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Fear and Growing Up, in other words, Abortion

Catchy title eh? No no, don't worry, nothing controversial or threatening here, just wanted to share some thoughts. Before Leo, I, like many other Orthodox Christians, had a pretty basic view of abortion. Although I didn't go to the annual pro-life rally on the D.C. Mall, I had some vague opinions about abortion being wrong and just knowing that I personally would never do it. I think that sums up most of us reading this blog. However, since the little Leo man has come into my life, I find that my views have changed. I've realized that bearing a child is something bigger and more mysterious than a pro-life banner can really sum up. Now, for the first time, there is a part of me that can almost understand that deep dark place that a woman has to be in to willingly abort her child. It's a terribly lonely place, and the only other thing down there, is fear. Pretending that fear isn't there is kinda ludicrous; a proverbial elephant in the room. Fear is the only thing that makes a woman seek abortion. Everything else is just excuses. We convince ourselves that this fear of the unknown takes priority, and that taking action against it is not only logical, but desired. I have thought much about abortion since Leo. Mostly because our journey feels so much like fording new territory not just for us, but for the medical team trying to help us. This is not because this condition is that rare, it's because so many of these babies are aborted. I shouldn't say just these babies, but all kinds of babies are, for even less indications of birth defects. As are countless others, for no real reason at all. Our docs at DHMC admitted it to us pretty plainly, that had Leo been discovered on the early routine ultrasound (that I never had) I would have been strongly encouraged to abort him. In that hellish week in which we found out his prognosis just before his birth, I remember commenting to Justin that if presented with that choice at that time, I honestly don't know what I would have done. I think that God knew that I wouldn't have been able to handle that and spared me. It really was a complete fluke that I didn't get that early ultrasound done. We were in NYC and there was a snow storm...etc etc, so I never made that appointment. And after that, I just never bothered with it. So once having spent a little bit of time in that place, I feel like I can at least understand why someone might decide to abort. And having said that, because I know that place, I know that there is a way through it. And that way is leaving the fear behind, and yes, growing up. Some people compare having a child to drawing straws, or "box of chocolates, ya never know what you gonna get.." I think that's wrong myself, because then you have the lucky people with their perfect children, and then you have the rest of us who got the rejects. And we were the dumb ones who didn't trade out for the better ones when we had the chance. What's wrong with this picture? What's wrong is that bearing children is something so profoundly mysterious and miraculous that we just can't categorize it, understand it, or label it. It is something unique to every couple, every woman, and it is something we have absolutely no control over. Sure with the advancement of birth control, we can pretend. We can choose who shares our bed, why can't we choose our children too? And we are so totally unprepared that we are completely terrified when something is different that what we choose and expect. I am reminded by a scene from the show that we have been into lately, "Battlestar Galactica," in which a "special child," is presumed dead by one of the characters. In trying to help another character deal with guilt feelings because of this, she says, "it isn't any one's fault, it's life." Life. Life she says, not death. Life is hard, messy, scary, and sometimes things happen that are totally out of our control. And instead of pretending that somehow we have control over the hand that was dealt, or some inside knowledge that gives us the power to change things, we go on as best we can. Abortion is not the answer, and although there was a moment where I thought I could have done it, I realize now that it wouldn't have solved anything. I would have payed for it the rest of my life. But by not doing it, by putting all that outside myself, by taking Leo into my arms, can I clearly understand what "Thy will be done" really means. I understand that the reason Leo is what he is, is a miracle, and that can never be degraded by our puny attempts to rationalize and compartmentalize our life.
Just added the video of that song that Justin brought up in his comment below. It's nice to read the words, but even better to hear the music! Thanks hon for introducing me to it. It really does fit what I'm trying to say here!

Comments

  1. Thank you for posting. I'm sharing this.

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  2. How beautiful! What a blessing you are to him- and he to you

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  3. I can imagine the fear and dark places you had to come through to write this. I hope it is a light for others who find themselves in that place and that it will bring them moments of joy as you have found. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Thank you for that impassioned spark - tiny in the darkness. I so love the Lord more by reading your posts and pray for you often.

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  5. Anna,
    I heard this song today and it reminded me of your post. I think this should be a "pro-life" banner song because it captures the essence of choice, true choice, which is a mixture of love and humility, acceptance and change in the face of a cold fear. That is how I interpreted it at least. It is not triumphant or militant, nor is it politicized. It reminded me of you. Song is called "Timshel" by Mumford and Sons.


    Cold is the water
    It freezes your already cold mind
    Already cold, cold mind
    And death is at your doorstep
    And it will steal your innocence
    But it will not steal your substance

    But you are not alone in this
    And you are not alone in this
    As brothers we will stand and we'll hold your hand
    Hold your hand

    And you are the mother
    The mother of your baby child
    The one to whom you gave life
    And you have your choices
    And these are what make man great
    His ladder to the stars

    But you are not alone in this
    And you are not alone in this
    As brothers we will stand and we'll hold your hand
    Hold your hand

    And I will tell the night
    Whisper, "Lose your sight"
    But I can't move the mountains for you

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  6. If you never look for a miracle, you will never see one. If you never give God the opportunity to perform a miracle, you will never receive one. Your story blesses me! God bless you and little Leo!

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  7. This just, yet again, provides insight in to the world we are living in.... the unknowns, the uncertain, the fears, and the lost hopes and dreams. Our little miracles are here for a reason, hopefully that reason will grow to include helping other families who find themselves in the dark place we have been in ourselves... those scary moments after hearing the prognosis associated with hydranencephaly. After being told our 'lil men are existing on borrowed time...

    Those textbooks have to be changed to include the glimmer of hope that exists, so that the darkness we found ourselves in contemplating abortion can be brought to light and cease to exist. There is so much hope, when hope is given...

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am going to link to it on my blog. Such wisdom comes from this post because you have the real ability to relate to those considering abortion. Thank you.

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  9. Thank you Anna for your beautiful words that point the way to holy motherhood. Your words speak of profound hope to the world and are a beacon of love to all who take the time to read. May all fear be cast away! God bless you and your family.

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  10. Leo is looking so handsome! Great Song. Thanks for you openness Anna. Love. Marcy

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  11. What a wonderful post, Anechka. Thank you so much for it. God bless you all.

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  12. Dear Anna, I've been reading your blogs and want you to know I have grown to love Leo and your family. I can see my little boy in Leo. Our children are truly blessings from God. Sending love and prayers always.

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