Shock rumbles through her mind, she pictures the explosion of an atomic bomb the mushroom cloud rising high in the air, swelling, SWElling, SWELLING! Until it reaches maximum capacity and the shards of her perfectly planned life fall down round her.
She holds the plastic tester in her hand and stares at the two thin red lines. Those two little thin red lines mock her; say goodbye to the career you’ve worked so hard to achieve, goodbye to the boyfriend, which said he wanted no strings attached. Strings! Those two red lines were ropes not strings.
NO WAY! She was the conductor of her life and those two red lines were going to be erased from her symphony.
An hour later she learned that there was no where in the city of Leeds to get an abortion, actually the state of Alabama had banned abortion. She was going to have to drive all the way to Tennessee to get one done.
“What kind of State bans a necessary medical procedure?” Allie complained to herself.
She booked an appointment at an abortion clinic in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, it was just over the state line. The appointment was for the next morning, it was going to be an almost three hour drive. So she spent the rest of the day getting ready for the trip. When she crawled into bed, she finally felt calm; she was taking charge of her life, getting rid of the problem. She refused to think of it as a baby, it was just a temporary problem.
The next morning she got up early so she could be on the road by 5am. When she walked outside snow lightly peppered her head.
“Great, I hate driving in the snow! Hopefully it will clear up soon.”
She hit highway 65 by 6:30, she was running behind because the snow started coming down harder. Traffic was heavier than expected and they were driving slower than the posted 65 mph. Three hours later she was only passing Athens. She was hours behind schedule and she still had over eighty miles to go. She had given herself an hour leeway, but that had quickly dwindled away. She could turn around but Lawrenceburg was closer than home. The snow was heavy but nothing she hadn’t seen before. This drive was playing havoc with her mind; every song that came on the radio had something to do with babies;
Always be my Baby
Hit me Baby one more time
Be my baby tonight
“Ugh!” She angrily turned off the radio, “It wasn’t a baby yet and it wasn’t going to be either.”
By the time she hit Tennessee it was almost a white out; the wind was whipping her car side to side. She took the first exit she saw and looked for somewhere to shelter a while, till the storm calmed down.
“Hopefully they can work me in or I’ll just have to reschedule the blasted appointment.” she grumbled.
Allie saw a Wal-Mart and pulled into the parking lot, there were very few cars in the lot. She drove to the front, so she wouldn’t have far to walk through the elements. She tried to slow near the entrance, but her wheels couldn’t find any traction and she slammed into the concrete posts in front of the store. She was thrown into the side window, cracking it and bloodying her nose. The whole side of her face ached. She had to crawl out the passenger side of the car, since her door was crumpled and wouldn’t open. She stumbled to the open doors of the store.
The lights were off, only the emergency flood lights were on. Snow had piled up on the sensor pad of the sliding doors, causing them to keep opening, until the snow had accumulated so much the doors could no longer close. She trudged through it and walked into the store.
“Hello?” her voice echoed through the cavernous store. She heard things falling to her left and something running toward her. She ran back out into the storm. She ran to the next closet car, since her door was smashed. Luckily it was unlocked; she leapt in and stared back at the store. After a few seconds, a pack of coyotes ran through the door and back into the surrounding woodlands,
She leaned back in the seat sighing in relief. She tried her phone to call for help and she had no bars.
“Great, no service! I can’t stay in this car; I’m just going to have to go back into that store. She started to open the door, but she heard slight mewling sound. Silently she listened and searched for the sound. Someone abandoned a kitten in the car, she thought angrily. The sound was coming from a pile of blankets on the floorboard. She gently moved part of the top blanket, horrified she dropped the edge of the blanket and jumped back against the door. She couldn’t have just seen what she thought she saw! However the cries that are now issuing from the bundle proved that she had.
She couldn't just leave it there! She wished she was any where but in this car. The loud cries refuse to be ignored, so she leaned over and picked the swaddled bundle off the floorboard.
She could feel the chill through the blankets so she opens her coat and bundled it to her chest. She peaked under the blanket again to see the very young baby within.
“What am I going to do with you?” She grumbled. Now it’s even more imperative for her to return to the store. That’s the only place where they can safely shelter. The wind has picked up even more in the few minutes she’d been in the car. She wrapped the other blankets around her chest and shoulders, trying to create a safe place for the baby. Once she’s covered she gets out of the car and trudges through the biting wind and snow to the doors.
She entered the store and moved toward the back. It’s very cold but at least the wind doesn’t reach this far back. Always one to take command she makes a mental list of what she needs.
She’ll need something safe and warm for the baby
And then she’ll need to feed the baby judging by its cries.
She grabs a cart and walks to the baby section, there she throws a portable baby bed into it, she adds a package of bottles, a pacifier, diapers and wipes. She looks for formula and sees that its’ kept behind locked doors. She walks to the outdoor section and grabs a hatchet and walks back to the baby section. She lays the baby in the bed and pries open the doors. Which formula to get? She grabs the can that says sensitive; thinking can’t go wrong with that. She sees a winter sleeper hanging from a rack and puts that in the cart. Then she heads to the back of the store. She decides to go into the restroom, because she can shut the door for further insulation from the cold.
It’s almost warm in the restroom; she turns on the hot faucet and lets it run, while she changes the baby into the warm outfit. Then she rinses the bottles and pacifier under the hot water. Reading the label she measures out the formula and sits down on the floor to feed the baby.
An uncomfortable thought enters her mind, it feels right holding the baby girl. She balks at it. The baby eats fast, poor thing was starving, she thought. What kind of person would abandon a baby in this storm! Then a second thought crossed in mind, how are you any better? You planned to kill yours.
“I’m not killing a baby; I’m getting rid of a clump of cells!” She angrily growls.
She remembered that she should burp the baby so she raises her to her shoulder and gently pats her back. The smell of the baby teases her nose, it’s a pleasant smell. Unconsciously she rubs her cheek against the baby’s silky hair, and sighs.
When the baby falls asleep she puts her back in her bed. She listens to the howling wind, the storm is getting worse. The emergency lights flicker but stay on, she realizes she’s going to be here for a while and needs to get supplies. She wraps blankets around the baby and goes out into the store. Anxiety tugs at her for leaving the baby, but she knows the restroom is the warmest and safest place for her.
She takes the cart with her, wind is howling through the store, she goes back to the baby section and grabs more formula and diapers, she has no idea how long she’ll be here. Then she grabs other items that might be useful. As she’s leaving she’s spies a book sitting on the shelf ‘The Miracle of Conception.’ she throws it in the cart. She reasons that maybe it will have information she could use to take care of the baby. She goes through the store grabbing supplies; a lantern, flashlight, lots of batteries, a battery backed up clock radio, food for herself more blankets, pillows, warm clothes, socks and a small tent.
As she’s heading back, she hears a racket; she fears its more coyotes. Panic sends tremors down her spine; could coyotes push the restroom door open? She races back to the restrooms skidding to a halt when a couple of deer bound into her path. She back tracks and runs down another aisle when the buck lowers his antlers.
Once in the restroom she pushes the cart inside and deadbolts the door. She rushes to the baby and sees she’s still sleeping. She feels something on her face; she wipes at it and looks at her hand. It's wet, she realizes she’s been weeping. Fatigue hits her like a hammer and she slides down the wall to the floor.
“What the Hell is wrong with me!” Allie cries burying her face in her hands.
She felt like she was in an apocalyptic movie, only the baby and her. She is the only thing between life and death for the child. It’s a daunting realization, but she thanks God for the circumstances that had brought her to this baby.
Shaking off her melancholy, she starts putting her temporary shelter in order. She sets up the small tent and lines it with blankets and pillows. She knows that with nightfall it will get colder and hopefully the tent will be warmer than the vast restroom. She nibbles on the cheese and crackers she grabbed. As she is finishing that the baby wakes, she changes her and slips her into some thermal pajamas. Then she feeds her another bottle. She doesn’t drink much. Not knowing what a baby drinks she worries if 3 ounces is enough, but the baby seems content settling into sleep again.
She marvels at the babies tiny fingers, so fragile and so precious. Her mind wanders to the child growing with in her. She places the baby and her bed into the tent, stroking her soft cheek as she withdraws, when she stands up her hands cup her belly for an instant.
She pushes those thoughts away and starts putting batteries in the lantern and flashlights, then into the clock radio, she doesn’t set the clock because she has no idea of the time. But her body is telling her she needs sleep. She changes into the thermal pajamas from the basket and sees the book. She grabs it and puts the items into the tent, once inside she zips up the opening and gets comfortable.
She turns on the radio and tunes into a news station;
“The last time the Tennessee Valley saw a blizzard this extreme was in 1996, it dumped 5 inches of snow in less than 6 hours. Officials are advising everyone to stay off the roads, and bundle up; it’s going to be a long night.”
“Wonderful!” she sighs listening to the howling wind, she lays down, but can’t sleep. So she grabs the book and starts to read.
‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; and before you were born I consecrated you.’
-The First trimester- (0 to 13 weeks) This is the most critical time in your baby’s development;
*your body is going through enormous changes,
*by 6 ½ weeks you can hear the baby’s heartbeart with an ultrasound.
*the baby will develop all of it’s organs by the 3rd month
‘For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.’
“My baby already has a heartbeart?” She thought in amazement. She figured she was probably 10 to 12 weeks along. She looks at the photo at 12 weeks. She sees its little hands and fingers, she can tell this baby is a little boy. Even though it is only 3 inches long, she can tell it's a baby, not a clump of cells. The phrase ‘in my mother’s womb” struck her hard, she never thought of this pregnancy in terms of her being a mother…especially already.
She saw that the book was written by a Christian author, she believed in God, she always had she just hadn’t thought about him much since she’d grown up. The scripture about knowing you in the womb surprised her. She had never thought of abortion as anything other than a medical procedure, no different than a pap smear. But thinking in God’s view, certainly made her think in a different perspective.
She struggled with that internally, she had her career, and Phil. But what was more important? Who do I want to spend my life with? Did she plan a life with Phil? No, it would end, she never saw him as a forever relationship. But this child was a forever relationship, a child is a bond of forever. And her career was so she’d be financially stable, it wasn’t her life. It was so she could enjoy her life. The baby would be her life, it would be her love and her future.
When had she stopped thinking, …my body, my career...my ,my, my...?
When had she stopped thinking, ...it’s just a clump of cells, it’s just an inconvenience to be terminated?
When had she started thinking, …this is my baby, my responsibility? I am its protector,
I’m its MOTHER!
She rolled over and looked at the innocent baby sleeping in its bed. Shame filled her, when she realized she had been about to kill her own child. A scripture popped into her mind from her youth;
‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgressions...’
She picked up the book that she had dropped; it was opened to the last page,
‘God calls children a true gift and a blessing...
Children are a heritage from the lord, The fruit of the womb...
Fearfully and wonderfully made...
She closed her eyes and thought of all the coincidences that had to occur for her to get to this point;
Finding out she was pregnant,
Having to travel to Tennessee for an abortion,
The Blizzard making her get off the interstate when she had,
the Wal-Mart doors being open,
and running to that certain car.
It was pretty far fetched to believe it was coincidence, but when she looked to God, she saw his finger in it all…
He had saved two babies this day.
With a smile on her face she drifted off to sleep. She was awakened hours later to pounding on the restroom door. She opened the door to a police officer who was checking the store, he’d come to the Wal-Mart checking for a baby reported to have been left in a car when the Mother had tried to go find help. When he saw the open door of the store he decided to check inside while the other officers checked the lot.
“The baby is safe with me.” Allie told the officer and then went to get her out of the tent.
“Thank God!” the officer said visibly relieved. “I was so frightened that this was a call to find a dead body.”
“The baby decided at that moment that she wanted her breakfast,
“When you’re ready we’ll take you to the emergency shelter and reunite this precious baby with her parents.” The officer told her.
So Allie changed and fed the baby for the last time, sorrow filling her but at the same time joy. The baby wasn’t abandoned and neither would her baby be abandoned or worse.
She gathered the baby things including the bed, the parents might need them. She didn’t think Wal-Mart would mind considering the circumstances. Collecting her things she then walked outside with the baby snuggled in her arms. The weather was crisp and beautiful; it was a wonderful day to start over again,
Thanks to God.