VALUE OF LIFE

I’m convalescing at home this morning due in part to a touch of a stomach bug as well as general pregnancy blahs and I made the mistake of watching “A Baby Story.” This couple—who is expecting their first child together—was sharing the story of their previous two pregnancies. The first ended in a miscarriage and the second ended on much different terms. They said that during an amniocentesis it was discovered that this baby had some heart problems that, if the baby was born, would result in surgery after birth and unknown complications. They stated that due to these findings they “terminated” the pregnancy because it would be “easier for the baby.” This prompted me to yell at the TV and quickly turn the channel.

This hit a particular nerve with me because we know our babies are at a slightly higher risk for a congenital heart defect due to a genetic sibling being born with a hole in the heart. We’ve gotten the question on many occasions as to why we would pick embryos who had a higher risk for a problem. Wouldn’t we want to go with the “strongest” to increase our chances of “success?” Our answer has been that we were being obedient to God and His direction in our lives. I get bothered when I think about this question because it shows that many people perceive only “perfect” life as one of value. If you knew that your child would have asthma or autism or some other issue, would you have decided a different outcome for their life? Would picking different embryos have guaranteed us “perfect” children?

Another comment we have frequently gotten from people is “I bet you are glad all three embryos didn’t take.” Again, I get bothered because this devalues that little life. Would triplets have been more challenging and posed more risk? Absolutely! But are we going to celebrate that one didn’t make it? Absolutely not! Our celebration is the hope we have that one day we’ll meet him or her in heaven.

Our prayer is for healthy babies and that we’ll have the strength to get through any challenges we may face in the future. We also pray others would have the courage to value life no matter what the circumstances.

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2 thoughts on “VALUE OF LIFE

  1. Wow, Jessica, I couldn’t agree more! I know all to well how calloused people can be. We were given the option of terminating a pregnancy, knowing that we are carriers for a rare genetic disorder. I was surprised at just how surprised everyone was that it wasn’t something that we would consider. Our first daughter had this rare genetic disorder and it’s like these people were saying that her life wasn’t worth living. That pregnancy ended in miscarriage before we could even find out if the baby was affected.

    Same goes for being glad that all the embryos didn’t take. I often wonder how many of those people actually know what an embryo is. I’m hoping it’s just ignorance with the whole process. Or, maybe they simply haven’t bothered fully thinking through their thoughts before speaking. How could someone be glad that an embryo died? We are still waiting to find out how many of our embryos took. Two out of three survived the thaw and were transferred. There are certainly pros and cons to both singleton and twin pregnancies. There are no guarantees in life and I think it is best to just roll with the punches.

    Hopefully your babies will be happy and healthy, but I’m sure that you will get through any challenges that present themselves.

  2. Jessica,

    Someone I work with was about 21 wks along when it was found her fluid was low. She had more testing done with resulted in finding baby had developed with out kidneys. She was faced with the difficult decision to carry to term or deliver by 22 wks. She struggled with her decision to deliver early, because she learned the baby wouldn’t suffer as much now because it would have an immature nervous system. She still feels guilty about having to make a choice at all, but she had previously had a c/s, and didn’t want to risk having another. By making the decision she did, she was able to deliver vaginally.

    I don’t think people think before they speak, and I don’t think they fully understand how hard some couples work when it doesn’t happen “naturally”.

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