After a brutal rape, I became pregnant. Doctors told me to abort. My husband and I did this instead

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After a brutal rape, I became pregnant. Doctors told me to abort. My husband and I did this instead

By Jennifer Christie |

Jennifer_Christie_645_518_55Last January, I was travelling on business, staying in a little hotel in a college town.  I like to think I’m usually more aware of my surroundings, but it was so snowy and windy that I wouldn’t have heard his footsteps even if he had he been stomping. It happened so fast. I got the door open, turned around to close it, and he was there – a huge man. My first instinct wasn’t fear, just confusion. In an instant, he punched me in the face. I don’t remember being dragged from the room, but I was found in the stairwell. I don’t know why — maybe I was trying to go for help.

The rape kit came back negative for HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, herpes, and dozens of other things I’d never heard of. God is gracious.

The following month, I was scheduled to work on a cruise ship. I was struck with dysentery on day two. But after not getting better with antibiotics, I was taken to what passes for a hospital when we docked in Cartagena, Colombia. Concerned about intestinal obstruction, I was given an ultrasound.  And we saw the pea — my son.  Happy Valentine’s Day.

Back on the ship, I told the doctors an abbreviated version of my story, which resulted in me being quarantined. Suicide watch? In danger of a psychotic break that will have me running naked across the shuffleboard courts? Who knows. What I know is that I spent the next week listening to a team of very well-meaning doctors and nurses console me with how “easy” it would be to “take care of it” – to kill the child. To start over. Easy?

There were a lot of things discussed over scratchy, tearful transatlantic phone calls home that week, but the possibility of “taking care of it” never came off my lips. Or my husband’s.  When I told him I was pregnant, he said with his voice calm and steady, “Okay.  Okay . . . all right . . . this is all right.” I asked him, “What do you MEAN this is all right?” “I mean we can do this. We’ll get through this. It’ll be okay.”  And, “I love babies. We’re going to have another baby. Sweetheart, this is a gift. This is something wonderful from something terrible. We can DO this.” And I began to feel the stirrings of joy for the new life in my womb, blossoming under my heart. That new love that would grow so fierce it overwhelmed any trepidation or angst. And my husband was right.  We could do it.

On my last morning aboard the ship, I said to this caring team, “If you ever think about this again, if you ever wonder what happened to me — I had a beautiful baby in October 2014.”  Their reaction…the looks on their faces…the doctor who had pushed abortion more vehemently than the others — she had tears in her eyes. For the first time, I thought of how God can use this, this nightmare I’d endured. Use me.

I live in North Carolina. My OB who delivered my last two children was running in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. He talks to people all the time who challenge him with the “What about in cases of rape?” question. What about them? My son will have a voice. Until he can use it, it’s my responsibility — my privilege — to speak for him. That’s my story.

During my pregnancy, I was in and out of the hospital for a couple of months – more in than out. I had preeclampsia, high blood pressure and uncontrolled seizures. It was terrifying at 26 weeks when they admitted me saying they might have to deliver that night — terrifying because I desperately wanted my son to live! We got past that fear. I had strict bed rest, but was home. Every week we made it further was awesome, knowing how glad I’d be once he got here safely in my arms. Emotionally, I was doing very well.

We were working with a really godly team of doctors. It’s just a matter of trusting utterly. This wasn’t new. I’d felt completely out of control since the assault in January — not that “control” is ever anything but an illusion, but, you know. Eight and a half months ago the world upended and hadn’t righted since — until my son was born. It’s not a bad thing. It keeps me on my knees, keeps me from my arrogant, self-reliant “It’s okay, God. I got this” attitude, which I’m so quick to adopt.

Our little boy may have been conceived in violence, but he is a gift from God — a delicious gift that filled the hole in our family that we never realized was there. He made us complete.

I’m so thankful to have been connected to other mothers who became pregnant by rape as well. We are survivors. Not victims. My son has healed me.

The pressure to abort from the medical community was extremely eye-opening to me. So many times I was told how “simple” it would be and how quickly I could just “get on with my life” once it was over. It was heartbreaking to have to repeatedly hear it. Even some friends thought keeping the baby was a mistake — that I wouldn’t be able to handle things emotionally. Every time we, as rape survivor mothers, share our stories, we are strengthened as we strengthen others….And who knows what lives might be spared?

Jennifer Christie is a wife and mother of 5, and a blogger for  She’s using her middle name in lieu of her surname in order to protect the identity of her family.

16 Comments on “After a brutal rape, I became pregnant. Doctors told me to abort. My husband and I did this instead”

  1. A gift, GOD Bless this family. This is a great jump from the fetal cell article. We can raise a child and introduce them to the GOD’S gift of salvation, blessing the child twice or kill the child for our on selfish pleasure, that’s to try to live forever in the human form. This is their main goal, so they push for abortions. Can anyone imagine the courage it took for both spouses to not end this child’s life. GOD Bless them.

  2. That is one of the most amazing testimonies I’ve heard. God is soooooo good! I know all about how God CAN turn a horrible situation into good everytime. My 17 yr old son was kllied 6 years ago on a motorcycle. The Lord carried me and the rest of my family under His wing and got us through that deep dark valley. Kids were saved at his funeral and my daddy gave his life 2 Christ as well. And I am 4 ever changed, hopeful and dependent solely on Christ!

  3. This is a powerful story of how God can bring healing and restoration, in spite of a wicked act. It’s a blessing to see their resolve to honor God completely, by giving life to this baby boy. I am grateful that they chose not to punish the baby for the wicked actions of the perpetrator. Praise God.

  4. Wow! What a compelling testimony! Talk about having your faith tested and staying oboedient
    to The Word. Also, the strength from her husband that made their marriage strong because most marriages don’t survive something like this. Praise the Lord! Victory over the enemy and his evil plans that God works out for the good in the end!

  5. Praise be to God for this woman’s strength and courage for doing the hard thing and not taking the “easy” way out. It never ceases to amaze me how callous people can be to others in seemingly impossible situations. Luke 1:37 With God nothing will be impossible.

  6. What a heart-touching story. The one I admire most in this family is her husband.
    I think his decision to keep this child and to comfort her by saying “it’s allright, we will get
    through this” helped the situation al lot.
    It’s an amazing story. I’ve learned a lot about trusting God and how a husband should
    stand by his wife, through thick and thin.
    May God keep blessing Jennifer Christie and her family.

    Thank you EX for sharing. God bless the ministry.

  7. There is a graphic novella ‘Hope Amid Horror’ that’s a great testimony. If you think that you may be having a hard time being a Christian, read this. Will make you very thankful real quick.

  8. Every life has meaning.
    GOD always has a plan.
    Children are N.E.V.E.R. accidents.
    E.V.E.R.Y. life has meaning.

  9. First of all I am referring to myself when I say this. This is a sobering reminder to me that as a Christian when I am inudated with temptaions to take offence , walk in offence, and unforgiveness, in order to justify feeling sorry for myself when I face a trial and a test of the faith. God please keep searching me daily to see if I am really in the “faith” and help me, this is real real.

  10. Praise God
    This is what Faith and Love is………….I commend both survivor and husband. They exhibited characteristics of Christ. With endurance, momentum, stamina, perseverance they weathered the storm and it’s amazing something wonderful and beautiful became of it HALL-LAY-LOU-YAH!!!

  11. What a courageous couple! Every child is a gift, a blessing and though the circumstances of conception are awful, we must trust in God. Below is a letter from a nun who was raped and impregnated. Truly, a touching story.

    31/07/08 16:29 Filed in: Abortion, Infanticide –Killing BabiesLife IssuesCatholicismChristianityHope for Western Civilization

    Here is an extraordinary letter written by a young nun, Sister Lucy Vertrusc, to her mother superior. Sister Vertrusc became pregnant after she was raped in 1995 during the war in the former Yugoslavia. The letter appeared in an Italian newspaper at the behest of her Mother Superior.

    “I am Lucy, one of the young nuns raped by the Serbian soldiers. I am writing to you, Mother, after what happened to my sisters Tatiana, Sandria, and me.

    Allow me not to go into the details of the act. There are some experiences in life so atrocious that you cannot tell them to anyone but God, in whose service I had consecrated my life nearly a year ago.

    My drama is not so much the humiliation that I suffered as a woman, not the incurable offense committed against my vocation as a religious, but the difficulty of having to incorporate into my faith an event that certainly forms part of the mysterious will of Him whom I have always considered my Divine Spouse.

    Only a few days before, I had read “Dialogues of Carmelites” and spontaneously I asked our Lord to grant me the grace of joining the ranks of those who died a martyr of Him. God took me at my word, but in such a horrid way! Now I find myself lost in the anguish of internal darkness. He has destroyed the plans of my life, which I considered definitive and uplifting for me, and He has set me all of a sudden in this design of His that I feel incapable of grasping.

    When I was a teenager, I wrote in my Diary: Nothing is mine, I belong to no one, and no one belongs to me. Someone, instead grabbed me one night, a night I wish never to remember, tore me off from myself, and tried to make me his own . . .

    It was already daytime when I awoke and my first thought was the agony of Christ in the Garden. Inside of me a terrible battle unleashed. I asked myself why God had permitted me to be rent, destroyed precisely in what had been the meaning of my life, but also I asked to what new vocation He was calling me.

    I strained to get up, and helped by Sister Josefina, I managed to straighten myself out. Then the sound of the bell of the Augustinian convent, which was right next to ours, reached my ears. It was time for nine o’clock matins.

    I made the sign of the cross and began reciting in my head the liturgical hymn. At this hour upon Golgotha’s heights,/ Christ, the true Pascal Lamb,/ paid the price of our salvation.

    What is my suffering, Mother, and the offense I received compared to the suffering and the offense of the One for whom I had a thousand times sworn to give my life. I spoke these words slowly, very slowly: May your will be done, above all now that 1 have no where to go and that I can only be sure of one thing: You are with me.

    Mother, I am writing not in search of consolation, but so that you can help me give thanks to God for having associated me with the thousands of my fellow compatriots whose honor has been violated, and who are compelled to accept a maternity not wanted. My humiliation is added to theirs, and since I have nothing else to offer in expiation for the sin committed by those unnamed violators and for the reconciliation of the two embittered peoples, I accept this dishonor that I suffered and I entrust it to the mercy of God.

    Do not be surprised, Mother, when I ask you to share with me my “thank you” that can seem absurd.

    In these last months I have been crying a sea of tears for my two brothers who were assassinated by the same aggressors who go around terrorizing our towns, and I was thinking that it was not possible for me to suffer anything worse, so far from my imagination had been what was about to take place.

    Every day hundreds of hungering creatures used to knock at the doors of our convent, shivering from the cold, with despair in their eyes. Some weeks ago, a young boy about eighteen years old said to me: How lucky you are to have chosen a refuge where no evil can reach you. The boy carried in his hands a rosary of praises for the Prophet. Then he added: You will never know what it means to be dishonored.

    I pondered his words at length and convinced myself that there had been a hidden element to the sufferings of my people that had escaped me as I was almost ashamed to be so excluded. Now I am one of them, one of the many unknown women of my people, whose bodies have been devastated and hearts seared. The Lord had admitted me into his mystery of shame. What is more, for me, a religious, He has accorded me the privilege of being acquainted with evil in the depths of its diabolical force.

    I know that from now on the words of encouragement and consolation that I can offer from my poor heart will be all the more credible, because my story is their story, and my resignation, sustained in faith, at least a reference, if not example for their moral and emotional responses.

    All it takes is a sign, a little voice, a fraternal gesture to set in motion the hopes of so many undiscovered creatures.

    God has chosen me-may He forgive my presumption-to guide the most humble of my people towards the dawn of redemption and freedom. They can no longer doubt the sincerity of my words, because I come, as they do, from the outskirts of revilement and profanation.

    I remember the time when I used to attend the university at Rome in order to get my masters in Literature, an ancient Slavic woman, the professor of Literature, used to recite to me these verses from the poet Alexej Mislovic: You must not die/because you have been chosen/ to be a part of the day.

    That night, in which I was terrorized by the Serbs for hours and hours, I repeated to myself these verses, which I felt as balm for my soul, nearly mad with despair.

    And now, with everything having passed and looking back, I get the impression of having been made to swallow a terrible pill.

    Everything has passed, Mother, but everything begins. In your telephone call, after your words of encouragement, for which I am grateful with all my life, you posed me a very direct question: What will you do with the life that has been forced into your womb? I heard your voice tremble as you asked me the question, a question I felt needed no immediate response; not because I had not yet considered the road I would have to follow, but so as not to disturb the plans you would eventually have to unveil before me. I had already decided. I will be a mother. The child will be mine and no one else’s. I know that I could entrust him to other people, but he-though I neither asked for him nor expected him-he has a right to my love as his mother. A plant should never be torn from its roots. The grain of wheat fallen in the furrow has to grow there, where the mysterious, though iniquitous sower threw it.

    I will fulfill my religious vocation in another way. I will ask nothing of my congregation, which has already given me everything. I am very grateful for the fraternal solidarity of the Sisters, who in these times have treated me with the utmost delicacy and kindness, especially for never having asked any uncareful questions.

    I will go with my child. I do not know where, but God, who broke all of a sudden my greatest joy, will indicate the path I must tread in order to do His will.

    I will be poor again, I will return to the old aprons and the wooden shoes that the women in the country use for working, and I will accompany my mother into the forest to collect the resin from the slits in the trees.

    Someone has to begin to break the chain of hatred that has always destroyed our countries. And so, I will teach my child only one thing: love. This child, born of violence, will be a witness along with me that the only greatness that gives honor to a human being is forgiveness.

    Through the Kingdom of Christ for the Glory of God.”

  12. Thank you for sharing our story here. I’ve run across it many times in the last week and it’s humbling to see how God has used it to reach so many right where they are. Thank you for your support and prayers. We’re so blessed with our precious new son. Beauty for ashes. Don’t ever doubt it.

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