Friday was tough. Pregnancy complications for one of our 19-year olds. She has sickle cell anemia. Even without the pregnancy, she deals with complications on a fairly regular basis. A sickle cell crisis (even when she's not pregnant) may send her to the hospital where she has stayed for a month or more at times.
But this was different. She's pregnant. In addition to the sickle cell, she was dealing with pre-eclampsia. The baby wasn't growing and her blood pressure was staying around 160/100.
When I visited her in the morning, she explained the situation. They couldn't seem to get her blood pressure under control. "They may need to take the baby," she explained. She's only 23 weeks along. The doctor said he needed to talk to the team.
Unsure of what was going to happen and how quickly they would make their decision, I went ahead and left...only to get a phone call about an hour later from a wavering and teary voice saying they were going to take the baby.
I raced back to the hospital for moral support.
This pregnancy has been hard for me. The teenagers have listened to me discourage thoughtless, unplanned pregnancies for a long time. This one was particularly difficult because I have watched this teenager grow up and have watched her make such great progress and turn-arounds as she has gotten older. This decision...and her choice of a father for her child...made me wonder if her progress was taking a u-turn. The father's absence and lack of demonstrated concern throughout her hospital stays told me she was already becoming a single mom.
As I drove to the hospital and arrived at her room for the second time that day...despite my frustration and sadness over all of the choices I had seen her make recently...I came to a few different conclusions. Though I plan to continue to explain to teenagers that certain choices we make can cause our life to be way more difficult than it needs to be, I also realize that all of us make wrong choices. We all suffer the consequences of our choices...some are just more visible to the public than others. Sometimes...maybe more frequently than we realize...I think the Lord allows us grace and blessing through our choices--even the bad ones.
During this pregnancy, throughout the testing, not only did she have pre-eclampsia, they also found out she had pre-cancerous cells. Though they could do nothing about that while she was pregnant, they now know it exists and can deal with it in it's early stages.
What I have been so consumed with as such a negative may end up having a positive outcome. It may save her life.
I thank God that He offers grace and mercy despite my judgment calls.