Lately an article has been circulating around the interweb, and its getting some really interesting responses. Have you read it? Essentially, a couple is expecting a child that has been diagnosed with anencephaly. She has enough of a brain to continue to survive in the womb but the doctors say she will certainly die shortly after birth.
Here's the article if you haven't read it.
The parents have decided to carry the baby, her name is Eva, to term. Every headline, every article, every blog post (well, maybe not "every," but definitely most of them) says "Mom carrying baby without brain to term to donate her organs." Then, the article shares how selfless this mom is and how she is carrying her baby to term so other babies can benefit from Eva's organs.
Then, the articles go on to say that the parents (like the one referenced above) "came to the realization Eva is alive and our daughter deserves to meet her mama and daddy."
Are these parents heroes? Absolutely. Is it fantastic that this mom and dad are carrying their little girl to term, will love her as long as they can, and then will donate her organs so that other babies can live?
But can we please, please, stop acting like this baby's life is only worthwhile because she has healthy organs?
Eva matters. She is human. She is alive. She deserves to live her life, however short, to the fullest. Just like her parents said, she deserves to meet her mama and daddy. Her mama and daddy deserve to hold her, snuggle her, breathe in her scent, and take photos of her. She deserves to be loved, treasured, and handled with the extreme gentleness unique to newborns.
Society seems to be happy to celebrate because her mother is willing to carry her to term to help other babies, but they're missing the point. Eva is worth carrying to term because she is Eva. Let's not circle her like a bunch of vultures waiting to swoop down. Let's treasure her for who she is.
Eva's mama and daddy have a tough road ahead, but it's a road that can be traveled with dignity and grace. Let's give all parents permission and support to carry all babies to term, even if they're less than perfect, and love them like crazy for as long as we get to keep them.
Let's celebrate her life and then, if the doctors are right and she passes away, then we celebrate her gift of organ donation.
Pray for baby Eva, pray for her parents, and pray for the rest of her family. No matter what happens, God is working a miracle through them and they have been gracious enough to allow us all to observe. But remember, Eva is a little human - not an organ factory. Let's speak about her with the honor and reverence she deserves.
Changing Lives Together,
Sarah M Bowen