Through the eyes of a mother/ grandmother…
It was a very normal Wednesday morning in February 1987. My daughter was home from college and we were making the beds and tidying up the bedrooms. I’d noticed she’d been very quiet and looked a bit tired but thought she was getting over a cold that she’d had. “All right darling?” I said, she looked at me strangely took my hand and said “ no mum not. I’m pregnant. I was raped at college”. I felt as though the world had suddenly turned upside down and unable to think clearly. What happened? How? When? Who? Where? All these things were running through my head but the most important thought was: How are you? And what do you want us to do?
“Mum I can’t have an abortion, I’m going to keep this baby will you help me?”
There was only one answer “Of course we will.” Telling her dad and younger brother was very hard, but as we stood in our lounge and hugged. My son summed up what we all felt: “ There’s enough love in this family to share with one more”.
I was on the leadership of the church and knew that I had to see our pastor and his wife straight away. It was with them that I finally broke down and cried. We agreed that he would tell the church at the next church meeting which was the next week. I wanted to tell my close friends personally so asked a few of them to come round and we wept and prayed together. After the church meeting, it was not easy having to face everyone. My daughter had gone back to college as she had decided to continue with her course. She would finish in June and the baby was due in September. She was given permission to take the six weeks after the birth to look after the baby, and then return to college in October to complete her course and we would look after the baby.
The next few months passed very quickly and the shock began to wear off and we started to face the practicalities. Babies need things like prams, cots, clothes etc., and that’s when the church family really came into its own. Money was given for a beautiful new cot, a wonderful Silver Cross pram appeared, a baby changing table, nappy bags and so much more. One of my friends organized a baby shower and so much was given I think we were using baby powder two years later.
Our daughter was attending a church close to her college and we know she was being supported by the Christian family there. Our family doctor, a practicing Catholic, was also brilliant and even gave her his home phone number for if she needed to talk.
One of the problems we had was that most of the medical staff she had to deal with wanted her to have an abortion and couldn’t understand why she would want to through with having the baby. Some of our close relatives felt the same way which put a great strain on the family. We also realized that some of our own church family didn’t believe that she had been raped and had made up the story to cover her pregnancy. That was hard for us to cope with but we came to the conclusion that God knew the truth and that was what mattered. Oddly the people who disbelieved her were her contemporaries and gave her the most grief.
Our daughter was 21 on August the 31st and two days later our granddaughter was born. Someone once said to us: “ Now you have a problem, soon you will have a baby and a baby is much easier to deal with than a problem”, and that was so true. Suddenly even the doubters came around and presents flowed into the house. Everyone wanted to celebrate this new young life, so precious.
We decided that her dedication would be a family affair (her church family) and that’s what happened: no godparents, no sponsors, because she really belonged to us all.
This took place a long time ago and now our daughter has married and has three more wonderful children, and moved to the other side of the world. Our granddaughter is also married to a wonderful Christian man and has presented us with two beautiful great grandsons.
We are still very close and when I looked at the photograph of her with her babies I just wanted to shout: “ Isn’t God good? Thank you that my daughter didn’t listen to those other voices. Look what we would have missed!”
(Middlesex, England, UK)