Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 24 September |
The Blessed Virgin Mary—Our Lady of Walsingham

Little Dexter Hellein and “Life, Victorious!”


Lucy Hellein | Facebook

Elizabeth Scalia - published on 05/04/17

Humanity seems to try to beat back nature wherever it can, but we all know that foliage still manages to grow through a thickly paved road, that flowers in shadows will still strain themselves toward the life-giving sun, and that women using artificial contraception will frequently still find themselves pregnant. Life will always find a way.

That message was brought home in a particularly poignant fashion on one mother’s Facebook post. Lucy Hellein, of Fort Mitchell, Alabama, posted a photograph of her newborn son, Dexter Tyler, clutching the IUD that had been his companion in her womb.

It’s a phenomenal image. As soon as I saw it, I thought, “Ah, Life: Victorious!” I didn’t think for a moment that the child was born clutching the IUD (that would have been too fabulous!) but some did, and in this interview Hellein clarifies that, no, little Dexter did not emerge into the world holding the contraceptive instrument aloft like a conqueror; a nurse, seeing the IUD with the placenta, put it in his hand.

Reading around, I see conversations about whether or not Hellein was already, unknowingly, pregnant with her son before the device was implanted. This is a burning question for some because we humans live with a deep delusion of control; we believe we have much more of it than we actually do, and when that delusion seems threatened, we quickly do what we can to shore it up again. That’s part of what is behind, I think, this story of human embryos being cremated and turned into jewelry: the illusion that if we simply control all of the outcomes, life can be comfortable for us, and safe.

The truth is, whether Hellein was pregnant or not before the devise was implanted will remain a great unknown, like so many things in our lives. What is known is that a device meant to irritate Ms. Hellein’s womb unto emptiness didn’t irritate it enough to shake Dexter’s hold on his mother and his life, and isn’t that a remarkable thing to know?

Life, even when it is steam-rollered, or blocked, or chafed beyond seeming endurance, still finds a way.

It’s something to wonder at, and maybe feel a little awe-stuck and humbled by. What was this child created to become and to do?

This is all part of the giant, life-giving “Yes” that God modeled for us when he created us through his intention, when he loved us into being with his own Divine “yes.”

Because, as you know, and I know, too, nothing grows in “no.”

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
Philip Kosloski
An alternative Hail Mary to Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
Philip Kosloski
Pray this Psalm when you successfully recover from an illness
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
Aid to the Church in Need
What happens when a million children pray the Rosary?
See More