Today we celebrate the sanctity of life, mourn the destruction of millions of God's beautiful babies, and get on our knees to pray for an end to the violence of abortion. It's impossible not to recall and reflect upon the blessing that new life has been to me. It's not always easy. Many times pregnancy, birth and motherhood have brought a great deal of suffering. But it is good and brings a companion joy that is beyond description.
I remember sitting in the NICU watching my preemie struggle to breath and live. I saw other tiny babies come in and out the doors and felt a deep sadness for so many other little ones, victims of abortion, for whom no one was fighting. All those tubes, nurses, medical supplies and thousands of dollars for one little life. My child. And a baby out there somewhere pierced by instruments of torture instead of lying beside mine, given the chance to live.
This was one of the first times that I held my little Button. (In the picture, you can see her little head resting on an image of the crucified Christ on my T-shirt.) Prior to this, I was unable to even touch her since any stimulation would cause her to fall into distress. I remember being harshly reprimanded for touching her back lightly during her first days. Her vital signs dropped, all the bells and whistles sounded, and a swarm of doctors and nurses rushed in. The doctor was very angry with me. I had been selfish. The best way to love her was to leave her alone.
Button's first day at home. We had to modify the car seat so that she wouldn't slip out of the smallest strap adjustments. I took this photo when a friend stopped by with a meal for our family. I set Button down in her seat and she practically disappeared. She didn't open her eyes for 6 weeks and slept almost 20 hours every day during that time.
Look at her now.
In the NICU...
It was 3am and I was sitting in the rocking chair beside her isolette. There had been a commotion when Button knocked her tubes out and immediately started to struggle, throwing the nursing staff into a panic. The dust had settled and she was again sleeping with plastic pieces intact. I didn't want to leave and stayed to keep vigil and pray. The nurses revealed themselves to be Evangelicals. They lay hands on her (she, miraculously, did not stir) and prayed for half an hour with me for her healing. After a while, they returned to the desk and I was left with a full heart and mind. I thought:
Even if I never get to hold my daughter in my arms, it was a privilege to carry her in my womb. If she does not live past tonight, it is a privilege to sit by her side right now. I would go through all of it again to suffer this moment in love.
A life of sacrificial love is one filled with heartbreak.
Abortion does not end suffering...it just kills love.