When it comes to making the difficult decision of carrying a pregnancy to full term, the choice needs to be made by the parents alone, not pressured by their doctor.
New Mom Courtney Baker had recently made national headlines when she publically came out about how her doctor suggested she aborted her baby when it was discovered the child had Down Syndrome. Now, her story has been shared across the world and even made its way to Good Morning America.
Good Morning America’s Genevieve Shaw Brown says that Baker told her she knew “how important it was going to be to write that letter before Emmy was even born.” However, it took Baker more than a year to get out exactly what she wanted to say to her insensitive doctor.
“You asked us again if we understood how low our quality of life would be with a child with Down syndrome,” Baker writes. “You suggested we reconsider our decision to continue the pregnancy.” But she says her 15-month-old daughter with special needs is perfect and hopes her letter will alter how he counsels expecting mothers of special needs children in the future.
Baker says what made the incident worse was the fact that, while she was given this disheartening news by her doctor, a friend received the same news by another, except this friend was told her baby was just as it should be.
But Baker isn’t bitter about the experience. Instead, she is sad and hopes to change the perceptions of special needs in the United States.
I’m really just sad. I’m sad the tiny beating hearts you see every day don’t fill you with a perpetual awe. I’m sad the intricate details and the miracle of those sweet little fingers and toes, lungs and eyes and ears don’t always give you pause. I’m sad you were so very wrong to say a baby with Down syndrome would decrease our quality of life. And I’m heartbroken you might have said that to a mommy even today. But I’m mostly sad you’ll never have the privilege of knowing my daughter, Emersyn.
Baker concludes with words that can’t help but touch our hearts when she writes these last lines to her doctor.
And my prayer is when you see that next baby with Down syndrome lovingly tucked in her mother’s womb, you will look at that mommy and see me then tell her the truth: “Your child is perfect.”
Parents… what do you make of this story? Was the doctor out of line to tell this to an expecting mother, or was he just speaking from experience?
Please tell us your thoughts in the comments and don’t forget to SHARE with friends and family.
[Featured Image: IJR]