Sunday, November 9, 2008

Truth is simple

I remember, back from the time I worked in a hospital, many examples of generous love, charity, kindness, giving and selflessness. One of the most striking cases was a little baby girl born at 26 weeks gestation, weighing only 700 gr, or 25 ounces. The girl was named Chaya, which means "life".

I didn't meet little Chaya until she was already a couple of months old, and weighed like an average newborn (which makes sense). Due to being born so prematurely, she suffered from a few respiratory problems, which brought her back to hospital. She fought courageously, and so did her loved ones. Whenever I passed by, I could see her mother and grandmother sitting next to her and reciting psalms. Her mother pumped milk for her around the clock. Baby Chaya was making steady progress, and by the time I finished my internship in that unit, she was already getting better.

Her family's love and devotion were deeply moving to me even then, and now that I'm pregnant it brings tears to my eyes whenever I think about it. When I was 26 weeks along, I remembered baby Chaya, and asked the Lord to keep my baby safe in my womb for as long as necessary to avoid any health risks and complications.

It also brings tears to my eyes when I hear people promoting the so-called "right" to dispose of babies just like Chaya, in the name of "freedom". To her family, Chaya was a dear, loved, cherished and treasured little human being. To others, millions of little Chayas are obstacles to be rid of - in the name of "choice".

All the debates I hear about the personhood of the unborn child, beside being annoying in their lack of logic, are frightening in their attempt to complicate the simple and to mask the crystal clear facts of life.

Ask a three-year-old what a pregnant woman has in her belly. Most children will readily reply, "a baby!"; if you press further and ask how come she has a baby in there, you'll probably get many interesting answers. Our nephew's explanation was, "because she's a Mom"; you might notice his logic is missing something, but I'd say this little boy's insight about life, pregnancy and the connection between baby and mother is far superior to many full-grown "pro-choice" philosophers.

Explaining obvious truths should, in general, be simple. Explaining lies can get very complicated.

18 comments:

Mrs. Jacqueline said...

When I was still in the US Marine Corps, a lower ranking woman from my unit came to my office and asked me if I could talk. She told me that she needed my advice; she was pregnant and unmarried. Her mother and all her friends had advised her to get an abortion- she even had an appointment scheduled at the clinic. She thought her decision was already made. She was 20 and too young to take care of a baby, and this would ruin her future. But she came to me torn and heartbroken.

I held her hand and told her that it was okay to be scared. I was scared to death and my daughter was much wanted and much loved! I also told her something that touched me deeply about motherhood: When I wake up in the morning, my first thought is of my daughter. I get to hurry to her room and hear her sweet little voice saying "good morning Mommy!" I get little arms around my neck and a sleepy head on my shoulder.

I told her that no matter what, she is going to wake up in the morning and for the rest of her life the first thought she has will be of her baby. She could either wake up and be able to hug and hold her baby, or she would wake up and her arms would be empty.

This young lady went on to have her baby. I was so touched that she took my words to heart, because it saved her a lifetime of heartache. I lost touch with her, but I still tear up when I think of her.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you here. Although I do believe that abortion is warranted in some cases, on the whole, I think it's an area where the freedom of one must be limited so as not to fatally harm another.
Tammy

Kristin said...

I found you through Rhonda's blog. I've read a couple things and thought I'd leave a comment.
I, like you, believe a life is a life. There should not be an option to end it.
Great post, I have a feeling I'm really going to like your blog!

Judy said...

Anna,

Having just suffered a miscarriage in my 12th week, I have that same issue - especially with how the election in my country turned out. I am praying, fervently, that our president elect does NOT keep his campaign promise to sign the Freedom of Choice Act.

Both my husband and I felt strongly that this baby was a girl, so we named her Margaret Elizabeth. She was buried this past Friday. The ultrasounds confirming that she had died both showed her gestational age as 10 weeks, 6 days. In both ultrasounds, she had a perfect, tiny, human form. She was alive, she was a human being, and she was my daughter.

The doctor who cared for me during the miscarriage at one point called her a "specimen". I corrected him on that one, and informed him in no uncertain terms that this was not a specimen, but our baby - our daughter.

We are praying that through her death, at an age when so many innocent babies are being killed through abortion, and our naming her, grieving for her, speaking about her as OUR DAUGHTER will start to teach those around us that these "blobs of tissue", these "specimens" the media speaks about are real people. After all, if our 10 week, 6 day old daughter who died is a real person (and as we named her and buried her, this indicates in no uncertain terms that she is), then so are all those other babies.

God bless you, Anna, and keep your daughter safe in your womb until she is fully ready for life outside in your arms.

Rachel said...

Thanks to the pro-choice movement in the US, even babies that are born fullterm , but are stillborn, are never given a birth certificate. I, unfortunately, know this through personal experience. Truth is whatever people want it to mean these days, which seems to be the same as lies if you ask me.

Kaeus said...

my four year old has started asking difficult questions about the baby - how will it get out? but his rationalisation for it being in my tummy is priceless..

God put it there.

Cecilia Rose said...

Excellent post! I love how all children are naturally pro-life. :)

God Bless,
Cecilia Rose

Lady M said...

It is astounding, isn't it?

I remember back to mid-July when I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. I was 28 weeks along at that point in time. We marveled at that time that yes, even though he would be very early, if things escalated quickly, he would most likely survive such an early delivery.

The children and I had already been looking on-line and in my pregnancy books to see what Gideon would look like and what things were maturing. Even they could tell from those pictures (including the very early on ones) that it was most certainly a baby, not a blob of tissue/product of conception/whatever other odd name that had been given to the baby to invoke less reticence to those about to end their pregnancy/kill their baby in the womb.

And, amazing to me, that here I am working so very, very hard to keep my baby alive and inside of me (obviously with G-d's help!) and there are so many that would (and do) end a person's life at that same point in time.

I am thrilled to say that G-d heard our prayers and Gideon stayed inside until 38 weeks (and the pre-eclampsia stayed very mild). I look at him every day and enjoy the miracle that he is and thank G-d daily for Gideon being allowed to be a part of our family.

I try to remember to pray for those that are contemplating such a terrible action and for those who have done so - they are scarred for life.

Melissa said...

What a great example. I completely agree!!! I am appalled by the horrible Freedom of Choice Act they are attempting to pass in the US right now. Freedom of choice for everyone but the unborn child.

I hope the rest of your pregnancy continues smoothly. :)

Ace said...

Hi Anna,

My parents got pregnant while dating as teenagers and aborted my Brother. They have never forgotten him, have always missed him and he is the hole in their heart. He was a person, is a soul and spirit and is alive in Heaven. I know this to be a fact. I also lost my twin in the womb and somehow, my brother (younger who is alive) always felt we were missing two other people in our family. When we were finally told about this, and why it freaked my Mother out when I played twins all the time, it answered so many questions for me. We are everlasting souls... we can't just be erased.

This deceived and selfish people can try to make all the arguments that they wish, they are not God. He alone knits together every form. He alone breathes life. He alone is the author of that life. Now, we can take it, but we can never erase it. They still lived and we still will miss the life they should have had.

Many Blessings :)
Ace

Deanna said...

Dear Mrs. Anna T.,
AMEN to your blog.
Deanna

Serena said...

I agree, Anna! And your nephew's answer is sooo cute! I think "because she's a Mom" is perfectly logical. Out of the mouths of babes...

Anonymous said...

Although as stated above I am against abortion in many cases, it might be interesting to note that in Judaism the baby doesn't get full 'rights' as a human being until s/he is one month old. If God forbid a baby younger than that dies, there is no formal mourning, parents don't sit shiva, etc.
So I think it would be logical to surmise that fetuses are not awarded the same status as other human beings according to halacha. That doesn't mean they should be aborted, of course.

Tammy

Jo said...

Anna:

Thank you for this thoughtful, loving post. I get so upset when people talk about their rights to "choose". The pro-life movement denies neither women nor men the right to choose. We each make the choice to be or not to be intimate with another person. In fact, the pro-choice movement denies men the choice of what will happen with their sons and daughters, once again negating their role.

Recently, a person that I had looked up made the statement that "Of course I'm pro-choice. I have two daughters, how could I not be."

In that moment my heart was broken for his daughters. As a father, he should be supported in protecting them from such ills, not wishing on them the possibility of an abortion and the inevitable hole that it brings to the aborter.

We are indeed very far from God today and that makes my heart sad.

Thank you for your wise words, Anna.

Anonymous said...

It also brings tears to my eyes when I hear people promoting the so-called "right" to dispose of babies just like Chaya, in the name of "freedom".

But Chaya was born at 26 weeks, during the third trimester. No one aborts "babies just like Chaya" except in cases when continued pregnancy poses a risk to the health or life of the mother. These abortions usually involve fetuses who are very much WANTED, and it is an absolutely heartbreaking situation for the mothers. Often these are situations in which the baby is likely to be still born or survive only very briefly after birth. Women who go through abortion in the 26th week or later often already have the nursery decorated.

-- Pendragon

Mrs. Anna T said...

Pendragon,

What is the difference between a baby at 26 weeks, and a baby at 22 or 20 weeks, or 18 or even 15 weeks for that matter?

The size. Not much else, really.

I was offered to do amnio at 22 weeks, to detect "fetal anomalities"; the obvious purpose of that was to "offer me the choice" of getting rid of the baby if anything at all is wrong. I was already feeling the little one kick, and the ultrasound I did then showed, unmistakeably, a baby.

Mrs. Anna T said...

... by the way, the amnio's purpose wouldn't be to detect FATAL anomalities. It's most often performed for Down's syndrome - and many of those babies are aborted, even though they could live long, full, happy lives.

Of course, like most abortions, it's still heartbreaking for the mother. However, this doesn't make it morally right.

Anonymous said...

What is the difference between a baby at 26 weeks, and a baby at 22 or 20 weeks, or 18 or even 15 weeks for that matter?

I will take your word for it since I do not know too much about fetal development. But even so, the vast majority of abortions occur before week 12 (and I am guessing many or most of those well before that). In the U.S., the statistic I see at various place on the web is that approximately 91% of abortions happen before week 12, and perhaps that statistic is similar in other parts of the world although I don't know.

As for the remaining 9%, 1-2% are third trimester abortions that usually occur in circumstances desperate for the mother's life and health. That leaves 7-8% of abortions in the second trimester. I don't much about the circumstances for that minority of later abortions, but I suspect most women do not have abortions that late unless there are very compelling reasons for doing so. I would also note that, at least in the U.S., the states are permitted to restrict abortion in the second trimester.

-- Pendragon