When we first learned that we were having a baby, we had an insanely long list of names that we loved. It seemed like every day we had a new favorite. We picked names mostly based on how they sounded. Like everyone else having babies right now, we wanted one that was unique, but not weird.
After we learned that our little girl had limb body wall complex, we decided that the name needed to be more meaningful. We took our top choices and looked carefully at the meanings, and one jumped right out at us. Evelyn. Life.
When our doctor gave us our baby's diagnosis, she very gently told us that since babies do not survive with this disorder, terminating the pregnancy was an option we may want to consider. Before we even knew that we would ever have to make that sort of hard decision, we had already discussed what we would do if something like that was presented to us. We told her that absolutely was not something we wanted. There was no way we were ending our baby's life.
For us, choosing life was an obvious choice, but it still didn't make it easy. I remember the days following "the" doctor's appointment thinking to myself, "I get why people end it. They're scared." I was scared. I am scared. Choosing life means we will have to watch and feel our baby grow and feel this incredible, beautiful gift that God has given us, and then give her right back. The thought of what God is going to ask us to experience in the next few months is enough to knock me down some days.
But the joy of her little life outweighs the fear. Today I was going through a normal day at my job as a first grade teacher, reading with one of my students, and I could put my hand on my tummy and feel little Evie moving as though nothing was wrong. I get moments like that every day. I go to the doctor weekly to check on her heartbeat, and every time it blows me away. What would I do without those moments?
God knit our little girl together in my womb, even with her physical defects. She is here, every day, for a reason. It could end tomorrow, or the next day, or a month from now, or hours after she is born, but she's here now. Who are we to end what God has put in motion? How could we miss out on the good things that he's going to give us through our baby, simply because we're scared?
So our little Evelyn, our little life, is still with us. As long as she is, we're going to celebrate life.