Several times in the last month expecting mamas have come to me asking for prayer for their unborn babies. Some of them had an ultrasound that raised questions about the baby’s health, others just had an innate fear that something was wrong with the new life growing inside of them.
In every case, I asked the mamas what kind of genetic testing they had done. All answered virtually the same:
None. Because if there was “something wrong” with the baby they weren’t going to do anything anyhow.
Ladies, let me speak plainly to you about something and without arguing with me in your mind as you read it, please just remember that I have 15 children and have most likely been down this road a few more times than you. I am coming at this from an ‘I love you and want you to consider what I am saying’ mentality. How do you know that I actually care about you?
I have been writing 3-5 times a week for three straight years. Through pregnancies, newborns, deaths of loved ones and my already busy life of running a household of 17.
Do you see any adds on the sidebar? NO. Do you know what that means? I pay for all this outreach and ministry FOR YOU out of my own pocket.
So with my TIME and MONEY I have shown you that I CARE about you…many of you I know personally and thousands more I just love on through this screen hoping you will learn from my mistakes and our journey how to best do family in a way that brings joy to your life and glory to God.
Keep that in mind when you read what I am about to say…
Surprises are wonderful. Surprises like “it’s a boy!” or “she has my eyes!” are fantastic. Surprises about how big the feet are or how much hair the baby has– these are great delivery room surprises…
You know WHAT’S NOT a fun delivery room surprise?
Missing fingers (happened to me with baby #9).
Serious malformations or life threatening chromosomal abnormalities.
Those are not fun to find out on baby’s birthday.
Today there are so many birth defects that can be determined through a simple blood test early on. (And I hate that word but it’s the only way I know how to put it– in my heart of hearts you have to know that I DO NOT believe God makes defects!) These blood tests are far more accurate than the testing done through blood draws a decade ago! Level 2 ultrasounds and solid blood work can rule out so many worries for a parent that why anyone would refuse them makes me marvel!
Of course I would not choose to abort a child with any sort of malformation or handicap…but learning well in advance of their arrival could help me prepare mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. As a parent, I can begin to line up any sort of specialty care or physician my child may need. I can prepare my family and even extended family for the upcoming arrival of a special needs baby. I can give myself, my husband and my children the time to really grapple with God’s sovereignty and conclude, in advance of baby’s arrival, that He really does know best and He has a plan.
I just had this conversation with a momma who had two young sons and at 13 weeks gestation discovered she was having a little girl with Down’s Syndrome. She said learning so early on in her pregnancy was key! By the time their new daughter arrived she couldn’t imagine her family without a special needs child. She credited her stability postpartum with knowing way in advance about her baby’s health challenges.
Moms, please take every opportunity to make yourself aware ahead of time if your baby has any impending health issues. Short of an amniocentesis, there are so many challenges that can detected through a simple blood draw that to deny yourself that peace of mind simply “because it wouldn’t change your mind about having the baby” is shortsighted. It’s not an issue of faith or abortion to be forewarned and prepared.
I care about you. I care about your babies. I care about your health physically and emotionally postpartum. Being aware ahead of time that there are issues with baby’s health is a good first step to preparing yourself for motherhood and caring for the baby God has uniquely created for you. Get the testing, and either put your mind at rest because there are no abnormalities or put yourself to work getting ready to face them head on.