Can you live with the decision you make?
Today, you are faced with an unplanned pregnancy and in the turmoil of the moment, you will make a decision. To keep your baby or to end it now, before significant impact on your life plans. And the question you need to ask yourself is this: Can you live with that decision? Can you live with the due date reminder on your calendar every year, the subconscious tally you keep of how old they would have been and what milestones they would be facing. Can you live with your mind’s tangents into what colour their eyes, how dark their hair, how deep their dimples, how long their fingers. The questions. Would they have had your creativity? Would they have had a big family and given you many grandchildren? Would they have invented something important, or discovered a cure? How would it have felt to hold them tight and long in your arms when they experience their own hardship?
Can you live with a decision that will guarantee you a lifetime of unanswered questions?
But, you’re thinking, there are so many hurdles. You feel too young, too old, too financially unstable, too ill-supported, too fragile, too weak, too… Perhaps you feel you have nothing to offer.
Let’s look at the facts.
By the time you know you are pregnant, your baby already has a heartbeat. It started beating at four weeks.
At five weeks, your baby’s facial features are forming.
Your baby begins moving at six weeks, and by week seven they are 10,000 times bigger than when they were first conceived and are accumulating brain cells at a rate of 100 per minute.
By eight weeks, your baby has eyelids, and by nine weeks they have ankles and wrists, arms can bend at the elbow and everything is being refined, from ears and nose to eyes and muscles.
At week 10 we switch from calling the unborn baby an embryo to a foetus. The significance? It’s much the same as the transition from baby to toddler, toddler to child, child to teenager and so on. A human developmental stage. Foetus is Latin for ‘offspring’ or ‘young one’.
By 11 weeks, your baby is starting to grow hair and their fingernail and toenail beds are developing. If it’s a girl, her ovaries are forming. Their torso is lengthening and they can stretch and turn somersaults.
And at week 12, your baby has reflexes. Were you to touch the soles of his feet, his toes would curl. Were you to touch her eyelids, her eye muscles would clench. This is because nerve cells have been multiplying and synapses developing, enabling neurological connections in the brain.
Can you live with these truths if you choose abortion?
We encourage you to lift your eyes beyond right now and consider the ripples of this decision you make now. Can you live with your decision when your baby’s due date comes around each year, when you suffer miscarriage or infant loss later on, when your partner says they don’t want to have children, when you see other women pushing prams and holding the hand of a child that would be the same age as your little one.
You don’t have to live with abortion.
You can live with life. So many women have chosen to keep their baby, despite all their well-laid plans for the future and the shock and upset it caused to people around them. Amazingly, their stories carry light and love and hope. Grief generally doesn’t factor. There are challenges, but what life doesn’t include its share of challenges, and what person didn’t become stronger for them?! Have a read of these four women’s raw and real stories of facing an unplanned pregnancy…
Stacey: “Abortion was too easy, and it nearly stole my daughter!”
Stacey McBride Wilson has experienced first hand the complexity of an unplanned pregnancy while in her teens.
Louise: The Facebook share that saved a baby’s life
Louise (not her real name) was sitting in an abortion clinic waiting room, flicking through her Facebook feed, when she saw a post that made her change her mind and choose life for her baby. Sitting in that Queensland clinic, she read about how a friend had nearly aborted her baby girl (see story above) and at the last minute, walked out, finally listening to the scream in her heart that life is precious.
Amber: “We chose life and I am so thankful”
“We had a choice to make. At 16 neither of us had a job or an education beyond completing year eight. We had no plans for a future outside of drinking with friends. At one point I was homeless and estranged from my family as a result of my choices. I turned to alcohol to help deal with the pain of abuse that had happened in my childhood. Then I found out I was pregnant…”
Rebekah: Embracing life as a single mum
“I am 23 and on the journey of being a single mother to my beautiful miracle baby. When I was a teenager, I was told I had endometriosis. At that time in my life I was not too worried about what this meant for my baby journey, although knowing this did mean having a baby would be a difficult journey for myself. My life journey has been one of many ups and downs and I firmly believe, this baby came into my life out of a pure miracle.”
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