Sunday, March 25, 2012

Life Should Be Cherished

I am pro-life.  Yes, I am pro-life in the political/baby-rights sense of the word, but I am also simply for life.  All life.  One thing that I have noticed about myself since realizing that conceiving a child might not be a natural possibility for us is that I have much greater respect for life in general.

I have always been pretty sensitive to the "bigger" aspects of preserving life.  As a child, I wanted everyone to be healthy and after realizing this did not always happen, found myself afraid that eventually everyone I loved would get sick and die.  Morbid, yes, but a major fear, nonetheless.  I was so sad when people died, and I didn't like it.  This is still true today, naturally.  What I sense now is a bigger sense of the preciousness of living things.

As I got older and became more aware of what was happening outside of my immediate circle, I started to see that life should be preserved on an even bigger stage.  Life begins at conception and should be honored.  On a universal level, I began to realize that every single human life is of the same incredible value to God.  And if we truly value every life the same, why are there still people in the world dying because they don't have clean water?  Should the death penalty be an option?  Why are we punishing death with more death?  (I don't have the answers to these questions.  I just got to a point where I started to think about them.)  I became more aware of life in a more "political" way, and in a more philosophical way.

Since learning that J and I may not be able to create life, I have come to cherish life in a whole different way.  A dying plant makes me sad.  Trees amaze me, surviving through one drought, one storm after another, all the while pointing their arms toward God.  I feel attached to animals again, not just my own, but animals I read stories about or see on TV.  And, of course, any story I read or hear about a human life ending brings sadness.  Sometimes just an ache in my heart, sometimes some tears, sometimes sobs, and sometimes, incredible anger at the way we think life is expendable.

A good example has unfolded the past few weeks in Florida.  Politics, protests, opinions, and race aside, a child is dead.  A child walking home with Skittles.  While everyone tries to make their point, the tragedy that a child lost his life is getting lost.  The very thing that we should care about it getting lost in rhetoric and debate and an election year.

Another example can be found here.  WARNING!  This will haunt you.  I'm not exaggerating when I use the word haunt.  (B, I read it despite your warning.  Don't read it again!)  It is a dad's account and expression of sorrow after his wife's selective reduction.  It is awful, and after I read it, I felt numb.  Then mad, but not very surprised.  This happens all the time.  This is part of IVF and the infertility culture.  This is what I desperately want to avoid.  Life is wasted.  It is thrown away every single day.  Not just through abortion or selective reduction, but through poverty and violence and disease and people thinking that we can treat each other as though we are disposable. 

Every life is valuable and should be cherished.  Every single one.  What a challenge to live life this way.

Monday, March 12, 2012


Tonight a friend on Facebook linked to this blog.  I looked at it with interest, thankful that the author also seems to veer away from things like IVF and other chemical treatments.  It is a site I will be going back to and hope to find some like-minded peers there.

As I perused some of the information on the site, I became somewhat overwhelmed.  Give up sugar, alcohol, caffeine, flour, shampoo, and have you ever considered that you might have Celiac Disease?  But, I LIKE sugar, shampoo, caffeine, flour, and on occasion, alcohol.  I don't want to give those things up!  A lot of people get pregnant while eating those things, and alcohol only seems to increase the odds! 

I felt like a spoiled brat thinking those things, because there are a lot of women out there right this second who are giving up things in the hope that they will become pregnant.  There are a lot of women out there right now who have given up those things because they are pregnant.  As well they should.

Now, I would like to have a baby, but I'm not sure what all I am willing to give up at this point to get there.  And that got me thinking: am I just being selfish?  If I were to get pregnant, I would give up caffeine, alcohol, and sugar, if needed, to keep that baby healthy.  But at this point, we're talking about a theoretical baby, one that does not exist.  So, am I selfish for not wanting to give things up to perhaps get to the theoretical baby being a real baby?  It is entirely possible that I am.  I have the utmost respect for women who give up so much for the chance at a child.

Now, one thing I have been thinking about and am trying to make small changes to work toward is a healthier lifestyle.  Not easy.  I struggle with food and exercise has never been my BFF, so you do the math.  But Andy Dufresne dug himself out of prison with a rock hammer, so I suppose small efforts do pay off in the end.  :-)

The caution here is a refrain I use often, but have a hard time following: "everything in moderation."  While being healthier is great, if we are putting all of our hope in healthiness bringing us a baby, we will be disappointed.  Sometimes the healthiest people do not conceive and sometimes the least healthiest do.  All of them are loved just the same by our Heavenly Father. 

It is a double-edged sword: it would be awful to get to the end of life thinking you avoided EVERYTHING that was bad for you and still didn't have a baby - think of all you missed out on.  On the other hand, it would be awful to get to the end of your life and wonder if you had made healthier choices if a baby would be yours - think of all you missed out on.