Sunday, May 22, 2011

Choices

Stories like this one here about choosing to abort a child with spina bifida really get to me.  Evan saw me writing a response and asked what I was doing.  I explained to him I was working on a comment about a story where a mother finds out her unborn child had spina bifida.  She decides to have an abortion, to prevent her child from suffering.  We had a little discussion that went like this:

Me:  Did you ever wish that I had abortion with you and you were never born?

Evan:  WHAT???
 
Me:  Life is hard when you have spina bifida, maybe it would be better not to be born.

Evan:  Nope, I like my life and want to live to a ripe old age!!

Evan didn't disappoint.  I knew he would answer that way. 

One of the shocking things about this story to me was the comments.  I am always appalled that so many think it's okay to abort a baby just because it has spina bifida or some other disability.   They stopped accepting comments so I didn't get my say, but I will share here on my blog.

I was four months pregnant when I heard the news that my unborn baby and sixth child would be born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. We were told he would be a burden to our family, paralyzed, mentally retarded and possibly a “vegetable”. We were given the option to terminate the pregnancy. Our family’s choice was life. Our love was unconditional for all our children. We wanted our five older children to know that we loved them and if they were ever injured in some way and disabled their life would still be worth living. That decision was made twenty three years ago and I have never for a second regretted it. Despite the challenges he faces in life (wheelchair user, cognitive challenges, several major surgeries, and yes incontinent, etc) he is one of our happiest children. He is an Eagle Scout (his Eagle project was a wheelchair collection drive, with the wheelchairs being distributed to third world countries), he has chores and responsibilities to do in our home, he has cheered his siblings on in their sports, and they have cheered him too!! He plays power wheelchair soccer! He loves anything Star Wars and has the most wonderful laugh that lights up a room. He has traveled across the country and enjoyed the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, held an alligator, witnessed a Space Shuttle launch, been to the top of the Empire State building, and helped Al Roker do the weather on national TV, among other things.

I will admit it’s not always easy, but everyone has their challenges, it’s just part of this life. We grow stronger when we face those challenges, whatever they may be and do it head on. I am NOT a super mom or better than anyone for continuing the pregnancy. I am however a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father. I put my trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and did what was right!! The sad thing about Sara’s story is she will never know what her daughter’s life would have been like, or heard her laughter. People need to realize that the medical community is negative and give the worst case scenario. Prenatal scans do NOT tell the whole story and there is no way for doctors to know the true extent of damage done to the spinal cord, until after the baby is born. I am appalled to read so many think it is ok to just end a pregnancy because a child might suffer. Suffering is a part of our life on this earth. We learn compassion when we help those that struggle. We cannot and should not be the ones to determine when life is worth living. That is for the Lord to decide.

3 comments:

regular grandma said...

Thank you Cindy for your wonderful example, I too was shocked by the article.

Price Family said...

I totally agree with you!! Love you and thank you for doing what was right, then and now :)

olivia (tringham) lyman said...

Cindy, you made the right choice. Evan is amazing, I think he touches everyones heart who knows him. Even though I was a little girl, I can still remember when he was born. Your family has such love and courage, and would not be complete without Evan! I love you all!
ps that article is so sad :(, but at least that sweet little baby boy got to go straight home to Heavenly Father.

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