Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Two pink lines

I remember exactly where I was the first time I saw them. I was in a Target bathroom stall because infertility had made me slightly neurotic and every month I began testing a week in advance.

And tears welled up in my eyes as I saw them appear. And I knew one thing was certain.

There was a baby being formed inside of me.

I feel like this is something we can all relate to, those of us who have seen them appear, longed for them to appear, or wished to erase them. And I have to believe that as women two pink lines will always mean there is a baby. Whether your heart pulls toward thanksgiving or towards dispair, we all know when the test is positive only one thing is certain.

There's a baby.

A baby. And if you've had a baby then you know just how intricately each little part of them is knit together. In the week by week books you count down the baby's size, interested in what is going to happen today. Oh their heart started to beat (week 5), their cute little nose is forming (week 6), and now they are moving (week 8). Mind you, if you saw two pink lines once your period was late you would already be 6 weeks along.

And we desire to know all these details because there is a baby coming.

And when we wish each other congratulations we say congratulations on the baby or make reference to their new son or daughter. I have yet to hear anyone say "congratulations on your cluster of cells." It's always a baby.

Whether you were walking through years of infertility or planning the birth, whether is was a complete surprise under the direst of circumstances, or whether it was an ugly reminder of a disgusting act, it always registers deep down in a woman as a baby.

But that's just the beginning. Circumstances have to come into play. The other week I found our daughter unrolling the toilet paper from the roll. As soon as she saw me appear her hands full with wadded paper flew quickly up to her nose and began rubbing back and forth. We've never done this. On her own she learned to cover her wrong. Just like Eve with her leaves covering her newly revealed body.

What we have to hide or erase or embrace comes into play. When two lines appear one either finds great joy in the sight or their stomach sinks to the ground. That baby was either planned or unplanned. 

But either way it's still a baby.

I can only imagine what my first thought would have been if I had seen the lines appear in junior or senior high. Or post rape or one night stand. I can only imagine that my first thought would have been much like my daughters. To try and cover the evidence.

Try to erase the shame or the catalyst to my life taking a new path. Try to rid myself of the knowledge of what those two pink lines portray. 

My heart breaks for those situations where two pink lines indicating life bring tears of sadness and regret. When a woman faces her future and thinks that she just can't bear it. Where covering to escape shame and inconveinance means killing a baby.

And my heart breaks with the family that find out that little life they've come to embrace has something wrong. I don't have to imagine the emotions because when I was early in my pregnancy they told us there was a chance Elizabeth had Down's syndrome. And though I never once thought to rid her from our lives it was taste enough of the burden families feel when the news they hear would radically alter their lives.

Because there are no guarantees when two lines appear. 

And life always changes.

That's the fear isn't it. Because as soon as two lines appear you either believe truth, that a baby is growing within, or you start altering the facts. 

Believing the lies. The lie that what's within is just a bunch of cells. Believing the lie that your future life though altered would not be worthwhile. Believing the lie that no one needs to know and what is hidden is the way that is better for everyone.

But you see they are all lies. 

And my heart is aching for all the women who think standing up for a right to choose is something to rally behind. As a woman I don't want that right because I already have it. Everyone has the right to murder.

Somehow the child dying on the school floor as a result of a sick shooter is a tragedy while millions of babies being murdered in their own mothers' womb is just their right to choose. 

Somewhere we've went off course and stopped loving and caring for women in a difficult situation. Instead imposing upon them a stigma that the better alternative is to rid the baby of life. I'm not sure exactly what went awry. 

I can be quiet about a lot of things I believe but this is one area of huge injustice and wrongdoing that I cannot.

Every life deserves a chance.

On this anniversary of Roe vs. Wade stand with me in defending what two pink lines truly represent.

They represent life.

The life of a baby.

And every woman who finds herself filled with dread when two lines appear deserves to be embraced and supported and loved. 


  1. Your blog post was well said and heart-felt. I see this and I like the ideas behind it. However, I have been so frustrated with a lot of the Baptist church community ever since my good friend got pregnant last year. It was definitely an unexpected pregnancy, and she did not want to see those two pink lines. Ironically, it was the church community and Christians (who so openly post on Facebook about how abortion is wrong) that were the most unsupportive of her and what she was going through. It was really difficult for me to see her judged so openly and struggle with all of that going on. For the record, she has two healthy baby boys at the moment - she kept them.

    I just hope that you can find it in your heart to support the women experiencing unexpected pregnancies in words and in actions. Those women need it tremendously instead of the judgement that is so often put on them.


    1. Hi Grace,

      Thanks so much for your comment and it breaks my heart to know that your friend was not supported by her church community. I've known people personally who have gone through similar circumstances and personally sometimes I've gotten it right and others I've gotten it wrong. But I'm hoping more often I've gotten it right...grace and love must be extended:) I'm hoping more and more people will see that the negatives ways we've responded are the problem and love is what needs to be extended!

  2. One thing I never see in any of these pro-life articles is love and support for women who have already had an abortion. I also can't help but detect the air of self-righteous judgement in most of these articles ("I'm a Christian, so I know what's best for your life and your body, no matter the situation"). Apparently if you've already had the abortion procedure you're cast aside with the rest of the Jezebels and fallen women...well, these Jezebels are human beings. They're a terrified teenager, they're a rape victim, they're a woman with no options. Until you've been the victim of rape or incest its appalling to me that you're dismissing such a horrific act. A rape victim considering terminating her pregnancy is so much more than "covering the evidence" -- they're not criminals. Statements like that only serve to re-victimize and isolate these women. I'm going to pray that you open your heart and mind and stop simplifying a desperate situation as "two pink lines". I'm also going to pray that you see women in unthinkable and desperate situations as more than potential "baby murderers."

    1. Dear anonymous,

      You make excellent points and one thing I didn't stress enough in the post is how much love and support women need when facing an unwanted pregnancy. In the instance of something so horrendous as rape, the woman inflicted needs so much care and love. Because now what she's dealing with is something she did not ask for. Far from that. And I don't think anyone views that a violent act should follow a violent act. So that's where I'm coming from. And I'm sorry if I can across as self righteous, so not my intent. Love and care and support are number one!

  3. Thank you for this sincere and moving post.

  4. Right on. Right on. Slavery was once legal, and came to an end, now it seems absurd....in our lifetime, may this (abortion) the Pro-Choice movement come to an end.