Since my early twenties, I have known that life begins at conception. I have written about it, taught a couple youth ministry generations (7 year time spans) of its vivid and powerful truth, and have been teaching our children that all life is precious to God. One of my favorite ways to support life is to wear the 10 week old baby feet lapel pin:This picture isn’t life-size 🙂 but it shows you an example. I loved giving these to my students each year (from Colorado Right to Life – http://www.coloradorighttolife.org) while I taught them about the Sanctity of Human Life (usually in January). One year, I gave each of them pins and then showed them my ultrasound for my 10 week old baby, who is now almost 4 years old! It had quite an impact.
It’s that time again for me, my third time, actually. In two days, I’ll be 10 weeks pregnant again. Those feet mean more to me this week than ever. When we found out for sure that we were pregnant (I’d suspected it to be so since the beginning, since we practice Natural Family Planning.), my husband and I debated and prayed about when and how to tell our kids, our families, etc. He is so kind and gentle to me and defers to me about these things. As I was praying, I kept sensing God saying, “Celebrate life, don’t fear death.”
Here’s the thing with that. My mom had 5 miscarriages. One before me and four after me. 5. I was the only normal, 40 week pregnancy. She longed to have other babies, but that’s not how it worked out due to complications with her thyroid (we think). I lived most of my life convinced I’d lose at least one baby. I was terrified when I was pregnant with our first (now 6), but God kept reminding me He’s the Creator and Life Giver! This time was different, though, 5 months ago I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. It is a hereditary disease that can affect fertility, as well as other thyroid related conditions. So, naturally, I was very concerned about the health of my baby. But, when my wise husband got to talking, he helped me understand that it’s a disease/disorder/thing I’ve had my entire life, it’s hereditary. I have two strong and healthy children and have always had this.
I want to be careful here to not be insensitive or gloss over this. Having a miscarriage is losing a baby and that child must be celebrated and mourned. With that reality being so much a part of my childhood, I tread softly as I say, I longed to celebrate each and every moment of this baby’s life. So, we decided to tell our children when I was only 4 weeks pregnant. I got eyebrow raises from people and concerned statements like, “Oh, I understand wanting people to pray with you during this journey.” No. I believe this little one is alive, not just another statistic. I trust God with this little one’s life just like I trust Him to take care of my daughter when I walk her into her school.
After telling our children and parents, I kept being haunted with the “dumb decision” I’d just made. I kept feeling like we should have waited. Then God stopped me with the famous Horton Hears a Who quote, “A person’s a person no matter how small.” That was it for me.
If I am going to teach my children that life begins at conception then I need to LIVE like life begins at conception. Spending my days in fear of this little one dying is not living life to the full (John 10:10) or modeling trust.
I do admit, the first time I saw this little upside-down gummy bear, I felt much relief. When we heard the heartbeat for the first time (just like a choo-choo train), my heart rested. When I got the follow up call that everything looks great and this little one is “off to a good start,” I sat and praised God.
We watched Horton Hears a Who with our little ones the same week we told them about their new sibling. Our daughter spent much of the movie rubbing my not-showing-at-all-belly and saying, “I love you” to her little sibling.
So may this post be an encouragement for you to live out what you teach your children. Trust Him to handle the knitting (Psalm 139:13) and the details and then you can just celebrate life, don’t fear death!