Friday, December 27, 2013

The Unexpected Pro-Life Witness

This article is posted on Catholic Stand.

Never in my worst nightmares did I ever think I’d one day be lying on an operating table, voluntarily submitting my body and my baby for a DNC.  But there I was, discovering at 13 weeks of pregnancy that my long awaited baby had lost his heartbeat at 11 weeks and one day old.  A history of a traumatic and ER-ending miscarriage at home, and the possibility of intensive bleeding while traveling internationally left me with little choice. 

It was while researching a courtroom scene for my novel that I first I learned of the difference between two of the most commonly used abortion procedures.  (CAUTION: Graphic medical details to follow.) For babies aged 8-13 weeks old, the Dilation and Cutterage (DNC) technique is used.  Here, the cervix is dilated, a cutterage (hook like instrument) is used to remove the baby and a vacuum collects the remains.   For older babies at 13-20 weeks, Dilation and Evacuation (D & E) technique is applied. The cervix is dilated (larger because the babies are more formed), suction is inserted, and a Sopher Clamp (forceps) is used to grasp at random body parts and dismember the baby.  

A chilling testimony from former abortionist Dr. Paul Jarrett still haunts me: “…I found a tiny beating heart… and looked squarely into the face of another human being –a human being I’d just killed.”

So, once I came to from surgery, the first question I asked my anesthetist-friend was, “This is what they do during abortions, isn’t it?” 

Even without his grave nod, I knew the answer to that.

I exited the outpatient department with a request to give me my baby’s remains for a proper burial,  (because no baby of mine is going to be tossed in the hospital trash!), a heartbreak of endless jagged edges, and another question:  how do women who’ve gone through this ordeal get over it?  It was agonizing enough for me imagining the entire procedure, knowing my baby had died two weeks prior, but for those other mothers whose babies were alive and then killed  –-

Then, it hit me: they didn’t know!  They must not have known or not wanted to know that what abortion facilities refer to as disposable “tissues” are babies who are alive at conception (evidence: tissues don’t have heartbeats), grow to 11 weeks of perfection (evidence: sonogram photograph) and die being “held” by cold metal instruments (evidence: medical testimony).

I understand the assorted reasons why women who miscarry often keep the raw event private or that women who’ve suffered from previous miscarriages don’t reveal a pregnancy until they’re past the 12-week benchmark when jeopardy is considerably less.  I respect those choices. But for my husband and I, we publicly announce to anyone who cares to listen the moment those two pink lines grace our lives with joy and excitement, and we tearfully disclose when in God’s unfathomable will, our babies leave us.   At each of their funerals, we are gifted with consolation when our pastors reassure us of one more saint interceding for us in heaven.  The rest of the pain we carry is offered for the conversion of women who do know what we do about life, but choose death.

Some families bear pro-life witness by the large number of children they welcome into their homes. Our witness includes the number of children who pass through our home to eternity. 

My baby either raising his hand or pointing to heaven.
(Pretty sure its the right finger.)


Sue Elvis said...


I am so sorry for the pain you have had to suffer recently and I appreciate your courage in writing about your experience.

For some time now I've been pondering the connection between miscarriage and abortion. Yes, one of the steps in getting people to understand that an abortion involves a baby, is to make people aware that miscarriage also involves the death of a baby. Our language needs to change. "I lost a baby due to miscarriage" and not "I had a miscarriage" which sounds like a fairly minor medical condition, and is treated as such. And talking about these babies that we love regardless of how long they were with us. When we miscarry a baby society encourages us to move on quickly as if it wasn't a big deal. That baby can be replaced so they say. By sharing our stories, maybe other women will be encouraged to share theirs. It's almost like we need permission to mourn our children, at least publicly. But by doing so we are pro-life witnesses.

Anabelle, my thoughts are disjointed I know. I've sat here with this window open on my computer for a long time and keep getting distracted by other things that are going on around me. Part of me wants to say "It's too hard to put this into words right at the moment," and delete this comment. The other part knows you will understand what I'm trying to say despite my poor words.

I know losing a baby involves so much heartache. I'm praying for you.

God bless you.

Gina said...

This is beautiful, Anabelle. My prayers for you and your family. No doubt God is using your story to touch so, so many.


All my love.

8 kids and a business said...

Hi Annabelle, it's awards time! As we begin the new year, I'd like to give you 3 blog awards. Details here:

Jennifer Marie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful and truthful testimony to life. I lost 3 little ones but never needed a DNC. I can only imagine that horror. Sadly, we were never able to bury any of ours. Sending prayers for you and your family. ((((HUGS)))

Anabelle Hazard said...

Thank you ladies. It's been difficult to write this and your kind words make it seem worth it. Your prayers are much appreciated.

Claudia Olave said...

I am so sorry for your loss Anabelle.
Thank you for writing this. It is exactly how I feel...