“Secret of the Scars” and “Alive”
Why would I photograph a woman—while I was on vacation in Maine—who has never had an abortion for my After the Abortion photography series? Because she IS…After the Abortion. God miraculously gave her and her family a chance to live a blessed life!
I have known Paula for many years. I’ve always noticed she had a scar, but I—like she and many others—simply thought it was a birth defect. After she had been following both of my photography projects for some time, she wrote to me and told me her incredible story of how she survived the abortionist’s tool. Because of this, not only is SHE thankful to be alive, but also her four children and eleven grandchildren.
I don’t normally include the entire story, but in this case, I felt Paula’s amazing story needed to be shared….
“My parents were married in 1950. Their first baby died the day after she was born. 11 months later their first son was a premature baby, 4lbs, 4oz, then 8 weeks later they found out another baby was on the way. Dad was out of work. Mom was taking care of my brother and couldn’t work. There were funeral bills, doctors bills and hospital bills from the first 2 babies. The doctor would not see my mother because he was owed too much. They didn’t know what to do. They decided their only option was to terminate the pregnancy. Dad wasn’t walking with the Lord at this time in his life, and Mom didn’t know the Lord yet. They didn’t want to abort this baby, but they couldn’t see a way clear to afford another baby.
“Mom went for the abortion. All the other women going there had their procedure, with successful results and were discharged. My mom was the last to leave the clinic that day. They were closing and she couldn’t stay any longer. For whatever reason (only known by God) the child didn’t abort. They thought it would happen at home. As time went on, it was clear to my mother that there was still a baby growing inside her.
“Feb. 24, 1954, a 3lb 4oz preemie newborn baby girl was born, and that baby was me.
“My mom would tell me when I’d ask questions about my defects that my foot was laying up beside my face and neck before I was born. She’d tell me every time she changed my diaper me she’d cry when she had to force my left leg down in a straight position and wrap me in a receiving blanket with my left leg and pin it so my left leg would grow correctly. She said ‘I knew it hurt you, and you’d cry, but I had to do it so you’d be able to walk.’
“From newborn until age 13 I had to go to a crippled children’s hospital to be checked every week, then every month then once a year until I was 13 years old. I had to wear ugly brown corrective shoes that looked like boy shoes; not what you want to wear when you’re a little girl.
“Kids would tease me in school, calling me Frankenstein, or scar face or lumpy from the birth defect on my face. They’d tell me I was wearing my brothers’ shoes. My left knee never worked normal. I couldn’t run well, I couldn’t kneel, do stairs or squat, so I was NOT great in gym class. I was picked last for the team because they wanted to win, of course.
“As I got older kids were less cruel and I became more accepted in school, getting involved in music where I found my passion.
“Through those tough years God and my church friends always accepted me. I was always happy and content.
“I grew up and got married and started having children. Lost my first 4 babies to miscarriage. I wondered at that time if it was direct consequences of my birth defect issues. My OBGYN doctor told me after the miscarriages I’d probably never be able to have children because my uterus couldn’t hold the weight of a full term baby. Somebody forgot to tell God, and I’m grateful He had the last word. Finally I had 4 beautiful perfect babies (one at a time).
“Each time I got pregnant I was worried because I had a birth defect. I thought it would be passed on to my children. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.
“I have always been Pro-life, against abortion, but even more so after my last child was born.
“At age 30 I was told about the details of an attempted abortion that happened to me before I was born. It was at that moment that ‘I knew without a doubt’ that God had His hand on my life before I was even born. I’ve looked down over my life through the last 65 years and recall many times God has protected me, or used me for His glory. I’ve privately told my story to women (one at a time), to help them make a decision not to have an abortion because God doesn’t make mistakes. I’d ask them, who would be here right now to share this true story with you if not for God having the last word.
“Looking back on my life, I know God had His hand on my life before I was even born. He reached down and protected me from that abortionist’s tool because He had great plans for me.
“I hold no hard feelings toward anyone about what happened to my mother and me before I was born. It happened for a reason. I am the King’s Daughter and there is no higher honor.”