10.27.2011

When did life stop being worth fighting for?

Okay, I don't like to post contraversal matter on here, but since I have a downs syndrome son- I have been absolutely horrified by the fact that 90 percent of downs syndrome babies are aborted.

It makes me sick to my stomach. Maybe it's because people are under-educated. Maybe it's because they are over-educated. Maybe it's because they are just too scared to go through something that may be 'more difficult' than they might otherwise have to face... But I truly am disguisted at this fact and statistic.

It's not because I think that abortion is evil and will damn you to hell. I think that abortion is the death of a person, a life, a beautiful thing. I think it is a tradgedy and I do NOT think that it is 'okay', however, I do think that there are reasons that I never want to face, that people need to have them done.

I was reading a post the other day that a woman had posted about aborting her son with downs syndrome. She wanted feedback- and I was reading through the posts.

Most of them were hateful from people, who like me, see the beauty and perfection in the imperfections that downs syndrome brings- but don't know how to say it without condemning and damning people with their words.

Then, I read further down the page.

A woman had posted a story of her daughter, who they discovered at an ultrasound had the most severe kind of brittle bone disease that you can have. Her bones were literally breaking because of her muscles growing. She was in pain, in the womb. She would not survive delivery- and most likely would die in the womb before she made it to term. The woman had never considered an abortion in her life. She had never thought of her child being in pain, severe pain, for every second that she was alive.

The woman and her husband decided that they could not let her continue to suffer. They delivered her early. She was born already gone, her body broken like she'd been thrown down stairs several times.

As I read her story, my perspective opened up. My eyes widened at the thought of having to make THAT decision. To decide to let your unborn loved one suffer in agony, or to end their painful journey.

In this case, I realize- I don't know what I would do. I don't know how I would face that.

Now, onto abortion for other selective reasons.

I do not believe it is okay to use the system the way we do now to end life. With the accessibility to birth control, the accessibility to knowledge, how can we live with this sort of irresponsible careless neglect of the unborn's parents?

Parents are not required to go through counseling before they abort. They aren't required to see an image of their child's gestational age and size. They aren't required to see their child via ultrasound before the procedure.

They walk in, sign a form and are asked once if they are sure. Then, it's done. Life is snuffed out.

What kind of society lets a HUGE desicion that will impact so many be such a careless act?

HLHS babies are terminated every day. Parents are told that there is no hope, that the surgeries are experimental, that their babies have no chance at life. They are pushed to give up.

80-90 percent of chromosomally healthy babies with HLHS will live. Many will thrive. (If surgeries are done at a well established facility who experiences many cases a year- which there are MANY of).

40-60 percent of Downs Syndrome babies with HLHS will live. Many will thrive.

So why is it, that when we made our decision to fight for our son that we were pushed so hard to give up? From week 7 of pregnancy we were told that his life was soon to be over. From day one of his life apart from me, we were pushed to take him home and let him die.

Who have we become, as a society, that life is so invaluable that we ought to not fight for it?

Any mother who is forced to be barren will tell you that they would fight for the life of their baby. They would grow sick at the thought of a mother giving up so easily on their little life. At the tiny person who could be.

Any mother who has walked a day in the shoes of a mother of an extremely sick baby or child would tell you that they would rip out their heart for their child if they could.

Any parent, mother, or father who has looked at their child and had to imagine or actually had to tell them that their life would soon end... Those are the parents who know what life is valued at.

Nick and I don't try to look into the future right now, not too far. Far enough to plan... Not far enough to fear.

We sometimes mention the small, scary fact to each other that our son will fight through all of this, just to find out when he is 15-30 years old that his heart will no longer sustain him... And because of his Down's Syndrome he will not be able to get a donated heart. We don't like to think of it, but it stays there in the back of our minds.

We wonder- did we make the right decision in fighting for our son?

Yes. Undoubtably yes. You see- Jesus fought for us.

He died on the cross not just for those who will proclaim His name. But for the broken, the ones who will proclaim his name in hatred.. Because, even though some will die... We are all worth fighting for.

What would Jesus do?

Jesus would give us EVERY chance he could possibly give us.

So, if you are facing the decision to fight for your child- for your family member, for your marriage... I hope this helps you in some way.


*** Remember, most of these thoughts are my young, 22 year old mother thoughts. They are not from years of thought processes and prayer, but from our concentrated years of prayers and the beliefs that have developed. ***

2 comments:

Hope's Blog said...

Your post brought up a lot of emotions first thing this morning. I totally blame the doctors for the number of abortions for medical reasons (especially HLHS and Downs). We met with several doctors, including the cardiac surgeon prior to Hope being born. Only one had a positive outlook...the rest told us all the negatives that 'could' happen. The surgeon went as far as telling us that if we had Hope it would ruin our marriage and our other children would suffer because Hope would be in the hospital all the time. We were told that she would suffer all her life and there was a good chance she would not make it through the surgeries. It was awful. It ruined my pregnancy and I loved being pregnant. Of course, we thought about it...long and hard. We did NOT take their advice, but I can understand how people do...they are professionals telling you that your marriage will end, your other children will suffer, and this little baby will have a crappy life. I am so glad we didn't listen to the 'professionals'. Our marriage is stronger, my boys love their little sister, and Hope has beat all the odds that are stacked against her.

Oh boy...so much thinking so early in the morning.

Mary Ellen Mannix,MRPE said...

Ironically one of my favorite educator of teacher's, Parker Palmer) shared thoughts today that feel appropriate for this discussion:"
How do we move from "the place where we are right" to a place where we can connect with each other across our lines of difference? Here's one way: (1) Stop throwing our values, beliefs and opinions at each other as if they were weapons in a war of words. (2) When we come to a place of deep division, invite people to talk about the life experience behind their beliefs to help us understand our differences. (3) Remember that the more you know about another person's story, the less possible it is to distrust or dislike that person. (4) Value having relationships over being right, and the result will be more that's right. (5) Mutual understanding always trumps winning a verbal food-fight: it's the grown-up way to go

As mom of a child who has died at the hands of those who were entrusted with his care, I know first hand what it means to be responsible for your child's life and death. In medicine in the US today - especially where infants and children are concerned - there is not enough training and knowledge in taking the whole family value into account. Too often medical caregivers give advice and counsel basaed on their own values and preferences and NOT those of the family - who will be left to live with the decisions.

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