Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I'm Just Spittin' Mad

Pardon me while I rant for a bit. I know you won't hold it against me. And pardon me if I don't even make sense. I'm that mad.

Last night I received an e-mail from a lady who is a member our parish. She coordinates the knitting ministry that I contribute to. She seems to be a very nice lady, so I'm not angry with her. She was just the messenger.

She e-mailed a group of people in her ministry asking for prayers for her step daughter. Yesterday her step daughter learned, through prenatal ultrasound, that her unborn baby has spina bifida, does not have a skull, and cannot survive. I can hardly imagine a sadder scenario. I cannot imagine being in her shoes, learning that the baby for which you had such wonderful dreams will not fulfill those dreams. Even if those dreams were just to hold, and rock and feed her infant.

But, the part of this whole story that eats me up on the inside is that her doctor told her the baby will have to be aborted.

Now, I don't know anything about this girl (woman). I don't know her faith, or how mature or immature she is, how many children she has, whether this was a planned or unplanned pregnancy. Nothing.

But, I do know that a doctor, a practitioner of modern medicine, has told her that the baby cannot live, thus should not live anymore. This is a man or woman who has sworn that he will not, "above all, play at God.*" I cannot imagine a more clear example of playing at God than snuffing the life of an unborn child.

My first thought when I digested this information, was, what if the doctor is wrong? It certainly has been known to happen. But then, with modern medicine, it's not very likely that a doctor could be so wrong about such an enormous thing. So, maybe it truly looks as though this baby will not survive. What about a miracle? Can the baby's mother and father (or grandma and grandpa and friends and neighbors) not pray for a miracle?

And even if it is God's will that this baby not live beyond birth, do we know why this has happened. Can anyone on earth know why this happened? Could it be God's will? Could something good come from it? And even if this baby does die at birth, why snuff it's life out one moment early? Would it be so that the mother doesn't have to love her baby for one minute longer -- even though she will love that baby until she dies? Why not let that baby live so that it's mother and father can love it for every moment that its heart beats? They will grieve the loss of that baby anyway - no doctor can prevent that from happening. So, why should the doctor kill the baby? Let God decide whether that baby will live or die. If that poor mother and father have to know that their baby did not survive, would it not be better to know that God took it instead of another human being? Why would any doctor want his patient to live with that for the rest of her life?

I know that you, nor anyone, can answer these questions. I just get so very angry at humanity. That it can be acceptable for one person to say that the life of another must be taken, and indeed take that life, is so very, very sad.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

* from the Hippocratic Oath



  1. How very, very sad. If the poor young woman is uneducated in such matters she may very well believe what this doctor says and not let the baby be born. There is always the possibility that the doctor could be wrong.

    I'll be praying for the doctor and for this young woman and her preborn baby.

  2. A friend of mine recently gave birth to a baby girl who had Trisomy 18. Her baby did not survive the delivery and the family had precious few hours with her before she was taken from them. Even still, my friend has said how important that time was for them. I know that when her doctors made this diagnosis prior to delivery, there was mention made that some families choose "not to continue" the pregnancy. This was never an option for my friend or her spouse and we around her prayed for a miracle. For all the doctor's *advice* I'd like to ask them, "You tell me what's NOT possible with God."

  3. How very, very sad. I must say, that even with you being really upset, your post was well-done and heart felt.

    Like you said, we simply cannot imagine what this family is facing...but so many others have chosen to let the natural course take place, and have seen great blessings from trusting in God.

    Not that they aren't trusting in God, but allowing a doctor to make such a final pronouncement sure is hard to hear.


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!