“Natty’s Pond: Finding Hope and Forgiveness after a Medically Advised Abortion” by Jenny Foster
Although Jenny’s memoir is a sensitive one, it is one we must be more aware of. There’s a battle going on over abortion and Jenny Foster has the courage to tell her story to give hope and help.
I’m featuring this important book in my monthly book drawing. Read below how you can enter to win! UPDATE: Drawing is now closed.
Natty’s Pond is a true story of surviving a second trimester abortion of a wanted pregnancy that was deemed “medically advisable” due to poor fetal prognosis. The consequences of this decision were unexpected, grave, and altered the course of the author’s life and health for twenty years. This tender, vulnerable and honest story poignantly illustrates the life-altering post-abortive symptoms which can protract the grief process. This memoir offers hope for the silent sufferers and bridges important gaps between those who have endured abortion and those who can only imagine.
Here is an excerpt from Jenny’s book.
“God Forgive Me”
by Jenny Foster
My heart beat wildly out of control as I saw fragments of my wee baby on the screen where I had last seen him dancing just a few months before. She began to make her exit strategy from the room after referring to my baby as “calcified parts,” and she seemed to sense that her technical term had put her in deeper waters than her job description permitted. It was another blow, and I was sickened by the spiritual aspect of our baby not being retrieved “whole,” of his body being further desecrated by having to be removed in two attempts. The ashes in my urn were not complete, and I knew they’d think me crazy if I asked for the rest. I steeled myself with the thought that I couldn’t be the only woman to endure this complication. Dr. Parr’s words the day of the amnio echoed in my head: “If we wait another week, I’ll be getting out of my comfort zone.”
My occasional arrhythmia had my heart pounding so hard I thought I might pass out. I wanted so much to confront Dr. Parr and scream at him. How could he have done this to me? Why hadn’t he been more aggressive in diagnosing the post-surgical pain? He became the enemy, the one onto whom I could safely pin some of my rage, as I struggled not to rage against God, Ben, or myself.
“I’m going to get our nurse who is good at explaining these things and can sit with you for a minute.” She stood up slowly, using her hands to press against the top of her thighs.
These things? These things actually happen enough to have a person who’s good at explaining them? I quietly wondered in my sarcastic inner voice.
“I wish I had the right thing to say, other than that you will feel better, and this will get better. Again, I’m so sorry for your loss, Jenny.” She backed out of the dark room, turning up the lights on the dimmer switch, as if that might shock me back into composure—back to the face of a normal person, the polite person I always was.
I jerked my green stretchy pants down off the wall hook so hard that my underwear fell to the floor. I didn’t care about them getting dirty. I didn’t care about anything. I was pulling up my pants and gingerly trying to sit down sideways to put on my socks when the nurse to whom I’d been pawned off came in with my chart and a hand-held Palm Pilot fitted with a black rubber cover like a walkie-talkie. I knew why she was here. Her mission was scheduling.
“Hi, Mrs. Harper. Dr. Helsik sent me in to help you schedule your procedure in our next available time slot. Our obstetrical surgeries are done on Fridays.”
“I know.” I’d rarely answered anyone without including the words I’m sorry or thank you, but all I cared about was blowing my nose and collecting my purse and jacket so I could leave this place.
“How about we do this? I’ll put you on the surgical schedule for next Friday with Dr. Parr, and then you talk to your husband and call Dr. Parr in the morning to make a plan of care.”
“Okay. Thank you.” I answered, barely hearing myself.
She handed me a blue folder with gold foil lettering, the same kind I received congratulating me on my pregnancy, with information about the hospital’s birthing center, NICU, and maternal nutritional support resources. This time the blue folder was nearly empty, and she showed me the scheduling paper and pre-op instructions inside it.
“Yep. Got it. Thanks.”
I paused to let her leave so I could be alone again in the room. I felt numb.
I’d been in a room exactly like this in May when they’d told us we should end our baby’s life. It’s the compassionate choice, they had said. I’d spent much of my life in and out of medical centers, and for the first time I felt entitled to break the unspoken rules. I walked over to the ultrasound equipment that had been the bearer of the worst news of my life now twice. They’re my medical records anyway, I thought as I listened carefully for noise in the hallway in the hopes I wouldn’t be caught, and I pressed the red button on the computer monitor and paused as it changed to green.
Why are you doing this? I heard my mom whisper in my head. Don’t torture yourself.
But I had to see it, to see what was left of him. He was mine. He was not meant for medical waste. I familiarized myself with the little pile of forgotten bones. I pressed my hand against the monitor over the cause of my ongoing pain and unresolved grief, now lit up in silence before me without any words needed from a medical provider.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, little one.” The tears ran freely down my face, and I felt utterly alone in the world. “God forgive me.”
Thank you, Jenny, for graciously sharing your difficult story with us.
To enter the drawing to win a copy of “Natty’s Pond“, comment on this blog post. Only USA addresses can win. The drawing will close on Wednesday evening, June 8, 2022.
UPDATE: Drawing is now closed. Kat is the winner of the drawing. Thank you everyone for entering the drawing.
In Jenny Foster’s twenty-four-year career in human resources and corporate employee benefits she most enjoyed being a field educator who educated and energized her audience. She presented nationally and achieved top speaker ratings. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of California, Davis, and considers herself a lifetime learner. Jenny held dual insurance licenses as well as a professional designation as a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) for fourteen years.
After coauthoring her first technical book in 2018, Jenny published a memoir released in 2021, entitled Natty’s Pond. She is passionate about writing with the primary aim of helping people move from “adversity to inspiration.” After a lifetime lived in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Jenny now lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and their beloved Frenchie Pug.
Connect with Jenny at her website
Purchase her book at:
Used by permission of Kathy Collard Miller.