Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pain + Suffering = Blessings

Let me start by stating that I am not a controversial blog writer.. nor a controversial person by any means. I hate confrontation, shut down when people get upset, and take everything to heart. (Ask my husband..)

With that disclaimer in mind.. yesterday I was scrolling through my Facebook when I saw this image.

(Please keep in mind the disclaimer.. not really trying to stir up a moral debate NOR a political discussion.. 
Just sharing my thoughts..)

The image is startling.. sad. But what saddened me even more were some of the comments under it.

Someone was arguing that eagle eggs can in no way be compared to a human fetus because eagles are an endangered species and humans are obviously overpopulating the earth. He argued that Pro Choice is the only choice. He also boldly stated that if a child is found to have a "defect" the mother should have the right to spare the child from a miserable life of pain and suffering.

That stopped me cold in my tracks.

My daughter was born with a "defect."

Does this look like the face of a miserable life of pain and suffering?

After another woman posted a response on the link that she was, in fact, born with a defect that caused her pain every single day, but in no way was her life worth NOT living, the other man went on to clarify that by "defect" he meant that the child would surely be born dead, or would die shortly after due to complications.

Ohhhh... so you mean like the many MANY children I know who have CdLS, like my Ella, whose mothers were told that they probably wouldn't be born alive? That immediately after birth they were given the grim diagnosis that their child might not make it through the night? That they would never be able to walk, talk, eat, even breath on their own? And those same children that are today walking into their doctor's offices, staring them in the face, talking to them, proving them wrong.. EVERY DAY?

Or like this sweet baby, who has Trisomy 18. She was expected to be stillborn or live a very few minutes at best. She's 4 1/2 months old now. Has her family endured pain and heartache? Yes. Suffering? Of course.
Blessings beyond measure? ABSOLUTELY.

No one should have the right to decide for an innocent baby who is brimming with potential and life what they can or cannot, should or should not do. Who are we to decide who we think is going to live? Who we think is going to have a pain-free life? (As if that were even a thing!) 

Life is FULL of pain and suffering, defect or no defect. Imagine if you will.. The first woman on Earth. Her belly is swollen, excruciatingly painful contractions are coursing through her body. She has no clue what is happening. She only knows the pain. She only knows she is suffering. She doesn't know what is coming, doesn't know what is happening to her body. What if she were able to decide in that instant that she wanted it to end. Right then and there. To stop, press a magic button (no, I'm not talking about an epidural), and take it all away. All the pain, the suffering, the discomfort. GONE. A wonderful feeling I'm sure. She would have felt better immediately, euphoric even, justified that that kind of pain could not have been worth whatever outcome was to ensue. Little would she have known though, that along with that pain and suffering she took away, she was also taking away something else-- something she couldn't even imagine.. her precious "unknown" baby. The blessed outcome of that pain. Sure, she would be done suffering for a short while.. but imagine all the "unknowns" she would be missing out on.. Hearing the first amazing cries of her newborn, running her lips along the soft fuzz atop his head, the sweet smell of his chubby neck, the feeling of fierce love after seeing him smile up at her, his mother, for the first time, watching him grow and learn every day...

To take away pain and suffering is to also take away the infinite blessings that come directly from that pain. If we do not allow ourselves to struggle, to suffer through the storm, we may never be able to truly appreciate the awe and beauty of the lush green fields beneath the strikingly brilliant colors of the rainbow that ensue.

There are many things in this life that people don't necessarily deserve.

But an unborn child DOES deserve a chance at life. 

The Facebook conversation took a bit of a nasty turn after that, like discussion like this usually do, and I left feeling sad and downhearted about the world we live in.

Like I said, I'm not trying to stir up a debate. I hold no judgement towards people who have differing opinions, nor people who have had abortions (I know some). I know that your beliefs have probably stemmed largely from fear and inexperience in your situation. I admit I had many of the same anxieties and uncertainties before I had the privilege of "getting to know" my sweet Ella girl.

But what I do know is that our "defect," our "unknown" has been one of the greatest blessings in our lives and I cannot imagine a world where we "chose" not to even give her a chance.


  1. This was beautiful Maria. It's so sad to think that people are missing out on such abundant blessings for the sake of a selfish choice. Thanks for posting!

  2. Thank you so much for writing this today- well yesterday I guess. This is the entire premise of my book, and I have two days of "push through it" work left and was feeling overwhelmed and tired because of how much I've already put into it this week. Your post has reminded me why I'm writing it in the first place, and you have renewed my passion for the subject matter. This is important stuff- and goes far beyond pro-choice/pro-life arguments like your so respectfully stated. Thank you for this beautifully written post!!!!

    1. I'm so glad I could help refresh you.. and I can't WAIT to read your book.. I'll be sure to look for my name on the dedications page... HA! :)

  3. I totally agree with you on the whole thing about people being able to CHOOSE rather or not they want a baby that has a "defect" I totally don't understand how someone could say oh well this baby that I've been growing for 20 weeks is going to be sick so I don't want to deal with it, BUT the whole thing in the picture about Obama MAKING tax payers pay for an abortion is ridiculous! His insurance plans don't pay for abortions they pay for birth control they actually made sure that other tax payers would not have to pay for ABORTIONS...but EVERYTHING else about how people get abortions wayyyyyy late is ridiculous! I am definitely pro-choice go ahead have 1 abortion because something happened and you are 16 and didn't really think you could get pregnant, BUT you MUST be below the first trimester at the VERY least! These ladies that go get abortions at 20 weeks, it seems INSANE to me! How?? That baby is almost old enough to live on the outside!

    P.S. I too get so freaked out from controversial topics, I hate when people start degrading you as a person just because of how you view politics.

  4. Good for you for posting this! It's amazing how some poeple are. But, I am willing to bet those who think it's not worth it have no kids, because no parent would ever think to give up. You are a true testament as to how wonderful it can be!

    1. thank you :) but unfortunately did you know that 90% of people who gets a Down Synrdrome diagnosis choose to abort? NINETY PERCENT!! so ridiculously crazy...

  5. The Lord does everything for a reason. It is rather ridiculous of us to think that we know more than the Creator of the Universe.

  6. Don't be so concerned with offending anyone with the Truth! You know what's right, so proclaim it loudly! Every life is a gift from God and every life has value! It's time we turned the tables and put those who would deny anyone the right to life in position of justifying their own twisted perceptions.

    God bless you!

    Judee in Iowa

    1. I know.. I just hate to offend anyone off the bat and lose the message due to an emotional outburst. Thank you for your support though!!