When considering the impact of abortion and the number of lives lost from it, it is often stated that our world has likely lost out on many important and influential individuals, doctors who could have found a cure for cancer, the next president of the U.S., so on and so forth. Not that I disagree with that statement, but when I think about the impact of abortion, particularly on my life and the lives of my family, I think about all of the things in life that I would have missed out on, on a daily basis, if the abortion would have been successful in ending my life.

Every moment, however big or small, however interesting or mundane, is a gift. Listed below is my “Top 10” list of just a handful of moments that I would have missed out on over the weekend with my dear daughter, Olivia:

• Teach Olivia how to slide down the slide, and see and hear the joy that learning to do this has brought her.

• Sit in bed, surrounded by pillows, while Olivia “reads” books aloud to me.

• Experience teaching Olivia how to color and use paint to make pictures and a Father’s Day card for her Daddy.

• Watch as Olivia carried a wet diaper to her room, opened the diaper pail, and put it in!

• Witness Olivia FINALLY progressing to napping on her own, as she grabbed a kitchen towel from the front of the oven for her “blankie” and drug it into her room for her nap.

• Overhear Olivia talking to herself and singing as she awoke from a good night’s sleep and after both of her naps.

• Witness my daughter burp embarrassingly loud in the produce section of the grocery store and laughed along with the handful of other people that overheard her, as I tried to teach her to say “excuse me.”

• Watch with amazement and pride, as my tiny, yet powerful, 13-month-old knocked more than one five or six-year-old in the chest on the children’s playground, then laughed in their face as she scampered along in the sea of toys and children.

• Hold my beautiful girl in my arms after she awoke from a nap still sleepy and wanted to be rocked, and gaze into her face while I reflected on the past year of her life and what the future will hold for her.

• Experience Olivia wrapping her little arms around my neck and squeezing me hard, as she nuzzled her face in my neck for a big hug.

I got to thinking today about how people have responded to me sharing my life story with them, and I am happy to share that overall, I have experienced a wealth of support and care from people around the world, which I am so very grateful for. Although 99.9% of the responses I’ve received have been positive, I, of course, have received some negative responses and feedback. To contrast my top ten list above, here are a handful of the most interesting and negative responses that I’ve experienced:

• This has to be B.S.

• Nice performance! (Directed at me as a pro-choice student was leaving in the middle of one of my speeches and I was moved to tears telling about my father’s death and my daughter’s birth).

• Too bad that you survived.

• Just because you were wanted doesn’t mean that all of the other children who are aborted are wanted.

• So, since you survived, don’t you think that safer, more effective abortion is the answer?

In the grand scheme of life, those top 5 negative responses that I have listed above, as hurtful as they can be, pale in comparison to the plethora of positive, joyful moments that I am blessed to experience on a daily basis.