I never really entered into the abortion debate. I had my own personal convictions on what I would or would not do but the political aspect of the conversation, pro life vs. pro choice, never interested me.
The topic of abortion became very real to me on Sunday, January 17 of this year. We can say what we believe and we can stand on opposing sides with picket signs based on our personal convictions, but what will you do when those convictions are put to the test?
I was pregnant with my second child, with a much more enjoyable and easy pregnancy this time around until that Sunday morning when I discovered I was bleeding. It’s probably nothing, I told myself, but I better go in to get it checked out anyways. After three different sonograms they discovered that my cervix was open and the membranes were resting at the top of my cervix though the baby was showing no signs of distress. Being people of faith we really were not worried.
To make a long story short, they admitted me to labor and delivery and called an OB who specialized in internal fetal medicine. She walked into the room so unceremoniously and so nonchalant we didn’t even realize she was a doctor. She proceeded with her examination and afterwards told me that there was nothing she could do. My cervix was so open and so thin she would not be able to make any repairs (what they call cerclage). Just as nonchalantly as her entrance, as if she was telling me that there was a fly on my abdomen and it was bothering her so I should smoosh it, she told me that my only option would be termination.
I’m not sure if I have ever experienced that type of shock coupled with that type of indifference. As a medical professional, she was obligated to tell me what I was dealing with. I had an open cervix which would leave me prone to infection. With the baby being 19.4 weeks gestation there would be no way for her to live so I needed to abort for “health reasons“. I understood her viewpoint and respected it. But I felt the baby moving inside me, even as she spoke, kicking my bladder as if to remind me that I was dealing with a life that was not disposable, that couldn’t be thrown away like yesterday’s trash to save myself from a hypothetical infection that may or may not end my life.
I didn’t have to think about it. I didn’t have to ask her to give me a few minutes to pray or wait for my husband to come back to the hospital room to discuss it. In that moment, everything I have ever taught, ministered, believed about God, His very nature even, was put to the test. Is He Jehovah Rophe (the God of Healing)? Or is He not? Is He Elohei Ma’Uzzi (the God of My Strength)? Or is He not? If I believe Him to be who He says He is and consequently, believe who I am in Him, there’s no question.
I choose life.
I’m not sure what I expected from her because she showed me her cards immediately upon entering my hospital room. She didn’t operate with any compassion she was about the facts. I don’t hold it against her. She’s faced with this everyday in her profession but what followed left me dumbfounded and even more shocked than the news of my incompetent cervix.
The purpose of being in the hospital is to receive medical care from physicians. If you refuse that medical care there is nothing we can do for you and there is no reason for you to be in the hospital.
She’s telling me that I have a choice, terminate or leave this hospital and fend for myself. Can she do that? Can she make that decision? She’s not even my OB. She was just called in as a consultant. Did she even ask my insurance company because my husband and I have excellent insurance?
In hindsight, she didn’t even have the authority to make that decision. What she was trying to do was scare me into a procedure that she would be paid to perform on a live child within my womb.
I respect your professional opinion. I think people make their own personal decisions and have their own viewpoint on this subject. They are free to determine what works best for themselves, their bodies, and their child. For me, this is a living child who is not experiencing developmental complications. He/she (I didn’t know the gender until birth) has a regular and consistent heartbeat and is active in my womb. Taking his/her life would never be an option for me under any circumstances. In all that I do, I have to honor God.
I don’t think I could have said anything else that would have angered her even more.
You will be at high risk for infection and your baby will not stay put until viability. This baby will die.
I will allow myself to be infected before I take my child’s life. There is nothing left to discuss on this issue. My decision is final on that subject.
I thought that was it. She left the room visibly pissed. My ordeal had inconvenienced her and she wasn’t even going to be able to practice medicine as she had planned on her drive to the hospital. But it wasn’t it. She hadn’t left any instructions for the night nurse. She had left me to my own devices.
Ultimately, my OB came later that night and informed me that I would be allowed to stay.
Whatever you want to do in this situation God have Your way. I decree and declare the healing that was achieved at the cross. You will deliver me, if not, Your ways are higher than my ways (Isaiah 55:9) I still won’t bend to the will of this doctor.
On Monday, January 19, I delivered my daughter, Elisha Israel (Uh-lie-shuh Iz-rye-elle) vaginally. She was born weighing 10 oz and measuring 9.5 in. She lived with the activity of her limbs for 1 hour and 15 minutes. When the nurse put the stethoscope on her chest she grabbed it to push it away. She was very much alive. Her body fully stopped operating after 3 whole hours before she went in peace to rest in Christ.
She is a miracle and my husband and I, my family and friends, have been tremendously impacted by her short time on this earth. She achieved a great purpose in her three hours. I never experienced God’s love and presence to that extent.
All of this because
I chose life.