(I’ll be honest, I’ve never been involved in the Pro-life movement. Certainly, as a committed Catholic, I believe in what the movement stands for. However, I’m often disturbed by the unloving and un-Christlike way mothers in crisis are often treated. Further, the blatant hypocrisy of some in the movement when it comes to taking care of single mothers makes my skin crawl. And, I don’t appreciate when men try to control women in any way. However, after the release of the shocking footage and the smug, self satisfied and entitled Planned Parenthood statements, I wanted to vomit on Margaret Sanger’s grave.
Still, I’m white and I have a penis. It leaves me at a huge disadvantage in our culture when I try to discuss Abortion. Therefore, I think it’s wise for women to lead the Pro-life movement, especially through groups like Feminist for Life. I think their personal stories are more powerful and speak deeper into the experience of a woman. Only they know what it’s like to carry life inside of them.
To that end, I’ve asked my sister to share her story about losing her precious baby (and my niece), Finley Grace, around the same time the expose videos started coming out. It’s powerful, honest and says more than anything I could write in my utter disgust at Planned Parenthood.
Also, a warning, she has shared pictures of Finley just after she was born and some people might find these pictures extremely sad. But, she felt the need to tell people that Finley wasn’t tissue for the meat market, but a human being who was and is loved.)
The thought of Planned Parenthood makes me cringe. I have to admit, I haven’t watch any of the expose videos, but I have read the articles popping up on my social media feeds. I can’t bring myself to watch someone talking about discarded babies as if they’re gold mines. It’s almost like a Mastercard commercial. Arms $25. Brain $75 Heart $150. I want to add, “Human Life….priceless.”
In early May, I found out I was pregnant. My husband and I have two beautiful girls and didn’t plan on having more children. Yet, when we got over the initial shock, our entire family was happy. The girls were excited, and started talking about how they would play with the baby.
On my first doctor visit at seven weeks,I could see the flicker of a heart beat on the ultra sound screen. That flicker was the beginning of life. Instantly, we were in love. I got used to idea of having three little humans running around the house. We made plans to move the girls upstairs to share a room with the baby and I looked for minivans to fit our larger family.
Four week later, I brought my girls so they could see the baby on the ultra sound. There it was again. That flicker. This time we saw little arms and legs moving around. The girls were estatic about seeing their future baby brother or sister. The doctor, an old family friend who also delivered my nephew, told the girls with a smile, that at our next visit we might be able to tell if they were going to have a boy or a girl.
Finally, the big day came. My husband was able to make it and we gathered around the screen to see if the doctor could tell the sex of the baby. After moving the wand around a little, he smiled, and said, “Well, looks like you’ve got another chick in the family.” We all laughed. Another girl. We thought about girl names but nothing seemed to fit. We had time, or so we thought.
The next week, we went on vacation to my husband’s child hood home in Michigan. I experienced some of the worst headaches of my life and I began to spot. It seemed normal, but constant. My belly hadn’t grown in a week and it felt heavy. So, I called my doctor and made an appointment. He didn’t seem too concerned, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. Still, I went without my husband, trusting everything would be okay.
My doctor got out the wand and began to move it around on my belly. No flicker. No little heartbeat. No signs of life. I cried and begged him to find it. His face creased with a deepening frown and finally, he sighed and said, “I’m sorry, Nicole, she’s gone.”
After seventeen weeks, she was gone. I felt empty, hollow, and couldn’t accept the reality.
We scheduled a delivery for the next day. I couldn’t bear to do a DNC. I didn’t want her sucked out of me like she didn’t matter; like she was just a glob of tissue waiting to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. When the doctor came in to give me the medicine that would induce labor, I said, “I feel like I’m killing her”. He nodded and said, “You know I wouldn’t be doing this, if I wasn’t one hundred percent sure.” I nodded, still feeling terrible, even though I trusted him.
Within a few hours, my water broke and tears streamed down my face. I knew the end was near. The doctor delivered her and asked if I wanted to see her. I was nervous. It wasn’t going to be like my first two babies, with both of them resting on my chest, crying, messy, but alive. I needed time to get ready.
So, finally, I had the nurses give her to me. She was beautiful. I couldn’t believe that a baby that only measured 15 ½ weeks could be so perfectly formed. Like any mother, I counted her tiny fingers and toes. Ten of each. We could see her beautiful eyes through her thin eyelids. Her ears and nose had begun to form. Her mouth was small but cute. I was in awe. I sang to her. I held her. I kissed her. Even though she wasn’t planned, she was wanted and was given a name….Finley Grace.
I want to tell girls that feel they have no hope and feel the need to get an abortion. Think about the baby, yes baby, that is inside of you. They are more than just discarded parts or trash or a cash crop. They are full of promise and potential. They may not have been wanted or expected but I promise you they will bring you a joy that you never thought you would have. They will show you a love that you never thought was possible.
But, even if you can’t raise or support them, there are numerous childless couples who are longing for babies of their own. Consider adoption. Consider giving someone the gift of a life. Because, these babies are alive….
Just like Finley Grace was….