|The little man and me. (nine months pregnant with Anna-Claire)|
"Children are the anchors of a mother's life."
Okay, this post is going to be emotional and to some, offensive. So, please discontinue reading if you tend to disagree with me. You have been warned.
So, I have been pondering the heart-wrenching case involving the Fort Worth, Texas pregnant mother who was recently ordered to be removed from life support in accordance with the wishes of her husband and family. Firstly, this case is tragic. Tragic beyond what most of us can comprehend. Life seems so cruel at times and I am constantly having to remind myself that my vision in life is small and my understanding painfully limited. My simple mind cannot fathom the greatness of God and His will, but still, quite often, especially when faced with stories like this, my heart breaks. I am broken for her family.
With that said, sadness and grief and unfairness and fear don't change truth. And the truth of this matter was and remains that this young mommy was carrying a living child in her womb when medical staff disconnected them from those life-sustaining devices. I have a living will. I have informed my husband and my parents that if I were to sustain an injury that rendered me brain dead, I would want them to remove me from life support. I know that it would be difficult and I know that their pain would be tremendous, but those are my wishes. However, this case has given me reason to amend my last request. If, by some miracle, I were to be carrying a child when I sustained the injury, I want to be kept alive. Kept alive in whatever medical condition I have been rendered: not for my sake or my husband's sake but for the sake of our unborn child. When I became pregnant with our first child I began to view my body differently. I was astonished at the transformations that my body underwent in order to provide a safe, temporary home for our children. Because that is God's perfect design--the temporary dependence of the unborn child upon a mother's physical protection. The process is a beautiful foreshadowing of the relationship that should strengthen upon the birth of a child.
This case made me hurt. Literally, it pained me. But while is has been terrible to watch, this situation has reinforced many things for me. It has made me realize that as a mommy, no matter what my physical state may be, my dying wish, my heart's final desire, would be to care for and protect any life that was entrusted to my physical care. I wouldn't care about the condition of the baby. I would want to protect it. I wouldn't care about the medical predictions regarding the unborn child's quality of life. I would want to ensure that I did everything within my power to give the child the opportunity to that life. If my brain were dead but my body still useful, I would see that as an example of God's unending mercy and grace. I would desire nothing more than to act as a still, quiet incubator for a baby, a gift of life, that would live on beyond me and quite possibly create a legacy beyond my understanding. The baby would be remnant of my life--a piece of me.
I don't judge this family. I don't judge this husband. I don't believe it is my place to judge anyone. I mourn with and for them. I mourn for the loss of the mother, beautiful and young. But I also grieve the loss of the seemingly forgotten child condemned to death. A baby girl the father named Nicole.