God guided Annedien’s pregnancy decisions
Several years ago, Annedien and her husband, Vincent, found out they were pregnant. With three kids ages 5, 3 and 1, they knew they’d have their hands full, but were excited about this new addition to their family. Then they went for their first scan. “My first ultrasound at 10 weeks revealed a set of triplets!”
While they were surprised and scared, they knew God would carry them through the ups and downs of the road ahead. What they didn’t expect was the advice given to them by their specialist.
“What they ask you at 15 weeks is if you want to have a selective pregnancy reduction,” she explains. “So terminate the life of one or two of the babies in order to lessen the pregnancy risk and ensure survival of the baby/babies left in the womb, or if you were overwhelmed and didn’t actually want that many babies at once because you’d only planned for one. We were both completely shocked and horrified that this was brought up so casually and just presented as ‘one of our medical options’.”
Completely caught off guard, neither Annedien nor Vincent had ever heard of this option before. After they got home, she researched it to learn if this was something regularly told to women.
“From what I can understand, it is brought up every time you have multiples,” she recalls. “How they present it, more or less, is that multiples is a high-risk pregnancy, so do you want to reduce the risk of how high-risk it is? To me, it’s a bizarre thing because you can have a high-risk pregnancy with just one baby.”
When they went for their 20-week anatomy ultrasound, they were shocked when, after being told their babies were doing well, they were offered selective pregnancy reduction yet again. “I didn’t understand how they could congratulate me with how beautifully these babies are all growing, and then turn around and ask me if I’d like to get rid of one,” she remembers. She also later learned of the risks of this procedure, including the loss of all babies.
When Annedien saw Focus on the Family Canada’s Instagram posts about the sanctity of human life and pregnancy care centres, she knew she needed to reach out and share her story.
“We both obviously see our three babies as a gift from God and couldn’t even imagine doing that,” she explains. “But what about women who come in who are scared to death and truly think the advice of selective reduction from their doctor is the only way to handle their multiple pregnancy? It was scary to me that it’s just presented as a medical option – that if you don't have that faith background, you could just be sitting here and think, ‘Well, should we really be having three?’”
That’s why Annedien is so grateful for pregnancy care centres and resources from Focus on the Family Canada. Because of generous donors, women and men across the country are able to access resources that help them process unexpected pregnancy decisions and learn a biblical view of the value of life.
“If I encountered someone who was considering not continuing with their pregnancy, other than offering whatever support that I would be able to, I would strongly encourage them to go to their local pregnancy care centre – a place where they can get accurate information, help and support. So often women just need to know that they are not alone and that someone will walk beside them.”
After Annedien’s triplets were born, they spent 10 days in the NICU and are now three healthy four-year-olds. Annedien and Vincent also make use of Focus on the Family’s parenting resources as they raise their six children to love the Lord.
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