Saturday, January 26, 2019

I cried.

Due to recent events in New York and their change to the abortion law that now legalizes late term abortions after 24 weeks, I have felt the need to share my story. The more I think about this post, the more I realize that it isn't so much my story as it is my son, Michael's, story. I just hope that I can do it justice for him. 

I didn’t hear the shocking news until Wednesday this week (a whole 24 hours after the announcement was made). As I watched videos of people cheering and crying tears of happiness and New York lighting up buildings with pink, I couldn’t help but shed tears of heartache. I cried. I cried, and I haven't stopped crying about it each time it comes to my mind or shows up the news. 

As I cried, I was immediately taken back to 9 years ago when I sat in a small room at Primary Children’s Hospital with my husband, a social worker and our unborn son’s Perinatologist. As we sat and listened to the doctor tell us about our son’s extreme heart condition (Ebsetein’s Anomaly) I felt numb. He went on to tell us that our son would probably not make it to full gestation and even if he did, he wouldn’t live any more than a few minutes after he was born. Tears welled up in my eyes and the image of our son’s oversized heart BEATING kept entering my mind. 

“I want you to know that you qualify for an abortion at this point in your pregnancy and with the poor odds of your baby surviving that have been presented to you today, it may be something worth considering,” he said.

I blinked one hard blink and looked at him. Did he really just say the words I thought he said? I immediately felt sick to my stomach and mustered up any energy I had left in my emotionally exhausted pregnant body to tell him that it was not an option in my mind. To me, having our doctor suggest an abortion made me feel like he didn’t consider what was inside me to be a living child. My child. My unborn child that had every right to live, even if it was not for much longer. Even if that life was only going to be lived in the womb. It was still a life, and it was not my choice to decide whether he lived it or not. I knew that the decision was God's and God's only. 

You see, I had been taught and strongly believed that when you get pregnant, your body is no longer your own. You no longer get to make choices for YOU. This whole “My body, my choice” movement has it so tragically wrong. In the words of our dear prophet, President Nelson:

“Terminating the life of a developing baby involves two individuals with separate bodies, brains, and hearts. A woman’s choice for her own body does not include the right to deprive her baby of life — and a lifetime of choices that her child would make.”

My son went on to live for just one more week after our meeting at Primary Children’s. He was born still at just 22 weeks on November 23rd, 2009 and (aside from his large heart) was completely perfect. He had his brother’s nose. His hands had 10 perfect little fingers and his feet had 10 perfect little toes. 

That last week of my pregnancy with him I cherished every single kick, roll and hiccup. I knew he was there and I like to think that he knew I was there too. 

We know without a shadow of a doubt that he received a body and he lived even if it wasn’t outside of the womb. Seeing and hearing his heartbeat is something I hope I never forget. There was such a different feeling once he passed. A void. I knew that he was gone before the ultrasound tech even showed us his heart that was no longer beating. That same heart that we had seen hundreds of times before, beating with every thing it had, fighting to keep our son alive despite it’s anomalies. I knew that his spirit was no longer there and had left his little body to wait for us until we could hold him in Heaven one day.

These little babies have a life and abortions take those precious lives away.

I don’t write this with the intent to change anyone’s mind about abortions. I am not naive enough to think that a little post written by little me on social media will have that kind of power. Nor am I naive enough to think that there may be certain and specific situations where an abortion is the only answer. But I do write this to share what I believe to be true about a majority of abortion cases and to be a voice for my son who didn’t have the chance to have one himself. 

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