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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Part of the responsibility of being on call for the Obstetric Service includes handling some of the pregnancy-gone-awry complications.

Last night, I (Scott) got a call near midnight for a mother with a possible ectopic (def: "abnormal place") pregnancy. In a small proportion of pregnancies, a baby can end up getting stuck in the tubes or even out in the abdominal cavity. An uncommon and yet potentially life-threatening condition. If the baby grows to a point where the tube ruptures, there can be ruptured blood vessels and the mom can rapidly bleed to death.

Last night's mom presented in a classic manner: pelvic pain and bleeding. And indeed we found that she had an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. Thankfully, the tube had not ruptured so she did not bleed to death. We had to excise the tube where the baby was growing (leaving the other tube for future pregnancies). What we found inside that tube is pictured below. A dead baby at about 10 weeks of age.

The perfection of this little creature shocked each one of us in the operating theatre. In a mere 10 weeks, God weaved together a tiny person with fingers, toes, eyes, ears, mouth and nose. This little one looks peacefully asleep in the nourishing tissue of its mother's womb. The sacred sorrow, however, is that the baby is dead. A severe mercy perhaps. This mother's tears continue to mourn the loss of hugs and laughter and goals and graduations. How to make sense of this death - and the reality that little creatures like this are electively destroyed in the hundreds of thousands per year. It doesn't add up in our human ledgers. I try to stay firmly rooted in Revelation 21: 4-5:

…He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning or crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new"….

We live in a broken world which will someday be restored.

Until that day, let us love and sing and wonder...

(P.S. Double click on the picture to see a larger, more beautiful image)


Cindy said...

The impact of your post and the one Jennifer just posted cannot be adequately described in words. You have both enabled me to continue to fix my eyes on things unseen and press on in the race set before us, with faith that one day all things will be made right in God's eternal Kingdom. I hope you both have some sense of the incredible impact your family's life and service have made on multitudes of people, including me. With great admiration and many prayers -

Cindy Nore

The Stewarts said...

Thank you again for opening up and sharing these thoughts and pictures. It is a humbling reminder that death is a part of life. It's so easy to be numb to death in America. While it is present, its presence is not as evident when we have ways to filter our lives from it. We enjoy peace, prosperity, and protection from so much. The glorious news from Jesus is that despite what happens in this world we can still find our hope and our strength in him and he has given us the Holy Spirit...thanks be to God because it would be so difficult to handle the tragedies without Him.

John 14:25-27
"These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."

The Stewarts said...
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Todd said...

Thank you so much for this post. It is far too often that we see a picture like this that is a result of the selfish killing of a baby. This is a beautiful but tragic picture that indeed displays how woderfully made each person is and a tragic example of the results of the fall. It really does make us long for what is described in Revelation 21:4-5.

Nancy E Miller Latimer said...

Thank you for taking the time to post this story. A friend of a dear friend sent onto me. The images convey how sacred human life is--and that WE do NOT own it.

Quite a contrast to abortion on demand here. This bible tells us clearly how abhorent the crime of abortion is--that it never crossed God's mind that we would sacrifice our own children.

Thank you for being the hands and feet of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Aubrey said...

Thank you for this post. Just over two months ago, I also had an ectopic that we discovered around 9 weeks. Thankfully, I was actually completely asymptomatic and only discovered it when we couldn't find a pregnancy in my uterus. We are still mourning the loss of our little one, but I was glad to read this and be reminded that we will get to meet our sweet baby one day in heaven and that the sorrow we feel will be assuaged.

AlexSantxo said...

Thank you for this moving story. I'm not even sure how to react right now - maybe the Lord will overwhelm me with sorrow & joy in a moment... Sorrow for the life that I once took on that dark day. And joy at the marvelous Cross--that saved me from sin & death; released me from guilt & shame; & offered me free grace & forgiveness. How beautiful is the loving kindness of Christ.

Eagerly waiting for the day when "He will wipe every tear from their eyes..."

montbretia said...

Praying for you & Scott this morning Jenn, God is your refuge and strength. Love, Karen in Dublin

Cherry Bieber said...

What a beautiful and poignant reminder of the sanctity of human life and the glory of our Creator!