My youngest child, my son, was born on February 28th, 2018, nearly 8 weeks before his due date. It was a terrifying and eye opening experience during a period of eye opening experiences for me.
Just 9 days prior, God formally showed me that I was on a voyage toward Rome. I don’t think I’ve ever read more books in such a short time-span in my life. My entire life, I was raised as a Protestant and now, in a period of just 9 days, my feet were firmly entrenched on the other side of the Tiber and then the morning of February 28th arrived.
It started like any other morning. I had to take my youngest daughter to an orthodontist appointment and then head to work for some meetings with the new employee we had hired.
As I was leaving the orthodontist office my wife called me, panicked, and said “I’m having contractions.”
I asked “How far apart are they?”
She said “Less than a minute”.
We’re no strangers to rushing to the Hospital to have a baby. My youngest daughter, now 9 years old, was born 16 minutes after we got to the Hospital. We literally thought she was going to deliver in the car.
But this was different. I was a solid half-hour drive from home, including a substantial allowance for speeding, and the Hospital and OB we had chosen were a good 20 minute drive from the house. I’d be lying if I said to you that I wasn’t worried, but I assumed these were just Braxton-Hicks contractions and I tried to convince my wife of the same.
I mean, he’s not due for another 8 weeks. There’s no way he’s coming now...right!?!? RIGHT!?!?
I said “Call your OB and get an appt immediately”.
I raced home, picked her up and we raced to her OB's office. I didn’t even take my daughter to school. She went along with us.
When we got to the Dr’s office, they checked my wife and she was 9 cms dilated.
The nurse came out and said “your wife is going to deliver today.”
And in the weakest moment of my life, I broke down in tears, tears of pure terror.
So many fears ran through my head:
“Is my wife going to survive?”
“Are my son’s lungs developed yet?”
“Is he going to have brain damage?”
“OMG we don’t have medical insurance, how are we going to pay for weeks in the NICU!?”
Those thoughts and many others ran through my head as the tears flowed for about 5 seconds. I was literally doubled over with grief.
But a thought suddenly jumped into my head: “If God loves you enough to show you the truth of the Church and to bring you all the way across the river, is he going to abandon you now?”
The obvious answer was “No”.
I stood straight up, raced into the room, told my wife “it is going to be okay,” grabbed her stuff and followed her as they wheeled her into a labor and delivery room.
Our son, Carrick, which is the Gaelic word for “rock” and is the strongest knot you can use to tie two ropes together, was born less than 20 minutes later.
He was perfect in every way.
He didn’t even need oxygen.
When they pulled my wife’s placenta out, it was black and blue. It was dead. If Carrick had stayed inside his mother even one more day, he would have died.
God was in control the entire time.
The moment of his birth was very much like my own “Emmaus Road” moment, in some respects. In Luke 24, we see Jesus is walking with two disciples on the Emmaus Road. During the journey Jesus “sets their hearts on fire with the scriptures” but they didn’t even recognize him until they took communion with his physical body, in the Eucharist (“but our eyes were opened when he broke the bread.”)
In 2017, I had started to become convicted about the absolute horror of abortion in this country. It dwarfs the holocaust in sheer death toll (60+ million vs 6 million), but this moment, the birth of my son, was a galvanizing event in my life.
When Carrick was born I told my wife “This is our covenant child.” All children are covenant children. But his birth was the first time I realized it.
This was a galvanizing experience because it was in this moment that I realized the truth of the relationship between a child and his or her parents.
And that truth is this:
Your child is the covenantal fruit of your sacramental relationship. Murdering the life created by the unifying act of sex is a desecration of this sacramental relationship. It’s a desecration of the covenantal bond.
Sex is a sacred ceremony where we exchange our bodies with our spouses. This is the covenantal exchange of persons, as we see throughout the Bible, but personalized within the confines of marriage. Sex has the power to create unity in marriage; it also has the power to create life.
This life creating power is not to be diminished, marginalized or characterized as an unfortunate side effect or consequence.
Every time you have sex you are engaging in an act that has the power the create a human life.
That’s not religion talking, that’s science.
I’m probably already way longer in this blog entry than was intended but I want to encourage all of you: be purposeful in the sex you choose to have.
Realize the commitment you are making and respect the power of that act and remember to always, choose life, because there is no child that God does not intend to live.
For you Fathers out there who may be reading this I want to say “Thank You!” for raising your children, being in their lives, and doing your best to make sure that you are fulfilling your responsibility to look after the “fruits of your covenant.”
God Bless & Peace Be With you!
Pictured below: Carrick after delivery (8 weeks early) and Carrick today.
We are blessed that God sent us Jason DeVine. He is a strong supporter of our mission and has such a passion for life. Jason heads up the Bespoke Foundation, which is holding an event June 22 for the support of PAC. Please see link for details: https://bespokebeergala.eventbrite.com