filled my heart as I bonded with her that day.
I walked out of the Center choosing life and filled with hope. I knew I was going to keep my baby, whether or not her dad wanted any part. I had a renewed sense of God’s love and began to believe He had a plan for me and my baby.
“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11
My appointment at the Center that day was a divine appointment made by God. It was truly the first place I had ever seen Christ.
My parents decided that I should go to rehab to learn about the severity of drug addiction and alcoholism. They wanted me to be a sober mom and give my baby a better life. In rehab, I began to seek a relationship with Jesus Christ, and He started healing broken pieces from my past. After I got out of rehab, my baby’s father contacted me and said he was ready to be a dad. He wanted to be there for me and for our baby. He stopped using and selling hard drugs and tried to get a real job for the first time in years.
I had our daughter, Preslee Olivia Perrin, on October 3, 2008, after 24 hours of hard labor. It was the most amazing day of our lives! Holding her for the first time changed our lives forever. Shortly after having our daughter, her father proposed to me and we began planning a wedding.
My husband’s aunt had come over to see the newest member of the family and spend some time with me. She said she was just getting back from volunteering at a local Pregnancy Center. I couldn’t believe it! It was the same place. I toldher I went there and that they helped me so much! I made the connection for the first time as I saw her holding my daughter… the realization that if I had never gone to the Center that day my baby would not be alive. That whole night, my heart was restless. I knew I needed to write my counselor a letter and thank her for all she had done for me and for being there that day.
When she received the letter, she was delighted and so encouraged. She contacted me shortly after and asked if I would be interested in sharing this story at a few of their annual banquets. I said yes! I then went to lunch with her and the executive director, who at the time was Jacque Wagner. When we were at lunch, the ladies were talking to me about the banquets. When I asked, how many people would be attending, she said, 400 at the first and about 200 at the second. I almost fainted and fell out of my chair! I had never done any public speaking before, and I had already said yes.
At lunch that day, Jacque directly looked me in the eyes and said, “God has laid His hand upon you and has a mighty plan for your life.” It was like God himself was speaking right to me. That was the start of my special relationship with her and the Lord. Who knew a 19 year old and 65 year old could be best friends! She later invited me to bible study and to her church. I attended weekly bible study with her and my counselor from the Center. They began speaking Gods Word into my life and prayed for me constantly. I learned how to be a godly wife and mother from them. They showed me how to become a woman of God, and mentored me every step of the way. My life was rapidly changing by leaps and bounds, and I knew I was never going to be the same broken, lost girl I once was.
“He lifted me out of the pit of despair out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.” -Psalm 40:2
When it was time for the banquet, my husband, mother, and new daughter attended. The first person my mother saw was the man that handed her the piece of paper at the meeting over a year before. She had not seen him since that day. He had no idea the outcome of my pregnancy, and that it was because of his act of faith in connecting her with the pregnancy center that I was there speaking and sharing my story. His table was right next to ours. This changed and encouraged his life as well! God had performed another miracle by connecting the dots. It just goes to show how His hand is at work saving lives at pregnancy centers.
Today, I am so very thankful for the work of crisis pregnancy centers. If I had not gone to the center that day, I can honestly say I would not be alive. God not only saved my daughter’s life, but my husband’s and mine as well.
My daughter is now 6 years old and is in second grade. She loves learning new things and getting 100’s on her tests at school. She is a dancer and a softball player. Her love for Jesus at six years old is contagious!
My husband and I have now been married five years and we have two more children – now a family of five. Our three-year-old boy, Kirk, melts my heart with his acts of love and kindness every day. He has a willingness to pray for those who need prayer. We also welcomed a new baby girl on 9/11/2014 – Reya Grace. She has filled our home with so much love and joy! My husband and I have given our lives and hearts to Jesus and look forward to the plans He has for us and our family. And today, I get the amazing opportunity to share at our local churches the hope that the pregnancy center gave me that day.
It is my heart’s desire that all women facing an unplanned pregnancy choose life despite their current situations and circumstances, and that they would know that no matter what they have done or where they are, the God of the universe delights in them and longs to make their story beautiful.
“To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, That they may be called trees of righteousness. The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” -Isaiah 61:3
It is also my hope to encourage pregnancy center workers and those who work or volunteer in the pro-life mission field that their seeds of hope are being planted and that God will continue to transform lives through their hard work and dedication.
“You intended to harm me but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” – Genesis 50:20
Blessed are you who do the work of the Lord! Thank you for allowing me to share the story God has written for my life.
Kailee Perrin is a pro-life speaker who lives in upstate New York with her husband Kirk, daughters Preslee and Reya, and son Kirk Jr. She spends her days chasing her children and loving her husband, and enjoys speaking about the story of Christ’s intervention in her life during an unplanned pregnancy.