Friday, January 25, 2008

A Mother's Love

I was reading this news article today and it really wrenched my heart so to speak. A mother who sacrifices her life to save that of her unborn child. I have never had to make that decision, although it was a discussion I had with my husband when I was pregnant. If given the choice between me or the baby I wanted him to choose the baby. No questions asked, no second thoughts. I told my mother that after I gave birth and she said she wasn't sure she would have been able to back him in that decision. I am after all, her baby.

I had serious complications when I gave birth to my son. So serious I ended up in ICU and they had to stabilize me enough to do an emergency c-section. I had my doctor, a cardiologist, and a pulmonary specialist working together as a team. My doctor, who is a devout Catholic, said when he got the call from the hospital that morning, he dropped everything and raced over. The entire way to the hospital he was calling on Mary and all the saints for intervention on my behalf. Although I am not Catholic, I thought that was very sweet. He even prayed with my parents and husband before he went into the operating room. I had a lot of prayers that day as my Mom called her church and asked all the staff to pray while I was in surgery and my church also had everyone praying. I knew nothing of all of this until later.

The anesthesiologist told my parents that in the 10 years that he had practiced at the hospital I was the 1st mother he had seen give birth in the main operating room downstairs in the ICU instead of in the labor and delivery operating room. I spent another 2 days in the ICU after the birth before the doctors released me to go back upstairs to labor and delivery. The nurses joked I was in worse shape than my son up in the NICU. During all of this I never once worried about myself, I trusted that the doctors would do the best they could. My only thought was of my son, once he was out and I heard him cry I could have died right there and been perfectly content.

I know most every mother would throw themselves in front of a moving bus to save their child but what about their unborn child? One they haven't met? It amazes me that the maternal instinct to give up your own life for your child's life doesn't extend to the womb for every mother. I'm not talking about an abortion decision for an unwanted pregnancy. That is a can of worms I don't even want to open. I am talking about a case of a wanted healthy pregnancy that someone would terminate to save their own life. The fierceness of my love for my son started the moment the pregnancy test popped up the word pregnant in the window. I'm not here to judge or to tell someone what the "right" choice is. It is simply something I cannot fathom or wrap my mind around. As I approach the one year anniversary of that day I know my decision was the right one. I have made it clear to my family that in subsquent pregnancies if the choice needs to be made again I want my baby to be priority #1 in that operating room.

A Mother's Love - Helen Steiner Rice

A Mother's love is something
that no on can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendoured miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God's tender guiding hand.


Don Mills Diva said...

Beautiful post. I am with you - as soon as I knew I Was pregnant I would have died for my son. Still would - with no hesitation.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post -- What a wrenching story about the mother with cancer. I remember telling (my now ex) husband the same thing when I found out I was pregnant -- Save the baby, not me.

Prayer is a powerful thing...sicknesses have been healed and lives have been changed with prayer. How special that you had all those people praying for you then!

Thanks for sharing!

LL said...

Lovely post and sentiments. This is one of the things I felt like I SHOULD be thinking when I was pregnant, but honestly didn't. Even though Landon was very much planned and eagerly anticipated, I felt no connection to him as a baby until after he was born- and even that took a while. I remember crying when he was in the NICU because JP had that "I would die for him" mentality and I honestly didn't (not that I wouldn't actually done so, I just didn't have those kinds of feelings wash over me). But they've grown on their own through my mothering of him and the level of love and fierce protectiveness I feel for him now defies words.

But I clearly remember feeling like a defective mother because they didn't take over right away. I said the words anyway, because I knew you were supposed to, but they felt hollow for a while.

Ashley Forrette said...

Great post! So sweet. I just read your "about me" too... and I love you.

mommamia said...

I just recently found this blog and your story touched me. My last pregnancy was rough and the baby had to be taken taken at 29 weeks. I remember telling my husband if there was a choice to be made let the baby live.

newduck said...

This post, and especially the picture with it, made me want to cry. It also makes me thankful for my so-far healthy pregnancy, and hopefully for a healthy delivery. Thanks!