“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” – Elizabeth Stone
What truth is found in those two statements! The bond between mother and child is profound.
And there is more.
When a child is conceived, that bond begins. Research has shown that the interrelatedness between mother and child is not only emotional; it is tangible.
During a woman’s pregnancy, cells from her baby migrate into her body. DNA from the baby has been detected in the mother’s blood in fewer than six weeks after conception – just before the baby’s blood begins to circulate through the placenta.
The baby’s cells also begin to travel through the placenta and settle in the mother’s organs. These cells have been located in the lungs, thyroid, muscle, liver, heart, kidney, brain, and skin of the mother.
This phenomenon is called microchimerism and was first exposed when cells containing male “Y” chromosomes were found circulating in the blood of women after pregnancy. A significant body of study has begun as a result.
Cells of children have been found in the mother decades after her pregnancies. Microchimeric cells are more heavily populated in diseased areas, leading scientists initially to question whether their presence was causing the disease in the mother. They have since settled on a higher likelihood that cells of the child are fighting the mother’s disease. This concept has not been proven conclusively but what an amazing prospect.
Microchimeric cells are similar to stem cells in that they can transform into a variety of different tissues and possibly aid in the repair of the mother’s tissue. Studies have even suggested that the presence of microchimeric cells help to prevent the formation of cancerous tumors. The possibilities are endless in this expanding new field of study.
The interconnectedness between mother and child is unmistakable, beautiful, and miraculous. The physical, spiritual, and emotional bond begins very early in the pregnancy. And the bond remains throughout her life.
Abortion advocates work to convince mothers that abortion is a simple procedure with no long-term emotional consequences for the mother. Most women who have been through an abortion believed the lies: “Just get this over with so you can get on with life – you’ll never have to think about it again.”
According to Vicki Thorn, founder of Project Rachel and The National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing, Inc., women who have had abortions actually carry more of their deceased child’s cells than do mothers who carried to term. So, the connection between mother and child did not die with the child.
Many women experience an initial feeling of relief after an abortion. After these temporary feelings of relief dissipate, a very high percentage of these mothers enter a period of post-abortion “numbness.” Similar to the experience of a shell-shocked soldier in post-traumatic survival mode, post-abortive mothers are often unable to express or even feel their own emotions. Most do not understand how deeply and extensively their lives have been affected by the traumatic event(s) and its aftermath.
“Many women go years before the emotional impact surfaces,” Thorn said. “Some cover the pain with alcohol or drugs. Then there’s something that triggers it, and there’s that sense of loss.”
Even with the emotional paralysis that follows abortion, the connection between mother and child can only be ignored for so long. The intensity of this lifelong bond is confirmed through the scientific discoveries of microchimerism.
Editor’s Note: Post-abortion ministries answer the call. Healing and wholeness can be found in receiving the forgiveness of Christ as well as His permission to grieve. For help with post-abortion trauma, click here. To listen or download Mercy Great Enough, a collection of therapeutic songs to aid in post-abortion healing, click here.