Every year when January 22nd hits, and the pro-choice and pro-life groups hit the news, I always want to stand up and holler, "LISTEN TO ME!!!!"
The key: My son was born on January 17th, 1973. Last week he turned 39. And it's a miracle he was born.
In the Spring, 1972, I became pregnant for the severaleth time. I had had at least two miscarriages in the previous two years, and, while driving home from church that Sunday afternoon, the pain began again; I was only 6 weeks pregnant. It was the exact feeling and timing of the other miscarriages. I went to a Doctor immediately on that Sunday afternoon, and after checking me, he suggested that I not have this baby, that I let "Nature" bring this to an end. He gave me some pills to take "whenever I felt that pain." At home, even when in pain, I didn't take any pills; I'm not a medicine-oriented person. What I discovered many months later was that the pills would not have relieved the pain, but would have caused a medical abortion.
Occasionally, during the next several months, other doctors tried to convince me to let them bring the birth to an end. I was told that this baby would be a mental and physical vegetable, that I would always have to care for "it" and would never be free OR that the baby could die very soon and I would suffer from that death; "Mother Nature" had tried to free it "now."
Well, I refused. Can't say I wasn't scared about what the results would be. In fact, I was terrified during the pregnancy, especially when I was forced to be in bed for about two months and had this fear pouring through my heart and mind constantly. But, I knew it wasn't what God would want me to do, so I simply couldn't; sometimes I felt Him hold my hand and encourage me to stand in that rocky area. The baby's Dad, my former husband, basically just told me to do what I needed to do. Except for one spiritual Mom who gave me a Word when she could, I walked through this alone.
[You must recall or know that in those days talking to a pastor about these physical issues was not reasonable, going to a counselor wasn't easy, and ultrasound wasn't a medical part of our lives. Life has most certainly changed now.]
The baby was due on January 12. On the 16th, I was rushed to Stanford University for the delivery. Labor had kicked in early that evening. When the baby was being delivered, about 6:30 AM the 17th, the nurse asked if I wanted to look in the mirror so I could watch "it" come out. I was obviously more terrified than anyone, including me, knew it. I screamed, "NO!!!"
And then the baby came. And HE was not a vegetable. He looked like his sister who had arrived about 3 years earlier, he was an ounce different in weight, and 1/2 inch different in length. That was all. Period.
I was in the hospital for a week. Didn't know anything about the abortion approval. In fact, I didn't know anything about that for some time; life was extremely stressful and my recovery took several months. Survival was my only focus then.
But to know that the Lord gave me a son at the same time that law came into being, and that He had helped me walk through those horrible times with very caring and concerned doctors, probably some of the most seriously compelled to do the best for me and the "fetus", still just fills my heart with appreciation for Him.
And for my son. And my son's son.