I am a 45-year-old mother of a perfectly healthy and precious newborn named Julie Ann Faith. We added the “Faith” part as my pregnancy progressed because it took a lot of it!
I have always known that our Lord works in mysterious ways, but I saw this firsthand in my life a few years ago. Our story begins when I was newly married, soon after experiencing the deaths of my mom, my sister, and my best friend to cancer all within two years. Eleven months later my husband and I found out we were expecting. When I went to my primary care doctor to confirm the pregnancy, he kept repeating the same phrase: “This is bad! So bad, Lori.”
I have a heart and spinal condition requiring medications that are dangerous to the baby if taken during pregnancy. I was already eight weeks along and Julie had been exposed to my meds for all that time. My doctor explained that, for these reasons, and because of my advanced age, I “needed” to abort. He told me that Julie would likely be born with Down syndrome as well as a slew of other birth defects and learning disabilities. I explained to the doctor that, regardless of his warnings, I wanted to keep my baby. He actually became angry with me.
I left his office in tears after having received a lecture on irresponsibility. He had given me a prescription that he said “needed” to be filled that day to “aid” in my pregnancy. I had never heard of it, but it was called RU-486. I took it to my pharmacist, who refused to fill it. He explained that, for religious reasons, he did not carry RU-486 in his store and that, if reported, he would surely lose his license. He then asked me if I even knew what I was asking for. I explained to him that the doctor said it was to aid in my pregnancy. He told me it was the abortion pill and the only thing that it would aid in was murder! I felt deceived and heartbroken, but grateful for a pharmacist who was willing to live out his faith.
Eventually, I was sent to an obstetrician who was even less sensitive than my general practitioner. He suggested abortion as well. When I refused, he insisted on genetic testing to see the baby’s potential and probable risks. He explained that, with the knowledge I would get after the testing, I still had the opportunity to abort. When I refused genetic testing, explaining to him that no matter the outcome we planned to keep our baby, he insisted I speak with a hospital social worker to evaluate my mental health. I did that, and she told me that the recent death of my loved ones had clouded my judgment. She then explained that babies with special needs are costly and demanding. Because of my disability, she felt that abortion was my best option.
Throughout all of this, my husband and I remained steadfast in our faith. My third trimester arrived, and the obstetrician insisted that I sign a consent form allowing for a tubal ligation after the baby’s birth. I refused. He explained to me that if I were to become pregnant again, I would more than likely die, leaving this baby without a mother. My refusal to have my tubes tied for “religious reasons” called for yet another visit with social services to evaluate my mental capability to raise a child. This went on and on. I began to suffer from deep depression because of the pressure the medical professionals put on me and because of their gloomy outcome for Julie Ann Faith.
The months wore on and my pregnancy progressed, with me constantly worried about my baby girl. Finally, the amazing day of her birth came! Julie Ann Faith was born at 38 weeks and 2 days. After a lot of testing, an echocardiogram, and an MRI to ensure that she did not inherit my disability, she was deemed perfectly healthy. Not only that, but she is beautiful (if I do say so myself)!
Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you.” Babies are gifts given to us by God, and we must treasure His gifts, no matter how they come. I cannot promise that everything will turn out perfect for everyone who experiences a high-risk pregnancy, but I can emphatically state that all human beings are precious and wonderful gifts from a God who loves us. And who will fight for your preborn child if you do not have the courage to do so?
Jesus never promised a life without pain, but He taught us about the sanctity of all human beings. I invite everyone who is reading this to pray daily for all mothers, especially expectant mothers who find themselves in similar circumstances. We must stand together, pray, and have faith that everything will work out as God intends. Pray for the miracle that is LIFE!