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I was in Cuba for a service trip taking in the sights, food, and culture. One day when I was there, I couldn’t hold down much food and I couldn’t understand what was going on. I thought I ate something that disagreed with me or drank unfiltered water. I spoke to a nurse about how I was feeling and she suggested I take a pregnancy test when I got home.
“There’s no way I could be pregnant!” I responded. But deep down in my heart, despite my confident denial, I knew it was a possibility that I was.
When I arrived home, I took the pregnancy test and it confirmed what I feared.
“You’re pregnant,” the test seemed to scream at me in condemnation. A wave of emotions and panic overwhelmed me. I fell to the floor crying.
So many thoughts ran through my head:
What does this mean for my finances?
I just quit my job to be a full time entrepreneur, so what does this mean for my dreams?
I don’t want to disappoint my parents who got married before I was born.
I don’t want to be a statistic.
I don’t want my children to be a statistic.
I didn’t know how I would get off the floor let alone how to move forward, especially because I knew he would most likely leave.
I learned that I was pregnant with twins. When I told the father I was pregnant he said, “It’s not like we are playing for keeps” and then proceeded to encourage me to have an abortion. That pressure was immensely difficult and stressful. I felt so confused because I wanted to keep my children. However, I was terrified about the future and struggled to find hope.
I decided to keep my next doctor’s appointment because I wanted to see my twins one more time on the ultrasound before I had an abortion. At that appointment, I felt like a failure because I wasn’t brave enough to stand up for them. As I watched the ultrasound, my entire body flooded with emotions when one of my twins turned and made eye contact with me through the ultrasound. When I was leaving the doctor’s office, a nurse asked me how I was doing and I broke down in tears. I was hysterical. The nurse asked me to see the nurse counselor before I left because she didn’t want me to leave the office in that emotional state.
The nurse counselor listened to me cry as I shared my worries, fears, and the intense pressure I was under to terminate the pregnancy. It was wonderful to feel seen and heard. The nurse made me promise not to have the abortion until I saw a counselor to get emotional support to process everything I was feeling. I began to feel more excited about the pregnancy.
As the pressure to have an abortion increased, so did the fear of continuing the pregnancy. One day when I couldn’t stand firm anymore, I picked up the abortion referral and called to make an appointment. However, praise the Lord, no one answered the phone. I went to Bible study that evening and the pastor was speaking on the topic of storms and said, “Never make a permanent decision based on temporary circumstances.” At that moment, I knew that abortion was permanent, but everything I was dealing with (their dad, the fear, uncertainty, and overwhelm) was temporary. That gave me the courage to choose life.
When I told the father my decision, his response was venomous and hurtful. He disparaged me and told me all the ways that I would fail as a mom, that no man would ever want me, that my business would fail, that my finances would suffer, and that my kids wouldn’t thrive because I was a single mom. By the time he left, I was a broken shell of a person. But I knew that choosing life for my twins was the right thing to do. There were times when I sat on the floor in the darkest corner of the room and cried because I didn’t know how to move forward. But I knew I had to get up for my twins and me.
I took it moment by moment until one day I finally had peace and could move forward. I found excitement in my pregnancy and I began to look forward to what life meant as a mom, an entrepreneur, and as a single woman. I felt like the possibilities and hope began to return and though nothing changed, other than their dad walking out, things felt better.
Hope is powerful.
This didn’t happen in isolation. God put so many people in place to stop me from making the worst decision of my life. After I made the decision to continue my pregnancy, I began therapy and attended an amazing pregnancy center where I received counseling and parental education. My sonographer and doctor encouraged me on my journey, and people began to support and encourage me to keep going.
Then, one day, two boxes of clothes showed up on my doorstep. A friend had told her twin-mom friend about me and she mailed me all of the clothes her twins had outgrown. When I saw those two boxes, it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I knew everything would be okay. I just needed to maintain my faith and hope, and keep moving forward.
It doesn’t mean that things were easy. There were many ups and downs that I encountered, and looking back over the last 7 and a half years I can tell you that God is faithful and He has never left us or forsaken us. Plus, when I look into the eyes of my now 7-year-old twins, I know that the difficult journey was worth it because I’m their mom and my children have been one of the greatest blessings God could have given me.
Aisha Taylor is the author of “Navigating the “Impossible”: A Survival Guide for Single Moms From Pregnancy Through the First Year of Motherhood” and the Founder of FNPhenomenal a company that equips single mothers to live whole, financially free, and rooted in Jesus Christ. Find here at www.FNPhenomenal.com, on Instagram @FNPhenomenal, and on YouTube at fnphenomenal.com/YouTube.