Monday, August 3, 2015

I could have had a third trimester abortion.

I haven't written a blog lately. In light of all that is going on with Planned Parenthood, I couldn't sit back anymore. I'm not "in the know" about all things abortion. But I will assume I know more than the average Joe. The more I find out the scarier it becomes. Planned Parenthood isn't the only abortion provider out there. And my heart skips a beat with each one I find to add to the list. 

It's been three and a half years since I had a decision to make. Three and a half years later, and it's all still sinking in. Back then I was just a regular pro-life Christian church goer. Someone who couldn't start to imagine having an abortion. It didn't apply to me. I was married and trying to conceive. I loved my children. And abortions were just for unmarried, young, promiscuous women and rape victims. I didn't see how it affected me, so I didn't have much thought about it all.

Our Story: Excited to have our third child, we entered the 20 week ultrasound (Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012) with courage not to find out if our baby is a girl or boy. And always in hopes that any child we have is healthy, first and foremost. We have one of each already and felt prepared for holding to our decision not to find out. The ultrasound tech was excited for us and started as normal. In just the first couple of minutes, the tech had to leave the room. She didn't say much, if anything at all to us on why she was leaving. More like, "be right back." 1-2 minutes pass and we know whatever it is, it isn't going to be good news. a few more minutes pass, and a nurse comes to check on us. At this point we've already started to worry and cry. She asked if we were okay. Not knowing what she knew I laughed it off and said, "not really, she (the tech) left a while  ago and as long as she comes back without the doctor..." She was sweet enough to lie and said there were "computer problems, she'll be right back", before she left the room.

At this point, knowing down syndrome is in our family, I told my husband, "I'll be relieved if she says DS. Anything else will be hard." We have many friends through church who have beautiful down syndrome babies with such life and character. On the other hand, I've heard so many stories of other conditions that aren't so happy ending. One very recent story, but the parents have so much faith in God, that it gives others hope.

Couple more minutes (probably at least 10 in total after the tech left) she came back with our doctor. The news isn't good, as the doctor starts telling us about Anencephaly. She then asked if we had heard anything about it before. This is where I start realizing that God has already started to prepare my heart. Just the day before, while my daughter was at school, I was doing laundry in front of the TV with my son in my bedroom. On TLC's "A Baby Story", there was a woman who mentioned this condition with her child, but was having a second child afterward, which was the birth story they were filming. Obviously I wasn't thinking anything about it then, but took peace in the fact that I knew what the outcome could be before the doctor had to explain it to me.

Anencephaly, in my terms, is the lack of development of the baby's skull and the under development of the brain. Doctors told us straight up, fatal. Later we will find out that there are some very rare case, of young children still alive with this condition. 

So to double check what the first tech was showing our doctor, she sent us to a specialist to confirm. At the specialist is where we decided we were finding out if the baby was a boy or girl. We needed some good news to hold on to.

SHE'S A GIRL! Kendall Mackenzie!

My mom was showing up by this time for support, and we went back to my doctor to talk about what our next steps are. She gave us all OUR OPTIONS and answered our questions we could think of off the bat. At this point we had already had time for some crying, maybe some shock, and strength to hold back some tears when needed. My doctor has been great and has stretched her arms out for us and has let us know that we can get in touch with her for anything at anytime. Many doctors don't even give their patients all the info, but encourage them to terminate. 

On the way home I think of another question I didn't ask, which was if organ donation was a possibility. I called her back when we got home. She said she hadn't seen first hand too many of these, and she needed to call around to find the answer for us. She returned my call and confirmed that it was a possibility, if all her other organs grow correctly at full term. This gave me more of a peace. If our out come turns out the way it is expected, then we can have the opportunity to maybe save another child's life.

Still in shock, we were not able to process what OUR OPTIONS really meant at this point. I could verbalize them out loud, but my brain and my heart through my faith in God could not feel the depth of what it all meant. They could terminate the pregnancy almost immediately, be induced any time before full term, or go full term. I even asked the doctor what would happen if "the pregnancy" was "terminated".  And she explained that there were two ways to go about it. It is painful to even type this. To know that I even asked. I was concerned with my own health and fully trusting a doctor to give me instructions that some doctors don't even educate their patients on. She said I could be induced, knowing that my child couldn't live at that gestation, even if healthy. Or the amniotic sac could be injected with a fatal liquid, stopping the heart beat before a still birth. She gave us the weekend to think things over. 

As soon as we get home, we have our family flooding our house with love. And the first thing we want to do is call our Pastor. I knew from a previous spot in my family's life, that our old pastor was at our side through some tough roads when my grandfather was sick in the hospital and about to pass away. It was comforting to know that he and the church would really be there for our family, and I knew that is what we needed this time. Our pastor came straight over and gave us words of wisdom and strength as best as he could. He had never been in a situation like this before. The family prayed over us with him. He gave us his love and spoke with us about possible future funeral preparations. Never thought I would be asking those questions at 28 years old.

That night, the kids came home and my husband and I were somber about talking about our decisions we had to make. My mom spent the night and helped with the kids the next day before taking them to her house for the weekend. This is allowing us to grieve, talk, and pray before getting back on a normal schedule next week.

Thursday night we slept 3-4 hours, and were wide awake afterwards. I decided to get up and finally felt able to do a little research on the internet. This is when my heart started to know what we had to do. And after some emails of encouragement from friends, then talking with with my husband, we knew that carrying our baby girl full term was the only way to go. And the only way we would be able to spend as much quality time with her as possible. And to give God the time for an opportunity for a miracle. 

I carried Kendall another 16 weeks. I would have kept going but I developed polyhydramnios. She was born alive and gave us just enough time to meet her and say goodbye. She had life. And that life, even before birth, had meaning and value. She taught us a love that transcends all else. She helped us see a community of people gathered around us, that poured their love into us. And we learned a new depth of the love of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, sent to die so that we may have life. The miracle of Kendall's healing didn't happen here on Earth, but their were many other miracles through this hardship. And for that we became grateful. The day I dreaded the most, turned into the day I wish I could do over and over. 

What's changed over the last three and a half years that I didn't learn right away? Compassion, learning how to have a deeper love for people, being involved in online support groups that have many different view points, and learning what needs to change for others to full understand the scope of what happens "out there" and how these things affect them and the people around them. 

The weeks right before the Planned Parenthood videos started to come out, the nation was focused on race and sexual orientation, and how #livesmatters. All of that feeds into ending abortion and standing up for the unborn. Stopping genocide and human trafficking. And just having a genuine love for mankind. 

It's not about healthcare, our "rights", or our broken hearts. It's about a love worth fighting for. A love that teaches us beyond what our brains can imagine. For me, my faith plays a big role, but I understand that not all that have this decision to make have faith in God. Mothers who love their families and children want to protect. They think ending their pregnancy is protecting their unborn from the possible pain of dying, protecting themselves and families from pain of losing a child later. Then they are left alone in their silence. The silence of having an abortion and being afraid to tell someone; to be judged. The silence of the grief they still will have, from a child they wanted to love. And that creates fear.

Perfect love cast out fear. When we genuinely love, we choose life. Some would say Kendall, being "incompatible with life", that her time in the womb isn't a good enough life. And that she would have put us through misery. There are groups trying to change this terminology, as we show value in the amazing lives of these children and how they could change the world. It's starts with one unborn child. Who changes the heart of one mother, one father, one sister, one brother. A family and friends, a community that opens their eyes and then their hearts to the people around them. And the reach out in love for someone else who needs to be loved to continue on with their life. 

Being pro-life now has opened us up to showing our love to another family through adoption. Being pro-life isn't about just being "pro baby". It's about caring for the mother. It's about protecting a mother from the after effects of abortion. It's about taking back lives lost through rape and protecting lives against trafficking. It's also about talking about suicide and helping the elderly and homeless.

Don't create more fear. Choose life. Choose to love, be love and accept love. Lets not be silent. I have more life and understand life better, because I didn't choose to have an abortion. It takes a community. 

#endabortion #defundpp #chooselife #chooselove #lovematters #prolife #adopt

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