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  • Writer's pictureDeseré Cross Ward, M.Ed.

The Power of Storytelling📖

Updated: Jul 3, 2022

At TwoWards Solutions, we keep it real. We value authenticity, which we believe to be the 🔑 to successful marketing and communications. So in the spirit of authenticity and in light of Roe vs. Wade being overturned (the landmark Supreme Court case that guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion), I feel it imperative to share my personal story.

I was 21 years old when I got an abortion. It was my last semester of college and I had no idea what the future held, but I knew I didn't want it to include being a single mother, fresh out of school, with no job. Getting an abortion was a tough decision to make, one I contemplated for weeks and kept secret from my family because I was ashamed of the irresponsible actions that led to my predicament. Despite the shame I felt, not once did I regret my decision to terminate my pregnancy. Having the agency to decide whether or not to start a family played a major role in how my life turned out. If I had decided to have a child at 21, I would have been a single mother, probably struggled financially, and my future husband would have passed on sliding into my DMs 😜. Waiting to have a child allowed me to mature and create the life I envisioned for myself and future family.

Deseré, Michael and #BabyAntoinette
The Ward family

Fast-forward eight years later, I have a beautiful baby girl with my husband, Michael, but no longer the option to have an abortion (we live in Texas 🤦🏾‍♀️). When Roe vs. Wade was overturned, I was speechless; it took me several days to digest the magnitude of the ruling. As the days passed, I reflected on my own abortion and the hundreds of thousands of people each year who make the same choice. I thought about my daughter growing up in a society that will deny her this freedom of choice. I questioned why our government wants to dictate who has a child vs. focusing on combating the issues that lead to unwanted pregnancy. Once I digested my new reality, I decided to respond to this devastating blow to personal rights in the best way I knew how -- through storytelling.


After terminating my pregnancy, I eventually chose the pill as my form of birth control. This method worked for about six years until graduation weekend. I was so busy celebrating earning my master’s degree that I forgot to take my pill, which is how we ended up with this beautiful bundle of pure joy :D


#BabyAntoinette

After giving birth to #BabyAntoinette, it was time to re-evaluate my form of birth control. Now that I was a new mommy and CEO of a company, I knew I couldn’t rely on myself to remember to take a pill each day, so I commenced my search for a new form of contraception. I considered the patch and implant, but both still required me to take an action every so often, so I settled on an IUD (copper) instead. It was reliable (✅), convenient (✅) hormone free (✅), and long lasting (✅). The only issue was that no one seemed to have had a positive IUD experience. After surveying my friends and searching online, negative experiences far outweighed the lukewarm positive stories I found. Only approximately 12% of American women who use contraception have an IUD, and I questioned if I wanted to join this minority group. After much prayer and consideration, I decided regardless of the stories I had read, I was not going to allow fear (that really was the only thing standing in my way) to dictate my form of birth control. So I gave it a try. I got my IUD implanted in May and had my first period (with no complications🙌🏽) in June. After my first cycle with the IUD, I called my sisters to give them an update and to have a conversation about birth control. Given the lack of positive IUD reviews I found, I thought it was important for them to hear my experience and for us all to share our birth control journeys. After the convo, we each left more informed about different forms of contraception.

Graphic that reads "Your story matters"

I share my abortion story and birth control journey because I know it has the power to inform and influence, to start important conversations, and to encourage others to share their experience, all of which will help to make the topic of abortion and contraception less taboo. In these times where a person’s right to decide what to do with their body is being challenged, it’s important that we share our stories. Stories create opportunities for connection, understanding, compassion and empathy, all of which is needed if our country is going to survive the decisiveness that threatens our unitedness.

 

If you made it this far, thanks for sticking around to read my story. TwoWards Solutions has a knack for storytelling and would love to help you tell yours. If you have a story you want to share, but aren't quite sure how, click here to schedule some time to chat with our CEO; she'd love to hear your story and discuss how TwoWards Solutions can help you tell it!


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