My Mother Was Pro-Life
Married just a little less than two years, my mother had already experienced one painful miscarriage and was dealing with more than a decade of reproductive health issues. In the late spring of that year, she discovered she was pregnant again. This time she approached the news with cautious optimism.
Battling morning sickness and the other symptoms of a typical early pregnancy, my mother also began experiencing severe cramping. Her obstetrician put her on bed rest, where she remained for four months. Poor and struggling with the difficulty of the situation, she held on to hope for the pregnancy. Her days were spent mainly alone on a couch, where my grandfather brought her lunch on his breaks from work. Because of her nausea, all she could eat were baked potatoes.
At one point, she fell ill and needed to be taken to the women’s hospital in the city. (There were not very many small-town hospitals equipped for births in the 1970’s.) Her regular doctor was absent and the fill-in specialist strongly suggested that she terminate the pregnancy. At the time, with her medical problems, it would have been a perfectly legal option in Pennsylvania.
“You can always try again, later,” he said, referring to the possibility of a future pregnancy.
My mother vehemently opposed aborting the baby and told the doctor abortion was not an option. Several weeks later, I was born. Ten fingers, ten toes, and all the things parents check when a baby is born were present that afternoon. A childhood heart murmur that I eventually grew out of was the only notable defect I had.
It stops me in my tracks every time I think about how easy it would have been for my mother to have aborted me… it was even a doctor’s professional opinion that everyone would be better off if I were dead. Tell that to my mother, to my husband, to my sons now. Thank God we’re a pro-life family and I have the opportunity to pass that conviction on to my children and future generations.
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