As a 19-year-old college student, I was a very trusting young woman who thought the best of everyone. I was never the type to party in high school or get into things I was taught were wrong. I was focused on my studies, and I earned myself a collegiate basketball scholarship. I would have been described as a ‘straight shooter’ at that point in my life.
I was a junior in college at the time, in the prime of my collegiate basketball career, and majoring in speech communication with a focus on public relations. I had completed my sport pedagogy minor and was beginning an additional minor in coaching. I seemed to have the world at my fingertips; I was driven, focused, and ready to get my degree. Our college team had just won our league championship and went on to win the state championship and travel to compete nationally.
I was raised in a middle-class family and was taught to work hard for what I earned and always to treat others with respect. My parents had instilled in me good morals and values. While this sounds like a woman who had it all together, I stood by these morals and values until a predator saw my innocence and decided to take advantage by using and abusing me…and I became pregnant at the age of 21.
I was 19 when he approached me at a park where I would always go to practice basketball. He asked if he could shoot baskets with me; I was all about sharing the court, so I obliged. I thought nothing of it once I left the park. I was ready to move on with my night, and I never had another thought about the random guy approaching me to play basketball…until I got a phone call.
This persistent predator got my number from the man who coached him in baseball (I had previously provided my number to this coach, who had asked me to help his daughter with basketball skills). Unfortunately, my phone number had fallen into the wrong hands; this is where the predator’s conditioning began.
He was the typical casanova; he wined and dined me, and he told me he loved me so that he would gain my trust. Once I thought I knew who he was, his true colors began to come through. I was emotionally and mentally abused and had completely lost my sense of self. I became his yo-yo to play with and control. His goal was to keep me as his toy and to get me to my lowest point. He was a pathological liar and was very good at remembering his lies to the point of believing them. He lied about his age; I came to find out he was 9 years older than me. I was 19, and he was 28. I had completely lost who I was until I became pregnant at 21.
I learned of my pregnancy during a routine exam at the gynecologist. I had no clue I was pregnant, as my cycles would fluctuate with the intense training I had for basketball. When the doctor walked into the room and told me I was pregnant, I nearly fell off the examination table.
There were so many thoughts racing through my head. I cried, I was scared, I feared my parents reactions, and I feared my sisters’ reactions and what they would think of me. I feared that my basketball career would be over. I knew that the father of my baby was not fit and that the situation I was in would not be healthy for my baby. My first reaction was, “I can’t do this.”
Seeing the distressed state I was in, the doctor mentioned my options, one of them being abortion. Initially, I thought that would be my easiest option, but I knew I would never be able to do that because I had created this tiny life inside of me, and God wanted me to protect this person.
Telling my parents about my pregnancy was the most difficult thing I had to do up to that point in my life. Of course, they were beyond upset and disappointed with me. Their views on what they thought I should do with the child growing within me differed greatly. With pressure from my parents and others who had seen me as the ‘student athlete,’ I could have aborted my child, but I would never have been able to live with myself knowing what I did, knowing I had stopped the beating heart of my child. I loved my baby and wanted to make the best decision for this new human being. I became determined to do so.
A couple years prior to becoming pregnant, I had encouraged a close friend not to have an abortion or she would regret it for the rest of her life. I had explained to her that ending the life of her unborn child would be on her mind and heart every day for the rest of her days. This very same friend offered to take me to the abortion facility when I became pregnant, but I refused, knowing that I could never do that to my baby.
There was pressure from other individuals to get an abortion, but I stood my ground. With the help of my parents, I sought guidance from my church and also met with a pregnancy center and an adoption agency. After going through all options, I decided that I was keeping my child – a boy – and that I would do my best to live a life that would be suitable for him.
The moral of my story is this: my pregnancy woke me up and snapped me out of the low trenches I was in. As scary as it was, I knew that God had allowed this to happen so that I would escape my situation for the sake of my son. My son’s life brought me out of the toxic situation I was in and is the reason I am the woman I am today. I love him with all of me and more.
Every time I see or hear of someone aborting her child, I cry because that could have been me. I see the joy my son brings to my family; he is the reason why so many individuals closest to me have changed their views on abortion.
I am now married to a wonderful man who is the most amazing dad to my son, and looking back now, I can say with 100% certainty that I wouldn’t change a thing. I love my family, and I’m so happy I chose God’s way: life, my son.
Choose life, today and every day. That is one decision you will never regret.