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Choose life

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 11:16 a.m. CDT

From Jennifer Gates


I still remember the day when my mother returned home from the doctor’s office. I was 14 years old, the middle child in a family with five children. Mom announced some surprising news. She had just learned that she was going to have another baby. My youngest sister was 7 years old at the time, wasn’t my mom too old to have another baby? I thought that our family was already complete, but evidently, God didn’t agree, and He was at work creating another family member in my mother’s womb. I remember watching my little sister, who was so excited about the prospect of getting a brother or sister, touching my mother’s abdomen to see if she could feel the baby moving.

Weeks went by and another visit to the doctor arrived. This time a 20 week ultrasound was done. It revealed that mom was not just going to have a baby ... she was going to have two babies. My mom at 43 years old had already been classified a risky pregnancy. Then on top of that, she was going to have twins! The local doctor referred her to a specialist at a much larger and higher skilled hospital. That appointment was never kept. My mother’s water broke the day before the scheduled ultrasound.

The local hospital life flighted her to St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth, Minn. An emergency C-section was performed and the two babies were admitted to the NICU at 24 weeks. They were so little, yet perfectly formed. Their little fingers were so long and delicate, and my dad’s wedding ring could have fit around their little wrists. Their diapers, the size of credit cards, came clear up to their armpits. Both babies weighed less than two pounds, and they were barely longer than a Barbie doll. They were hooked up to ventilators, feeding tubes, and IVs, and with monitors on their heads and feet, they continued to grow. Those were tough months, although, many prayers were made by many friends across the nation. In May, they were finally able to come home.

On Feb. 10, they celebrated their 15th birthday. Tall with beautiful smiles, they are as full of vigor as any teen. I am so glad my mom chose life for my sisters, despite the risks it posed. Our family would not be complete without them.

Would you please consider joining with me and many others in the Creston area to participate in the upcoming pro-life outreach entitled “40 Days for Life” which is scheduled for March 5 through April 13. Together we will support others facing the questions that come with difficult or unexpected pregnancies. I am thankful that my mom valued and respected life.

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