It's been a while since I've written....life is crazy (putting it mildly) these days between the kids, harvest time, work, appointments and so on. I have been dwelling on the topic of life in my head for some time now and needing to write my thoughts down. Those of you that know me, know that I am strictly a pro-life person....and when I mean pro-life, it goes beyond the hot topic of abortion. The society we live in has become so calloused to life that it sickens me. Because a baby or an elderly person isn't considered "perfect" then they are disposable and are treated with complete disregard. I've worked in healthcare for nearly 20 years and have seen it before....an older person comes to ER with complaints and the complaints are disregarded because they are "old." Why would we spend money on a 90 year old? They have lived their life. What, do they expect to live forever or what? Oh yes....I have heard it all. Same goes for a baby that receives a diagnosis inuteral like our Gracie did and are deemed incompatible with life. We chose to carry our baby to term because how could we turn our back on a baby we had tried so hard for? She was ours....God sent her for a reason. Was it easy....no. Would have terminating her earlier in the pregnancy made it easier to deal with the loss of her??? No...in fact I think it would have been worse. How do you not play the "What if" game? Well when carrying her I met a whole community of "sisters" with babies that they had either given birth to or were carrying with the same diagnosis of anencephaly. The things people said to them were horrifying....they were told they were going to make their babies suffer by carrying them to term. They were asked, "Why are you doing this to yourself?" (in regards to carrying to term) I can tell you I have not met a single mom who regrets their decision to carry to term. Now I can tell you I have met moms that chose to terminate and they are the ones that live with regret and a lot of the time guilt. Why does society deem it acceptable to "dispose" of someone that is not considered "normal' or "perfect" by the standards of society? Why has it become so acceptable to "not care" about these people (of any age)? One mom I met from the east coast said that babies that received prenatal diagnoses of Down's Syndrome or a cleft lip/palate are aborted out there because they aren't "perfect." I was shocked.....maybe I live a sheltered life here in rural North Dakota and was completely horrified at what was going on elsewhere. This mom was the first patient her doc had that carried a baby to term with a diagnosis that made their child incompatible with life. That little girl changed that doctor's perception of "these babies" and changed a lot of other minds along the way as well....I believe that was her mission that God sent her on.
Over the years as a nurse, I have worked in several positions in the rural health field. The hospital, the clinic and now in basic care. All of those positions had me in direct contact with the elderly. The elderly get overlooked in our "in a hurry" society. I feel if people would slow down and take a minute to "discover" this generation of folks, they would realize what they have been missing in their life. These folks are living and breathing history books. If you take a minute and think about everything they have seen in their life and how things have changed it is mind boggling! Just recently one of my residents who is in their mid 90's was hospitalized with a bowel obstruction. She laid in a bed for 7 days and had nothing to eat or drink by mouth (just IV fluids) and had a major abdominal surgery. Now....she was expected to be up and doing everything for herself after two days of physical therapy. Of course when she wasn't up to par, they wanted to send her to a nursing home. Well I fought my case with them and she did make it to the rehab unit. She has had a rollercoaster ride thus far and I pray she can come home to us soon. The medical staff saw her age and their actions spoke for their thoughts...she was disposable...send her to a nursing home. NOW....I pointed out to them that this gal as not your average 90 something year old lady and went on how she did all her own cares and was a feisty one. They were looking at demographics and not the patient...a common problem in our medical community.
No matter what the person's age is...0-100+ their life has a value and God made that life for a very specific reason and when he decides it's their time then it is....it is not up to us to determine that. It's plain and simple....not rocket science by any means. Now of course people out there will argue with me and that's ok....we are all entitled to an opinion...doesn't mean that it's right. :)
A story I read yesterday was very disturbing to me. An alarming increase in numbers for selective reduction in a pregnancy have been noted in twin pregnancies! People are choosing to kill one of their babies for convenience. The woman they interviewed for the story was 45 and had tried for YEARS to become pregnant and went through numerous fertility treatments to finally become pregnant....with twins. Well she had three school aged children and prided herself with being a "good mom" to them and felt that twins would inhibit her in keeping up this status. So at 34 WEEKS she chose to have the doctor kill one of her babies....for convenience sake! It floored me that someone that tried so hard to have a baby can just so callously could dispose of a perfectly healthy baby just so things would be hard for her? I had to quit reading at this point because it made me sick. I looked at my beautiful 18 month old twin girls and wondered how could I pick one of you to not have in our lives? At 34 weeks that baby was pretty much a full term and there would have been thousands of parents lined up to take that child and loved them. I cannot wrap my mind around her thought process. Is having twins a challenge...heck ya?! The first year was a blur..a sleepless blur. Any twin parent would admit to that, but at 18 months the girls are a lot of work but a LOT of fun. I honestly couldn't picture one or the other not being in our lives. It makes me very sad that this mother chose to end one of her babies lives so her life wouldn't be too inconvenienced.
I thought long and hard about how I wanted to write this today and whether or not it came out "perfectly" or not I don't know....but it's my thoughts. I'm not known for keeping my opinions to myself so this is a topic that has been eating at me extra hard these past few days and I had to get it out there.
If there is one lesson that Gracie taught me is that life is precious. Life is a gift. Life is not to be taken for granted. Love crosses all ages. Love is unconditional........