Debra a mother of 18 month old, raped and pregnant, tells her story of rape conception in her own words. She echoes the words of countless mothers who are unable to tell their own stories.
“On February 19, 1987, as I was getting ready to go to bed, the phone rang. The caller was a man I knew throughout high school, and he was obviously drunk. This person asked if he could come over and talk—he was upset over something between him and his ex-wife to be. I said no, and told him that I would talk to him the next morning. Shortly after this conversation, I heard a knock at the door, a distinctive knock, you know the one people do, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock……..knock knock.
I slid down the wall of the shower and sat in the tub until the water ran cold, and cried.
I opened the door but left the chain on. Without going in to details, the door was flung open knocking me down and I’m pretty sure you all know the rest. I do not know really how to go in to this without telling some important details. I had a 16 and ½ month old son in the next room whose life was threatened if I didn’t stop screaming and fighting. I stopped. After he left, I rolled over sobbing, slowly got up, locked the door, and even scooted my couch in front of it. Somehow, I managed to make it into my room where my son was sound asleep in his crib—double checking that he was safe and sound and had not woken up. I struggled to the bathroom, got in the shower, scrubbed and scrubbed, douched twice, scrubbed some more, but nothing made me feel clean. I slid down the wall of the shower and sat in the tub until the water ran cold, and cried.
I finally got out, dried off, and put on sweats and a baggy sweatshirt. I took what I had been wearing, an oversized baseball jersey that had a picture of animal from the Muppets on it and the ripped panties, and tossed them. I dragged myself to my bed trying not to wake my son up with all the sobbing. I couldn’t sleep; all I could do is picture what had happened to me over and over and over. I was hurting so bad, I could barely move—each movement was so painful. I finally dozed off when the sun was coming up, but not for long.
I heard my son waking up. I got him up, hugged him, and thanked God he was unharmed by this nightmare. I could barely see because both my eyes were swollen shut, but I made myself open them. My son looked at me and said “mommy, boo boo”. I said “yes, mommy, boo boo”. Then the phone rang, I didn’t answer it. It rang again. I finally answered, it was a friend I had known for years calling and she immediately knew something was wrong. She bugged me and bugged me until I broke down and told her what happened. She asked if he was in jail. I said no, and I explained why he wasn’t. I believed it would be my word against his and with me being a single mom they wouldn’t believe me. She understood and promised to keep my secret. The entire time on the phone, I was hugging my sweet little boy. I wouldn’t let go of him; I just wanted to cuddle with him and protect him! Finally he was getting cranky and wanted to get down and play.
I went through the motions
I was trying to function. Trying to change his diaper and feed him, but it hurt so bad that I had to force myself. I went through the motions: feeding my son, bathing my son, playing with my son—for days and days. I couldn’t bring myself to do anything that I normally did other than care for my son. I couldn’t bring myself to open my door. My neighbor used that same knock. He would walk by and knock that knock on my door; it made my skin crawl. I told him to stop, said it was annoying me and waking the baby, so he stopped. We knew each other since we were little. He would run to the store for me and grab a few things here and there. I lied and told him I was sick and didn’t want anyone getting sick on account of me. So I would slide open my window and he would hand me my stuff. At the time I was attending college. I missed classes, a lot of classes.
Finally, I decided that I needed to go to the doctor’s. I felt horribly sick, and I knew I needed documentation for all of my missed classes. I waited until the bruises had cleared before I made an appointment with my family doctor. I got ready and we almost made it to my car, but I couldn’t go any further than the middle of the yard. My car felt so far away. I felt like everyone was staring at me and somehow knew what happened and were looking at me with disgust. I felt dirty and ran back to my apartment sobbing. I tried to compose myself and, after a few tries, I finally made it to my little Chevette. All the way to the doctor’s office I felt anxious, like everyone that pulled up next to me was staring at me and that it was obvious what happened. I just drove forward until I got there, crying here and there, trying to keep myself composed.
The twenty minute drive felt like hours before I made it to the doctor’s office and went in. They all look at my son and say the usual, “oh how big he is getting, how cute, look at all those red curls” I smile and feel just as dirty as the night it happened. There is a waiting room full of people, nothing out of the ordinary, BUT, I feel they are all staring at me, looking at me like I’m a “whore”. Finally after sitting there trying to just focus on my son they call me in the back. The nurse does the routine, what are you here for? How long has it been going on? Blah, blah, blah. “We will need a urine sample, and we will take some blood and do a work up to find out why you’re sick.” About 15 minutes passes and the nurse walks in the door, says the doc will be right in. I have known her and my doctor since I was about 12 years old and I was now 23 years old.
The doctor finally came in and he looked at me like he was disappointed in me
The doctor comes in and tells me that they don’t know what’s wrong yet and I insisted it was the flu. He asked what was going on, so I told him how I was feeling.
“If I didn’t know any better I would think you were pregnant!” he said. “I can’t be pregnant.” I replied.“Well we are going to send your blood work out and that will tell us for sure, we will call you with the results in about 5 days or so.” I just looked at him, and then spoke up.“There is NO way I’m pregnant I don’t have a boyfriend.” I picked my stuff up, my son, and walked to the car and drove home. The days passed slowly until finally the results were in and the doctor wanted me to come in for an appointment and to talk to me about the results. I asked the nurse to tell me over the phone, but she insisted I come in. We made an appointment for the next day, but those 24 hours felt like 72. I made it to their office, went in, and waited. The doctor finally came in and he looked at me like he was disappointed in me.“What?” I asked.
Raped and Pregnant…the last thing he said rang in my head “ABORT IT!
“YOU’RE PREGNANT!!!!!” He exclaimed. I lost it. I couldn’t stop crying. “I can’t be pregnant!” I cried. I looked at him and shouted “NO!” I wept and wept. Finally I was able to compose myself. He looked at me and said he understood.“You already have one baby, two will be even harder…you do have options.” I don’t think he knew why I was so upset, he thought it was only because I was a single mother of one already and had big dreams of being an attorney, but here I was—pregnant again. So he told me again,“There are options. You have choices,” he said, “you can have “it” and give it up for adoption, or you can raise “it” on your own, or you can abort “it”.” The last thing he said rang in my head “ABORT IT! I went numb.“I don’t know what to do?” I said as I looked at my adorable little red headed boy on the floor playing as we spoke. The doctor talked while I listened, kind of. “Let me make you and appointment for an abortion. You already have one child and your single; do you understand how hard it would be to do it with another child?” I was numb and just shook my head. He said, “It is so early in your pregnancy that it really isn’t even a baby yet”. The appointment was scheduled.
“What did this little baby do to cause me to get an abortion?
I cried all the way home, every thought that could run through my mind was running through my mind. But the one that was sticking out so much was ABORTION! The appointment day came, and I skipped it—3 times. I tried to go to class, but in Sociology class we were studying the effects of abortion on women. They even showed photos of aborted babies. I jumped up and ran out barely making it to the restroom where I hurled. I knew I could not finish this semester so I got a medical leave from my doctor and took the rest of the semester off. I kept thinking, “What did this little baby do to cause me to get an abortion? How could this little baby do anything wrong? This baby had nothing to do with this, so why did this baby have to pay for my rapist being a monster??? I have never believed in abortion so why was I even thinking about it?” I wasn’t, my doctor was. By this time I was about 2 months or so pregnant. I knew I could not and would not end this baby’s life.
At first she asked me if I was going to do something about it? I said yes,
Then it happened. I felt a flutter; I was shocked. This was somewhere in my 3rd month and at that very second this baby was mine and no one else’s. I would sit and wait for more flutters, it was almost like she was saying, “hey I am in here, and I love you”. I just knew that this baby was a girl. So from that point on, this was my child, my little girl. I picked out her name, Samantha Elisabeth. I would talk to her, rub my belly, and I told my son he was going to be a big brother. Right after this I told my mom I was pregnant, and of course she was disappointed. I was a single mom with an 18 month old son, and now I was knocked up again. Big disappointment to her!I didn’t tell her how at first, and then I broke down and told her. At first she asked me if I was going to do something about it? I said yes, I am going to have her.
She didn’t understand how I knew this was a girl, so she humored me. “Well if you’re not going to get rid of “it”, I mean “her” are you giving “it” I mean “her” up for adoption?” she asked.“NO, this is my daughter, no one else’s.” I answered. “Is he in jail?”“No, I never called the police.” My mom looked at me like startled and I explained that I didn’t they would never have believed me. I knew him through high school; I am a single mom, and it is my word against his. He was a college graduate, had a good job, was married but going through a divorce, and had 2 sons. “NO mom I didn’t tell.” “Lord help me!” she replied.I went to visit my dad, had planned on telling him I was pregnant, but when I got there I couldn’t tell him. My son and I spent a couple of days with him and his girlfriend; I wore the tightest jeans I could to cover my little bulge that was forming on my flat stomach. It was very uncomfortable.
After we had returned home I was unaware my dad would be in town a couple of days later. One day I heard a knock at the door and jumped. I hesitantly got up and peeked outside. I opened the door to my dad, and he came in and looked right at my stomach. “Is there something you want to tell me?” He asked, already knowing the answer. I looked down at my little bulge.“Oh well, yeah, I’m pregnant again.” He was asking the same questions, “What are you going to do with another kid, don’t get me wrong we love him, but another baby, look where you live, blah blah blah”. Finally he said what he had been waiting to say all along.“I will pay for it if you want to get rid of it????” “No I’m keeping her.” “You’re that far along?” I left it at that. I was not about to tell him how I got pregnant. He played with my son a bit, and spoke to me, then got up and left. I knew I couldn’t tell anyone how I became pregnant. “He” couldn’t know.
He started laughing and claimed that I “liked it”.
Somehow, “HE” found out I was pregnant. I got a phone call. It was his voice on the phone, and at that exact moment it all flooded back in my head… I screamed for him to never call again before slamming the phone down. He called back. “So you’re pregnant?” He asked.“It’s none of your business, she isn’t your child. LEAVE ME ALONE!!!” I hung up; more like slammed the phone down on the receiver a dozen or so times. He kept calling; I said “how would I know it is a girl, if she was the child from the NIGHT YOU RAPED ME?” ““The night I what?” he asked mockingly.
“The NIGHT YOU RAPED ME!!!” He started laughing and claimed that I “liked it”. I hung up again and had my number changed. Months passed by and one night I heard something outside my apartment door. I was still paranoid; my door was always locked unless my son and me were outside playing. Of the 4 apartments I was in #3 and the next morning I looked out to find a note in my mailbox. It was from my rapist. Telling me I could either end it or he would. I lost it; I didn’t know what to do. I had not gone to the police, so they would want all the details, but I couldn’t. I just hid the notes away. I got a few of these notes over the rest of my pregnancy. One telling me if I didn’t get an abortion he would do it for me. My due date was November 23rd.
I looked at her and wondered how anyone could hold it against a child for how they were conceived.
I was looking for a place to move as my 2 year old son, soon to be daughter, and me would not all fit in the apartment. Not one ultra sound showed she was a girl, But I knew.This would be a repeat c section and for that reason the date was schedule, but the rapist would call the hospital constantly asking if the baby was born. Shortly after my daughter’s birth the nurse came in and said a man named _______called to see if you had your baby. I lost it and said if he comes near me or my baby I will sue this hospital. She asked if he was the father and I told her he wasn’t but he had threatened me. They had guards asking for identification from every man that came on the maternity floor.
She was the most beautiful baby girl I had ever laid my eyes on; blonde hair, big blue eyes, and pink rosy cheeks. She was perfect in every way possible. She was so alert and looked at me with them big eyes as if to say, thank you mom, I love you! I looked at her and wondered how anyone could hold it against a child for how they were conceived. I named her the same name I chose all those months ago, Samantha Elisabeth. She was 8 lbs. 3 ounces and 21 inches long. Her big brother loved her, held her, kissed on her, and everything seemed perfect in so many ways. We were in the hospital for 4 days before I finally got to take her home.
My sister and mom came to the hospital and picked us up. When I got back to my tiny little apartment I thought it was over. That very night I heard something at the door again; my mom and little brother were there so I just left it alone, but he next morning there was a note in my mailbox. “If this kid is mine I WANT 50/50 rights; she lives with you half of the time and with me half of the time.” He claimed that he wanted to be a dad to her. Over my dead body!I didn’t know what to do.
About 4 weeks after we came home I had to ask for help with food, and they sent this lady from a government agency to come out to show me how to budget my money to make my groceries go further. We were going over recipes and stuff along this line and talking, my son was playing and the baby was sleeping. All of a sudden someone pounded on my door and I about jumped out of my skin. The lady looked right at me and said, “You were raped”
I was still scared to death of this person, but I knew my first responsibility was to make sure my children were safe.
I just looked at her, and lost it. Someone that I didn’t even know and she knew. I started crying and couldn’t stop. She hugged me and let me cry and cry. I asked her how she knew and she told me that she had been raped and recognized the signs. I told her everything. She was at my home for what seemed hours. I got up, went to the door and grabbed my mail. I never went to it when whoever beat on it was there. But in my mailbox there was a letter from welfare about the father of the baby. I didn’t know what to do but she offered to help and called a friend of hers; a woman who helped women like me. Things happened quickly. They had me go to community mental health to start counseling, but it wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to fight for child support and he try to get visitation.
With the help of these 2 women, I went to the prosecutor’s office and I had to tell him everything that happened. Then I had to go file a police report of the rape, even though it had been almost a year since this had happened. I did what they said, and The Prosecutor, made it where no one would go after this person for child support, and there was no proof he was her father. This was where I was at, but I had two very good and helpful women in my life, that had both been through what I had been through. I went home feeling a lot better, because I knew before I ever let this monster near my daughter or son, I would kill him. I found a place to move right before Christmas, and we moved from our dinky little one bedroom apartment to a 2 bedroom mother in laws home behind a lady and her 2 kids. I was still scared to death of this person, but I knew my first responsibility was to make sure my children were safe.
I had a lot of big decisions to make concerning my children; my daughter. I knew every day as I watched her grow, as I sat and nursed her, and as I studied the widows peek that she has, or the tiny little fingers and toes, that I made the right choice. I have never believed in abortion, but it was thrown at me numerous times. I had people offer to pay for it for me, people that I loved and loved me. Would I have ever gone through with it? NO. I never understood why GOD allowed such a horrible thing to happen to me, but I know that he meant for her to be born no matter how she was conceived. She has always been a bright, beautiful, loving, and talented girl. Sometimes I regret telling her how she was conceived. I told her when she was 12 because she played sports and I knew he had kids in other schools and I didn’t want him to hear her name, see her, walk up and say “Hi I’m your father, and her not know the truth. So, I chose to tell her.
Raped and Pregnant…the child has a right to have a life.
I look at the woman she has grown to be; the daughter she is, the sister, the sister-in-law, the aunt, the wife, the mother. She graduated from U of M Flint with a Bachelor’s degree in teaching; she is a writer. Shortly before she graduated college she was married to a wonderful young preacher whom she has known since childhood. They were married In February 2011 and pregnant within months; she gave birth to a beautiful little boy and 23 months later she gave birth to another beautiful baby boy.
I look at all she is, all she is capable of, and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I made the right choice. It is never the child’s fault on how a mother gets pregnant. The baby is just as innocent as the woman who has been raped. The victim should never be punished for what the rapist did, so why should the innocent child be punished? Women need to look at the joy that child will bring; the healing of that child. That baby is their baby, no one else’s, and should be given a chance to have a decent long life by the mother that gives birth to him/her, or by an adoptive set of parents None the less, the child has a right to have a life.”
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Juda Myers is a speaker/singer/trainer and founder of CHOICES4LIFE conceived when 8 men raped her mother. Advocating for mothers and children of rape conception