I Want to Live; I Want to Grow

By Catherine Mendenhall-Baugh

Her name is Chanel Murrish. Her mother experienced a normal pregnancy until her twenty week ultra-sound. They noticed the baby had a life-threatening heart condition that would require several surgeries to repair. They went on to further advise them that in her teens, she would need a heart transplant. Doctors suggested terminating the pregnancy. Just as they were weighing their options, the baby began kicking like crazy. They tearfully took this as a sign that she wanted to live!
In the words of her mother, Fay Murrish, “It was like she was telling us everything would be ok”. Chanel is now five weeks old and after two surgeries, getting stronger every day. Her parents are in for the long haul with her. They are planning to just enjoy their baby daughter.

Paul Schofield and his fiance, Cheryl, delighted when they saw their son’s signal at the 20 week ultra sound. He gave them the “thumbs up” sign in the womb. It brought happiness to their day to see their son’s signaling a sort of “hello” to them.

babybabybabybabybaby girlMy mother had a story as well. She learned she was pregnant with her sixth child in 1949. Her youngest was just 9 weeks old. When she went in for her appointment to confirm the pregnancy, the doctor told her that she was carrying her child in the breech position. In 1950 this made for a dangerous pregnancy. It would mean the baby and or the mother would have a difficult chance of surviving. The doctor told her he could send a letter to her Bishop requesting they terminate the pregnancy. In addition to this, my father had lost his job and she felt overwhelmed with fear trying to decide what to do. In her words, “It was the only time my faith was questioned.” She eventually rode the bus into town and visited with the Poor Clare Sisters. They listened to her story and told her they would pray for her. They told her to go home and keep praying. They confirmed what she felt in her heart all along. She would move forward with her pregnancy. That same week, the Sisters offered my father a job getting fencing supplies and organizing the building of a fence around the convent. This lead to a permanent job for my father selling industrial supplies. In the summer of 1950, a week before the birth of her sixth child, the baby did a complete turnaround in her womb. My mother was convinced this was an answer to those prayers.  I was born on July 26, 1950. I was named Catherine Clare. In my mother’s words, “you were the easiest child I had.” She went on to have three more.

babyWe all have a right to choose life over death. The moral compass taughtto  us from childhood that ending someone’s life is wrong. If you are Christian you know it’s more than just wrong, it’s a sin. But somewhere along the way, someone reached a consensus that terminating pregnancies is an acceptable way to end life. After all, it’s not the same as murder; right? Really? Who decided that? It’s just a fetus after all; not a life. I think Chanel Murrish may disagree. Remember, she’s the little girl who kicks like crazy to let her parents know she wants to live. Cameron Schofield gave his parents a “thumbs up” sign.

Who knows how Chanel and Cameron will make their mark on the world. I suspect it will be pretty amazing. As for me, I married my best friend; I raised three children. My oldest daughter adopted three little girls; all three are thriving. My son has a son that is 13. My daughter Laura has a little girl named Lilah that is four years old. In my mother’s words, “I can’t imagine a world without any of you kids!” I totally agree with this philosophy.

I think this song written by John Denver says it better than I can. It should be the anthem for children in the womb fighting to live.

I want to live, I want to grow,

I want to see, I want to know.

I want to share what I can give.

I want to be!  I want to live!!

rsz_1cathyCatherine Mendenhall-Baugh (Cathy) completed her education at the University of Nebraska majoring in Special Education and minoring in English Literature and now works in the insurance industry. A mother and a grandmother, Cathy grew up in a large Catholic family and has spent the last 30 years as a caregiver for her husband, Jack. A writer for Tuscany Press, she is also working on several longer writing projects.
Articles by Catherine Mendenhall-Baugh:

  • LeonBerton

    A splendid story! We are grateful for the courage and love of your mother and father, the prayers and other generous acts of the Poor Clares, the Mercy of the Creator Trinity, and that you’re here, Cathy.