Cheat-Seeking Missles

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

How We Almost Lost Her

That's Incredible Daughter #2 looking ... incredible.

I've been thinking a lot about her lately because she's going through a rough patch dealing with the suicide of a close friend. Having a heart that's as dazzling as her smile, she thinks she could have saved him, if only, if only ....

Watching her, just 18 and coping so well with so much, I am very impressed with her and amazed at how much clearer my love for her has become in the last few years, as she's rapidly moved from the chief source of my worrying to my great delight, a girl who makes me laugh, who makes me smile just by walking into the room.

(Disclaimer: So do Incredible Daughters #1 and #3.)

I tell you all this because this morning I was remembering when we first learned that Incredible Wife was pregnant with ID #2. The doctor, apparently provided by Central Casting to play the HMO doc from Hell, coldly told us that due to the medications my wife was taking at the time, we really shouldn't go forward with the pregnancy. "You should have an abortion," she matter of factly told my wife. Not consider. Have.

So the stunned young couple left the doctor and drove away in silence, overwhelmed by the sudden emptiness we felt in our chests. Both of us were trying to deal with a death sentence for someone we'd only just found out about, someone we were already excited about getting to know. I've never been so frightened and so sad.

My Incredible Wife added another emotion to the mix: anger. Anger at her illness, anger at her doctor who prescribed a medication that wasn't working anyway and now had supposedly led to gross deformations of our new baby and, blessedly, anger at the HMO for having such a cold doctor dealing with such heartbreaking matters.

That last one carried the day and drove us to seek a second opinion. That doctor was as warm as the first was cold, and was incredulous at the earlier diagnosis. We were told to forget about it and move forward with the pregnancy.

We did and from ID#2's perspective, it was fine. Not so for my wife, who struggled with fibroids and kidney stones, hospitalization and bedrest at home, then a torn placenta and the loss of so much blood ... but finally, there was ID#2, who came out so healthy and pink and beautiful ... and goofily doped up from a too-late painkiller in a final bit of HMO medical incompetence.

There are those who think of preborns as dispensible bits of flesh, and there are those who think of them as Incredible Daughters and Sons in Waiting. Looking at this delightful creature, I am forever in the latter category, forever against Planned Pelosi Parenthood and people like John Kerry who say they oppose abortion but not as much as they defend the right of someone to have one, in a stunning example of oratorial hypocrisy.

Thank you, God, for saving our daughter. I weep for those who were lost.

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