My thoughts and reflections on my Catholic Faith, Fulton Sheen, the problem of suffering, and books

Friday, January 25, 2013

My Pro-Life Story

Forty. Years.  55 million lives snuffed out by abortion.  I should have been one of them.

If my Mom's OB/GYN had had his way, I would have been one of them.

My mother had a difficult pregnancy; and that, plus the fact that she's blind (because of course no blind parent has ever successfully raised a child to adulthood...sarcasm note!), led her "Catholic" OB/GYN to say:
We can solve this problem real quick.
My mom said "no."  I've heard different versions of the story from my parents; my mom's version is that my Dad, who's only 5'6", took the doctor outside, picked him up, and threatened him severely if he ever said those words in front of Mom again.

A couple of days later, the doctor said that I wasn't getting enough oxygen and that he'd have to do an emergency C-section.  My mother wonders if he was hoping I would conveniently die, or something.  I'll never know.

I gave a nice loud yell as soon as oxygen met my little lungs, to the astonishment of the doc; at 27 weeks, my lungs weren't supposed to have the capacity for screaming.  But I screamed.  "Hello, world!"  I was a scrawny little thing: 1 pound, 8.5 ounces; 13 inches long.  My aunt jokingly referred to me as "Six Sticks of Butter."

They gave me a 40% chance of making it either 24 or 48 hours.  I had heart surgery two days later, on May 29, 1989, to correct "Patent ductus arteriosus," a condition in which a valve of my heart didn't close properly.  I have a staple in my's still there; you can see it on X-Rays...and the nice long scar on my back also provides evidence.  I went to the dentist the other day and shocked them by not only knowing that I had heart surgery at the ripe old age of two days, but knowing why I had had heart surgery.

So, I guess I owe some people some big "Thank-You's":
  • My parents, for being pro-life;
  • The doctors and nurses at Kosair Children's NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit)  who took care of me (I was there until August took me 3 months to hit the magic number of 5 pounds);
  • My aunt who came and stayed with my parents for several months to help take care of me (I was too tiny to even finish a 4-ounce bottle, and I had to eat every two hours, which meant that when I napped, Mom napped; when I was not napping, Mom was not napping either.
  • and Our Blessed Lord for the gift of life.  If He wanted me to make it longer than 48 hours, I guess there's a reason.
God Love y'all!


  1. Emily-
    I love this.
    I am so happy to have met you through CBN on FB and I'm looking forward to sharing your stories through your blog! It certainly IS underappreciated.
    Chris at (Campfires and Cleats blog)

  2. Hello Emily

    I followed you across from Leila's blog because of your love for Fulton Sheen. Looks like a great place to stay... I'm your newest follower. Looking forward to learning a lot from you here!

    God bless!

  3. I also came across you through the Bubble, Emily. What a beautiful story of your birth. I'm signing up to follow you, too. Have a beautiful Easter!