Fighting for Life – One Mother’s Story of Survival

At 32 weeks pregnant with her daughter, my cousin’s vision suddenly began cutting out.

As she stood trying to do her job as a pharmacy tech, confusion set in. She couldn’t count by fives, her ability to do simple tasks began to fade—and the pharmacist on staff believed (correctly) that she was in some kind of maternal distress.

She was rushed to the hospital where she was quickly diagnosed with severe preeclampsia that had been missed during regular check-ups, since she didn’t have some of the common markers doctors look for throughout pregnancy.

Her baby was scoring poorly on the fetal movement ultrasound and my cousin’s blood pressure spiked. She was given an IV of magnesium to prevent seizures, and steroids to help the baby’s lungs develop faster. Her hometown hospital didn’t have a NICU, so the medical staff quickly worked to get her to another hospital.

Abortion was never put on the table by the doctors as an option to save my cousin’s life.

The weather was bad, so they ditched the med-flight helicopter and opted for an ambulance to rush her up the highway an hour and a half to a bigger hospital.

Abortion was never put on the table by the doctors as an option to save my cousin’s life.

Once there, they discovered the baby was measuring just 27 weeks, and my cousin’s health was deteriorating. The medical team opted for an emergency C-section—and suddenly the room filled with surgical team members making the preparations.

Abortion was never put on the table by the doctors as an option to save my cousin’s life.

“Within mere minutes, they had her out,” she recalled of her emergency C-section. “She was screaming at the top of her lungs, she was alive, and fighting with every little fiber in her 2lb 7.2oz body.”

The medical bills began to pile up, eventually reaching well over $250,000 for the baby alone. Thanks to copious hours of help from the hospital social worker who helped secure state aid, and residence at the Ronald McDonald House near the NICU, my cousin was able to stay with her baby, recover, and avoid bankruptcy.

The help didn’t stop there. “People volunteered their time and money, donating, and cooking free meals, and snacks so I could focus on being with my daughter,” she recalled, “My coworkers the pharmacy made a donation box, full of things I needed while I was there, and after I brought her home. My mom would trek back and forth from her home town [hours away] between her own pharmacy shifts to spend time at the NICU when my husband had to return to work—and my sister moved into our apartment to help take care of our dog and cat.”

She, her husband, and their baby were not alone. They were surrounded by a community of people–loved ones and strangers alike—who banded together for her baby, and will ban together again for the countless others who need help.

Today, my cousin’s little girl is in elementary school. Her joyful smile and vivacious zest for life is contagious, and a constant reminder of how precious life is.

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My cousin’s ordeal is an oft-used justification for abortion.

In fact, New York’s Senate Bill S240 (that has in effect spurred on this recent rise in the abortion debate earlier this year) refers to it in the context of protecting “the patient’s life or health.”

My cousin would have died had she not sought medical care that saved her life and her baby’s. Period. And that, my friends, is the definition of healthcare: doing everything to PRESERVE life—not immediately resorting to ending it.

Here’s the thing: there is no situation where a late term abortion (like those celebrated in New York) would be medically necessary to save the mother. As one physician put it, “I’m a Board Certified OB/GYN who has delivered over 2,500 babies. There’s not a single fetal or maternal condition that requires third trimester abortion. Not one. Delivery, yes. Abortion, no.”

Enter the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in rebuttal, which recently said that conditions such as “premature rupture of membranes and infection, preeclampsia, placental abruption, and placenta accreta” are examples of situations where abortion SHOULD be on the table … but before the situation becomes “life threatening.”

That’s interesting, considering that premature rupture of membranes and infection, preeclampsia, placental abruption, and placenta accreta can ALL be treated in one way or another (including in earlier stages of pregnancy) without harming mom or baby. And if the pregnancy is far enough along, delivery is an option.

(For the record, placenta accreta is what Kim Kardashian had with her first pregnancy, and last time I checked, she’s still around—children in tow—making reality television.)

Bottom line: abortion in the name of protecting the mother is a flawed argument.

I realize that there are extremely rare and special cases—like a college classmate of mine, who was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant with her son. In those cases, tough choices must be made to try and save the mother without harming the baby—but sometimes it happens. For the record, she chose to go as far as she could with the pregnancy, deliver early, and then try and save HER life. She ultimately gave her life for her son.

As one writer put it, “these are tragic situations, but even if one life must be lost, the life that can be saved should be.” Those are extremely rare cases, and should hardly be used to justified the deaths of anywhere from hundreds of thousands, to over a million children a year.

And yet, here we are.

Here’s the reality: 92.5 percent of abortions in this country are elective. 92.5 percent. That means that nearly a million children a year are killed for reasons including but not limited to career, fear of raising a child alone, fear of economic inability to provide, or simply not wanting more children.

Maternal instinct is being stifled our culture. And look, there’s nothing wrong with deciding not to have a family per se. There IS, however, something wrong with aborting an already-present human being to achieve that family-free life you desire.  There’s something wrong with a person who doesn’t want to protect the life inside of them—even if it means giving the child to another family.

Our babies, as my cousin so rightly put it in talking to me for this piece, need us.

Particularly before they’re born, these dear children have literally no one but us to protect them. They come out of the womb looking for the warmth and safety of our arms; of our embrace. Imagine the confusion and the horror an unborn child feels when instead of those loving arms, he or she is met with chemicals and scissors.

We speak of abortion in terms such as “feminism” and “strength” and “power.” What could possibly be as feminine, strong and powerful than carrying and giving birth to a new life? What could be more brave than carrying that baby to term, and giving him or her to a loving adoptive family? There are currently upwards of 2 million couples in the US waiting for a child to care for, and yet exponentially more children have been thrown away through abortion. There’s a clear and present solution to help (and in some cases, organizations who provide scholarships to mothers who can’t care for their child and opt to put them up for adoption!) and yet our society time and again seems to want to choose hopeless death.

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In 2017, a group performed research on abortion clinics nation-wide. They explained that they’d have a caller pose as “a healthy mom carrying a healthy baby at 30 weeks of pregnancy (or a few weeks before that in states that have an earlier limit),” and ask for an abortion for no reason other than convenience.

The researchers continued, “and time and time again, without exception, successfully secured an abortion appointment “

Let that sink in.

If the mother wants the child, scores of highly trained medical specialists work tirelessly to save it.

If she doesn’t, the baby dies.

Just let that sink in.

 

Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com, and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show on KSEV 700 Radio in Houston. She can be reached at: afuturefree@aol.com; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree

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