What’s it like for a mother to be planning a funeral when she should be choosing paint colors for her newborn’s nursery? My neighbor and dear friend, *Sarah, knows the answer to that question. When her pregnancy reached the five month mark, she was told that her unborn baby had a terminal condition and would die within a few hours of being born. Worse yet, doctors told her that carrying the baby to term could be dangerous to her own health. They recommended that she abort the baby.
Sarah’s husband was panicked that he would lose his wife and the mother of their other children; he agreed with the doctors’ recommendation and pushed Sarah to abort the baby. She refused, stating that she was going to give her child every chance to survive. If the little guy didn’t make it, then she would cradle him and love him until he drew his last breathe, but she would never take the life of her child.
I’ve always said that Sarah’s one of the bravest people I know and she epitomizes the selfless love of a mother. She sought out a doctor who would help her safely bring her unborn child to term, and spent the next four months teaching and preparing her other children for the birth – and the death – of this very special child. Her husband was so distressed over the situation that his way of dealing with it was to pretend it wasn’t happening – he never engaged nor spoke of Sarah’s pregnancy during those long, anxious, and strained remaining four months.
In the last few weeks of Sarah’s pregnancy, I went with her to the mortuary to make the plans for the baby’s burial. I was struggling to get my mind around the injustice of choosing a casket instead of a crib, but Sarah’s calm and gracious soul never wavered. In spite of the endless doctor visits, little support at home and concern for her other children, Sarah remained unflappable and at peace with her decision. She understood her role as the mother to all of her children – including to her unborn child.
When the baby was born, he lived just a few minutes. Sarah’s children were there to meet their new little brother – as was her husband. That was some 15 years ago, and when I saw this video, I felt a sense of relief and elation that this type of service exists and the medical community has advanced to the point that they can provide this kind of support to a mother, father and family.
And I wished this type of service – and understanding – had been there for Sarah. This video will make you cry, but watch it. I think it will expand your understanding on the importance of all human life.
*Sarah is not her actual name.