With the media full of the horror of Kermit Gosnell’s Philadelphia abortion mill, we might forget how hard parents fight to make sure that their children survive. This is one mother’s story.
My story begins in mid-December 2001. I was newly married, healthy, excited and shocked to be carrying twins! All had been going along in the pregnancy just fine until one Saturday morning.
I noticed something was not quite right so I called my doctor, hoping he would say, “Don’t worry. Everything will be just fine.” I had just been at his office the day before for a routine check-up. He told me that from this point forward, even though I was only 26 weeks along in my pregnancy, to call if I sensed anything out of the ordinary. That’s called precaution, not paranoia, he told me.
When I described what I felt and saw, he told me to hang up the phone and immediately go to the hospital. He would meet me there.
At this point my husband Jason and I were still not concerned, but we obediently went to the hospital, naively thinking that I would just be placed under some monitoring and that we could carry on with our Christmas shopping.
The nurses immediately checked me and found that I was in labor! I was already dilated to seven centimetres! The contractions had been so small that I did not even feel them. They tried to stop the labor process by elevating my feet and so on. Nothing worked. The twins were on their way.
Fifteen minutes after we arrived, the doctor came. I was now dilated to ten centimetres. At this point, he whispered in my ear, “If you are a woman of faith, pray! You are having these babies right now.” I started to cry. My husband was in shock.
I was whisked away on a stretcher for an emergency Caesarean section and Jason got scrubbed and smocked up in order to be in the delivery room with me. While the frenzy of preparation was happening, we called a priest to come and baptize the babies.
Meanwhile, a team of doctors and nurses were flown in, via care flight, to the hospital, in order to be ready to take the girls to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
They gave me an epidural but there wasn’t enough time for it to take full effect. I felt every millimeter of the scalpel slicing in. It didn’t matter. I was full of adrenaline in my desire to see the babies.
When they opened the uterus, they found that one of the twins had already made her way down into the birth canal. Due to serious complications with the umbilical chord severing from the placenta, they had to pull this incredibly fragile baby back up through the birth canal. Jason reminds me that the delivery table was moving from side to side, because it was no small task to pull the baby out.
The one pound, nine ounce baby was bruised from head to toe and completely blue and purple. She was immediately placed on full life support by a whole team of nurses. Needless to say, we did not get to hold her or even touch her. The doctors thought she would have cranial haemorrhaging because of the trauma of the birth. If this were the case, she might never walk, talk, hear or see.
Then came the second baby. This one had a little more strength and made a tiny noise as she came out. She weighed one pound, thirteen ounces. She, too was whisked away to the NICU at Medical City Hospital in Dallas.
Before they left, the priest arrived. He asked my husband what their names were to be and using a medicine cup full of water he baptized the children. The doctors and nurses waited with tears in their eyes. We all feared that this was the last time that we would see the twins alive.
The doctors gave the twins a 60 percent chance of survival. And what “survival” would look like was anyone’s guess.
I had to stay in Las Colinas Medical Hospital for three more days to recover from the surgery. This separation was agony.
The twins did not die. One had to have heart surgery. The other had surgery to repair a hernia because her ovaries would pop in and out. They remained on high level oxygen for several weeks because their lungs were so underdeveloped. For months they were totally dependent upon machines to keep them alive.
Their skulls had not completely formed and their skin was transparent. You could see their femurs. Their ear lobes were just tiny flaps of skin. Their eyes were still fused shut and their heads were the size of tennis balls. When they breathed, their lungs would collapse so far inward that you could see their spine. Jason could slide his wedding ring over their arm all the way up to their shoulders.
We spent every day hoping that modern medicine and the grace of God would keep these two alive! All we could do was wait and pray. Finally, after four long months, we welcomed them home on the same day (which is rare for twins).
Not only had they survived, but they were thriving. They had no oxygen, no feeding tubes, no medicine and no apnoea monitor. The doctors and nurses told them that these two girls were two of the biggest success stories in the history of that NICU! And 11 years later these two beautiful girls continue to thrive.
Why am I writing this?
Because my twins were the same size as the 24-week-old babies that were brutally murdered in Philadelphia by the infamous Kermit Gosnell.
When Jason and I visited our girls in the NICU, we had to pass a late-term abortion clinic (since closed). It was gut-wrenching to think that at that very moment other doctors and nurses were ending the lives of children who were the very same age and size as our precious girls.
I don’t judge the women who sought Kermit Gosnell’s “help”. But what I do know is that a doctor’s vocation is to protect the sick, the vulnerable and the disabled. A mother’s vocation is to protect and love the children of her womb. How can this country continue to allow doctors to destroy the lives of children?
Life. What a beautiful choice!
Anne and Jason Ponton live in Irving, Texas. They have been married for 12 years. They have four children: two 11-year-old daughters and two sons, aged four and six.