Monday, September 1, 2014

What a choice

I came across a story today on US Weekly.  Celebrity gossip can be my guilty pleasure at times. This story, however, encited so many different emotions. This story tugged at my heartstrings. 
"We both wanted girls and we wanted them to be healthy and free of genetic diseases so we chose to do IVF," All the ironies of that statement aside, WOW! Ouch. In today's day and age, with enough money, you truly can create designer genes. And, the life most people want to create is nothing like the life that was created inside me almost three years ago. It's a harsh reality. But it's the truth. 

(TBT- 2009)

While pregnant with Penny, gender unknown, I often responded to any sort of question about whether I'd prefer a girl or a boy with the "I just want a healthy baby" response. After Penny was born, I found myself addicted to a blog about a young, hip mum and her amazing daughter. I was an avid reader of Reagan's Blob. Her story was so different than mine. But she loves her daughter with all her heart and soul, just as I love mine. In one post, Reagan contributed to my understanding of motherhood on a Kelle Hampton level. Her post changed my response to that very same question long before we knew Porter had an extra chromosome. In describing her love for her daughter, she also described the hurt the "healthy baby" response invoked. I wish the Blog (Blob) was still active so you could read the emotion and learn more about her amazing daughter Piper Jane, but it's been shut down. 
All these years later, I understand what Reagan meant when she wrote that post- how could any mother in her situation not love their child? As my daughter's daycare teacher says "You get what you get and you don't get upset." For reals! You love. Your child is part of your soul. 

I can tell you I'm so happy we got Porter. I believe that we picked each other somewhere in time long before either of us were a thought on the Earth. I believe that he is the perfect son for our family. I've loved him for a thousand years and will love him for a thousand more. 
Knowing what I know now, having experienced the privilege of being both Porter's and Penny's mother, it's really difficult for me to accept that we live in a society where it's "normal" to admit you screened the life that was about to be created and agreed only to give that life a chance because it was genetically perfect. Money allows you to play God here. A fertility clinic can "sell" the perfect baby. Who needs a blood test to screen for genetic conditions at nine weeks gestation when you can ensure the perfect embryo prior to implantation? Life is disposable. And life like Porter's, which is considered the inferior life by much of society is the kind that will be disposed. 
I know incredible people who have genetic conditions different from my son's- Cystic Fybrosis, dwarphism, EVAS and many others. I can't imagine what the world would be like without the diversity these individuals bring to the table. I can't tell you how much they've helped me learn, appreciate and grow as a person. I can't imagine my world without my son. I understand he would never be purposefully created in a lab. But, he was purposefully created for me by the hand of God. I'm lucky. I was given the opportunity to choose to stand for his life and will spend the rest of my own fighting for his. To stand for love. For both my little loves. Penny & Porter- we love you right up to the moon and back!

P.S. Please let me make it clear I'm not anti IVF. There are some amazing people I love who were created via IVF...mothers and fathers who were given the gifts that come with those titles because of IVF. All life is a gift. And I know the people who have fought long hard battles to give life a chance truly understand and appreciate the gift they've been given. They understand love!

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