Mazie’s Story: A Journey from Contraception to Life
I grew up in a very broken very liberal minded home. From my earliest years I knew that I was “the missed pill” as my Mother so eloquently liked to put it.
My Mother grew up in the 50’s …. She was very young and had a few dalliances with school boys.. Nothing serious but her father got wind of it and as punishment she was sent away at aged 16 to a school in the City which trained young women to be a nurses. Some of the girls there were in the ‘family way’ and we often wonder if this is what happened to our Mum. She was young and scared to be in the city on her own but soon made friends. One friend was a man who was some years older than she was. Soon a relationship developed and before long she was pregnant at just 17. They were married straight away and the baby boy was born 6 months later.
My Mother’s Abortion
Not long after Mum found she was pregnant again. Her husband was very angry as he didn’t want another child as yet but wanted to go to his homeland and visit his Mother. He took Mum to an abortionist and she was given pills to take and sent home. To help her along her husband kicked her several times in the stomach…. and went to his night shift job leaving Mum at home alone with their young son not yet 1 year old.
Mum was 4 months along with her pregnancy and suffered a very traumatic abortion which left her with a born too soon baby boy who lived only a few moments after his horrific “birth” in my Mother’s kitchen. She said the abortion/birth was absolute agony and by the time she was ‘finished’ there was blood all over the floor. Her husband came home for his night shift break and seeing the deed was done went back to work leaving her to clean up and dispose of their son.
Mum remembers wrapping him in great wads of cotton wool which came in a roll. She was remembers picking the cotton wool from his little body as it kept sticking to him. No doubt she was in shock. She then had to wrap him in newspaper and dispose of him in the Rubbish bin downstairs. My Mother NEVER got over this event and it shaped the rest of her life. Soon after this they left for his home country where the monster husband became increasingly more violent. For her own safety Mum had no choice but to leave but to do so in this country at this time she had to leave her son now almost 3 with her husband. She would not see him again for 50 years. A long and painful story.
My Mother’s Post-Abortion Aftermath
I’m relating all of this because my Mother’s story profoundly affected me. She had been told she could no longer have children after the abortion so when she married a second time she didn’t take “precautions” and became pregnant very quickly. I grew up knowing that I was “the missed pill” my Mum thought this was funny. And so as my Mother put it… I wanted 4 so I thought well may as well get the last one out of the way before being “fixed up” ….as though she were broken. Mum had a full hysterectomy when I was about 7 due to damage done and on going health problems resulting from the abortion.
All of this was my ‘normal’ when I grew up. So when I started having boyfriends it was very ordinary to take the “pill”. It was ordinary to bring boyfriends home and sleep in my room with them. This was the normal that I knew. So when I found myself pregnant at twenty two you’d have thought it would be normal to just go ahead and have the baby. My sister had done the same thing a few years before. But my violent boyfriend forced me to have an abortion. I tried to run away and he chased me down the highway and coerced me back. It was the biggest mistake of my life. It is a time of my life I can’t remember very well. Every thing that I had been taught to be normal had just happened to me and I felt everything but normal. I was angry and upset and began to drink more. I was becoming quite reckless.
It was at this time I met my future husband. When a few months after we met I told my husband what I had done the impact of my actions became very real to me. I had been numb and unable to feel the pain of my abortion up until this point. My husband was devastated by my abortion because he had grown up being taught it was wrong and that it was a life. This was a very painful time both of us because I also came to realise it wasn’t just a blob of cells at 6 weeks it was a life.
My husband came from a family of faith and had a prayer life. I was very awkward with all the religion thing at first not having gone to church much in my childhood. But my dear MIL gave me things to read and prayed me back to God. We started out our marriage with an on-off contraception. My husband knew it was wrong but wasn’t so strong in his faith. I felt it was not right and just wanted to have babies. We threw them out after about 6 months or so. But 3 children later and the pressure from Drs and friends I was back on the yo yo. But each time I’d be hormonal and had feelings of being just a commodity (which I was never to my husband!) But I felt like our love life had lost it’s bond.. It’s closeness. Something had been taken away and it had a huge and devastating impact on our marriage.
I didn’t realise at the time but looking back, I think that is when we took God out of our marriage and put ‘self’ in there first. We weren’t allowing God to work in our lives of His own Will – we were working on our own worldly schedule and feelings when WE thought might be a good time to let God work in our lives. It took another 5 years before we came, through faith and the prayers of my wonderful MIL to throw contraception out of our lives completely. And when it went out the thrill and excitement came back in to our marriage. There was also a little fear but that only strengthened our faith and trust in Our Lord.
In all the time I took contraception it was like a huge black cloud hanging over our marriage. I think of that black cloud as being like the devil. He had been hovering and ready to devour our marriage. Trying to steal our love of God through viewing our loving as just sex for pleasure and personal feeling – trying to make us believe that we could feel good – all the while rejecting what God had deemed to be right; that through married love and embrace, children would be created. Created in and through love… God’s love… in God’s time!
We were altering the Godly course of our marriage through contraception by separating the outcome from the act. Our bodies are made purposefully to create life when we are ‘joined’ together, when we become ‘one flesh’. This course should not be altered by man’s intervention. We were behaving as though we knew better than God! We had swallowed the worldly ‘kool aid’… you can have it all, well it’s a big fat lie. I know we have both been so much happier and at peace since we opened our hearts as well as our minds to His mighty Will. We let go and LET God!! And we were blessed more children! If we hadn’t allowed God His hand in our marriage we would have rejected these beautiful blessings!!! These little souls and who knows how many more would have been fertilised and found no place to grow, for the very place designed for them had been altered and made incompatible with life. My womb would have rejected the fruits of our love!
Looking back I can see how my Mother’s very liberal views and the effects of that on her own life shaped my own beliefs and choices. Right down to not being able to speak up and say NO when every ounce of my soul was silently screaming this out. My own Mother found no peace and happiness in the worldly ways and nor did I. I am working very hard to break that cycle for my own children. There is only one path to follow and that is the one God has given us.
This post is the third in a series of testimonies by Christians who rejected artificial contraception. The previous articles are: Our Surrender of Family Planning to God and As Protestants, We Rejected Artificial Contraception.