I’ll have your party recap…tomorrow.
Today, as I scrolled through my facebook and twitter feeds, I was reminded of an anniversary. Well, two actually. The first is the anniversary of the historic Roe v. Wade case. The second, much closer to home, was Luke’s second emergency surgery. The one where his blood levels dipped so low that he was in serious danger of irrepairable damage.
I recognize that some of you who read my blog may not share my pro-life views. I’m not asking you to change, nor am I condemning your belief system. I’m just asking you to read my perspective and give it some thought.
I’ve always considered myself pro-life. Perhaps it was the way I was raised, our weekly attendance at church or my inability to see what could cause someone to make such a drastic, permanent, life-altering decision. In a few words, I think I lacked “life experience.” Nearly ten years ago, I became a mom for the first time. I think most of us moms would agree that nurturing a life permanently changes your outlook. When I miscarried our daughter, Mary, my world felt like it was falling apart. I yearned for the one thing I could never have – in this life, anyway – to hold her in my arms and tell her how much she was loved. During my pregnancy with Luke, our newest member of the family, I learned at my 20-week ultrasound that he was an IUGR baby. As in, intra-uterine growth restriction. He wasn’t growing well and the odds were not in our favor of delivering a healthy baby. In fact, my perinatologist wasn’t shy about the harsh reality. It was almost certain I would deliver at 28 weeks, if not before. Life is considered viable outside the womb at 24 weeks.
Never once did I doubt that his life was any different than my other children’s. He was just as loved (and in that moment, I believe slightly more so), just as wanted, just as beautiful. As it turns out, he hung on until 36 weeks, 3 days. Luke’s health challenges are many. Eight specialists and weekly therapy appointments at last count. It’s possible that he may always struggle. Yet, it’s possible that he won’t.
Either way, as I reflect on that other anniversary – Roe v. Wade – I can’t help but have a permanently altered perspective. To think of what life would be like without Luke is quite nearly unbearable. Have we really come to this as a society? To think of children as a burden, not a joy? To see them as…something to discard, an inconvenience, a quick doctor’s appointment in which they are terminated?
Believe me, please, when I tell you that some women make that decision without fully understanding the consequences. Yet, I also believe that many more women struggle for a lifetime with that decision. It can never be undone. Never be erased. Never be brought back to life.
We hear so many times about the fragility of life. That has been MY reality since Luke physically entered our lives on September 18, 2009. I understand what it’s like to see a body broken, your life hooked up to so many tubes, wires and monitors that you can’t see straight. I know what’s it’s like to look at the world and see other children developing normally and “on schedule” while yours struggles and works for every step, every bite of food, every heartbeat.
But I would live this life 100 times, 1,000…any amount…just to live it with Luke and our other children. Some may argue that we have the support to endure such a bumpy road. Perhaps. But I’ll share this parting thought with you. I’ve never regretted our decision to give Luke a chance at life. I’m not sure those women who have endured the pain of abortion would say the same about theirs.
Sts. Philomena, Gianna, Gerard and (soon to be) Bl. Pope John Paul II – pray for us.