i chose to save her

A LIVING TESTIMONY FROM LAST EDITION OF FEMINA “I WISH I WAS BORN”

Life they say is a mystery. If I had been told some years back that I will be a mother now, I would have argued or even rebuked the person; but as God would have it, I am thanking God today for the gift of life he has given me and for giving me a second chance.

My names are Dina…..born into a Christian home with high moral values. I was brought up by a strict father and a loving mother with three other siblings. I’m a final year University student of Mass Communication. I was not a wayward girl so I did not even regard the advice my mother was giving me then (as a fresh university student) as necessary. I thought I had known all these things already. How wrong I was! Not too long after I resumed, the reality of life and guys began to dawn on me. I realised that I knew nothing all along and I was in a different world, far different from the one I was used to.

Barely a month after i resumed, I was raped. I lost my dignity and then it dawned on me that I’d been so naive and careless. All the while I was with my parents; I lived as an in-door girl so I had no exposure as to even know how to handle the situations I found myself in. Moreover, I was still young. I kept this to myself for a while until one day; i summoned courage and told my friends. I regretted this! Those who I thought would have rallied round me to help me psychologically ended up tearing me to pieces and they went about spreading the gist. You can imagine the pain.

I decided to give-in to the guy so as to cover up the shame. Moreover, I had always told myself that the first man to see my nakedness would be my husband and this I guess is the dream of every woman. He promised heaven and earth so I latched on to him. For over a year I couldn’t pull myself together and forget about the whole episode. Sometimes, I would have screamed just to get over my fears. Unfortunately, the guy was a cheat and all he wanted was my body. I couldn’t cope with him anymore.

After this, though, I’d not been able to overcome my fears, I got into another relationship. My reactions posed a threat to the relationship and the guy thought the only way out of the problem was to allow him have his way too. By this time, my conscience was deadened and I gave in to fate. This dirty relationship and lifestyle continued for over a year until one day; he got born-again and that was the end of that relationship as he resolved not to do it anymore.

Exactly two months after the break up, a friend came visiting and he used every persuasion and eventually force (when I refused) to get between my knees. Unfortunately, this time, I got pregnant. I aborted the pregnancy immediately (my very first).

Months later, I became more committed to the church and things of God. One of my church members, who also used to be a friend, picked up interest in me and we soon began to date. I had gotten over my past and was still tied in-between lust and love. Bang! We fell into it and I got pregnant again. This happened towards the ending of last year (2005) and it brought a lot of mixed feelings. My conscience at this time was quite revived and a lot of thoughts rolled into play. When I considered what the reaction of my parents, pastor, and the entire church we attended would be, the feeling of shame and disgrace; moreover, how and with what will the baby be raised and nurtured? Abortion appeared no more to be a choice but the only option.

I had the feeling that something terrible would happen if I aborted this time around but I was left with no other choice in view. I took several drugs to get rid of the baby, but to no avail. So I travelled down to Lagos to see a doctor for the abortion proper. I didn’t tell my parents because I know they were going to be mad and mum could break down. Two days before the doctor’s appointment, I called my fiancé and told him that I didn’t feel like doing it anymore. He feared God too o he asked me to travel back to campus. I couldn’t go home for any monthly allowance neither was there any cash in sight. Things were so rough. There was no source of income from either side. I did not want to bring a baby into the world to just come and suffer yet I was worried and scared of what would happen next. I changed my mind again and decided to go for the abortion.

This was what I had on my mind until I picked up the last edition of the FEMINA magazine which I saw with one of my friends as we were typing a group assignment at school. It was tagged “I WISH I WAS BORN”: the cry of an aborted child. The message came in good time; it altered my thoughts, changed my mind and my world. I saw myself as a new person. I saw a great future and was both encouraged and strengthened. I rededicated my life to Christ that same day with the prayers in the magazine and I began to develop appreciation for the gift (the baby) that God has given me. It was as though Christ pumped strength into me and suddenly, I was ready to face the consequences of my error. I was now able to regain my confidence and deal with the condemnation that formerly handicapped me.

I told my fiancé what happened and how God encountered me while reading a magazine that seemed to have been written to me. He was also encouraged to face the odds with me. We let my parents and our pastors into this; and as you would expect, they were terribly disappointed. We were suspended from the workforce. I didn’t mind even told them not to bother about covering us up. I was ready to face the panel; willing to be used as a warning for others to learn from.

On the part of my parents, my dad was mad, my mother was disappointed but surprisingly, they stood by us and eventually joined faith with us. Till date my dad is still angry and still thinks that we won’t be able to take care of ourselves and the baby. But I tell you, since the day we decided to keep the baby, God has been so faithful; He has been dazzling us beyond our wildest expectations. He used people we least expected and He has made us living testimonies of His divine grace and mercy.

On Saturday, 5th of August, 2006, I gave birth to “Oluwasenbabara (a beautiful baby girl). I thank God because she was not in any way affected by the drugs I had formerly been taking to abort her. Those who advised me wrongly, those who were strongly behind aborting this great child and those who were only waiting for what will become of us have all changed camp and are now praising God with us. My fiancé too had been very supportive. We have no regrets. God has been our strength and our source of help although we’ve not gotten there yet, but we thank God for everything.