GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Photographs of a baby boy that was born at 19 weeks have been making an impact around the world for life as they demonstrate to viewers the humanity and perfection of the unborn child.
“I shared these photos so my friends and family could see my perfect child,” Lexi Fretz of Greencastle, Pa. wrote in a blog post. “I never, ever could have imagined that it would spread across the world like this.”
Fretz and her husband Joshua were expecting a child in the fall of 2013—their third. But in August of that year, Fretz became concerned when she began spotting and went to the emergency room upon her midwife’s advice.
Because she was under 20 weeks, she had to stay in the emergency room instead of being sent immediately to the maternity ward. As Fretz was taken to a room, she was relieved as the nurses found the baby’s heartbeat. She was also excited to be told that she would be obtaining an ultrasound, as it meant that maybe she could learn her child’s gender that night.
But as Fretz waited to obtain the ultrasound, she began to feel pain and realized that she was going into premature labor. Hours later, Fretz delivered her baby, a boy.
“I was crying so hard at this point, but he was perfect,” she wrote on her blog. “He was fully formed and everything was there; I could see his heart beating in his tiny chest. Joshua and I both held him and cried over him and looked over our perfect, tiny son.”
“I held him, cuddled him. While his heart was beating, I held him to my heart, I counted his toes and kissed his tiny head,” Fretz continued.
Minutes later, the baby, who they named Walter, passed away. Fretz’ took husband of their tiny son—so small that he fit in the palm of their hand, but perfectly formed.
“At first, I did not want any photos, but they are the only thing I have to look back on now,” she said.
Fretz later decided to post the photographs on her blog, which have now been viewed around the world.
“I’m still in shock at how much his photos have been shared and commented on. In his short life of just a few minutes, he has touched more lives then I ever could have imagined,” she stated. “In all our hurt, I am glad that some good can come out of this. I pray that the Lord will continue to use Walter’s photos to impact many.”
Out of the many comments expressing their condolences, some have stated that the photos—which continue to be shared to this day—helped change their mind about abortion.
“I am so shocked at my ignorance as to the development of a baby,” one commenter named Barbara wrote. “I will no longer look on as an observer. I will become an active informational type of person and share this as an example of life, the life of a baby—a real baby.”
“[M]y views on abortion have completely changed,” another named Jordan wrote. “How naive have I been?!”
Some women stated that seeing Walter’s photographs saved their own child’s life.
“Just came across Walter’s pictures. … I am pregnant and been in such a bad place this week. Did my first scan last week and he’s a boy, too. But this week I started praying for a miscarriage or decide to terminate since his father has shirked all responsibility,” one mother wrote. “I asked God to gimme a sign today that we will be fine, or I go ahead and seek a termination tomorrow. A few hours later, I see the link on Facebook. It put me to tears. But most importantly it has made me know without a doubt that I cannot do this to him.”
“[S]haring your story and showing his pictures it has helped me so much,” another named Crista wrote. “I just had a baby 7 months ago and I’m pregnant again. The father wants me to get an abortion and I thought about it, but now there is no way I can do it. God blessed me with this child for a reason, and I will take care of her and love her just like I do my other children.”
“I wish that this (miscarriage) hadn’t happened, but it did for a reason,” Fretz said. “Maybe that reason was to share with the world how perfect a baby which is legal to abort in many states really is.”