At 15 and 13, my sister and I became impromtu parents to our five other siblings.
For three months, we cooked, cleaned, administered Tylenol and wiped up tears. Family friends came to check in on us and stay with us and my father was in and out of the house, but we'd never felt so alone before. So responsible or so scared.
My mother was in the hospital because my youngest brother was born almost 10 weeks too soon. She had preeclampsia and collapsed at a friend's house. She was rushed to a hospital, and then airlifted across the state in an effort to save her and my brother. I learned later that at one point, the doctors told my father to just save my mom. She had seven healthy children at home, why take the risk? They rationalized. My father insisted they save both. And they are both here, both very much alive and despite the fact that I roll my eyes when my mom calls me 10x a day to ask me if I need MORE hairbows for my daughter, very much loved.
Now, a similar scenario is playing out with a mom and blogger, whom I've come to know and love over the past year. Diana Stone was just shy of 19 weeks pregnant with her twin boys when her water broke. She went to the hospital where the doctor's recommended that she induce and terminate the pregnancy. She and her husband who have another child, Bella, decided that they wanted to hang onto those little boys as long as possible. And after that? Well, I'll let her Tweets from her Twitter feed (@lifeasaSAHM) do the talking:
Omg. Shaking I’m so angry. Was woken up by an MD who told me basically I’m an idiot taking up an expensive hospital bed and need to go home.
I can’t believe they want to send me home like this. Or they can’t fathom why we want to try. And have to continually tell me.
The MD just told DH, “I know how pregnant ladies are. I don’t know who told her those babies will make it.” I WANT TO KILL HIM.
Still arguing. About our beliefs now. Perfect. Let’s mock our religious choices and call me hysterical.
Diana, who is a blogger for Babble and blogs over at her own site, Hormonal Imbalances, took to Twitter to vent her feelings and fight for the hospital to give her little boys a chance. The outpouring has been tremendous. Friends and fans wrote to the hospital demanding that Diana's choices be respected. And after working with a patient advocate, the hospital is finally supporting her, too.
But it shouldn't have to be this hard for a couple to hold on to their children and whatever else the decisions is—religious, relational, medical—it is also intensely personal and shouldn't have to be subject to bullies of any kind.
Go over to Diana's blog and give her and her little boys your support.
Also, tell us, was there ever a time when you had to fight for your family?