When doctors suggested abortion, a Waite Park couple answered ‘no’

| Kristi Anderson | September 22, 2015 | 0 Comments

‘I give my child to the Lord, along with my heart.

Victor Torres Limon Lucia Torres Ramirez pose for photos after their wedding ceremony at St. Joseph Church in Waite Park Aug. 22. Edith Hernandez-Fussy/For The Visitor

Victor Torres Limon Lucia Torres Ramirez pose for photos after their wedding ceremony at St. Joseph Church in Waite Park Aug. 22. Edith Hernandez-Fussy/For The Visitor

On May 12, Lucia Torres Ramirez and Victor Torres Limon, who were expecting their fifth child this month, headed to their local clinic for the baby’s first ultrasound. They were happy to learn that their four children — Christopher, 11, Madeline, 8, Kailynn, 5, and Hellen, 2 — would welcome a new brother.

“Sometimes I couldn’t believe [that] God had sent me another baby,” Ramirez, who speaks Spanish, said through a translator. “At that moment, my happiness was so big, I gave thanks to God for the blessing. I began to love my little one with all my heart. I began to love him the same way I love my other children.”

Four days later, Ramirez received a phone call from the clinic asking her to return for another ultrasound.

“I started to feel anxious and I began to cry out of fear. At that moment, for simply not knowing what was happening, I was scared. I told my husband that I needed to have another ultrasound, and he comforted me, saying not to worry,” she said.

Ramirez went to the appointment and, after a two-hour ultrasound, the nurse confirmed her worst fears.

“She told us that the baby had some cysts in his brain,” Ramirez said. “The nurse said that the doctor would come to explain in detail what was occurring. She told me she needed to draw a blood sample to see if it was Trisomy 18.”

Trisomy 18, also known as Edwards syndrome, is a condition caused by an error in cell division. According to the Trisomy 18 Foundation’s website, it disrupts the normal pattern of development in significant ways that can be life-threatening, even before birth. A Trisomy 18 error occurs in about one out of every 2,500 pregnancies in the United States. Significant numbers of stillbirths occur in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.

Infants who survive typically require home nursing support to assist the parents. Many of these children do not live beyond their first birthdays, according to the Trisomy 18 Foundation. However, there are children with the condition who can enjoy many years of life with their families.

“I couldn’t understand what that disease was,” Ramirez said. “I had to keep asking [questions] in order to comprehend. The nurse said that babies who have deformities of the heart and have cysts in the brain are [likely to be] Trisomy 18. The baby has a very slim chance of living or not finishing the pregnancy. I felt huge pain with that news.”

Devastated, Ramirez returned home to await the final test results.

“I felt angry with myself,” she said. “I became furious with God for what he was doing to me. At that same moment, I was asking him for strength to go forth.”

When the test results came back positive for Trisomy 18, Ramirez and her husband returned to meet with the doctor.

“It was a slap to the face what the clinic proposed. They asked if I wanted to abort my child,” she said. “I answered no. I was going to fight with my son because my son lives. It’s God’s will and I give my child to the Lord, along with my heart.”

As she neared the end of her pregnancy, the family anxiously awaited the gift of their son and brother.

“Thanks to God and people’s prayers, we continue the battle,” Ramireztold the Visitor. “I enjoy every kick that he gives me in my womb, which to me are little lights of hope. I have dreams where he is so beautiful. I smile at him, I kiss him, I hug him with all my love. Happy and anxious I await the day of his arrival. I will always carry him in my heart and mind.”

Choosing lifeGod made us for a reason.
His love is our life mission.
This mission enables us to find our true identity. If we choose to embrace this mission, we will have a new perspective on many issues, not just the family. To live the mission of the domestic Church means that Catholic families will sometimes live as minorities with different values than their surrounding culture. Our mission of love will require courage and fortitude. Jesus is calling and we can respond, choosing lives of faith, hope, charity, joy, service and mission.

–World Meeting of Families

Ramirez and her family are grateful for the support of their pastor, Father Oswaldo Roche, and their entire parish community at St. Joseph in Waite Park.

“God always wants us to choose life,” Father Roche said. “We are their family now, and we pray for them, for this couple, this child. When things like this happen, we grow in our faith. God will bless this family for making the decision to choose life.”

As their faith deepened, Ramirez and Torres also made another decision — to prepare for and receive the sacrament of marriage. The couple wed Aug. 22 at
St. Joseph.

“We decided to get married because of the love we have for each other; we know that this is a covenant with God,” Ramirez said. “We wanted our children to see our union blessed and give them an example of what a holy matrimony is. We also wanted to await the arrival of [this] child knowing we had God’s blessing. And, we wanted to experience the most beautiful of experiences, which is to receive Christ in the Eucharist.”

Ramirez believes this is all part of a divine plan. “This experience has strengthened my Catholic faith,” she said. “It has brought me closer to God because I know God has the last word and God has a purpose for us through this experience.”

For this child, that divine plan allowed for a life all too short. He was stillborn Sept. 12, shortly after this story first appeared in The Visitor, newspaper of the Diocese of St. Cloud. Ramirez and Torres’ parish family is supporting them through this difficult time.

Anderson is a staff writer for The Visitor in St. Cloud.


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Eleventh in a series
Choosing Life

In partnership with the publications of all Minnesota dioceses, The Catholic Spirit is launching an 11-part series on families based on the meeting’s 10 themes.

 

 


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Category: World Meeting of Families