Maybe you’re like me and have found out that you are pregnant during a pandemic. Riots, political unrest, and death tolls dominate the news. How can you bring a child into this crazy world? People ask us. Perhaps we wonder ourselves.
Yet precious, beautiful babies have been born during every time period in human history, good or bad. Pregnancy happens despite wars, famine, plague, pestilence and even contraception.
Women today are certainly not the first in history to be expecting during challenging times. A little more than one hundred years ago, one of the deadliest pandemics was sweeping the globe. From 1918-1920, the Spanish Influenza infected about a third of the world’s population and took the lives of up to 50 million people. Yet there were strong women who bore children during that difficult time, and raised them to be people who gave so much back to their world. Many extraordinary humans were born during the dark time of 1918-1920, and yet filled the world with their light. Here are some examples:
Nelson Mandela, born July 18, 1918, was a revolutionary, political leader and philanthropist. He was the first black head of state of South Africa, and his government focused on tackling institutionalized racism and fostering racial reconciliation.
Desmond Doss, a US Army corporal, was born February 7, 1919. He is the only conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor. Doss, a combat medic, distinguished himself in the Battle of Okinawa by repeatedly risking his own life to save the lives of seventy-five others. Despite receiving four wounds himself, Doss carried the seventy-five wounded soldiers to safety one-by-one while under fire.
Born May 7, 1919, Eva Perón, Argentine First Lady, championed labor rights and women’s suffrage. A philanthropist, Eva set aside many hours of each day to meet with the poor who requested her help, and she was known to embrace and kiss the sick and the poor and touch the leprous.
Billy Graham, American evangelist and minister, was born on November 7, 1918. Graham insisted on racial integration at all of his crusades and was a spiritual advisor to many US presidents.
The list of incredible individuals continues and includes scientists who pioneered life-saving medical advances and technology used today, as well as artists, musicians, teachers, leaders and our own grandparents or great-grandparents. Although the pregnancies of these 1918-1920 babies may have seemed untimely to their parents back then, these pandemic babies proved their arrival to be just in time to bring their important ideas and their love and kindness into this world.
Children are our future—our legacy. When times seem dark, their innocence, joy and wonder gives us the courage to see the future through the eyes of hope. Our example of choosing life, choosing love, choosing hope, teaches our children to face their destiny with purpose.
In trying times like these, we need a miracle. And what better than the miracle of new life! I am happy to be bringing a child into this world. Together, we’ll make this world a better place.