Some Awesome People

Monday, June 4, 2012

Melissa Ohden tells her story

She has a master’s degree in social work and has worked in the fields of substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence and sexual assault counseling, and child welfare. She is married and has a young daughter.

1. Tell us about the miraculous story of your birth.

(My) mother had an abortion during her fifth month of pregnancy. The type of procedure was a saline-infusion abortion, and what that does is scald the child to death while they’re still in the womb. Then, they induce labor and a dead baby should be born.

I was believed to be dead, and I was actually left for dead. I was placed along the bedside table. As the nurse was tending to (my mom), she realized that I was making small movements, and I was making grunting noises. So they realized that here I had been aborted, but I survived.

The doctors remarked that I looked like I was about 31 weeks’ gestational age. (They told my) adoptive family, “She’s probably not going to live for very long. And if she does, she’s going to be blind or deaf or have some sort of emotional or mental disability.”

2. When did you first learn those details?

I grew up knowing I was adopted. I was 14 when I found out the truth, and it was because my older sister (age 18) became pregnant. One night, I was having an argument with her. In the middle of this argument, she said, “You know what? At least my parents wanted me.”

(It was) such a striking blow for somebody who’s adopted, and then coming from another person who’s adopted, it (was) almost absurd.

(Editor’s Note: That night, Melissa waited up for her mother, who told her the truth.)

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