The abortion culture leaves women wounded, weakened and often scarred for life. But this is not where Bryonna was. Bryonna was standing strong for herself and for her baby. The motherhood glow looked beautiful on her as she spoke of her son with tenderness. My, what a change I had witnessed in this lady over the last few months! She had come from feeling frightened and inadequate to a place of strength and confidence. Whether her choice was to raise her baby or lovingly give the baby up for adoption, it would be a choice she could be proud of and a choice that she could live with. This was empowerment.
There were many reasons that had led Bryonna to consider abortion so many months ago. Many of these issues had been resolved and the way that Bryonna viewed this so-called choice had changed completely. Bryonna had chosen life for her baby but there was still a choice to be made. Could Bryonna raise her son or was placing this baby for adoption something she would need to do? Her consideration of adoption was one that Bryonna had contemplated out of love for this baby but as time passed I could also see the bond between her and her baby grow. Placing this baby for adoption would be painful for Bryonna.
Dr. Silver was optimistic that Bryonna's health problems were not insurmountable and many of them would resolve when the baby was born. We had talked to other women with disabilities who had been able to overcome the challenges of raising children. Bryonna was feeling more comfortable with this idea.
Pro Life Utah is helping raise money to help Bryonna with her medical expenses.
But there was another obstacle. Finances are the number one reason reported by women who abort their babies. Along with everything else, or possibly because of everything else, finances were also a barrier to a happy future for this special lady and her new baby. Bryonna had taken pride in being self-sufficient despite her Cerebral Palsy but it was not without some big challenges. Her job as a substitute school teacher allowed Bryonna to work around her health problems but being pregnant was a different story. Bryonna had not been able to work in many months and the future of her employment was quite uncertain.
My Pro-Life Utah team and I agreed that if we were ever going to impact abortion rates in this country, society would have to eliminate the core reasons that allowed this holocaust to fester and grow. The pro-life movement of today is not the pro-life mentality of yesteryear. No bombing of abortion clinics and no shouting hate filled condemnations at women in front of those clinics. Though I understand the emotions that led to those conflicts, we understand that the roots of this atrocity must be dealt in order to eliminate acceptance of this horrific practice.
How could we help Bryonna feel that she truly had a choice about the future of her baby? How could we ease some of the financial burden and get her off to a good start, allowing her to focus on what was really important; her precious baby boy? We would throw Bryonna a baby shower!
We decorated with rubber ducks and balloons. We baked cupcakes and bought party snacks and invited all of our pro-life friends. We had never done anything like this before and we really didn't know what to expect. Guests began to arrive toting neatly wrapped packages, anxious to meet the guest of honor for the very first time. The gift table was stacked high and Bryonna was overwhelmed by the generosity of this wonderful group of people. Of course, true to her nature, Bryonna quickly made friends with all of our visitors.
Bryonna had brought gifts of her own. She handed out little party favor bags to her new found friends, eager to show her appreciation for them. Then she whispered in my ear that she had something special for me. She led me out on the patio and handed me a gift bag. I reached inside and pulled out the most adorable plush lamb.
She took the cuddly lamb from me and pressed it's little belly. The sound of a human heartbeat could be heard.
"That's my baby's heartbeat." She whispered to me.
I could feel a knot in my throat.
She explained to me that she understood that I still had regret that my own baby had not been born. She told me that she hoped that when I missed my baby, the sound of her son's heartbeat might give me comfort. The knot in my throat intensified and my eyes filled up with tears as we embraced each other.
What a wonderful day it was. There was a palpable love in the air. All my wonderful pro-life friends had turned out to support this woman and the baby boy she was expecting in a more generous way than I could have ever hoped for. And I would always treasure the thoughtful gift that Bryonna had given me. I fell asleep that night with a warm glow in my heart.
The next day Bryonna called me to apologize.
"What would you apologize for?" I was confused.
She reminded me of the first email that I sent to her back when she first contacted me through my Pro-life Utah email. I had pled with her to let us help her. I had told her that there were people who would love her and her baby.
She had thought sarcastically to herself, "Yeah. Right."
She did not believe me.
"But you were right, Mary. There really are people who love me and my baby."