|FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- What would you do if you had to choose between your life and your baby's life?
I never really thought I would have to choose. Since college it was always just a hypothetical question to me. Up to that point in my life, I had even heard most pro-life supporters affirm that abortion is always wrong -- with the exception of the mother's life being in jeopardy. That exception had always troubled me. In college I decided that if I ever had to choose, I'd go with the baby and trust God. I never thought I'd actually have to make that choice.
Fast forward four years and 25 weeks. The dark ultrasound room was quiet. My ultra-normal, 25-week pregnancy was falling to pieces before my eyes. When the doctor finally broke the silence, "Katie, we're concerned about your baby," my heart was crushed. My doctor explained that our sweet daughter's body was badly deformed. Our daughter had no left arm. She had no right leg. Her left leg was badly clubbed and her right arm seemed atrophied. The doctor feared Eve's brain and organs could not sustain her outside the womb.
Instantly, my heart encountered shock, terror and sorrow like I have never known. They allowed my husband and me to have a moment alone to absorb the news before meeting privately with our doctor to discuss our options.
My heart sunk further as I listened to the doctor's "medical opinion." She never said the word "abortion," but the suggestion had been made perfectly clear. It was posed with such delicate phrases: "My concern is to keep Katie as safe as possible. ... We need to think about what a delivery could mean for Katie." I could hardly listen; I was consumed with begging God to spare my daughter. Was my doctor really telling me my daughter wasn't worth saving? As soon as I realized her suggestion, I remembered that I had made this choice long ago.
Suddenly, amidst my sorrow, I knew that God had been preparing me for this moment, in this doctor's office, for years. I suddenly found myself thankful as I unhesitatingly responded: "I want to save my daughter."
My choice didn't make the coming days easier. I had limitless questions of every possible "why" and "how." I wasn't mad at God, but I was frustrated. I felt like David when he cried out to God, begging Him to come in and make sense of the mess. I experienced pain that is too deep for words. I know I am not the first, or unfortunately, the last woman to experience sorrow of this nature. It comes in all different shapes and sizes, but ultimately has the same root issue -- the effects of sin had corrupted something that was supposed to be beautiful.
I received a lot of different advice and words of wisdom from many women during those days -- some good advice, some not so good. As I went through my own struggles, I couldn't help but realize that there were certain truths that applied not only to me, but to every woman who has experienced the pain of something beautiful being affected by a fallen world:
-- I learned that I needed to allow grief. Too often, when Christian women hear of another's difficult challenges, they tend to sugarcoat the situation and essentially discourage grieving. It's well meaning, but unbiblical (Romans 12:15). Cry out to God, not to undermine or question His Sovereignty, but in order to understand His will. It's okay to be honest if you don't understand what He's doing. There were moments during my pregnancy when I was too weak to read Scripture or even pray. The only things I had to offer my Savior were my tears (Romans 8:26). Those moments alone with the Lord are still some of the most intimate moments I've ever experienced. I needed to be able to grieve through my pain to reach a deeper level of intimacy with the Lord. That intimacy then enabled me to be able to trust Him regardless of the storm (Psalm 34:18). Continued...