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At Eight Months, My Doctor Said He Would “Absolutely Perform the Abortion for Me” ^ | 3/7/2012 | Kristi Burton Brown

Posted on 03/07/2012 7:28:16 PM PST by Morgana

When you walk into Nicole and Steven’s house, you get the sense that they are parents who thoroughly enjoy their three kids. You’ll find Steven running down the narrow hallway while all the kids scream in delight, chasing each other and him. Nicole patiently fixes healthy meals for them while explaining to the youngest that she can’t climb up on the counter to help because the crockpot is just too hot for little hands. You’ll see Titus, their only son proudly popping wheelies in his special wheelchair while the family cheers. They are a family who seems to enjoy the little moments; the precious memories that the years have brought.

Entering their house, you’d never guess the ordeal they went through almost four years ago. Four years ago, Nicole was eight months pregnant with Titus, their second child. Since she was planning for a home birth, Nicole doesn’t remember exactly why she went in for an ultrasound that fateful—and miraculous—day.

As the routine ultrasound was being performed, Nicole could tell that something was definitely up. The doctor said nothing, but quickly called in another doctor. They consulted together while watching the screen and leaving Nicole clueless and helpless. For some reason, spina bifida popped into Nicole’s mind. “Is it spina bifida?” she asked. But the doctor couldn’t tell her anything; he just showed her what he saw on the screen. And it wasn’t good. Nicole and Steven were sent to a specialist, immediately.

The specialist had a huge ultrasound screen for Nicole and Steven to stare at. While they watched their eight-month-old son move his arms and head; while they saw his little heart beat quickly, the specialist diagnosed spina bifida and hydrocephalus, and put it all out there:

He said it was the biggest lesion he had ever seen; that our son would probably never go to the bathroom on his own. He’d never walk, never talk. He said this based on a 30 second ultrasound. He said, ‘I will absolutely perform the abortion for you.’ I could see Titus’ arms and head moving and his heart beating at the time the doctor said this. He was emphatic that Titus would be basically a vegetable and mentally retarded. And that it would be unfair to him for me to give birth.

At that moment, Nicole and Steven realized that their role in Titus’ life would be so much more than “parent.” Their role was now “advocate”, too. Without a word shared between them, both Nicole and Steven knew they would never accept abortion as an answer—no matter what the truth about Titus was.

Nicole explains: “From our faith, we believe that every life is precious—a gift from God—whether ‘normal’ or ‘perfect’ or not.” She also realized that it was divine intervention that the ultrasound had even taken place at all. A medical professional assured Nicole that, had she gone ahead with the planned home birth, either her or Titus would have certainly died from infection. “Nothing was left to chance,” Nicole says. “It was all orchestrated.”

When Titus was born by c-section, Nicole was only allowed to see his face. She couldn’t touch her son for at least two days, as he was recovering from immediate surgery for the softball-sized lesion on his back. Though she couldn’t touch him, Nicole refused to leave Titus’ side, even sleeping on the floor of the NICU to be beside him.

Nicole firmly believes that God has defied human knowledge and wisdom through Titus’s life. Her strong Christian faith leads her to believe that God is not controlled by the predictions of men. She will confidently tell you that the Lord has given their family everything they need to endure Titus’ difficulties. Is it hard? Yes. Is there pain? Yes. But, Titus’ courage and preciousness overwhelms everything else. He continues to prove the “specialist” wrong:

Every milestone, he has hit either before or right on. He is very intelligent and able. Titus doesn’t complain and fuss about why his legs don’t work or about anything else. He loves to do what little boys do. He knows his letters, numbers, and shapes—has known them since he was 2 ½. We wouldn’t have it any other way. Titus is definitely a huge addition to our family. This is how God made him—I fully believe this.

Nicole credits two things for helping her get through the shock of Titus’ diagnosis and giving her the strength to give him life: her strong faith in Christ and the year she spent working at a crisis pregnancy center in California. There, she grew in her confidence that each baby was indeed a precious individual, deserving of an equal chance at life. She believes parents often take the words of doctors too far and begin to question, “Can I really handle this? Is it really fair to my child?”

When I asked Nicole what she would say to other parents facing a similar diagnosis, she said:

I would say that for me, immediately, it was always either the Lord knows me or he doesn’t. And He either knows I need this or I don’t. Whatever happens in my life is His will for me at this time. This means I can move mountains. If this baby having issues or conditions is His will for me, it means I can get through it. If you think that someone tells you from a human perspective what you can or can’t handle, you don’t know God as the great Physician. We shouldn’t try to alter things in our own humanness or do something without knowing all the facts.

Even Nicole’s doctor didn’t have all the facts right. You can never know all the facts about your unborn child before they’re born. As Nicole believes, there’s no way you should make a decision to abort a child at all, but certainly not based off an ultrasound or a test.

Off an ultrasound, you cannot know a baby or everything about them or what they’re really like. There was no way the doctor knew all he said he knew about my son from that screen. Lots of times, the ultrasounds or tests are wrong anyway: when the mother says, ‘I don’t care,’ and the baby’s born, and nothing is wrong at all. How would you feel if someone could show you what your five year old would look like and you could see them face to face—would you be happy you ended their life?

About Titus, Nicole shares,

Right away, his life was a testimony. He’s so much fun—everyone that meets him loves him. He’s a really special kid. And almost everything the doctor said [besides the actual diagnosis of spina bifida and hydrocephalus] is completely wrong.

Nicole believes that more parents should educate themselves because knowledge is power. Doctors are important, she says, and they have a purpose, but you are the parent. The more you understand about anything you may have to go through, the more strength you’ll have for an arrow you’d otherwise not be prepared for. Things have changed so drastically over the years for babies born with spina bifida and other conditions, and they can truly lead almost normal lives.

Of course, normality (whatever that is!) is not the measure of a person’s worth, but it’s true that people have a very wrong perception of what individuals with Down Syndrome, spina bifida, and other “disabilities” can achieve in their lives.

In the end, Nicole says, “I wouldn’t have it any other way….It doesn’t matter what the child is or isn’t—they’re a gift!”

TOPICS: Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: abortion; doctor; prolife
This woman handled the doctor giving the news better than I would have. My reaction would have been as follows:

SHUT UP!! SHUT UP!! it comes from the Latin phrase “shut’ meaning “close” and “Up” meaning your mouth you idiot!!! SHUT UP!!

1 posted on 03/07/2012 7:28:24 PM PST by Morgana
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To: Morgana

I agree... Had a doctor told me that of my one (and only) kid during the dozen or so ultrasounds my wife went through during her tough pregnancy someone would have hit the floor.

and it would not have been me or mine.

2 posted on 03/07/2012 7:33:01 PM PST by cableguymn (Good thing I am a conservative. Otherwise I would have to support Mittens like Republicans do.)
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To: Morgana

An abortion at eight months??? Absolutely horrendous!

3 posted on 03/07/2012 7:40:38 PM PST by DLfromthedesert
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To: cableguymn

3 of 4 of my grandchildren were ‘pre-diagnosed’ to be Downs children. None are. Tests are not infallible, nor are doctors.

4 posted on 03/07/2012 7:46:44 PM PST by mathluv ( Conservative first and foremost, republican second)
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To: Mrs. Don-o


5 posted on 03/07/2012 7:48:20 PM PST by Tennessee Nana (Why should I vote for Bishop Romney when he hates me because I am a Christian)
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To: Morgana

My nephews were born at 23 weeks...not even 6 months. They survived, and are fine. The thought that babies older than 23 weeks are killed makes me sick...because obviously they are aalive and human.

6 posted on 03/07/2012 7:51:13 PM PST by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
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To: mathluv

As someone who was born with a birth defect that has only been a challenge, not a sentence, I could never even imagine aborting my child because he wasn’t going to be “perfect.”

7 posted on 03/07/2012 7:54:22 PM PST by MediaMole
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To: MediaMole

Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

Whenever one is faced with tough decisions like this, it’s best to just focus on doing what is honorable and ignore those who advise expedience over love and honor.

8 posted on 03/07/2012 8:36:50 PM PST by CitizenUSA (Why celebrate evil? Evil is easy. Good is the goal worth striving for.)
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To: MediaMole

We are all imperfect in our own way, but to this doctor, some imperfections are more worthy of a chance at life than others. He should have to relinquish that degree.

9 posted on 03/07/2012 8:41:05 PM PST by FamiliarFace
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To: Morgana

I got a slew of kids.

We refused any tests except one ultrasound later to make sure it was ok for mom but told the doctors no terminations but we would prepare for the birth of a disabled child best we could

none of that alpha feta protien either which is a trap...

and so forth

just routine checkups for mom

and a heartbeat listen at visits

got to know our doesn’t do abortions OB well...still see him some socially..less now that we have gone rural

10 posted on 03/07/2012 9:10:38 PM PST by wardaddy (I am a social conservative. My political party left me(again). They can go to hell in a bucket.)
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To: Morgana

Our grandson was born with spina bifida the same year Titus was. His mom and dad learned of his birth defect shortly after he was delivered. She had been given the proper test early on, but the rather large defect was not detectable. The nurses commiserated it was a shame the parents didn’t have the chance to abort, which his parents never would have done.

Our grandson had the best of care at a major hospital 200 miles away. After five weeks in NICU, with the parents living at a wonderful Ronald McDonald house, our little guy went home with somewhat scared but adoring parents. They, and all the grandparents, learned to care for his medical needs. By the end of the first day, it seemed a comfortable”new normal”.

He first moved his left leg slightly at three months of age. He first moved his right leg at age 18 months. Three months later, he was able to crawl on all fours. Until then, he explored by commando crawling and rolling. Now, nearly four, he can walk short distances in a specialized walker. Swimming gives him pure joy.

He loves to learn. He knows his numbers up to 100 (up to twenty in Spanish). He knows all his letters and sounds, and can spell many words. He loves reading and music. He does very well in preschool. He loves to laugh, and has a delightful sense of humor. He has been the joy of our lives since we laid eyes on him. Everything we need to do for him is just part of the routine. For every issue that has come up, the doctors have
had a strategy to deal with it. We just adapt to a new, new normal.

We all feel God gave us a precious gift. Dealing with spina bifida is well worth having this sweet boy in our lives. He is happy, with a good outlook for his future.

11 posted on 03/07/2012 9:44:22 PM PST by ntnychik
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To: Morgana

You’d think that more people would realize how often doctors are wrong in what they predict. How many people who were told, “You can’t have children,” have had them anyway? How many people with “this long” to live are alive long afterward? How many children (or accident victims) who would “never walk” or talk, etc., are doing it anyway?

12 posted on 03/08/2012 4:54:35 AM PST by Tax-chick (Maybe it IS about contraception. Read "Planned Parenthood v. Casey" decision, 1992.)
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To: MediaMole

That is exactly what my daughter told her doctor. Abortion was never an option. She did not want to do the test after the first child was born okay. He talked her into it because he told her it helped them prepare for the birth better.

13 posted on 03/08/2012 5:03:47 AM PST by mathluv ( Conservative first and foremost, republican second)
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To: wardaddy; don-o

Alpha fetoprotein is the biggest life-despising scam in the world. Every woman, before she ever becomes pregnant, should be informed that AFP is worthless and that she should pre-refuse it before the doc has a chance to surprise her with it.

I’m one of millions of women who can testify that (1) the doc said my son’s AFP levels were abnormal, and he could be profoundly retarded and we should have an amniocentesis (2) we refused amniocentesis (3) He is now a Deans’ List student in Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice, an officer candidate in the Marine Reserves, and the most -— well, my Lenten resoluton to “be more humble” precludes me from saying more, except WOW, was the AFP test ever wrong!

14 posted on 03/08/2012 5:04:29 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Honest to God.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o; wardaddy

To complete the afp story - we fired the OB and found one in the next town.

And I attest that the rest of the post concerning #1 son is 100% accurate, if understated.

15 posted on 03/08/2012 9:05:25 AM PST by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: ntnychik

——We just adapt to a new, new normal-——

Yes. One of my nephews is severely retarded. At 20, he can’t speak, and his movements are uncoordinated.

But he has always been loved. His parents are saints. And once you get to know him, and spend some time with him, you begin to understand his language, and love him.

To think that not too long ago he would have been confined to a state institution, is horrifying.

16 posted on 03/08/2012 9:34:39 AM PST by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Viva Christo Rey!)
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To: wardaddy
Yeah, I was 35 when pregnant with our third child. NJ required doctors to talk to women about the possibility of birth defects among children of older mothers. My Doc mentioned the AFP test for spina bifida. I asked him if it would show up on an ultrasound, and he said yes. So I told him if he wanted to do that, it was fine, but it didn't matter either way. The baby would be born regardless of the results. We did the ultrasound, which would have been done anyway, and the baby was fine, our only daughter. Same thing happened with our #3 son, two years later, when I was 37, with the same results.

This is a result of government intervention into healthcare. Doctors are usually required to tell women about their 'choices', but some, such as this family's doctor, get more actively involved in the process than others.

17 posted on 03/08/2012 10:26:12 AM PST by SuziQ
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