My junior year of college, I got pregnant. I was married, but the top layer of my wedding cake had barely frozen and unwritten thank you cards lay strewn on my living room carpet. I wasn't ready to get married; I certainly wasn't prepared for pregnancy and parenthood. But I was the personification of readiness compared with the man who was then my husband, whose troubled past was wreaking havoc on our relationship, even without a baby to br /eak the camel's back.

I never once seriously considered abortion, but more than once wished I could. As a Christian ministry major, I'd spent the last two years watching midnight turn into dawn discussing ethics and forming my embr /yonic ideas into convictions ready to stand the light of day. From the moment I saw the second pink line faintly glimmering on my pregnancy test, certainty gripped me that abortion was not an option. I simply could not lose my baby without losing myself. And on the deepest level, I think this truth holds for every woman. But not every woman facing a crisis pregnancy has a Christian education, parents who are willing to help out financially, and girlfriends who pick up where an absent partner or a terrified, emotionally crippled one leaves off.

As my pregnancy progressed, I watched my smooth, flat tummy turn into a bulging basketball and then into a giant globe with roads and rivers of stretch marks crisscrossing everywhere. Knowing the pregnancy was unexpected, my friends weren't sure whether to congratulate me or mourn with me. Whenever I swiped my card in the cafeteria or hauled my huge self to class at my evangelical college, I got raised-eyebr /ow glances from students who assumed I got into my interesting condition via some premarital tryst in the bushes. ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.