But there is another story I haven't shared as often, or with the same amount of joy. One that I feel is more important for mothers and potential mothers to hear.
I found out I was pregnant Christmas morning; the best gift I have ever received. My husband and I discussed whether to tell family at our holiday get-togethers.
"Don't we want to wait? What if something happens?" he asked.
"I'd rather put my trust in God. This is something that should be celebrated; I don't want to think about the "what ifs". If something does happen at least we will have a lot of support."
Had it announced at church that morning.
A few weeks later, my husband and I were preparing for a youth group event when, out of the blue, I started bleeding. We quickly canceled the event and went to the ER. While in the waiting room, I had an internal speed run of the five stages of grief. I couldn't help but second guess my decision to tell everyone. I doubted my faith. After a grueling 4 hours, I finally had an ultrasound.
I couldn't look. I could not bear to think that my child was gone.
The ultrasound technician turned the screen towards me.
"As you can see right here, your baby's heart is beating. Very strong for just being seven weeks along."
A wash of relief came over me. But the guilt nagged me. How could I have been so doubtful when God has blessed me so greatly?
This story could have been tragic and, through the grace of God, had a joyous resolution. But there is a more poignant reason I shared it, and that is this:
My baby's heart was beating at seven weeks. There are many arguments as to when life begins, but I am baffled as to how there could be when simple proofs like this exist. If scientists discovered a single-celled organism on Mars, we would be in awe that they had found life there.
So why does a "clump of cells" not register as life? It is far more impressive to house a multicellular organism, than just a single-celled one. Then is the problem the fact that one is found within a woman? Does the woman somehow cheapen the life of her child?
On top of that, the "clump of cells" develops a beating heart by six weeks, though it can sometimes be difficult to detect. By 20 weeks, the child has almost completely formed, and spends the rest of their energy growing. When I worked in the NICU, I saw a child born at 22 weeks and 6 days (one day shy of their cut-off for "resuscitation"). Though severely premature, and unlikely to live, her parents insisted that they still try and save her. She survived.
But apparently, this isn't as impressive as the existence of an amoeba on Mars. Simply because some turn a blind eye towards the true nature of life for their own selfish purposes.
When did bearing children dampen ones feelings of accomplishment and fulfillment? It is a large undertaking that men cannot even begin to fathom. It's what makes women so powerful; they are able to birth and raise generations to come. We control the future.
So why do women feel otherwise? When did this shift happen?
Let's look at the past few generations. Roe v. Wade was enacted in 1973. Third wave feminism started in the early 90's. There have been roughly 2.5 generations that have grown up with the ideals pushed by these political and social movements. And it's no surprise that these decisions have affected younger generations.
Around the time that more than fifty percent of mothers had entered the workforce and Roe v. Wade was set forth (around the 70's), late Gen X and Millennials were being born. This means that all Millennials, as well as Gen Z, have grown up with very easy access to abortion and more than likely had a mother who had a job outside the home.
What impact must that have on a young child's mind? To think that you are a hindrance to your mothers career? Believing that a child could be a stumbling block in your life, if you should happen to get pregnant? To know that your parents could have considered ending your life in the womb? Maybe even being told these things. These children (who are more than likely adults now), grew up being force-fed the lie that they do not matter. And it is apparent.