TERESA Streckfuss will give birth to her fifth child tomorrow.
Her daughter Charlotte Mary will live for just a few hours before her life
is claimed by anencephaly, a rare condition that inhibits brain development.
Teresa, 27, and her husband Mark, 28, have known of the condition and its
certain outcome for six months.
Most babies with anencephaly are aborted, but Teresa and Mark decided to go
ahead and give Charlotte life – no matter how fleeting.
The couple, from Creswick, in Victoria’s rural northeast,
never considered an abortion. They wanted the chance to say hello to their
daughter before they
had to say goodbye.
"There is no way to avoid the sad fact that Charlotte cannot live long
after birth with this condition," Teresa said, "but causing her to
die earlier will not stop this happening. Causing her to die earlier will only
take from us the beautiful experience of knowing and loving her."
Tomorrow morning their family will be at the hospital with them: two sets
of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins as well Charlotte’s big sister Cecilia,
6, and her brothers Sebastian, 4, and Elijah, 17 months.
The family will sing to Charlotte, read to her, hold her, treasure her.
…"We believe the value of Thomas Walter, Benedict
and Charlotte cannot be measured by the length of their lives. We don’t apply
this yardstick to adults,
so why should we to babies?" Teresa said.
"Benedict made us slow down, savour life and treasure our other children
"He made us realise that we cannot control or predict what will happen.
And how often are we given the opportunity to really give another person true,
unconditional love? It is a blessing to experience that kind of pure love."
This is sad but also beautiful. Too bad there are those who think that those children who have such a limited life span should have it be even shorter through abortion.