Pregnancy stories on this page include:
Mother’s aplastic anemia (bone marrow failure)
A baby that died shortly after birth
Fetal Neural tube defect
Anancephaly (neural tube defect)
Fetal heart defect
Risk of Downs Syndrome
Fetal abnormalities, Dr. suggests abortion
Oligohydramnious, insufficient amniotic fluid
Separation of placenta, loss of amniotic fluid
Mother with aplastic anemia
“In November, 1972, I was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, or bone marrow failure. This is an inability of the bone marrow to manufacture blood cells in the amounts necessary. My platelets (cells necessary for blood to clot) were dangerously low and I was in danger of having a spontaneous hemorrhage at any time. I was 22 years old at the time and single.
The following May, my husband and I were married. That October, still suffering from aplastic anemia, I became pregnant. At first, I was told that I would be unable to carry the pregnancy because I didn't have enough platelets to hold the placenta to the wall of my uterus. That did not prove true.
At 4 months along in this pregnancy, I began bleeding from various sites, such as my gums, nose, etc. I consulted with a hematologist, who told me that I had a 10% chance of surviving delivery. He asked me 'what (I) wanted to do.' There was no choice in my mind: the little one would live!
Not only was I able to carry this pregnancy to term with platelet counts of 20,000-30,000, I went two weeks past my due date of July 21, 1974. However, in the last week of the pregnancy, my platelet count went to zero. I was hospitalized at a major teaching hospital and was heavily transfused, both with red cells and platelets.
I wasn't a Christian then, but many Christians were praying for the baby and me. One told my mother that 'God must have some wonderful plans for this wee one; He's allowing him or her to come into the world despite everything!'
On August 2, 1974, I went into labor. Because of my small size and the baby's obviously large one, it was decided that a Caesarean section delivery was necessary. I received 14 bags of platelets and numerous units of red cells immediately prior to the delivery. On August 3, our son Jim was born and was absolutely fine! His platelet count was measured (sometimes this disorder is mistaken for another one that can be passed along from mother to baby) at birth: it was 172,000, which was perfectly normal. The doctor who delivered him cried while reporting to my husband, my mother and my grandmother that Jim and I had both made it through the delivery.
The day after his birth, however, I went into respiratory arrest from blood clots in both lungs. I was placed in respiratory I.C.U. for one very sad week in which I could see Jim for only one, five-minute period of time a day. Meanwhile, my husband took care of him in the newborn nursery…
Three weeks after Jim's birth, we left the hospital and Jim thrived through babyhood and childhood. Although I still had aplastic anemia, that was cured eventually by chemotherapy about ten years ago. Several years ago, Jim, my husband and I all came to know the Lord Jesus as our Savior. I was never healthy enough to have another child, but the Lord has blessed me quite enough!
Today, Jim is 26 years old. He earned his Ph.D. in an engineering field about a year ago and is working as a research engineer in another state. I thank the Lord for His great gift to me of Jim, of life for both him and me and, most of all, for His mercy, love and salvation that surpass all else!"
BABY DIED SHORTLY AFTER BIRTH
“Here are the details exactly as they happened, beginning at 5 AM Sunday morning, October 25:
Five AM Sunday: I woke up to a 'wet feeling', but wasn't sure if it was my water. So I went back to bed, heart racing like crazy. I tried to sleep, but couldn't until I felt Franklin moving. I dozed off until 8AM, when I got the same feeling again. This time I checked, no blood again, but it smelled like amniotic fluid. Franklin was still moving, and no contractions. I tried to lay down and go over my options. Being 600+ miles from home, and having to deal with this was quite taxing. At 8:30 I told Kevin that we had a 'small problem'! His face sunk. By 9, I went upstairs to tell my parents. (Still no contractions) My dad was joking, asking if I had the baby overnight! Close, but not quite! They got upset, but I remained calm! I'm still not sure exactly how…but I was calm! Now, I know, it was the Peace of God!
I called my midwife, here in NC, from NY and asked her what I should do, hoping that she would say to come straight home! No such luck! 'Go straight to the nearest emergency room'! Great! Horton Memorial Hospital was our first stop. The on call OB checked my cervix, and said that I wasn't dilated! GREAT news! But it was amniotic fluid that I was leaking! (No kidding…after 5 kids, don't you think I know what it was?)
First ambulance ride… from Horton, to Westchester Medical Center…a Level 3 Neonatal facility. They again checked me out, and did an ultrasound. Franklin looked great! 3+ pounds, and healthy! After doing several tests, including a Group Beta Strep, I was admitted to the OB ward at 10PM Sunday. My roommate was in the same condition as I was, and we were due around the same time! She had been there 14 days when I arrived! Sit and wait!
Monday, I spoke with the doctors and told them that I needed to be closer to home, especially if I was going to be staying for the long haul! They agreed! The people there were fantastic! They arranged everything, including a mediflight, on a small plane!
By this time, I was stressed and exhausted! I had been “stuck” 6 times for IV's, and each time, they either penetrated the veins, or they 'infiltrated' (punctured and the IV ended up under the skin)! I was in pain, needing antibiotics, and my veins weren't cooperating! I had received a steroid shot on Sunday night, then again on Monday night. This was to help speed the development of Franklin's lungs. Oh, I also had another Level 2 US, which showed Franklin weighing in around 3lb. 6oz! Everything still looked great! I was still calm, and had a peace about the whole experience. Peace that passes all understanding!
I should have been on a plane on Monday, but my insurance company messed up, and I had to wait another 24 hours. I wasn't a happy camper!
Tuesday: My 'chariot' arrived around 1:30-2PM, and we were off to the airport! It was an hour and 40 min trip! Not bad, except my IV gave me problems during flight! They tried to stick me again, but she missed, too! Ouch! We arrived at Raleigh Durham Airport at 4:40, but had to wait for the ambulance until 5! (They got stuck in traffic!) We arrived at Durham Regional Hospital around 5:30. I was admitted, and checked out. They kept me in the LDR all night for observation. During the flight, I tried to pray. All I can remember saying is 'Lord, please keep Franklin safe in your hands'. Then, all of a sudden, a 'vision' appeared! I saw the Lord's hands, holding Franklin, and he was wearing a diaper, and angel's wings! My eye's popped open, and I could not 'connect' in prayer again! I was surprised, and deep down, I think I knew what it meant, but refused to accept it!
The OB on call, wanted me to go straight to Duke Hospital (another level 3 neonatal facility), but after being stuck, poked and prodded by strangers, I wanted to see a familiar face! And the head OB in my group said to go to 'our' hospital.Well, everything looked fine! So he kept me. Then around 4:30AM, I woke up shaking with terrible chills! Problems begun! I began to run a fever, and Franklin's heart rate went up to 180-190! It was running 160-165 the whole pregnancy. They rushed me to Duke at 5 AM! Fourth ambulance ride!
Wednesday, 5:30AM: I was checked into Duke Hospital's LDR. They checked me out, still not dilated, but Franklin's heart rate was still up, as well as my fever! Decisions! First of all, another IV. They called in a specialist who was wonderful! The decision was to induce with Pitocin, and if Franklin went into distress, an emergency c-section would be ordered! Everyone was extremely informative!! I felt at ease! About this time, I was ready for the c-section! I didn't have any energy for a long labor! I was almost begging for one, but I'm glad that I didn't need it!
The Pit was started at 7 AM, along with about 4 other bags of fluids! Things went well, and relatively fast! At about 11:30, I was about 4cm dilated, and by 11:50, I was ready to push! They ran me to the Operating room, 'just in case', and with one push, Franklin was born! I got to see him for 2 seconds before they raced him off to the back room to stabilize him. I couldn't see him for another 3 hours, and when I did, I lost it! He was covered with blue sheets, with all these wires and tubes coming out of him. I got to touch him for about a minute, and then was taken to my room.
Around 5PM, the neonatal doctor, Dr. Goldberg, came into talk to me. While he was there, he got paged, and raced out of the room. All he said was 'it's your son'! I panicked! I called Kevin, who had just left to go home to change clothes and take a shower. He raced back to the hospital, and we were taken down to the NICU. We were there for 2 1/2 + hours, watching everything they were doing to Franklin. Dr. Goldberg kept us informed every step of the way. He was losing hope quickly, and so were we! We kept praying for a miracle. I really felt as if we were going to get our miracle! I didn't expect it to be in the form of an angel!
Around 5:40, Kevin felt a “presence” in the NICU. He said it felt like death. He prayed that God would give us a few more hours with Franklin, and then he said it was gone.
Around 6:45, they let us hold Franklin while they still kept bagging him with oxygen. They took pictures for us, which we now cherish! Then, we watched his heart rate, which was 180 when we arrived, drop down to 118. We knew what was happening, but it didn't make it any easier! They shut off the monitors, and had us turn around while they took off all of the tubes and wires. They wrapped him in a blanket for us, and let us take him to Dr. Goldberg's office, to say our good-byes.
Our pastor spent most of the day with us! He was a total blessing! He even baptized Franklin, while he was still alive! He said that he saw the light of God, in Franklin's eyes, while he was baptizing him! It really touched him! We could tell afterwards the impact our son's short life had on our pastor! After a while, Dr. Goldberg came in, and told us that they wanted to bathe Franklin, and give us some memories of his short life with us!
The whole neonatal team were fantastic! They were almost as upset as we were when he died. They prayed with us, and cried with us! They were our family at that time! Many of the nurses from the LDR, and from the nursery came to off their condolences the morning I was leaving! Most were filled with tears!
I came home around 11 AM Thursday morning. It was just too hard listening to the other babies crying all night long! My fever had broke Wednesday night, so they let me leave! They understood! Now comes the healing, both physically and emotionally!
This is something (another thing) that we don't wish on any parent! There are so many strings to tie up. Kevin has been wonderful!!! He is taking care of the funeral arrangements. We were going to bury him, but for cost sake, we're going to have him cremated. As my OB said, spend the money on your living children!
This has been an extremely emotional week for all of us, and we thank you for every one of your prayers. We're already beginning to heal, but it will take a lot longer to overcome!
Another thing that I kept telling Kevin that I was feeling “wiser” the few months before all of this. I couldn't understand it then, it was a great feeling, but now, I think it again, was God's presence, and wisdom! I think He was preparing me for the end!
Kevin's “insight” was that one of the neonatal doctors who worked on Franklin, was from Thailand. Kevin's uncle, Andy, fought and was killed in Thailand, trying to save that country. Santi, fought here in the US, to try to save our son! Franklin's middle name is “Andrew”! We named him in memory of Andy! We've never done this with any of our other children! The Lord's hand, again?!
ONE last thing …While we were driving to pick up our other kids, I was asking Kevin (and God) why didn't He hear our prayers? We had so many people praying for a miracle! Well, out of my own mouth came these words 'Your prayers were heard, but sometimes the answer is No!' I broke into tears, because I knew that it was the Lord speaking through my own words! Those were the furthest thoughts from my mind! I know our son is in heaven, and will be celebrating Christmas with all of the heavenly hosts, and our family that have gone before us! What a beautiful sight that must be!
Franklin Andrew Rumsey
October 28, 1998
In our lives 7 hours,
In our hearts forever!
We love you baby,
and we'll see you again
NEURAL TUBE DEFECT
“When we found out that I was pregnant we were really excited, especially because we knew we were giving my two-year-old daughter someone to play with.
On Monday, January 7, 2002, we went to my monthly check-up. I was really excited because we were going to get our first sonogram done. When the doctor was checking the baby on the monitor, I asked him what was that he was looking at. He told me it was the babys leg. I then asked him if that was the spine and he said yes. I asked him then if that was the head and he said yes. I asked him if there was something wrong, because the head looked very small. The only thing that he said was that if my OB doctor was going to see me today and I told him yes. I asked him again and he said that the doctor would explain to me everything about the sonogram.
At that time they could not tell the sex of the baby due to the way it was laying. My husband and I waited for the doctor. The minutes that we waited seemed so long for me. I had a feeling that something was wrong and no one wanted to tell me. When the doctor came in he asked me how I was feeling and I told him fine.[As it turns out, there] was something wrong with my babys head. In the two cases that he had seen the year before, the babies did not survive. My baby seemed to have a disorder called neural tube. He explained to me what it meant and the consequences. Knowing that my baby was going to die made me feel even worse.
At that time my sister had gone with me to the appointment and she could not believe either what they had told us. On Thursday, January 10, 2002, I had the appointment with the specialist. My husband and I waited for a long time. The night before that appointment I had went to church where the pastor and his wife prayed for my baby and I. I had faith that when I would go to the specialist they were going to tell me something different.
When the specialist saw us she asked me questions and then did the sonogram. She told me then that the doctor was correct. That my baby had anencephaly, and that my baby could die at any time. [We had to do something].
[At the birth of our baby my husband and the] doctors were the only ones present. My husband and I decided not to have any family there; we wanted to go through this on our own. My Genetic Counselor who helped me a lot, took pictures of my daughter and pictures of us with her. The pastor from the Chaplain of the hospital prayed for my “Little Angel”. I held her and told her that I loved her so much and that I was so sorry that we were not going to be together but that someday we were and that we were then going to be together forever.
When I held her little hand she wrapped her hand in my finger, I cried, I could not believe it, I could not believe God would do this to us knowing that we wanted to be together. I was so angry; I thought to myself this was not fair. My “Little Angel” only lasted alive for about two hours, which I thought was not enough, but then I knew that she was in a much better place. I started thinking that at the place where she is now she is not suffering or going through pain.
It has been about a month now since I had Angeles. There is not a day that goes by with out me thinking about her. I wondered on how big I would look at this time if I were still pregnant, I wonder how she would look once I had her.
My “Little Angel”, I love you so much. I know that where you are at now you are much better. And remember that soon we are going to be together forever. We love you and miss you lots."
ANANCEPHALY - NEURAL TUBE DEFECT
“On March 11, 1992 my wife went and I went in for a sonogram when she was 4 months pregnant with our third child. That day changed our lives. We were told that day our daughter had anencephaly, a neural tube defect, which caused no cranial or brain development. We had always taken a strong stand on abortion, regardless of the circumstances, and our faith was now being put to the test. My wife and I agreed, against the wishes of some in our family, that we would not abort. We strongly believe that God is the creator of all life and there was a purpose for the events that were taking place. My wife delivered Caitlin Elizabeth on July 21, 1992. She was stillborn. I look back on that time and see God's hand working in a mighty and miraculous way. While she was deformed due to the birth defects, she was beautiful in our eyes, and I know she is in Heaven now and in the presence of our Lord. Our prayer during that time was that our daughter would be healed and, when she was born, would be whole. God answered that prayer by giving us the assurance that she is now whole and with Him and that one day we will see her. I do not think there has been a day that we have not thought about her and I know her brief life here had an impact on so many people. I can only thank God for placing around us the people in our church, and family and friends that have gone through similar situations. God has since blessed us with another child making 4 daughters in all, including Caitlin, and I am so thankful for each of them.”
ANANCEPHALY—NEURAL TUBE DEFECT
“When I was eighteen years old I gave birth to a baby girl. She was born with a neural tube defect called anancephaly. The Dr. discovered this NTD when I was seven months into my pregnancy and they suggested I have an abortion. Although I knew that my daughter would be born without a brain, I could not bring myself to put an end to the life that was growing inside of me. I carried my baby to term, praying that the doctors were wrong in their diagnosis. Tonni Jenea was brought into this world through the grace of God on September 3, 1988. I was not given any drugs during my labor, none were needed. I feel that the pain in my heart was so strong that the Lord took away the physical pain. Tonni lived for only two hours but I have never regretted my decision to carry out my pregnancy. The Lord blessed me with the courage to do his will, all I had to do was ask.”
FETAL HEART DEFECT
“Our story is about our son who was born with a rare and dangerous heart defect. The doctors almost always offer family “compassion care” (to die without medical intervention) as an option. After complications from surgery, we were advised he would have no quality of life and asked when we wanted medical intervention to be stopped. Our story was aired over international radio this week on a program called "Words to live by." (www.words.net) You can also read it at www.AaronsStory.Homestead.com. We share our story in hopes it may offer hope in a medical emergency, and that God will use it to perhaps save a life.”
“When my mother had a scan when she was pregnant with me, it came up that I would have spina bifida and they offered her an abortion. However, she refused and I was born perfectly healthy. I see this as proof that many babies, aborted because they were thought to be disabled, would not actually have been born disabled, and now their parents will never know.”
SPINA BIFIDA—God's Special Gift Comes as a Surprise
“My first child, a son, was born in 1981. Soon after, I had a horrible miscarriage where I almost bled to death. The OB/GYN said that I was lucky to be alive; that due to the medicine and trauma, I would never be able to have children again. My son, Hogan, was born healthy and happy and I praised the Lord for my son. A feeling of sadness came because of what was told to me about not having the ability to become pregnant again.
The years following the birth of my son were very traumatic. My then husband turned to drugs (PCP) and was “married” to his job. He was often gone and I ended up raising Hogan pretty much on my own. The physical/mental/emotional abuse began and I sought God's wisdom and guidance on this situation. I stayed in the marriage after a period of separation, hoping that he had changed.
New Years 1987--I was nauseated and not feeling my old self. I was pregnant! At the beginning, I was bleeding a lot and because of my age at the time (36) I was sent to a group of OB/GYN's that specialized in high-risk pregnancies. An ultrasound showed the baby was not developing as it should and I ended up having amniocentesis. I was told the baby girl would have spinal bifida and because of my bleeding and her lack of development, it would be in my best interests to abort the baby! My then-husband and doctor agreed and the doctor scheduled an appointment for the abortion.
I could not live with myself that morning as I drove to the doctor's office. I pulled off the highway and cried to God, "This is Your child; not mine! She is a gift from you and if it is Your will for her to develop to full-term, so be it. I accept her the way she is!" I asked the Lord for Him to divinely heal my baby girl!
I drove myself home and phoned the doctor's office and cancelled the abortion, much to the dismay of the receptionist who said, "You can't do that; the doctor has already scheduled the appointment! You are challenging his expertise."
I told her that it was God's baby and No, I would not have the abortion and that I was no longer a patient in that practice.
My son was born with the help of a midwife, so I searched for one here and found Laurie. On September 4 (Labor Day!!), I was blessed with a very short labor and delivery of less than 3 hours. But that's not the miracle!
When Jessalyn was born, the nurse took her to weigh her and clean and dress her. Her face burst into tears and she began to tremble. I thought to myself, "Oh no, what did she find regarding my baby?"
She responded in a tiny voice, "Your daughter has been touched by God." The nurse flipped Jessy on her back, and with her finger, she stroked from the top of the spine to the base and stopped at a red mark, the size of a silver dollar and said, "This baby had spinal bifida and God has healed the hole. Look!"
Today, Jessalyn is a happy, healthy, robust 11-year old who plays soccer, ballet, roller blades and the violin. She also has a servant's heart for those who are handicapped and works with the 11A.M Sunday School class for the physically challenged.
God is so good! I am no longer in that abusive marriage and the Lord has sent me (after almost a dozen years of being single and celibate) a truly wonderful, God-fearing man who has asked me to marry him! We are planning on going into the ministry for the Lord--don't know exactly where, but we're open!
Sometimes it looks like we have hit bottom in our lives with situations that look so bleak, but God is in control and loves us so much, that as we go through the fire, we learn to lean on Him for all things! And He will reward us!"
“I hope this will help change the mind of anyone who is pregnant and considering an abortion. You will find my story to be bittersweet. I was unwed and pregnant at age 20. Fear and excitement overfilled me. I was scared, but wanted this baby. Of course in the early months of pregnancy you don't feel much different and it may seem to be ok to have an abortion. Not true. This baby has a spirit. God knew each and every one of us before we were even conceived.
Anyhow at 2 months I was feeling quite ill. I was married at around 4 months into my pregnancy. A few weeks later I had a turn to the worse. More complications arose and my baby was delivered at 21 weeks. I was just married one month. I gave birth to a beautiful little girl due to an incompetent cervix. She was born alive and died in my arms. I miss her so very much, but I know she's in paradise with Jesus. Luckily the Lord allowed me to see visions of her.
My point of writing this is to encourage any woman or girl reading my story to keep their baby. I know the grief and pain that I carry daily because I lost my daughter to natural causes. My little girl is my pain and joy. Getting an abortion is only the beginnings of pain and sorrow both physically and emotionally. I ache each day and its very difficult to move on. I had to seek professional counseling. I'm down the road over a year and I know this will cause me pain for the rest of my life. We expect our elders to pass before us. Dealing with grief from their deaths is so much different then dealing with the grief of not having your child with you. Life is fragile and we must preserve it. God will always make a way. I keep asking the Lord why it happened to “Me”? Why my baby? I didn't have a choice. If the only purpose for the death of my daughter is for only one mom to read this and chose to keep her baby then that's the Lord's will. Look up and keep the faith."
RISK OF DOWNS SYNDROME
“In April 1998, I became pregnant. Due to the fact that we had just purchased a home, we wondered how we could possibly handle another child right now. We decided to let go and let God.
My pregnancy was progressing normally and I was sent for a routine ultrasound at 18 weeks. Everything went well with the ultrasound and the technician said she looked great. A few days later, while home alone with our 2 yr. old, the Dr. called and informed me that our baby had a risk of having Downs Syndrome. I was devastated.
When my husband came home we sat and watched the taped ultrasound and saw the brightening around her heart and the thickening at the base of her neck. I cried for 3 days.
We are believers that God can heal and have a very supportive pastor and church. We were anointed with oil and prayed with. After this I felt such peace. All my worries were gone because I knew it was in God's hands now. I came to an understanding that even if she did have Down's we could handle it.
The doctor then called and encouraged us to have an amniocentesis. We then asked if we could get a second opinion, he said yes but it would not change his diagnosis. Knowing there was a chance of miscarriage and the fact that we had put it in God's hands, we declined. At my next appointment, he acted as if nothing had ever happened. I found this to be very disturbing so I changed doctors. I started seeing my family doctor who is also an OB. Immediately he ordered a new ultrasound where they found no thickening or brightening. Our child had been healed, we had seen the abnormalities and knew God had touched her in my womb.
On February 1, 1999 we were blessed with a healthy, beautiful baby girl whom we named Cadence Blythe Nichols.
God is the best all knowing, ever healing doctor we know!"
FETAL ABNORMALITIES, DR. SUGGESTS ABORTION
“The following story is about how my husband and I (who are both medical doctors) refused to abort our severely disabled unborn child who was born on 23rd May, 1998. We live in Melbourne, Australia.
My husband Mathew and I are the parents of a precious baby girl, Elizabeth Anne, who went to Heaven only an hour after she was born. Despite her short life, she left us and many others with a renewed conviction that life is never without purpose or value.
It was in November 1997 that Mathew and I found out, much to our joy, that I was pregnant with our first child. We looked forward to the birth with great anticipation and began to prepare. On the 4th of March, my sister and I attended my ultrasound appointment when the baby was 19 1/2 weeks gestation. Mathew was at work at the time. Felicity and I enjoyed watching my baby on the screen and I didn't sense that anything was wrong until the doctor said at the end "I'm sorry, but we have picked up some problems with your baby". He went through the abnormalities one by one. At that moment, despite the shock of hearing the news, I experienced a wave of love and compassion for our baby and a peace that could only have come from God.
I rang Matt and after he arrived, the doctor went through the ultrasound findings again and explained that the large number of abnormalities meant that it was unlikely that our baby would survive long after birth and suggested that I have an abortion—a late-term abortion. Such an action we would not even consider. The thought of killing a defenceless child, let alone our own child, simply because she was weak and frail, was abhorrent to us. We also refused an amniocentesis, as it has a small risk of causing miscarriage and the purpose of the amniocentesis in situations like ours is to confirm the diagnosis before aborting the baby. In God's sight, all human beings are invaluable and even if that human being is unborn, disabled, brain damaged, frail or sick, that person is still a person worthy of life, care and respect.
Mathew and I believed this with all our hearts and this is how we viewed Elizabeth - a precious gift from God. We took home a video and photograph of Elizabeth determined to do whatever we could as parents to help her survive and give her our love. We prayed daily that God would heal her as we knew He had the power to do, but knowing that ultimately it would be God who would determine the length of her life.
The following day we visited our obstetrician. We got the strong impression that he felt we were strange to want to continue the pregnancy and he told us that whatever happened the outcome would be very bad because if the baby survived, she would be severely mentally retarded. Possibly he thought that even though we are doctors ourselves, we must not realise how disabled our daughter was. He really could not understand why we were requesting that treatment be available for Elizabeth at birth. In his and many medical practitioners' points of view, ventilation for a short time and other life-saving treatment for a baby like ours would be a waste of resources. Although we expected this type of response, having been through medical school ourselves, we still felt hurt and betrayed by the lack of support and our doctor's seeming view that our baby was somehow subhuman. Not feeling that we could trust this doctor to genuinely care for Elizabeth, we found a Christian obstetrician who was very supportive. He arranged for a paediatrician to be present at the birth and managed with much difficulty to get permission for Elizabeth to be accepted at the childrens hospital after birth. We knew, however, that once accepted, refusal of treatment would be more than likely, on the grounds that our baby was abnormal and would probably have a short life even with treatment. This was distressing to us as parents who valued the life of our child as much as if she was normal.
It was not long before I was introduced to journalists from two major newspapers and our story appeared in the press. From this arose opportunities to speak on radio and at various meetings. Although it was daunting, we were thankful for the opportunity to share our story publicly in the hope that we could be a voice on behalf of the unborn.
When Elizabeth was 28 weeks gestation, it was found that there was excess amniotic fluid in my uterus because she could not swallow it in the way normal babies do. This meant that my uterus was already full-term size and my body was getting ready for delivery too early. In order to delay labour for as long as possible and give Elizabeth more time to grow stronger, I spent as much time as I could resting. I also had some injections to help her lungs develop faster.
Three weeks later, on 23rd May, I went into spontaneous labour and Elizabeth Anne was born. I held her for a few seconds and then she was taken to the resuscitation crib where the paediatrician did what he could. Matt and I thought our newborn baby was beautiful and we were very proud parents.
Although Elizabeth's heart beat strongly all through labour and continued to beat for an hour after birth, Elizabeth could not breathe. The paediatrician's attempts to ventilate her lungs were unsuccessful because of the severity of the airway problems. After only a few minutes it was obvious that nothing humanly could be done to save Elizabeth's life. She was passed back to Matt and I and we, our family and a few friends, spent the rest of that hour holding and loving her and cherishing every minute. Though tears of grief streamed down our faces, Mathew and I still experienced the deep joy of bringing a new life into the world. It was such a special time, a time we will never forget.
A few days later, at Elizabeth's funeral, friends and relatives joined with us to thank God for His special gift to Mathew and I, a wonderful baby who reminded many people that life is precious."
OLIGOHYDRAMNIOUS (insufficient amniotic fluid)
“I have a story to share with you. I became pregnant with my fourth child in 1988. Within two weeks of conception, I was told that yes indeed I was pregnant. The Braxton-Hicks contractions that are generally felt toward the end of the nine month wait were present at 2 weeks. To make a long story short, the OB-GYN had told me to have a test whereby they insert a needle and withdraw amniotic fluid to test for abnormalities of the child. I told the Dr. "No, I will not have this test", as he had told me there was a 1 in 200 chance of miscarriage. I had a condition called “oligohydramnious” or too little amniotic fluid which was not good at all.
One evening after an ultra sound, the doctor phoned me at home and told me that the baby had an abnormally large head and the rest of the baby was not growing. Very coldly and callously he told me to abort the pregnancy. After talking with my husband and since my personal belief was against abortion, I told the doctor that we would continue on with the pregnancy and take whatever the Lord gave us. It didn't seem to matter to this Dr. at all. He told me five times throughout the pregnancy to abort and each and every time I said NO!!!
I became very very ill after this same Dr. examined me, I was full of infection all through the uterus and started to hemmorage at home. I was 28 weeks along with another 12 to go. I was dying and so the next day I was transferred to another hospital. I had an emergency C-section and had a 3 pound half an ounce, 13 inch long baby boy. This little boy fought for every breath, and five times had expired only to be brought back again. He had breathing difficulties and had a machine to help him after he came home. I am happy to tell you that this coming Monday, August 3, my son will turn 10 years old Praise be to God. Everything that the doctor told me was wrong. He had read the wrong results, can you imagine that!!!!! His head was NOT abnormally large his heart was fine, his liver was fine etc. Had I listened to this man, and done what he wanted me to do by aborting I would have missed out on all the joy this precious child has brought us. He is healthy, he is bright, he is totally normal in every way except for his height and weight, he is tiny, but will catch up. I still believe that the Lord had a purpose for this child of ours and I shudder when I think that had I not followed my own heart, my own beliefs, and my “gut” I would never have known the love this child has given us, or would have never seen his sparkling eyes, or beautiful smile, or heard the sound of his laughter, or heard him say, “love you Mom”. Oh I look at this child, my son, and know how close I came to losing him after his birth and I see proof of the love of Jesus Christ and every day I thank Him for this wonderful gift HE gave us. Praise the Lord for HE is so good."
SEPARATION OF PLACENTA, LOSS OF AMNIOTIC FLUID
“Taylor Clements died today. We had eagerly anticipated the glorious March 1995 arrival of our new baby boy. I had carried him in the safety and security of my womb for 18 weeks when the complications began. Due to bleeding, then separation of the placenta, and ultimately losing my amniotic fluid, I was confined to total hospital bed rest to insure against him being born too early.
But, alas, he was. On November 8th 1994, at 20 weeks gestation, he was born. The Neonatal ICU Unit worked tirelessly to intubate him, but his little air passage was (2 weeks) smaller than the smallest tube available and without the required additional oxygen, fifteen minutes later he died.
It was, without a doubt, the most emotionally painful experience of mine and my husband's lives. Sarasota Memorial Hospital Neonatal Doctors & Nurses bent over backward to accommodate me and my family and friends. They supplied us with a baby memorial package which included pictures, hand prints, footprints, measurements, etc. They wrapped Taylor in a baby blanket and handed him to us which allowed all of us to be with him and to say our good byes.
All of the memories and emotions come flooding back to me now as I write this letter. It's difficult to type through the tears, but this is a message I feel compelled to convey.
My husband and I carefully observed his perfect little hands and feet, his little nose and mouth and ears. All perfectly formed, all perfect. At 20 weeks gestation, he was 11 inches long and weighed 14 ounces. And even at 20 weeks, it was obvious the resemblance clearly favored my husband.
As we held him and gloried in amazement of his perfection through God's creation, one recurring thought kept coming forth; he is so perfect and detailed and large….yet right down the street, for a price, men who call themselves doctors abort babies 2 weeks older than Taylor. How in the world can that possibly be?
My husband and I have been very active in the pro-life movement for many years. We have accumulated quite a library of abortion videos, pictures, postcards & posters, detailing the humanity and perfection of the tiniest of the preborn babies. But it wasn't until we held our own 20 week old baby boy (40 weeks is full term), that it struck us as to just how perfect and complete they are. Sure we'd known about the little fingers and toes, but Taylor had fingerPRINTS!
As painful as it is, I am writing of this experience for the sole purpose of possibly persuading the young women contemplating abortion to give their babies life. These babies are "fearfully and wonderfully made" and only God, who created them in His image, has the right to “choose”, as He did with Taylor.
God did not take him from us, He simply chose to keep him.
Goodbye Taylor, we will always love you!"