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A precious gift
Baptism extends a baby's short life on earth to eternity and brings joy and comfort.
March 30, 2009, was one of the most amazing days of my life. I was scheduled to deliver our second child, Ellen. Like all mothers, I was excited to meet my daughter who had been growing inside of me for 39 weeks. I was excited to hear her first cry, to hold her, to tell her I love her, but most of all to see her baptized.
Unlike most mothers, I knew that these things might not happen.
Getting the news
At our 17-week ultrasound, we were given terrible news. Our unborn child had a terminal neural tube defect called anencephaly. In the United States, about one thousand babies are born with anencephaly each year. In almost every instance, anencephalic babies are either stillborn or die shortly after birth. The doctor informed us that most mothers choose to terminate their pregnancy or induce early.
This was the most devastating news we had ever received in our lives. Looking back at that day, I remember not being able to escape the thought, My baby is going to die. This beautiful creation of life and a gift from God that we loved from day one was not expected to survive. How does a parent handle news like this?
The first few weeks were extremely difficult. Her first noticeable kick was bittersweet—excitement in feeling life grow inside of me but pain in knowing that life would end. I struggled with other things as well: walking past baby clothes at the store; having strangers ask if I was having a girl or boy; experiencing sadness when seeing mothers with healthy children; and feeling like others didn't care, didn't want to talk about it, or didn't feel my pregnancy was important. I cannot say that I was angry with God. But I did say to myself, "Why me?"
Turning a negative into a positive
After many weeks of processing this news and feeling sorry for myself, something changed. While others were praying for a miracle to happen and the anencephaly to disappear, I started praying for time—time to hold her, love her, and create memories with her that we could cherish for the rest of our lives. Instead of dwelling on the bad, I decided to plan for the best. I really cherished my pregnancy as a time to bond with my daughter. I began to treasure the kicks and hiccups. I often found myself daydreaming about the day of her birth and how it might go.
Author: Jill and Aaron Schultz
Volume 99, Number 7
Issue: July 2012
Volume 99, Number 7
Issue: July 2012
Copyrighted by WELS Forward in Christ © 2009
Permission is granted for a single personal copy of an article. Additional copyright information is available at Northwestern Publishing House.
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Bible translation revision
Have you heard that the publishers of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible have updated the translation? A Translation Evaluation Committee has been established to study and examine this new translation, along with other English language translations. The committee has compiled essays, information, and studies on the topic.
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