Note: This post first appeared on my old blog, Far AboveRubies, on September 21, 2012. ~Alisha
When I sat in that doctor’s office over a year and a half ago, being told I should consider terminating my Zoe because I might have a genetic condition that I may pass on to my daughter, I knew deep in my heart, she was- and is- a gift. I knew that even if some cold, detached doctor did not, could not, would not see her value, she deserved life. And when she was born, a beautiful, squiggly girl of seven pounds and seven ounces and a long twenty inches, the precious gift I was blessed to carry for thirty-eight weeks entered the world, full of curiosity, attentiveness and hunger. Zoe Lyne Hope. Zoe means “life”. Abundant life.
The thing is, while I had all the hope in the world for my sweet baby girl, the doctor’s advice cut me deeply. Whether she was aware of it or not, she had sent a very clear message. If my daughter should die because she might wind up like me, why should I go on living? Tough words for me to write, but they were downright terrifying for me to think, believe and finally live. I began to see myself through broken, twisted lens. As my health declined last year, this view quietly took a hold of me, so thoroughly that when I was admitted to the hospital to treat my neurological problems, I felt I was wasting the doctors’ and nurses’ valuable time. I was squandering our insurance money. What made me worth helping? I was on medical leave from work, not bringing in a paycheck. My FMLA time was up, and my last disability payment from having Zoe had come two months before all this. In Randian speak, I was a taker, mooching off those who truly count, the makers. Circles and squares. My thoughts were caught in a seemingly endless loop of boxed in despair and brokenness.