What a day! Today Ryan and I went to our Childbirth Express class. I must admit, I am so proud of how well he handled it! He survived the quite graphic birth videos, and tried very hard to practice my breathing techniques with me. Unfortunately, we had a little too much time on our hands this morning, waiting for the instructor to arrive, and my brain kicked into overdrive. Sitting in the waiting area, I couldn’t help but be struck by the sad reality that although I was sitting in the building with so many other expecting women, literally full of life, this same building was where my mother came, almost 31 years ago, with the intent to end my life. Thank goodness Ryan didn’t notice the tears in my eyes, I don’t know how I would have explained to him how I was feeling. After that sad reflection this morning, I was very unsure as to whether I could follow through with giving birth at that hospital, until God stepped in and provided me with another miraculous experience.
The instructor today was a nurse named Lori. She was not originally planned to teach the class today, but was called in at the last minute. Introducing herself to the group this morning, she shared with us that she had been a nurse at the hospital since 1974. 1974!? With a mix of both excitement and fear, I realized in that moment that she may very well have been present when I survived the abortion attempt, and quite likely knew my biological grandmother, who was a nurse, herself. To say something to her, or not to say something to her, that was the question……before I could attempt to make my mind up one way or the other, fate stepped in. Leaving the bathroom before lunch, Lori was there washing her hands. Before I could think twice, I clarified with Lori that she had, indeed, been there since 1974. When she said yes, I, ever so non-eloquently shared with her that I had survived an abortion attempt at the hospital back in 1977. Her eyes wide, Lori hugged me and shared that she was one of the nurses who cared for me. Of course, I cried as she shared this with me. Part in gratitude for her care for me, and part in awe in finding someone who knew me and my family, I was moved. Lori seemed saddened that I was aware of the abortion attempt, and simply stated that they (the staff at the hospital) had always hoped that I would never find out about it.
I am always acutely aware that my frankness about the abortion attempt catches people off guard, so I made sure to let Lori know that I know who my biological parents and grandparents are, and that I have made contact with my maternal grandparents. Knowing that she would have known my grandmother and mother, I wanted to take away some of the uncomfortableness of the moment. You know what, she said something that no one has ever said to me before, “You look like your grandmother.” I will remember those words for the rest of my life.
Until that moment, I had never given a thought about this, of finding out or not finding out about the attempt. To me, it is such a part of who I am, of what I believe, that I can’t imagine ever not knowing about it. With great pride, I shared with Lori that I believe I was meant to know, and not only has knowing about it had a positive affect on my life, but on the lives of others, as I share my story with them.
Lori mentioned that there are a handful of nurses still there in the OB ward at the hospital who treated me as an infant. Although time will tell how emotionally affected I am by the birth of Olivia, in general, and at that hospital, in particular, I feel much more comfortable with my choice to give birth in the same hospital in which my biological mother underwent her abortion. Once again, God has let me know that the path down which I am heading is the one that is meant for me, and for that, I am grateful.