Saturday, November 3, 2012

Why I Didn't "Just Take Care of It"

It's been a while, hasn't it?

This post has been about four years in the making. I have started to write it several times, and have probably written it, in my head, from start to finish more times than I can count. I am not sure why now seems like the time to finally publish this... I know it is the Lord's prompting... but other than that, I don't know.

I starting crafting this post, at least mentally, shortly after we first learned of Isaac's complications in 2008. Upon tearily {or in reality, more like sobbingly} sharing the news with several people, some of them asked me point blank: "Why don't you just take care of it?"

Take care of it? Take care of IT??

To be honest, I was so stunned by the question, I didn't even know how to respond. Eventually, I did respond to each of the people who asked; but still, the question has sort of haunted me because it seems to make a statement about a very widely accepted view in our culture about the life of the unborn: "They aren't really people yet." "Children who are developing less than perfectly are expendable." "If the child won't live long anyway, why not just end it now?"

Let me be clear: This world view is completely counter to the word of God, and is, quite simply, untrue.

I didn't "just take care of it" because from the moment of conception, my child had value, dignity, and worth. He was not expendable.

 I didn't "just take care of it" because choosing to end the life of an unborn, yet fully alive child, is still killing a child.

I didn't "just take care of it" because by the time we had been given Isaac's diagnosis, his heart had been beating for weeks. He had fingers, and toes, and many of his major organs had already formed.

I didn't "just take care of it" because God is bigger than a diagnosis, and He is in the business of miracles.

I didn't "just take care of it" because I knew that any time I had with Isaac was better than none at all.

I didn't "just take care of it" because I knew that God would prove faithful, even if I didn't understand how.

I didn't "just take care of it" because Isaac wasn't an "it." Isaac was a "he".... my son.

But even still, some countered: "But it would be so much easier this way." "If he does live for a while, think about how hard that would be on your family." and even, "It is really hard for doctors to deliver a 'baby like that.""

It just didn't seem to end. From the moment of Isaac's diagnosis up until I was about eight months pregnant, there were questions... looks of surprise when I shared that I wasn't going to terminte the pregnancy... and even being chastised by some in the medical field for our decision to carry Isaac to term.

And all I could think was, "Really? Are they serious?" You see, I never knew Isaac to be a "ball of tissue." I never knew him to be a "fetus." I only knew him to be who he really is: My baby. My child. My son.

And really, that's why I didn't "just take care of it." He's my son. He has never been anything else. He was fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God, and ALL the days of Isaac's life had been ordained before one of them came to be (Psalm 139). From the beginning of time, the Lord knew... He knew how Isaac would develop in the womb; He knew that his life would be 36 weeks 6 days in utero and 16 minutes outside of the womb.

As much as I hoped, prayed, and pleaded with the Lord that his life would be longer, that wasn't God's plan. It wasn't His design. My job as Isaac's mother was this: always protect him, always trust in the Lord with regard to him, always hope for God's best for him, and to always persevere through the tough stuff (1 Corinthians 13). Because, like the song "Unredeemed" by Selah beautifully explains, "When anything is shattered is layed before the Lord, just watch and see... it will not be... unredeemed."

And Isaac's life has been ANYTHING but unredeemed.

His life was redeemed thousands of years ago by the One who has saved him... when Jesus died on the cross.

His life has been redeemed by the Lord by drawing thousands of people closer to Him because of Isaac's story.

His life has been redeemed by the Lord when a few women who have written to me sharing that upon being given a fatal prenatal diagnosis, they were going to end their pregnancy.... but in hearing Isaac's story, chose otherwise.

His life has been redeemed by the Lord in using his life and story to encourage so many other women and families who have also lost a child.

His life has been redeemed by the Lord in using our wrestling for answers, grief, and heartache to cultivate hearts of compassion and sensitivity in his parents.

I could go on.

So why didn't I "just take care of it?" Because he's my son... and I love him more than words could express.

25 comments:

Amanda said...

Beautiful. Hopeful. Truthful. Thank you for this.

Sonya said...

This is truly beautiful! I understand your decision and commend you and Spencer for making it. Either way would have been hard on your family, this way you got those beautiful 36 weeks 6 days and 16 minutes with your son! I have three friends right now who are pregnant with complications. I never once would have ever suggested they "just take care of it"

Sarah said...

God bless you! What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing TRUTH and HOPE!

Miranda said...

This is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for putting youir heart out there.

Nikki said...

amen!

asplashofsunshine said...

What a blessing for you to make the choice to give your little guy life, a name, a face, and a difference in this world. I can never ever ever ever pretend to know how you feel as a mother of a baby in heaven, or a mother carrying a baby who you know may have health troubles. All I know is, as a woman, as a wife, and as a mother, it gives me great pride to be able to control my body, and do everything in my power to love God in the best way I know how. Thanks for sharing your story in this post, and the countless over the years.

Ilisa Ailts said...

That comment: "Just take care of It" - or ones like that (I have a son with Down syndrome, so I can relate in a way): 1. are thoughtless 2. say more about the one speaking 3. are very hurtful 4. are a sign of fear 5. are cowardice.

To just give up on what is hard leaves us with no experience to grow from. Your son needed you. You needed him. It was perfect.

Natalie Vick said...

You are so strong, Stacy. And your words have helped so many. I admire you and continue to keep you and Spencer and your sweet children in my prayers. Thank you for being brave enough to share your struggles and your triumphs. Take care.

VictoriaMI Mommy said...

No, it is not counter the word of God, because the Bible defines life as breathing.

Good for you for your choice, but do not for one second make anyone else feel guilty for their own choice.

Celebrating LIfe with Faith, Hope, Courage and Joy ~ Enjoying Tranquility said...

The Beauty of Carrying to Term with a Poor Prenatal Diagnosis or Doing all you can when a child is given a Poor Postnatal diagnosis (after birth), Simply stated, is allowing God's Gift of LIFE to Touch other Hearts. By your simple act of unconditional love you have created a Legacy that will endure time, even with this post...look at the hearts your story has touched including mine. To the VictoriaMI's of the world who want to silence the beauty of this experience so they don't' feel guilty, I would say, from experience. There is no guilt in carrying to term. There is no guilt in doing all you can for a child you love, a child who will forever touch your world. I have too many friends who do not speak of their aborted children, their terminated children, whether they made that choice for another reason or for medical reasons. There is no JOY in that moment when their child's life was halted, interrupted, ripped from their womb, whether by a pill, an actual abortion procedure or early induction, early enough where the child won't survive. While justifications help these women find some sort of peace with their choice, by your simple reply Ms.V. You offer again, why carrying to term is better for women as they continue on their lives after these decisions are made. There is no guilt or sadness when carrying a Gift of Life to term.

Liz and Will Timmerman said...

Stacy, oh how I've missed your sweet wisdom! I absolutely loved your post and thought that it came at a wonderful time given our country's current events. Your son is as familiar to me as my own family, although I will not meet him until I am in heaven. Your words have been in my heart since we received our son's poor diagnosis as well, and I wish I could announce to the entire world what you so beautifully put here on your blog. And as Celebrating Life with Faith, Hope and Courage and Joy so beautifully put - there is no guilt when carrying a life to term. xoxox
Liz Timmerman

Janet said...

Thank You!!!! AMEN!!!!Janet

the coxes said...

I have followed your story since 2008 and this is the most beautiful post. Thank you for not "taking care of it". Thank you for trusting God. You and Isaac have taught me so much and have encouraged my faith. It's so refreshing to hear TRUTH. Thank you for your boldness.

Karen said...

I love this post! Thank you for sharing!

Elle's mommy said...

OH you took the words right out of my mouth...this has been so HEAVY on me lately. I believe you have given me the courage to write about it...thank you! This is honest truth in it's purest form. God values life, inside or outside of the womb. Also, what an amazing statement...there is no guilt when carrying a life to term...wow! God is for life, ALWAYS... thank you, thank you, thank you!

Elle's Mommy

Stacy D said...

VictoriaMI Mommy...



I would love to respond to you more thoroughly via email. I clicked on your profile, but unfortunately one wasn't listed. If you would be willing to email me, I would appreciate it!

AutieRene said...

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I recently had a family member choose early induction for a fatal diagnosis. My daughter was 12 weeks old at the time, and being a close family member, it was very difficult situation for me, even though it was not my decision to make.
I spent a lot of time in prayer and searching my heart for what I would have done. On many occasions, I thought of you and how you came to the decision to carry to term despite Isaacs diagnosis. I've followed your blog since 2008...and my birthday is October 7th, so your story has always stuck with me.
So, thank you for taking the time to share your heart. It was your blog and one other, that really helped me work through my sister-in-laws recent diagnosis and choice. God has certainly used your story to touch my life and I am sure many others, so thank you for being willing to share.

David said...

Bless you. Issac's story met me in a very difficult place as we dealt with our own son's diagnosis. Your strength and Issac's life has forever changed the course of my own even 4 years later. May we continue to walk the path he has set before us and I look forward to eternity with my brother and sister in Christ.

Susan said...

awesome. just awesome! going to share this post with a friend who was advised to "take care of it". she chose not to, and is now just days away from her baby girls birth. only God knows her sweet girls future, but at least she was given a chance, and you are so right...He is in the business of miracles. so glad you're back!

Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

Love every word of this, beautiful momma. Thank you. Thank you for speaking truth and beauty into the world's ugly. Thank you for the mother you are to sweet Isaac and the hope that you offer to so many. Love to you...

Beth said...

Yes and yes and yes. Thank you. He is perfect.

Jenna Lynn said...

Thank you for this beautiful, hopeful, post. My mother was told when she was pregnant with me that I would have Down syndrome or spina bifida and that she should just 'take care of it' by aborting me. Because she is a Christian and trusts God's plan, she didn't do it. She firmly believes God changed me in the womb, and I was born without any complications 25 years ago, on the 15th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. God is a God of miracles--and sometimes He chooses His miracle to be giving strength and comfort to those faced with difficult situations. Thank you for choosing LIFE for your son! To God be the glory!

Jawed Ali said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cassie said...

"Mighty To Save" came on this morning..and I thought of Isaac. Every time I hear the song I think of him. Honestly, sometimes I try *not* to think of him, because it hurts. I realize I'm a complete stranger, but I prayed and shed tears over your son. And it still hurts. Praying for your family.

Stacy D said...

Thank you, Cassie...