What would you do if you found out during the 20th week of pregnancy that your child would not survive outside the womb for more than a couple of days, if it even survived the remainder of the pregnancy?
Over the weekend the Dallas Morning News published the story of Deidrea and T.K. Laux who were forced to answer this question when they learned that their baby boy (Thomas) had Trisomy 13, an incurable genetic disorder. Their story is as inspiring as it is heartbreaking (h/t Beliefnet):
Deidrea and T.K. stared out at the cavernous, packed sanctuary of Bent Tree Bible Fellowship.
Pastor Pete Briscoe told the congregation that the Lauxes were newlyweds, married 10 months earlier.
On this first Sunday in May, they wanted to dedicate their unborn son to God.
In a shaky voice, Deidrea described the bleak February day that she and T.K. learned of Thomas' condition. Feeling her son's movements in the long night that followed, she knew that God was with them and they wouldn't be alone.
When she explained Thomas' diagnosis to her fifth-grade Bible study group, the girls asked if it was OK to pray for a miracle.
"The miracles have been happening every day," Deidrea told the congregation, "when we feel our son moving and he's growing."
The Lauxes understood that their sadness and joy were inseparable, and they could choose to celebrate every moment they had with their son.
Every morning, T.K. brought his wife breakfast in bed and nestled near her belly for father-son talks. He imagined aloud that Thomas was scuba diving, four-wheeling, playing soccer. Thomas kicked and spun at the sound of T.K.'s voice, clearly alive - here and now.
"We're so grateful that God chose us to be his parents, because he is such a special little boy," Deidrea told the congregation as T.K. nodded beside her. "We're telling God, 'Thank you - thank you for this gift.' "
DMN also released a video documenting the Laux's journey from planning the funeral, to delivery, to the final heartrenching moments, and it is without a doubt one of the most powerful videos I've ever seen. I will warn you that the emotional response is pretty intense (i.e. you might cry), so you might consider waiting until you get home to watch it.
Words really can't do the video justice, so I'll simply close with these words from Deidrea Laux:
"We didn't terminate because ... there was going to be some sort of a medical miracle. We didn't terminate because he's our son."Click here for the video.
Also, back in June Andrew Sullivan compiled similar stories from women who decided to take the alternate route and terminate, collectively title It's So Personal. From reading these stories and having personally known a small number of women who've struggled with the aftermath of that decision, I can only say that this issue is more complicated than many are willing to admit.