|Siena had a voice at this year's march thanks to some teenage girls whose parents read this blog!|
Everytime I post anything pro-life on Facebook, I lose a couple followers and this year was no different. I shouldn't be surprised, but I always am. I'm just that way I am when it comes to differences- I see no reason why we can't associate with those who disagree with us. If a person is truly pro choice, they really shouldn't be offended by someone choosing life. While I may find the act of abortion offensive, I don't find a person who accepts abortion to be offensive in and of themselves.
All day yesterday I wanted to post something about the March for Life this year, but the words just wouldn't come. It all felt too close to home. It was really Kenna's death, so many years ago now that convicted me of the humanity of these littlest of souls. Seeing her tiny body forever changed how I thought about abortion and it definitely changed how vocal I was willing to be on the subject. In some ways, I think she prepared me for the fight we would have to make in order to give her baby sister, Siena, a chance at life.
If someone thinks this has nothing to do with Kenna or Siena, they are quite frankly wrong....for four months we dealt with medical professionals who thought Siena would be better off dead. That it would have been easier if we had chosen to end her life when problems first arose. We were bullied, lied to, denied alternative treatments and opinions, and my medical charts all reflect that I was uncooperative and in some points contain outright lies. After 45 minutes of explaining that I did not accept termination under any conditions (including what we would accept in lieu of termination), my chart clearly notes that I "understand and accept" that termination may become medically necessary to save my life. We disagreed and we didn't! We were even asked to pre-sign the 24 hour waiting paperwork, just in case we changed our minds later so we could "speed things up". They acted surprised when we said no!
The thing is, had we listened she would be no less dead and we would have none of the beautiful photographs and memories that we do. Photographs and memories that bring us great comfort and have been enjoyed by literally thousands of readers through this blog. Terminal and severe diagnosis abortions do not save suffering, they rob families of all the gifts we have gained by Siena's prescense in our lives. We were extremely grateful to finally be placed with a new doctor after months of arguing, and in the end Siena was treated with dignity and given every opportunity to live as we had requested. I remember well the day our new provider told us that he was glad we had chosen to carry Siena. He said, "It isn't always the easy choice, but it is the better one. Six months or years from now you will be in a better place because of the choice you made."
I couldn't agree more and all the research on grieving stillborn and terminal diagnosis babies agrees with me. Entire organizations, such as Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, exist to help families make memories during times like this. While we chose not to use a NILMDTS photographer because we had a close friend who was willing and able to do the same job, they provide thousands of families with support. Their message is getting out, and while they aren't thought of as a "pro-life" organization, the dignity and respect with which they treat these littlest ones and their families should give the rest of a us a kick in the butt to get on the bandwagon! Other organizations, such as Prenatal Partners for Life exist to support parents in continuing pregnancies after diagnosis such as Siena's. They sent us a gift box with a stuffed lamb, blanket, and offered to connect us with other parents who had similar diagnosis. Thank you to Meghan who referred us to this group. (Just a fair warning, you should listen to the song on the website but not without a big box of kleenex.)
Call me a realist, but I don't know that abortion can ever be outlawed completely in our current day and age. (Don't bring out the lynch mob, I didn't say I don't want to outlaw abortion...just that I am not sure it's realistic right now.) But I feel like eliminating this sort of "treatment" (medically and culturally) for families is within our reach. We can all continue to be Siena's voice... for her and all the other babies who can't speak for themselves. Particularly those families who were never given a chance and were instead given the impression that they didn't have another choice.
Because choosing abortion is not the better choice, so lets spread the word and help parents know the path of life is a path of dignity. It might be hard, but they will not be alone.
Only then, can we hope that the laws will start to catch up.
Note: If you have other pictures of #SienaStrong at the March for Life, be sure to pass them along and I will share them on our Facebook page. I know there were a few other Marchers who have been following her story as well! We are so blessed to be a part of such an amazing community of friends and readers!