I've been wondering about that since I first read a front-page Houston Chronicle story earlier this month about the Torres family's experience:
Dad held the babies upright on his chest, patting them and swaying, while Mom crammed the last bag between a cooler of donated breast milk and a new portable crib.
“Well,” Chelsea Torres said, closing the trunk and turning to her husband, Nick, “it all fits.”
That was the easy part.
What lay ahead was far more daunting.
Leaving the hospital with a newborn is a moment no parent is ready for. What if the baby screams in the car? What if she won’t take a bottle once you get home? Chelsea, 24, and Nick, 23, have an even darker worry: What if the girls don’t survive the drive?
The doctors assured them everything should be fine, but it’s hard to shake that fear. They’ve carried it for months, ever since the doctor back in Idaho told them Chelsea was pregnant with conjoined twins. Ever since they decided to ignore his recommendation to have an abortion. Ever since they loaded their 3-year-old son, Jaysin, into their Kia Optima six months ago and drove 25 hours to Houston.
“I’ve been dreading the return,” said Nick, dark circles under his eyes after days with little sleep. “I’m just glad we’re making it with two healthy babies.”
My question is simple: Why?
Why did the couple choose not to have an abortion? Were religious beliefs a factor? The Chronicle story that I read did not explain their thinking, so I Googled in hopes of finding more background.
The Idaho paper noted:
One doctor said the babies only had a 20 to 30 percent chance of surviving, while another gave them better odds but also warned that there was a high probability they wouldn’t make it to full term.
The couple was given the option to terminate the pregnancy early on.
“When we got home, it hit like bricks. We thought about it. We left it open for three days,” Chelsea said, adding that she cried that whole time.
But in the end, they never really could consider that option, she said.
That sounds like the decision was more personal than theological — but then again, the paper never specifically addresses the family's religious background or lack thereof.
In a follow-up story published this week, the State Journal describes the 2-month-old twins' progress as "a miracle":
Chelsea and Nick Torres were able to move back to Eastern Idaho this month with not only their young son, but also their newly born twin daughters.
That’s a miracle for the former Blackfoot couple that didn’t know if their twins, Callie and Carter, who are conjoined, would even make it through their birth.
But the twins were delivered safely at a hospital in Houston, Texas, on Jan. 30, and they were doing better than anyone expected.
“Everyone was surprised,” Chelsea said, adding that Carter needed a little oxygen when she was delivered, but that was likely because the girls were taken by Cesarean section. “The doctors told us most C-section babies need a little air.”
Again, the latest State Journal story refers to the couple's decision against an abortion and the parents' determination "to give their unborn daughters a fighting chance at life." But why were they so determined to bring their children into the world?
Is there any possibility that religion played a role? Faith has not come up in any of the various stories I've read.
But am I absolutely certain that it's not a factor? No.
I sure wish some enterprising reporter would ask.