435 Main St., Suite 126
Johnson City, New York 13790
At Birthright, we understand the challenges related to unplanned pregnancies. We know that it can be an overwhelming and often scary situation. However, we also know that there is hope for the mother and her child. Birthright believes that “It is the right of every pregnant woman to give birth, and the right of every child to be born.” Birthright is here to be the friend that a pregnant woman needs as she navigates an unplanned pregnancy.
Birthright is available to women for as long as they need us. We offer love, friendship, and support to women who are pregnant or think they may be pregnant. Birthright services are always free, non-judgmental and confidential. We can also provide information, referrals, and resources to help the woman help herself. Birthright is unique, and available 24/7 through our toll-free helpline. Birthright is not involved in any religious movements, political activities, or lobbying. Birthright’s focus is on loving the mother, reminding her that there is hope and ensuring she is not alone.
Winter is upon us and snow has blanketed our county. Happy New Years to all.
Our Pizza Sale was very successful. Thanks again to Cortese, Jonathans and Consols. Your support is greatly appreciated.
The Health Fair on January 18th was a busy day. Many people stopped at our table, asked about us, complimented us, and some gave us wonderful stories about the help they received from us. We also may have a new volunteer from the Fair.
Upcoming informational tables will be at the Endwell Fire Station in March and Sacred Heart in April.
Our quilt winner this year is: Robert Albrecht. Robert has been a Birthright supporter for many years. Winning ticket was drawn on November 23, 2014 at St. Patrick's craft sale by Sister Ellen.
Good News: We have new "Birthright Bookmarks", for our local chapter with our name, address, and phone number printed on it, and for our non-local chapters with an area for their name and address stamp. Also printed on the bookmark is the poem written by our founder, Louise Summerhill as well as the Birthright 800 phone number. They are professional looking and thanks to Peg Hyland for the design creation.
We are excited about hosting the NY State meeting here in September. Keep looking for details.
Birthright of Binghamton Board of Directors: Martin Curtin, Judy Wright, Anna Wright, Fr. Jim Dutko, Lexy Roberts, Peg Hyland, Pat McCoy, Barb Peffley, Treasurer, Linda Schmidt, Secretary, Karen Montgomery, Director.
Conception to Death: The Story That Changed A Life
My name is V and I am J's mother. J was conceived on November 11th, 2013. Until February 5th, 2014, she grew in my womb. She lived. She had a heartbeat, she grew arms and legs, hands and feet. She developed organs. She had eyes and a nose, and a mouth with wich she sucked her tiny thumb. On February 5th, 2014, she died. I aborted my daughter.
From the time I realized I was carrying a child, I was terrified. I wasn't ready for this. I couldn't support the child I already had, let alone care for a second one. What was I going to do? What was I going to tell my family? My God, what was I going to say to my parents? I had to do something. I had to figure it out. Although I had never believed in abortion as a form of birth control, it went in and out of my mind. How willing we become to compromise our values when terror falls upon us. I went over the options day and night, but no matter how hard I knew life was going to be with a second child, I couldn't come to terms with terminating my pregnancy. I was carrying a baby. I loved my baby. My baby deserved to live. I made up my mind. I was keeping my baby.
J came to be under terrible circumstances. I was a single mother already struggling to support myself and my 7 year old son. Her father worked a low wage job which he would soon lose. He couldn't even support himself let alone anyone else. He was a felon with a long criminal record, and a recovering drug addict who would soon relapse. To top it off, he would soon leave me and disappear. This is what I had to present to my parents. "Mom and Dad, I'm going to have a baby, and these are the circumstances" How do you deliver news like that?
I came up with the best plan I could think of to make it all work. It was flawed and uncertain, but I was willing to do anything to keep both my children. I had the love and support of my closest friends, I had the love in my heart for my baby and a determination to somehow make it through, damn it!! I went to my first prenatal appointment where I saw J for the first time. I saw her arms and legs, and her tiny hands and feet. I heard her precious heartbeat, the only time I would ever hear it. It was too soon to know if she was a boy or girl, but I had a feeling she would be a girl. Two weeks later, I went to my end of trimester screening. Again, I saw my baby. It would be the last time I would ever see her. She was so clear on the screen. She was waving her little arms. I saw her heartbeat, but there was no sound, so I didn't get to hear it beating. I wish I had heard it. She was deemed perfectly healthy, and it was confirmed - she was a girl. For the first time in my pregnancy, the fear momentarily faded and I felt distinct joy in my heart - I could name my baby. I gave her the most beautiful name I could think of.
That day was the beginning of the end of my daughter's life. I went straight from my appointment to my parent's house. With my schedule being changed at work to accommodate my pregnancy, and my tummy growing to round to cover, I couldn't keep my secret any longer. I remember the ache in my heart thinking I was going to lose my parents. Of all the disappointments, frustrations, and outright heartbreaks I had caused them in my life, this would be the straw that broke the camel's back. They would be done with me. I had prepared myself for this moment, for the words I thought my Dad would say, and the heartache his absence in my life would bring . I had pictured my mom breaking down in tears, listening as my dad told me he was done with me, wondering how her daughter went so wrong. That's not quite what happened.
It was my dad who sat in silence, his head hung in disbelief It was Mother who spoke. She shed no tears. She stated in no uncertain terms that she could not take on the care of another child. She had enough of a load to carry with my son. I was blind and hopelessly naive if I thought I was going to be able to handle this, especially on my own. My dad interjected, still clearly in disbelief, with his thoughts of who the hell was I kidding thinking there was any way possible that this was going to work financially or otherwise. They pointed out things I was already aware of. I had to choose my son's wellbeing. By the end of the afternoon, my heart was broken knowing they were not going to help me keep my baby. I am 30 years old, yet highly dependent on them for the care of my son and even for financial help when my paycheck just doesn't extend far enough to keep up with the bare necessities of single motherhood. They stretch their own income thin already to throw me a lifeline every time I just can't keep afloat. The pain of reality settled into my heart. I couldn't do this without their support, and I didn't have it. I knew they were right. They couldn't help me financially any more than they already were, they couldn't add an infant to the already time-consuming care of my son, and I couldn't do it alone.
Over the next week, I would cry and pray that their hearts would change. I hoped that by some miracle they would think about the growing baby in my womb and something would come over them and they would make a way to help me keep her. My heart screamed out that I just couldn't be without my daughter. I felt more lost than I had before. I felt defenseless, desperate, and completely alone.
I made the dreaded appointment at what my heart considered the murder clinic. I wanted time to stand still so the day would never come. I wanted my parents to change their minds. I wanted to somehow run away so they couldn't make me go. I wanted to hold my daughter and never let her go.
February 4th, 2014 - Day one of the procedure...My parents picked me up in the morning and we headed for the clinic. I wanted to scream for them to stop, turn the car around, and I want my baby. I got a little static as I walked through the clinic door. My dad had managed to keep a pro-lifer with baby brochures from approaching me, but an old picketer woman yelled at me, "If you are here for an abortion, please don't do that, don't kill the baby!"
She had no idea how badly I didn't want to be there. Little did she know that I was dying inside. Little did she know that I knew my baby was fully human, a child not a choice. But I felt I had no choice. I walked into the waiting room and checked in. I felt like I was waiting for my own execution, though I would have preferred that. They called me in. They sent me back out to think about my choice because I was sobbing uncontrollably. I went out to talk to my dad, hoping that this one last chance he would change his mind. No...he couldn't. I knew I was alone. I went back in and had the dilator inserted. There was no sympathy from the nurse, no compassion from the doctor, just a quick and very painful insertion from which there was no turning back.
February 5th, 2014 - Day two of the procedure, the day my J died.........I have never felt more helpless and alone. I waited with my dad in the waiting room until they called me to the back to prep me. I put on my hospital gown and went to wait in the pre-op room. There were other mothers in the room, but only one was ahead of me. They called her in. I knew I was next. I wanted to scream. I waited for what felt like both hours and only short minutes. They called my name. This was it, it was over. I walked into that cold and Godless room where they would tear my daughter from my womb. I laid on the table and felt my tummy with my hand, the last time I would ever feel my baby's life inside of me. This nurse was nicer. She put her hand on my arm and said "don't cry" and with a little compassion, rubbed my arm gently. I hoped with the last hope I had left in my heart that she would recognize my tears as the desperation I felt, and would tell me this wasn't the right choice for me, that I should not go through with it. That didn't happen. There was no one to save me, no one to save J. In walked the anesthesiologist. He told me he would be putting me to sleep. I wanted to tell him to please make sure I didn't wake up, but I just cried silently instead. He started the process and I knew I would be asleep within the minute. I whispered over and over, "I love you, J, I love you J, I love you, J" until I felt the tingling and burning of the medication start to spread through my body and my whispers were silenced to only thoughts, "I love you, J, I love you" That was my last thought before sleep took over my body.
I had hoped that I wouldn't wake up. I hoped the doctor would make some fatal mistake and I would die with my daughter. But I woke up. I woke into the most unbearable agony I could have ever imagined. My J was gone. They say the lingering medication should cloud your mind and for the first minutes you are awake, you should not remember. I remembered everything clearly. I knew at that moment that my soul had died with J. No time passed between the time they woke me up and the time I began to cry for her. "My baby, my baby." "No, don't do that," they said to me, but I continued to cry. I wept bitterly until my body could no longer sob. My daughter and my soul were gone from my life.
Recovery time was short. They check your bleeding, get you up, hand you some paperwork, and send you on your way, just another cow in the herd. I dressed and went to the waiting room to get my dad. As we walked out the door, I felt the shattered pieces of my heart turn to dust. I was leaving my daughter's body in that God forsaken place. She had been torn to pieces as she was ripped from my body. I did not get to take her home to give her a proper burial. No one else would cry for her. No one would gather around her grave and lay flowers in her honor. There would be no headstone to memorialize her short life and her precious name. I would have no place to visit. Few would ever even know she existed. She was unceremoniously and completely gone. The pain was more than I could take.
I died with J that day.
Halifax, NS, June 14, 2013 - Birthright International is excited to announce the launch of our new website. It has been a project that we have worked very hard on, and it has taken countless hours of dedication by many people.
Halifax, NS, June 14-16, 2013 - Birthright International hosted it 43rd annual Convention in Halifax, NS. This year, our theme is Birthright: Caring and Sharing. Our annual Convention has been an opportunity for centres from across the globe to come together and share their knowledge, challenges, and love.
Toronto, ON, June 1, 2013 - Birthright International is very pleased to say that Birthright of South Africa and Birthright of Cote D’Ivoire are represented at this year’s Convention! Marie-Eve Inghilterra joins us from Durban, South Africa.