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.