Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Heather's Story

Heather Hobbs with her children Alexandria, Tristan, and Gideon
[Today's guest post is the personal story of Heather Hobbs as told to Feleica Langdon. It is part of our paid blogging program. Feleica is a provincial pro-life speaker in Newfoundland and the regional coordinator in NL of Campaign Life Coalition working alongside the provincial coordinator, Margaret Hynes. She also runs the Life Defenders facebook page.]

I grew up in an abusive household, and as a teenager, I vowed never to bring children into such a horrendous world - a perspective shaped by my upbringing.

The callousness of the world was proven once more when I was violently raped by my abusive boyfriend. That violation shattered me, and in spite of being on birth control, I became pregnant from that rape. Coming from a staunch pro-choice background, I didn't know any other way out of this situation other than abortion!

Things went from bad to worse when my rapist found out that I was pregnant. He found me, beat me, and proceeded to choke me. I remember feeling my baby flutter for the first time just before I passed out.

Upon waking up in the hospital and explaining everything that was going on, I was asked if I wanted an abortion. Remembering feeling my baby move , I refused to terminate. Embracing my daughter's life saved mine in every way imaginable. My baby was just as innocent in all of this as I was. 

Looking back I can tell you with the utmost confidence that my daughter, Alexandria, gave me purpose. She is what I needed to live and grow; she helped me heal and to see beauty that I hadn't before. I don't see her as being the "child of a rapist"; instead, I see her as the child of a rape survivor!

When she was four I married a wonderful man named Jeremy who accepted my little girl as his own. My husband and I wanted to give our daughter a sibling. To our surprise we were already pregnant due to the failure of the IUD Mirena. Unfortunately, I had a difficult pregnancy. I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, acute pancreatitis due to gall stones, and cholestasis. With my health deteriorating quickly, the doctors suggested that we have an abortion; when we refused the doctors said at the very least I would need to be induced early and undergo surgery immediately.

We were life-flighted to Portland and we received the care we needed. Tristan was born on my birthday and is perfect in every way!

On my third pregnancy we thought we were finally going to catch a break. Everything seemed to be going so smoothly; however, at 24 weeks along I knew something wasn't right. Upon medical investigation it was determined that I had cholestasis again, but something also showed up on the sonogram. There was a big black hole in his stomach and it was determined that he had a meconium pseudocyst. His intestines had ruptured and his body had built a calcified shell to hold the stool. We were told by specialists that he wouldn't live and that I needed to abort before the sac ruptured and I became septic.

I refused and signed the necessary waivers saying I was continuing the pregnancy against doctors' orders. We drove two hours in the snow and mountains to see specialists who kept an eye on the cyst.

At 28 weeks I went into quick and active labour. Every parent longs to hear that cry when their child comes into the world, but when Gideon was born, he was purple and silent. You could cut the panic with a knife and they whisked him away for what seemed like forever. He made it through emergency surgery but the doctors still didn't expect him to make it. Fast forward 18 months and 11 procedures later. Our son is happy, healthy, and excelling above the milestones for his age.

If you've been raped and have found yourself pregnant, Alexandria was my diamond in the rough and has brought me the healing that abortion would have stolen from me. Don't let abortion steal that healing from you! If you don't think you can parent, place your child for adoption! If you have received a difficult maternal and/or prenatal diagnosis, don't concede to the pressure to terminate. Yes, you may need to induce labour early, but then it's left up to your child! Premature babies and their moms beat the odds everyday!

I know you're scared, but I hope that my testimony will encourage you to give your child a chance at life! They have so much to offer this world and teach you! Jeremy and I are currently pregnant with our fourth child and couldn't be happier with our precious family. Watching our kids interact together brings us so much joy! Each pregnancy has had its own set of challenges, but Jeremy and I have grown as a couple and as parents through all of it. We can't picture our lives without either one of them and are so glad that our family doesn't have to deal with the hurt of abortion! We hope yours doesn't have to either, and if it already has, that you find healing!

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