Casey arrived toting her newborn boy in his baby carrier. She wore the proud smile of a mother who was thrilled to show off her new son; and who could blame her? He is absolutely adorable. How can someone so small and helpless capture our hearts immediately? The answer to that question is one of the great mysteries and blessings of God. As we reflect on that, the St. Joseph PRC is just thankful that we had the opportunity to meet Casey’s son, because there was a point in time when it didn’t look like this little guy had a future.
The Covid crisis took everyone by surprise. During the first few weeks and months of the city shutdown, women were still finding themselves right in the middle of a crisis pregnancy, and Casey was one of those women. When she arrived at the clinic, Casey was nervous, stressed, and wanted to pursue an abortion. She was already raising other children and couldn’t see a future with this baby’s father. It didn’t help that during the early months of Covid, many people were feeling hopeless, helpless, and frightened. Add to those feelings an unexpected pregnancy, and you’ve just found yourself in a very bad place.
There was nothing “unusual” about Casey’s initial appointment at the clinic. Information was gathered, options were given, a pregnancy test was taken, and an ultrasound was administered. At the end of the appointment, a follow-up ultrasound was scheduled, and Casey was given information on the abortion procedure she would be undergoing should she decide to pursue it (which is in line with Missouri law, MO 188.027). Appointment completed. Pray and wait.
A week passed. When a confirmation phone call was made to Casey, she explained that she wouldn’t be keeping her appointment but that she would be going to the doctor and had decided to have her baby. She didn’t say why she had changed her mind. Clinic staff was cautiously optimistic. Sometimes patients don’t always give the whole truth. However, Casey did agree to future follow-up phone calls. It was during a phone call, nearly two months after her appointment at the clinic, Casey revealed that she was having a baby boy.
After her baby was born, Casey was invited to come to the clinic with him for a “Baby Visit.” A Baby Visit is an opportunity for a woman to bring her baby “back to the clinic” where she first saw him on ultrasound. Even if the mother doesn’t realize it, a Baby Visit is a time of celebration for the whole organization of the St. Joseph PRC. A mother is given a sack full of baby goodies, and with “Mom’s” permission, the clinic staff gets to take a picture of the baby and, sometimes, hold the baby. It’s also a time to talk about that moment when a mother knew she couldn’t go through with an abortion, and this needs to be approached carefully; however, Casey brought this up without any encouragement from the staff.
Turning to the sonographer, Casey confessed, “You’re the one who ‘talked me out of the abortion.’” Surprised by this comment the sonographer asked, “What did I say?” Casey remarked, “It was when you went over the abortion procedure I would get. It was that moment when I thought ‘I can’t do this.’” She went on to say that her little son is such a good baby and how thankful she is to have him. As Casey left with her newborn back in his carrier, staff looked wistfully out the window as she drove off.
One more woman served, one more baby born, one more answered prayer. One more day to fight; one step closer to finishing the race; one more reason to keep the faith. Fight, finish, keep the faith! God is good!
II Timothy 4:7