I rarely speak out on any controversial issue, but there is one where I always feel targeted. The proponents of the issue act like they speak for me, but they don’t. This issue is on abortion, specifically when they talk about doing an abortion to save the life of the mother, or if something is wrong with the baby. Below are my thoughts.
Don’t speak for me—You weren’t there.
You weren’t there when I found out there was something wrong with my baby. When in the crush of fear and despair, my doctor and medical professionals assured me this could be taken care of by abortion. When they pressured me to get further testing to see just what was wrong—tests which could endanger my, child—and then I could make a more informed decision.
You weren’t there when I wept before the Lord and lifted up my baby to Him. When I never once doubted Psalm 139:13-16, that God was forming this baby in my womb and His ways are always perfect. When I never for a moment considered abortion as an option.
You weren’t there when I struggled with sickness and weakness for the whole pregnancy. When I went from being pretty athletic to pushing myself to walk two hundred yards to the mailbox. When I lost weight during the pregnancy instead of gaining. When I suffered from one infection after another, draining me physically and emotionally. When I wept, concerned that my sickness was harming my child, this gift from God.
You weren’t there when every other time I went to the doctor he had some dire news to give me. Something more that was wrong with the baby. Down’s syndrome. Kidney failure. Low birth weight. Problems with the amniotic fluid. When the doctor yelled at me—something to the effect that – “How can you expect me to save you if you won’t do what I want?” He wanted me to “terminate the pregnancy.”
You weren’t there when, at the six-month mark, the baby quit moving much at all. When I had to find child care and drive ninety minutes to the hospital two to three times a week to have them check that the baby was still alive. Then drive ninety minutes back home, often so exhausted I didn’t know how I would be able to fix supper for my husband and four children let alone do all the other necessities that come with a family.
You weren’t there when I would have to count the baby’s movements for a period of time and lie down if the count wasn’t high enough. When I would force myself to eat food I didn’t want. When I would place my hands over the baby and pray so hard, often crying, begging God for His will for my child.
You weren’t there when they decided time was close enough they would induce labor because the pregnancy was having so many problems. When I tried to argue but didn’t have the strength or the will to fight any more.
You weren’t there the night before I went to the hospital. When I fixed my favorite meal. When I watched my other children and could barely swallow anything fearing what would happen the next day. When I wondered if I would even be able to embrace these precious children again, to tell them I loved them one more time, to feel their arms around my neck. When my heart grieved as I trusted God.
You weren’t there when my husband and I drove to the hospital. When I was almost too tired to hold up my head. When I looked at him and thought this would be the last time we would ride in the car together. When I wondered how he would manage with a newborn and four children. When I knew he was strong enough, and God is faithful and trustworthy.
You weren’t there when I had no regrets about the pregnancy. When I accepted I would give my life for this child and do so gladly. My only regret—that I wouldn’t be there to hold this baby, to take care of my other children. When I loved them all more than life itself.
You weren’t there when the time came for delivery. When the birthing room was so crowded with medical equipment and medical professionals that not one more would fit through the door. When the whole room seemed to pause as my baby made an entrance into the world.
You weren’t there to see my little girl draw her first breath, fist raised in the air. To see the awe on the doctor’s face, on the other medical professionals as they all realized my daughter was perfect, small but perfect. As they wheeled their equipment out murmuring among themselves in tones of amazement.
You weren’t there to see my little girl grow into a caring, compassionate young woman. To see her off on mission trips. To see her act and sing in a college musical. To hear her in the college choir, or to hear her sing with the church worship team.
You weren’t there to see her walk forward to receive her diploma as she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in plant sciences. When she got her dream job in a prestigious garden.
You weren’t there—So don’t speak for me.
I’ve been there and will speak for the unborn, for those you cast off as less than or as worthless. I will speak for those mothers who face this choice with bravery. Mothers who have sacrificed their lives for their child. Mothers whose babies only lived a few hours, but they treasured that time. Mothers who chose to give birth to and raise a special needs child.
Don’t speak for me.
You weren’t there.