You Carried Me is a poignant story about a young girl who finds out at 14 that she is a living survivor of a botched abortion. In our world which comprises of individual choice and freedom, we often don't heart the stories of those who most need to tell their story. Melissa Ohden tells her personal story that is both moving and alarming in these pages.
Melissa tells the beginning of her story in the first chapter of the book by outlining the details she came to no later on in life. She writes, "Like other babies born prematurely, I had a host of serious medical problems including low birth weight (2 pounds 14.5 ounces), jaundice, and respiratory stress. But my troubles were complicated by the after effects of the poisonous saline solution I had endured in my mother's womb." (3) Into the arms of a loving family, both Ron and Linda Cross welcomed little Melissa with all the tenderness they could muster. Life was not all easy as she grew up in the Cross household, Ron had to take a job in Storm Lake as farming became nearly impossible to manage a family doing. Yet, they stuck together and fifteen years into their marriage, Linda gave birth to a son named Dustin, a younger brother for Melissa.
It was an event in the life of Melissa's sister's life Tammy that changed the course of history for Melissa. Tammy blurted out in anger at one point to Melissa, "At least my parents wanted me!" (22) This comment stung and sent Melissa on a path to find out her birth mother and father. The barest fact were given to Melissa from Linda and she knew finally about the botched abortion but not her birth mother. The burden of not knowing and the willingness to get involved in destructive behaviors led Melissa down the road of drinking and bulimia, she really needed help.
The rest of the story unwinds as Melissa gets further along the quest to finding her birth mother and father and learning to live with the past. She learns to write letters to them and find out what really happened. She also faces opposition and criticism as she told her story to her college friends. She even got invested in the local Methodist church after she shared her story as a survivor during her high school years.
This is a very moving story and one that I know you will want to read.
Thanks to Handlebar and Plough Publishing House for providing the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.