Monday, October 15, 2012

How Can You Possibly Know?

While I was looking up information tonight, I came across a forum that I knew I should not have bothered to read.  For some reason though, it was like a train wreck and I couldn't stop myself from looking. It was a discussion board regarding a mother in the news who had decided to carry her anencephalic child to term.  I did not look up the mother or her exact story, but the basic idea is this: they carried to term, she blogged about it, took pictures at the hospital, shared those pictures, friends and family were raising money to help cover medical and funeral costs.  All the while, this woman and her family relied heavily on their faith to get them through that difficult experience. 

The first sign that I should have stopped reading was the fact that it was an Atheist discussion board (damn you Google).  While I may be pretty upset with God these days, I don't necessarily deny his existence so I knew this forum was probably not the best place for me to explore the viewpoints of others.  Again, I ignored that instinct and read on. 

What I found was disgusting.  I'm not going to go into a lot of detail, but it was basically pages of comments berating this mother and her family for their decision.  They ranged from a simple inability to comprehend why she would choose to continue the pregnancy (not surprising if you've never faced it) to outrage at her choice to cause her child pain (in reality, these babies are not able to feel pain) to announcing that her faith in God was idiotic to accusing them of exploiting their baby's tragic existence for financial gain (in reality, I believe the benefits were being held to cover expenses).  I could go on, but from there things got really nasty.

This really wasn't what I had intended to post about tonight, but it struck me so much that I felt I had no choice.  Chris and I have said from the beginning of this journey that no matter what options we choose, there will certainly be people who will disagree or who will not understand. (Fortunately, I think most of them are willing enough to keep that to themselves.) 

The fact of the matter is that we aren't making these decisions for anyone but us and our children.  I don't expect anyone to fully understand what we're feeling or why we choose to handle anything the way that we do.  At the end of the day, we have to be able to sleep with however we choose to proceed.  And each morning, we have to look in the mirror and live with this - we need to know that we have made decisions based on what we truly feel is best.

It is so easy to stand apart from a situation to judge and say what you think you would or would not do.  It is absolutely impossible to say with any certainty what you would actually do when faced with something that has only crappy options. 

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