By Tim Waggoner
OTTAWA, August 5, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – 20 weeks into her pregnancy, a happily married Catholic teacher was informed her baby had holoprocencephaly – a hole in the brain stem – as well as fluid in the brain and a severe heart condition. After being given her medical “options”, including the choice to terminate her baby’s life, she informed her doctor that she refused to be the one responsible for her child’s death, trusting that God had a plan for her son.
“Termination was not an option for me, and I informed the doctor of this immediately,” said the woman, who wishes to remain anonymous. “He is our creation and God’s creation and we will take him as he comes.”
The woman related the details of her story to LifeSiteNews.com in a telephone interview and a letter. The woman, who is still pregnant with her child, decided to come forward with her story in the hope that it would encourage other women, in similar circumstances, to embrace the challenges of going through with a difficult pregnancy, even when the prognosis for the child is extremely grim. No matter how seemingly certain the imminent death of an unborn child may be, she said, we can never be justified in taking innocent life.
“With each new day, I learn to accept this situation,” she said. “For example, I know that I cannot change my circumstances, and therefore must proceed with the daily grind of life. In other ways, it becomes more difficult. It is a very odd experience to be pregnant, knowing that I may never get to bring my baby home from the hospital, and that instead of anticipating his whole life, I may have to prepare for his funeral and burial.”
“Quality of life” considerations were given by doctors as reasons to kill the child in the womb; however, once the mother informed her doctor that she would not take the life of her baby, she says she had “100 percent support” from the medical professionals looking after her.
She did say, however, “had I not been so definitely opposed, the option of abortion may have been the end of my story (except for future psychiatric pills)” – referring to the morally neutral manner in which abortion is presented as an “option” to patients and the well-known negative psychological effects that arise as a consequence.
“I am sure that for many women, abortion is strongly recommended in cases like mine, especially if women do not have a strong belief about it originally,” she said.
Yet, she issued words of encouragement to other women in her situation, speaking adamantly to the fact that a child’s apparent lesser “quality of life” based on a grim medical diagnosis does not discount the fact that the child has been given the gift of life for a reason – even if it is unbeknown to others.
She observed that in her own case her doctor’s initial “certain” prognosis that her child would not live outside the womb soon transformed into the doctor saying he could not predict when the baby will die. Furthermore, her child has already defied the probabilities, as many unborn babies with such severe health conditions would have self-aborted within the first few months of gestation.
“I say he must really be extraordinary to be discounting all medical theories with respect to chromosome-gene results, and his longevity,” she said of her child. “I tell him that even the doctors aren’t sure why he’s lived so long (most babies with these abnormalities self-abort long before now), and that he is special because of this. I tell you this because I want you to know that, despite the grim outlook… I am carrying this baby as long as he will let me, and will not be the killing hand.”
The woman hopes that her story will help make others aware of the side of the abortion debate not usually covered by the mainstream media, the side that affirms the intrinsic goodness and beauty of human life, no matter how short-lived, or seemingly “useless” it may be.
“I wish with my heart of hearts that they know of the good that will come,” she explained.
“The little one in my womb is moving around, kicking his mother, and hopefully enjoying a refreshing swim. I am told that he knows no pain, and that while he is in the uterus, he is as safe as can be. I walk him every day, talk to him often, and pray for him always,” she said.
As for what she and her husband expect in the long run, she said, “Our prayer is simple: That we will get to meet our little one, tell him that we love him, and watch him fall deep into a sleep that will bring him to heaven.”
See the complete original letter sent to LifeSiteNews by the mother:
A Letter from a Mother with an Unborn Child with Foetal Abnormalities