I was only 16 weeks when we faced the probability that the life inside of me would not make it full term alive.
The opportunity to induce and end the pregnancy came up many times, and each time I said no.
When you say no to terminating a doomed pregnancy, doctors like to make the risk you’re taking even harder.
“You’ll get an infection and go septic.”
“If this baby does manage to live he will have lots of problems.”
“Are you prepared to take care of a handicap?”
I don’t know how I’d take care of a disabled child, but I would figure it out.
Could I survive being septic? Maybe not, but I would figure it out.
The only thing I did know was I would not decide to stop my child’s heart.
During this experience of carrying a terminally ill child I became acutely aware of two things:
The way people speak about unborn children –
and the way people speak about unborn babies who don’t live.
Whether they were open to pro-choice or a firm advocate for baby’s in the womb, the speech revolving the baby was the same.
You’ve probably heard some of these harmless phrases –
“When the baby gets here.”
“Oh just wait until he gets here.”
“You don’t know what you’re about to get yourself into.”
“You’re going to be a mom!”
They seem so harmless. But the poison in words is speaking about them like they aren’t already here, and that woman carrying a life isn’t already a mom, and that her life hasn’t already been changed.
Even the most pro-life supporters still talk about little lives this way. It was from of my most pro-life friends and family that I heard things like “You’ll have more” and “I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.”
They talked as if it were just something simple – like my goldfish had died.
But they never had that attitude on Facebook when sharing the news about the NY law.
They treated those babies lives like they mattered. They spoke for them and mourned for them.
But when I lost my son at 36 weeks, they didn’t speak a word about it. This was someone they knew!
And still… silence.
If we want to sensitize women to pregnancy and make it clear that a life, no matter how small, is still a life, then we have to change how we talk about it.
We have to stop reacting to losses with silence.
We have to stop speaking out only for lives ended through abortion and not the ones lost against a mother’s will.
We have to stop treating it like an “Oh well, maybe next time” and start treating it like it is.