Protecting Unborn Babies in a Neonatal Wing

Melanie Jean Juneau - Neonatal Ward


For you created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
-Psalm 139:13-14-

Pregnant with my seventh child, I was bedridden in the high-risk, neo-natal wing of the maternity ward for a week with other mothers desperate to save our unborn babies. I was waiting for a housekeeper to come  run my home and help tend my six children. Although I faced six months of bed rest, that one week gave me perspective and kept me from sinking into self-pity. Two other women in my room were desperate to keep their unborn babies and finally become mothers. One of the two had suffered five miscarriages. She was stuck in a ward room for months, only going home after the birth of her baby.

Secretly we all feared that we would lose our unborn babies. Suddenly our fears materialized as a high-risk woman’s baby died in her womb. That poor woman had to endure an induction and labour for hours, only to push out a dead baby. The pain in that wing of the hospital was tangible. Tears ran down women’s’ faces as they grieved with their neighbour. It did not matter that none of us had even glimpsed her face. Nurses as well as patients mourned for a sister who was loosing her unborn baby. I became so nauseated with the awful vibes that pressed in on me that I ended up retching over the side of my bed with ice packs on my head to relieve a migraine.

Thank God, after the delivery, they moved this mother to the maternity wing where she was given a free, private room. Nurses as well as patients sighed with relief when the nurses told us that the hospital understood the need to shelter grieving mothers from others who cuddled and nursed their new babies.

Even though this was a public hospital, in the maternity unit, everyone fought fiercely for the life of every unborn child. Whether they were cognizant of the fact or not, these doctors and nurses embodied the teaching of the Church.

Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.

Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:

You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.

God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes. CCC 2270-2271

My generous spirit petered out after a few weeks at home. My only outing was to a high-risk appointment every week. Church was even out of the question, so Michael brought home communion and the readings each Sunday. I remained in a prone position, eating while propped up on one elbow with my food cut into small pieces. The high-risk doctors let me use a regular toilet and have a quick shower every morning. In those days, we had one large, heavy T.V. in the living room, a black dial-up phone on the hall wall, no stereo system, no computer and the bedroom window was cloudy, so I could not look outside. it is hard to think of the unborn when you cannot see or even feel them yet.In frustration I phoned my doctor one morning after my shower.

\”But I don’t feel sick. I feel fine and my kids need me!” I wailed.

My usually laid back, jovial doctor explained my situation in graphic detail.

\”You have a huge clot, 4-cm thick, 6-cm, wide from the top of your womb where the placenta tore down your entire right side. The last time this happened at the Civic was two years ago to a woman and her unborn child; she had four kids at home. They both almost died. We had to call the Archbishop in to explain to her that it was more of a sin to her remaining children if she foolishly died along with her unborn child.

\”Listen to me. Keep this image in your mind. Imagine that here is a gun pressed to your temple, cocked waiting only for the slightest movement to set it off. Lay in bed, think about protecting your unborn baby and do not move!”

Well that got my attention.

The hardest aspect to my forced “vacation” was letting go of control of how strange women cleaned my home, washed laundry and made meals. I endured terrible cooks and inept, lazy house cleaners but at least my kids could still lay down beside me as I read to them and helped with homework. It almost seemed orchestrated because God seemed to delight in my inactivity; He had ample time to teach me to let go, trust and to allow others to serve me.

The end result of my confinement was a beautiful baby girl with huge black eyes and black hair that stood straight up. She is now a gentle artist/philosopher whose dark eyes  still sparkle with life and joy, only one of the hundreds, why maybe thousands of young adults who owe their very existence to  ordinary nurses and doctors in maternity wings who fight for the lives of the unborn.

© 2013. Melanie Jean Juneau. All Rights Reserved.

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11 thoughts on “Protecting Unborn Babies in a Neonatal Wing”

  1. Molly Anderson

    As I believe Gresu is missing the point completely, I just wanted to comment and thank you for your story. You are a witness to the world for motherhood and sacrifice and the love of God

  2. Pingback: I'm Starting a New Boy Scouts for Catholics - Big Pulpit

  3. Only consecrated hands can touch the Body and Blood of Jesus
    Christ. When and how did Michael get consecrated hands? Are there no priests
    up to the task in your area? No legitimate priest would give a consecrated Host into the hands of lay people. Grievously, this is common practice in the counciliar
    church that mocks the First Commandment.

    1. The Council
      of Trent (1545-1565)

      “The fact that only the priest gives Holy Communion with his consecrated hands is an Apostolic Tradition.”

    2. disqus_HnxqcZnJeM

      the consecrated hands of the priest put Holy Communion into a consecrated ciborium. Michael did not touch the host. My unconsecrated tongue did but we are to obey Christ who says “TAKE, eat, this is my Body”.

      Thanks to my most merciful God,I had the priveledge of receiving Life every week. I lay flat on my back with out any contact with the world for 6 months, an old phone on the kitchen wall( which i could not use), a T.V. in the living room (which i could not watch), no radio, no computer and the window’s seal was broken so I could not even see outside. Thank God that in His Church mercy and Love are the greatest of all the commandments.

    3. *POPE ST. EUTYCHIAN (275-283). Forbade the faithful from taking the Sacred Host in their hand.
      *COUNCIL OF SARAGOSSA (380). It was decided to punish with EXCOMMUNICATION anyone who dared to continue the practice of Holy Communion in the hand.

      *SIXTH ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, AT CONSTANTINOPLE (680-681). Forbade the faithful to take the Sacred Host in their hand, threatening the transgressors with excommunication.
      ….there are more. The Magisterium has been very specific that only consecrated hands of the priesthood can touch the Body and Blood of Christ. Why insist on disunity? If the presbyters will not bring the Sacred Host, a Catholic is bound to find a legitimate priest or bishop. They do exist.

    4. disqus_HnxqcZnJeM

      The early Church was still trying to listen to the Holy Spirit and decide which books of the Bible were truly inspired in the 3rd and 4th centuries,.It was also once custom to recieve Holy Communion only once a year but slowly God is teaching and instructing His people.

      The Holy Spirit is revealing truth to the Pope and the Church all the time that is why the Pope no longer acts like a king invading other countries, waging wars for more land, power and money as some very wordly Popes did in the Middle Ages. The Church has repented and we do not burn innocent women at the stake, insist that the world is flat, excommunicate scientists for trying to teach us that the sun is the centre of our galaxy.

      Why insist on disunity by clinging to edicts that were pronounced thousands of years ago? By condemning your brothers and sisters you are throwing stones rather than loving the Church and obeying her modern day shepherds.

      If you happen to have a revelation of truth, humbly pray that the pope hears what you do

    5. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS (1225-1274). “Out of reverence towards this sacrament [the Holy Eucharist], nothing touches it, but what is consecrated; hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest’s hands, for touching this sacrament.” (Summa Theologica, Pars III, Q. 82, Art. 3, Rep. Obj. 8)

      COUNCIL OF TRENT (1545-1565). “The fact that only the priest gives Holy Communion with his consecrated hands is an Apostolic Tradition.”

      Is St. Thomas Aquinas divisive? Did the bishops at the Council of Trent abandon the faith?
      Please recognize the lack of unity of Peter’s Authority in laity touching the sacrament.
      Truth never changes or there is no truth at all. Popes do not correct their

  4. Pingback: Protecting Life in a Neonatal Wing - CATHOLIC FEAST - Sync your Soul

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