My name is Jennifer Frey. I would like to share a piece of my heart here with you, and her name is Faith Elizabeth.
Before I get there, I would like to confess, I haven’t always been pro-life. In fact, I was very much pro-choice until my children came into my life. I remember in high school writing my senior paper on the topic of abortion. Being the naive teenager that I was, I thought for sure those extreme cases of rape, or health of the mother/baby were valid reasons for abortion.
I hadn’t thought much about the topic of abortion until I had children -- in particular, my second born baby. All of my children have changed my life, but she is the one who changed things deep in my heart.
While I was pregnant with my second born baby, at my 20 week ultrasoundcame some devastating news. Our baby was promptly diagnosed with anencephaly. Words I had never heard before -- “incompatible with life” -- were used.
The doctor refused to show us any more pictures of the baby, as to "not hurt our feelings." They did not tell us the gender and they sent us on to a specialist. I left feeling like my baby was already dead.
At the appointment with the specialist, they confirmed the diagnosis. They told us over 95% of families with this diagnosis have an "early termination." They told us it was okay to do, that it was too difficult to carry the baby to term just to watch it die. We were told the baby wouldn’t make it much past birth or could pass away in utero. The doctors offered no support for choosing life. It was never given to us as an option.
I will admit right now, I believed them. I was a beginner Christian, a fairly new mom (my oldest was 3) and was still unsure about abortion. The doctors did a really good job of making it seem like termination was the best choice.
Without making any decisions at that appointment, my husband and I went home, barely able to talk to each other, let alone cope.
We were leaning towards early termination. I thought that there was no way I would be strong enough to carry the baby to full term, just to watch the baby die. I had even made the appointment for the termination. By the grace of God, we ended up cancelling the termination the day before my appointment. Something stirred in my heart to love my baby, and I regained my mother's heart for my child which was almost stolen by lies and deceit -- not just from the doctors, but by our country's opinion of babies with adverse diagnoses.
We carried our baby -- our daughter -- to full term. We named her Faith Elizabeth. During the remainder of the pregnancy, she lay breech in my womb, her head right up under my left rib cage, close to my heart -- the symbolism of which I hold very dear.
We included our older daughter, Julianna in all the planning so she could always remember having a part in her sister's life.
On December 27, 2010, Faith Elizabeth was born. We were told to expect theworst, that she would be deaf, blind, mute, and probably unconscious. From what they could see on ultrasound, she had a severe case and seemed to only have use of her brain stem.
Faith was born, and she defied all expectations! She was alive, alert, eyes open, making noises and responding! We spent the day with her, introducing her to family and friends.
She lived for 18 hours, and died in my arms. She was here only a short time in our lives, but the impact she made in my life is continuous and ongoing.
While it is a sad, bittersweet memory of mine now, there is also an enormous Joy that goes along with it. Her life changed mine. And when I think back about being in that place of finding out her diagnosis, wondering if it would be easier to terminate or not -- I find myself so thankful for choosing life. I imagine I would have been filled with regret had I chosen to terminate. But now I am thankful to have given her the best chance at the longest life possible for her. I will never regret having met my daughter and seeing my oldest who was wise beyond her years cradle her baby sister.
My family and I are now a solid pro-life family. We stand for life, we fight for life, we help others going through situations like our own because we KNOW how precious life is. We have learned that life is sometimes short, but sweet, and to enjoy the time we have together. It is so worth it to choose life every time -- whether in your womb or in your heart. You won't regret it!
I've been doing my own research on abortion ever since I've had Faith and it always felt like there was a portion of the discussion missing because abortion is often associated with clinics like Planned Parenthood, there wasn't much talk of the abortions that happen in hospitals due to medical influences there. It's a whole hidden agenda that most people aren't aware of, and so many babies are killed by abortion each year as recommended by doctors, at hospitals, because of a disability.
When I was pregnant with my firstborn, it was suggested that we do genetic testing and they said our daughter had a high chance of Down Syndrome. We were offered "options." And then again, same thing with our 3rd born child. She had measurements which were "off" and they were talking about doing more testing so I could have "options." Today, all three of my living children are completely healthy. Had I taken the advice of my doctors, I would have aborted three children and have only one living child today!
Thank you to Save The 1 for bringing awareness to this sneaky area of abortion. I am available and would love to help in any way!
BIO: Jennifer Frey is a wife, mother of four, photographer and pro-life blogger for Save The 1.