It’s the Bear’s birthday today! He is two years old and he had a nice and needed hair cut yesterday, so I’m looking forward to taking pictures of his special party and sharing all the happy of celebrating our little happy with you guys! {His name means happy, in case that didn’t make sense to you.}

In the meantime, I’m answering a recent query based on things I said in this post. I hope I don’t lose you on this one. I’ll do my best to explain this to the best of my ability. You see, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about all things prenatal. To expound on that, I spent close to two years working on a PhD related to prenatal testing and people with disabilities. And there are just some things that make me uncomfortable about the direction things related to pregnancy seem to be headed in our world.

If there is any space on Earth that I think should be a protected, sacred space, it’s the space where unborn babies reside. It seems like a lot of people don’t like the word womb these days. But you get the idea. That space.

And though we might think that today we can explain how this miracle comes about…how bones are formed, how genes make decisions, how a heart suddenly starts beating, still I don’t feel like we have this sacred space figured out. While all the knitting together is taking place, I am simultaneously convinced this new soul is arriving, this piece of forever that will take on human flesh for a little while. The eternal part of us, that most of us believe lives on long after our days are through. I want to honour that special, sacred space, where all these amazing things happen.

And {reminder: this is a blog, these are my opinions!} I feel like we dishonour this sacred space when we begin making judgements about what’s happening there. When Down’s Syndrome, and even cleft palates, can cause us to decide what’s happening should be stopped. When based on our own assessments of that special space we decide there’s not enough value there to allow things to continue.

Am I saying no to ultrasounds? No. Am I saying no to other prenatal testing? A lot of it, yeah. And for me, when a picture of this tiny little person is pasted on the internet for scrutiny before he or she has even arrived…it just doesn’t sit right in my soul.

I also feel like there is a bit of specialness lost when the announcement is made six months before the little one arrives, “This is Oliver Edward Smith, and he’ll arrive on February 1, 2011 if he’s punctual.”

{I will stop here to make sure it’s clear that these are just *my preferences and opinions* and I by no means feel that anyone else needs to adhere to them.}

When childbirth becomes just another medical procedure, abortions for disabilities become the norm, elective c-sections are just like any other routine surgery, and the arrival of a new person into the world is more like a “glad to see you on the outside” than a “this is the miracle of life — Someone has just been born!” moment, I just feel like we’re missing some element of the giftedness of life. Of seeing a little one’s arrival, looking them over and saying, “You’re not an Oliver after all. I think you’re David, and I’m so glad you’re here.”

I may not completely be making sense to all of you. It is difficult to communicate what it is that I feel is missing when screening after screening and ultrasound after ultrasound, happy as long as it’s healthy determines a successful pregnancy. Don’t get me wrong — seeing this little one dancing about in my belly a few weeks ago was a special privilege I won’t soon forget. But regardless of who doctors might tell me she (or he but I think she!) is, she is first of all ours. A gift from the Lord. A blessing and a reward. And a person worthy of love and care and attention and protection, especially at this stage in her story.

And I want you to meet her when we meet her face to face. Because I don’t want her to be on the internet before she’s even born. I don’t want folks on the four corners of the earth making judgements about her based on a squiggly black and white image or two. As silly as it may sound, I want to protect her, and keep the sacred space where God is doing amazing things right now just that. Sacred. Private. Protected. Set apart.

Like a seed being planted which will eventually bloom, something beautiful is happening in me. But rather than digging up the earth to find out what’s going on underground, I’d like to be patient and wait to see what is meant to be seen once it’s in full bloom.

And while I could scratch my head to find more eloquence and perhaps some better arguments, sometimes I think I’m better off just letting you know that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Something special is taking place. And we can share the joy when, pushed through the dirt, it’s in full bloom and ready to shine.

Perhaps you’ll be willing to enjoy a few maternity pics until then? And, by the way, I’d love to hear your thoughts. We might have a discussion about birth control before all this is over with. 🙂