As an adolescent I picked up a book from my parents’ bookshelf called Abortion: Questions and Answers by Dr. and Mrs. John C. Willke. Reading their book made me passionate about defending the lives of the unborn.
When I was 24 I also got to understand better the perspective of a woman faced with an unplanned pregnancy when I experienced my own. Even though I was in a stable marriage and we wanted kids eventually, I felt terrified. I was the sole breadwinner while my husband was getting his master’s degree, and I just didn’t feel ready to be a mother.
It didn’t take long, though, for us to get used to the idea of becoming parents and even get excited about it. We shared our news publicly on Facebook when I was 12 weeks along. Around that time I had a dream about giving birth to twins. When we went in to hear our baby’s heartbeat for the first time on the Doppler, I joked with my husband that maybe we would hear two heartbeats. He said something about it being very unlikely. Twins didn’t run in my family, and besides, it was very impractical to wish for such a thing when it was going to be hard enough to take care of one baby.
The initial shock and fear that I had felt when I first learned about the pregnancy paled in comparison to the grief that we both felt after we learned that I had miscarried. After our midwife could not hear a heartbeat on the Doppler we were sent immediately to have a sonogram. In that dark room we saw that there was no flicker of a heartbeat, and that we had lost twins. Even though I didn’t want those babies three months before that day, my heart ached for the loss of them, and it still does today. In the midst of my grief, I also felt a strange sense of joy and wonder that God knew my heart’s desire to have twins, and that He granted it even though it seemed silly.
A few years later, I began volunteering as a Client Advocate at Women’s Choice Network where I volunteered for five years (and hope to someday return). I could relate to the women and men trying to wrap their minds around the news of a positive pregnancy test. The training I got at WCN gave me the skills to listen to them, the words to speak to them, and the confidence of knowing that it was really God’s spirit at work in the room whenever I met with a client.
As a volunteer I loved having a front row seat to seeing God at work in the creation of a new heartbeat on the sonogram screen and in the changing of hearts when a mother made a decision to carry. I felt privileged to be able to share devotionals in the pregnancy and parenting classes that taught about God’s mighty care with clients who were in the midst of their own crisis. When clients came in for STD testing, many were there because of concerns of unfaithfulness in their partners. I had a unique opportunity to share with them the Biblical vision of what a relationship can look like when it is based on sacrificial love.
I love that Women’s Choice Network embodies the call that Dr. and Mrs. Willke put out to the pro-life movement to “love them both”—advocating for both the unborn and women faced with an unplanned pregnancy. And I love that Women’s Choice Network is also working to come alongside the men involved in these difficult decisions.
Today I have two beautiful and healthy children who are all the more precious to me because I know what it felt like to lose our twins. I support Women’s Choice Network because I want to be an advocate for the unborn who cannot speak for themselves and also for the women and men faced with unplanned pregnancies who need support to get them through their moment of crisis.