Andra Pralea: After the first medical abortion pill, pain, support and a miracle saved us, mother and child / “For Life” Magazine no. 12, Spring 2023

I will never forget Palm Sunday, the day I made the mistake of my life.

Who gives us the right to decide whether someone should live or not? We think we have the right to do anything, but it’s not really like that. Today I have a miracle that I am holding in my arms and it is not because of me – I who I call myself mother wanted to end a life.

It all started on a Monday a week before Passion Week, when I decided to take a pregnancy test because lately I was always nauseous. Said and done: after not even a minute two clear lines appeared instantly… I was sure now that I was pregnant. I already had two children.

Since then, instead of being happy, I cried continuously, because I didn’t want any more children, but I didn’t want to have an abortion either. I knew it was a great sin and all I had read or heard about abortion was that you kill a defenseless being and not just one… two beings, because after an abortion I think the mother’s soul is torn to pieces, only after you make the mistake do you realize what you did and unfortunately you can’t take it back. But the good God, although I did the greatest misfortune, saved me in time.

I went to the doctor the next day, maybe there’s something wrong with the test, but what can you see, little Alinuț actually had a small beating heart! I told the doctor that I don’t want to get pregnant, but I don’t want to have an abortion either. He told me that he does not perform abortions and can recommend someone, that now this can be well done only with pills.

I cried every day because I didn’t know what to do… my husband didn’t want us to have any more children, for fear that we wouldn’t be able to handle it. On Friday I went to another doctor to take the pills, before I went in I started crying, because I didn’t want to have an abortion, but I didn’t want a child either. I went downstairs, called my husband and told him that I’m keeping the baby no matter what… he told me to calm down and do what I want.

I calmed down and went up to the doctor. I don’t know why I didn’t go home and come back, but maybe it was God’s will that I got to the point of taking the first pill and waking up on time. There I cried and told the doctor that I don’t want to have an abortion, but I don’t want the child either. She consulted me, everything was fine. She told me she thought she’d rather not give me the prescription because I wasn’t sure, but I told her to write it down and I’d think about it.

She told me that if I took the pill, I couldn’t go back. To be sure if I take it, because the book says that it can have effects on the child… as if a book is bigger than God.

I will never forget, honestly, although I wish it would help other mothers who have gone through this hardship, this sadness – I don’t even know what to call it. It’s hard for me to tell, and not because of what the world will say, because that’s not what I care about, but because of the fact that in my soul there is a great pain related to what I wanted to do…

Please, mothers, don’t make my mistake. When God blesses a womb He knows better why He does it and He will also take care to help you.

On Palm Sunday, when it was a holiday, I went to the pharmacy to get the pills. When it was my turn to get them, the pharmacist was new and asked his colleague what the pills were and she replied “they are abortion pills”. I felt stupid that he said that out loud and everyone in the pharmacy heard, but I took the pill and went home. I kept hesitating to take it because if I didn’t take it then the following week was Holy Week and I didn’t want to commit such a big sin then, and if we waited until after Easter I couldn’t get it out with pills. In the end, I plucked up the courage and said “whatever” and took the pill…

All well and good, I went to a cousin’s birthday and came home… I was already starting to feel crazy, not physically, but mentally. I went to sleep and overnight, a state of immense guilt took over me; honestly, I felt all hell inside me. I didn’t know how to control myself, I said to myself: “pull yourself together, you have two more children”. I was praying to God, but nothing seemed to wake me up to reality. I told my husband I was having a panic attack and I wasn’t feeling well; he told me to calm down and go to sleep. It was 4 or 5 in the morning. I called my mother. I thank God for her, she supported me from the beginning to keep the baby, not to have an abortion. Because she didn’t know I took the pill, when she heard me she said “why did you take it?” And I was crying and telling her that I can’t recover. I can’t explain in words what I felt but it was something very terrible. I couldn’t find my place, I felt like going crazy… The condition was getting deeper and deeper, I took the car key and, with my mother on the phone, I walked the streets and told her that I couldn’t recover and she said to pray and calm down, that God will help me. After a few laps in the car, I told her that no matter what, I would keep the baby. I got home, read the Akathist of the Mother of God, took the icon in my hand and cried… I fell asleep.

When I woke up, I called the lady doctor who gave me the pill and told her that I didn’t want to continue and that I would keep the baby. She told me as I said earlier: in the book it says there are problems – but in God it is called a miracle, that that child was still alive and his heart was still beating, but I didn’t know that then.

I knew I had to do something, find out if I could reverse the effect of the pill. I looked on the internet, but there, maybe because of the stress, I didn’t understand anything. Besides, I was no longer able to be the mother of my children… I was literally knocked out, especially since I took that pill.

I thank God for guiding me to write an anonymous post on a group of mothers, in which I told everything that happened. Here I would like to point out something: I was harshly criticized by many women (why are you aborting him, when I am struggling to have a child, and so on). It’s true that it’s something terrible, but the woman at that moment needs understanding, don’t knock her down worse especially because she wants to make things right!

After many messages, I came across two cases where mothers wrote that they and their children were fine. I calmed down a little more. In the evening, an administrator of the group looked for me and wrote that a doctor would like to get in touch with me. Honestly, I thought that doctor would judge me, tell me: how do you want now, after taking the pill, for everything to be fine? But I met the best and wonderful doctor, a woman with a big heart! If all doctors were like this, we would certainly enjoy going to the doctor. She called me in a warm voice and told me that she was supporting me mentally, physically and financially to keep the baby, and on top of all that, she told me that there was a chance that the effect of the pill could be back and that my baby can be saved if I follow the treatment. Then I gained even more courage. Immediately after we spoke, she sent me the prescription and I went to the pharmacy and from that evening I started the treatment.

The next day I had a secretion, I honestly thought the abortion would begin and I called Dr. Emilia. He told me to go to the doctor and see if everything is okay. I went to the doctor and he confirmed that the baby is there and his heart is beating. I asked the doctor if everything would be fine, but I didn’t find the same support as in Dr. Emilia, who encouraged me. The doctor told me that we will see, because she has not seen any other cases.

I tell you all this while cradling the baby and looking at him how wonderful he is and neither today nor any other day will I believe that he is real and that I managed to hold him in my arms and I hear him cooing at me and looking at me and smiling.

I was determined to keep the child, but here comes a more difficult part… My husband, who supported me in the two pregnancies, and we were extremely happy to have the two children, now, for fear that somehow the child has a problem, he told me that he does not agree with me to keep the pregnancy and said to continue with the abortion. Honestly, he was all the support I needed… the whole globe could be against me, then his support would have been the greatest strength, but for fear of the reaction of the first pill, I missed it. I understand and believe him because now his love for our little baby is very great. And the greatest strength and help I began to feel and have after I confessed and received the Holy Communion.

The pregnancy progressed normally. I followed the treatment and it mattered a lot that Dr. Emilia always called me, she was always by my side, both medically and mentally – she was like a caring mother for me.

I gave birth and today I hold a little miracle in my arms. I want to add something else. Every time I went for a check-up, the doctor’s assistant would tell me: look, Andra, if someone is allowed to be born… they are born!

Women, don’t be afraid anymore, because God is always with us and He knows better than we do. I also want to say that I love all my children equally, but since I have the baby by my side I feel fulfilled. I feel that he was what was missing from my heart! I would like to say a huge thank you to Dr. Emilia for everything she has done for me and my family. And most importantly, to thank the Mother of God – know, whenever you have a problem, no matter how big, if you get on your knees and pray to the Mother, She is there with you and lifts you up, listens to you and helps you. God help us!

Note: For a brief medical explanation of medical abortion reversal, you can read the article on this topic on the page of the American Pregnancy Association, where different opinions are presented:
In short, there is a 62% chance that if the reversal treatment is taken in the first 24 hours since the first medical abortion pill was taken, the child may live.

VERY IMPORTANT: This personal testimony does not replace the attending physician. Any gynaecological treatment must be prescribed by a specialist doctor!