This week’s episode of This Is Us contained a surprising pro-life statement, paired with misinformed pro-choice propaganda. The episode contains a flashback to 2008, the day before Randall was expecting his first child.
In the midst of stress at work and the uncharted territory of being a first time parent, we find him on the brink of a panic attack, until an unlikely conversation with a wise stranger.
Walking aimlessly around a home improvement store with a broken ceiling fan in hand, Randall is approached by an employee asking how he can help. Randall explains he is having a baby and is, in so many words, kind of freaking out about it.
He opens up to the employee, telling him that two months before he had had a panic attack. The morning it happened he was looking at a site that tells you about the development of your baby. He says, “At six months along they start dreaming. You know that?” He concludes, “And that’s a person.”
He continues, “A whole little universe of hopes and dreams, happiness and sadness. And I just thought, ‘Woah. I can’t be in charge of a universe. I can’t even hang a ceiling fan, turns out. I don’t have any answers.'”
Of course, this moment had me crying (because I’m always crying during this show)…but also because it reminded me that life is totally incredible. The fact that we dreamed in the womb is just one of the many amazing moments in human development.
Just to name a few…
- At just 6 weeks, a heartbeat can be detected and while your baby is just a size of a lentil bean, her ears, nose, and and mouth are beginning to form. This blows my mind that the very nose on my face was formed at just six weeks.
- At just thirteen weeks your baby has her own unique fingerprints.
- At nineteen weeks, your baby’s senses have developed—she can smell, taste, touch, and hear. She can hear you talk and sing.
- At twenty weeks, she has developed a reproductive system, including 6 to 7 million eggs in her ovaries. Put simply, the egg that will one day be fertilized to make your grandchild is already developed inside of your unborn child. So not only is your daughter her own, unique person in the womb, she is equipped with the eggs that will one day make other unique people.
If these things don’t indicate personhood, I don’t know what does.
Like Randall says, “that’s a person,” with her own future, hopes, and dreams, and as a first time parent, that’s a lot to take in. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for first time parents to have questions and doubts.
After Randall shares his fears, the wise employee responds, “I will tell you one thing, I have five kids and before the first one was born, I was all questions too. Can I? Will I?”
He powerfully adds, “But what they don’t tell you is that babies come with the answers. They come out, they look up at you, you at them, and they tell you who you are. You’ll see. Tomorrow you’ll have all the answers you need.”