Surviving Abortion | A Woman’s Tale Of Tracking Down Her Birth Mother

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  • Melissa Ohden, 40, from Missouri, was born despite her mother’s 5-day saline infusion abortion in 1977 when she was eight months pregnant 
  • Weighing 2Ib 14oz, she suffered jaundice, respiratory distress and seizures
  • Her 17-year search for answers about her past turned her world upside down 
  • She found out she owes her life to the ‘angel’ nurse who saw her wriggle
  • But she would have been dead if another nurse – her grandmother – had had her way
  • Melissa had a tearful reunion with her birth mother and has now written a book
  • ‘It’s been a painful journey from shame and anger to forgiveness,’ she says

Weighing just 2Ib 14oz she lay hooked up to wires and tubes in a neonatal unit on August 29, 1977.

But there was no anxious parent nearby, lovingly holding her minuscule hand, desperately willing her to live. 

Because Melissa Ohden’s mother had left the hospital in Iowa, believing the toxic saline solution she’d been given over a five-day period when she was eight months pregnant had aborted her child.

However the procedure had failed but Melissa’s mother had no idea her daughter had survived, against the odds, until 36 years later.

After Melissa learnt about her traumatic start in life, she spent nearly two decades searching for answers and would discover her guilt-ridden birth mother had not wanted to have the termination.

Melissa also learnt that she is alive today because a nurse heard her weak cries, slight movements and gasps for breath as she lay discarded as medical waste and rushed her to intensive care.


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