I have two children, both now grown with children of their own, and while it’s been quite some time since I harbored a little bitty human being inside of me, I remember my pregnancies in vivid detail.
Once it was confirmed that I was serving as an incubator for what would one day become a fully grown man or woman, I was instantly the center of attention. Family members weighed in on the baby’s likely gender, gave me nutrition advice, and offered suggestions about what to name the newest member of our clan. Perfect strangers, caught up in a euphoria of sweet memories, patted my stomach while speaking fondly of their own children and the parenting strategies that resulted in their becoming successful human beings.
Of course, all of these collaborators (except for my appropriately attentive husband) disappeared as I traversed the less amusing aspects of pregnancy, leaving me to ride the hormone-induced emotional roller-coaster solo and keep the weight gain to a moderate level despite the fact that as soon as my morning sickness ran its course I was hungry 24/7.
The last few weeks of pregnancy were something of a science experiment as my epidermis and bladder were stretched to their breaking points. I recall being somewhat miffed that my sister delivered both of her babies three weeks early and avoided that last push (no pun intended). Not me. I was spot on with one due date and almost two weeks late with the other. My babies were, indeed, fully cooked at birth, my body’s flexibility and skin elasticity tested to the maximum.
Despite these customary inconveniences, pregnancy was a very special time for me, one that I will never forget, each gestation period filled with the excitement and anticipation of a sweet baby that would win my heart and change my life forever.
Contrast my experience with that of an 18 year old girl, pregnant and scared, facing both pregnancy and the prospect of raising a child alone.
The enormity of her situation is something that all women can grasp at least in part and our hearts bleed for her BECAUSE WE KNOW WHAT LIES AHEAD. Bringing a new life into the world and nurturing it to adulthood is daunting, a tricky business, particularly if you are attempting to do it alone.
“Whether your pregnancy was meticulously planned, medically coaxed, or happened by surprise, one thing is certain — your life will never be the same.”
– Catherine Jones, author, blogger, and founder of Werbie, LLC, a startup connecting women and technology in the health and wellness space.
With no-one to bring her crackers when she’s nauseous, or buy her ice cream when she has a craving for something sweet, or love her through what my mom used to call the “baby blues”, how does a woman without a strong and experienced network of support navigate pregnancy without falling to pieces? Who will calm her fears about the task ahead? Who will help her weather all that pregnancy will throw at her and, after delivery, become proficient at serving as the sole nurturer of a whole new person? Who can lovingly and knowingly inspect the new little bundle and reassure her that all is well, that it’s normal for newborns to temporarily look like post-pubescent teens in need of dermatological intervention?
Who is going to help her through colic and breast feeding and sleep deprivation?
“It’s easy to say you are pro-life but if you aren’t doing anything to help take care of pregnant women in need, you are really saying “You got pregnant. Having the baby is your responsibility.”
– Tony Campolo, Author of Red Letter Revolution, What If Jesus Really Meant What He Said?
Shouldn’t Christians be defined by what we are for rather than merely by what we are against? Aren’t we called to do more than carry placards and sport pro-life bumper stickers?
Shouldn’t we tangibly and vigorously back up pro-life convictions by dedicating our time and treasure to the cause of supporting parents who are well-equipped to deliver and nurture healthy babies –to set aside judgement, embrace the heart of a servant, and help facilitate healing and hope for those who face enormous fear and hardship as they consider the road ahead?
Can doing anything less bring glory to our God who so effusively demonstrates His extravagant love for women and children?
Let’s join with the Women’s Resource Clinic on May 2, 2015 for the 18th Annual Walk for Life.
The funds raised from the Walk help support the services that the WRC provides to women who need support to not only bring new lives into the world but to care for them after their birth.
All WRC services are provided at no cost and with no judgement. Women can go to them early on for pregnancy testing, confidential consultation, education on options, ultrasound imaging, and referrals to physicians and midwives.
WRC also provides post abortion counseling for those who are struggling to reconcile decisions made in the past, and (my personal favorite) parenting support for moms and dads. Parents who participate in WRC’s Earn While You Learn Program receive personal mentoring and parenting instruction while earning “points” that can be redeemed at the WRC Boutique in exchange for baby furniture, clothes, and equipment. It’s pretty awesome.
The Walk for Life is A BIG DEAL. The day will begin with a pancake breakfast and there will be tons of things for the kids to do, including the ever-popular bounce house and face painting. The walk will begin at the clinic (you can choose one of three different routes, each between 1 and 2 miles), and includes a tour of the WRC facilities and Mobile Medical Unit.
Did I mention there will be prizes for the most pledges? Local and regional businesses have thrown their support to WRC, donating some great prizes. You could win meals at local restaurants, and day-passes to Disneyland, the Sacramento Zoo, Aquarium of the Bay, San Francisco Carousel, a 7D Experience & Bay Cruise, or a Rocket Boat Ride. How cool is that?
Let’s get behind this effort. Here’s how to register.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
– Matthew 6:21