She said after the diagnosis, every doctor persistently recommended she abort at every visit, even into her 32nd week. They made her feel crazy for not terminating and treated her pregnancy like a disease. She said she understood why 9 of 10 Down's babies are aborted.
Then this morning I received this email from Jeanne describing a similar experience. Her refusal to abort her severely premature baby got her bad care that almost killed her as well as her baby....
I too am a registered nurse... staunchly pro-life. Here is my abbreviated story:
On September... 1984, I gave birth to my precious son... at 24 weeks. My membranes had "frankly ruptured" [bag of waters broke]. The nurse practitioner who initially examined me said, "We need to send you over to the hospital and the baby will die." Instead, my Catholic pro-life MD sent me to the university hospital with an NICU, where the fight began.
I was told repeatedly "the baby is not viable."
I was told "the baby will take ONE breath and he WILL die."
When that didn't work with me, they upped the ante. I was told he would be blind, deaf, mute, retarded, severely handicapped, blah blah blah.
Each time, I kept saying "I want this baby." They couldn't understand why I would want a disabled child.
Only one doctor stood in the gap for me - a dear young woman, a resident who put her own career on the line and said "I will go to bat for you."
Years later she told me the compromise: The neonatal team would intervene only IF the baby began breathing spontaneously.
After 4 days of buying time, I became febrile [developed a fever, sign of infection] and against my requests, they induced me. . My first son had been c-section; I begged for another. Because of DES, I had previously had an extensive cold-cone [biopsy] of my cervix, and knew I would NOT dilate. They insisted on inducing anyway....
I kept arguing, stating my case for a c-section; they kept refusing. So, there I was: DES exposed, with a bicornuate [heart-shaped] uterus, virtually no cervix, febrile, septic [infected], with 2-1/2 pages of complications on ME, never mind the baby, a footling breech, who "wasn't viable."
After 6 hours of cranking up the Pitocin, my uterus ruptured. Now the situation was emergent, and a nurse gave me IV Valium which I realized when I went loopy. I was furious, and I reached up and pulled that nurse toward me and said, "Don't you DARE give me one more thing - if my baby is going to die, then I will be there to say good bye!"
THAT'S when the OB professor was finally paged, who told me later how angry he was - he WOULD have done the section, he WOULD have listened to me, BUT HE WASN'T THERE. The interns and residents darned near killed me in trying to prove that my precious son was not viable.
Guess who breathed? Guess who breathed for hours, while the NICU frantically "jerry-rigged" a suction cath as an ET tube, because there was no ET tube small enough for him? Guess who was fighting for HIS life? By the time he pooped out from the effort to breathe on his won, they were able to intubate him. Thus began our journey.
He weighed 680 gms [24 ounces, or 1.5 pounds], 12 inches long. His eyes were fused shut. He had my husband's unique little finger, in miniature. He knew my voice. He knew his brother's voice. He knew God's voice. He fought to live.
After 130 days in the NICU he came home and never went back.
Today, he is 24 years old. He finished high school with special ed credits. He was in ROTC, loves history, the military, and sports. He works at a country club as a bag staffer, consistently shoots in the low 80's in his own golf game, and dreams of the PGA tour.
Yes he has disabilities but is very "high-functioning" and loves the Lord with all his heart.
Because he is very concrete in his thinking, he has a hard time with jokes and understanding the nuances of humor. So, needless to say, he is not one to make things up, or say things that are not true. He is pure in heart.
One day, he told me that he saw Jesus in his incubator. He saw Jesus in his incubator.
I say all of this to illustrate that the argument that partial birth abortion is needed "to save the life of the mother" is completely bogus. In my own situation killing my son would have been of no help to me. It is a vicious, barbaric lie.
I say all of this to illustrate Obama's ludicrous argument that the Born Alive Infants Protection Act is unnecessary because "another doctor will be there and intervene" if an infant is born alive. In my situation, there were NUMEROUS doctors, but the most important doctor wasn't called until the damage was done and they had so screwed up the entire process that now TWO lives were on the line.
Obama refers to babies and fetuses as "it," not as human, but as objects. He doesn't even use proper terminology, like "gestation."
Obama says he cares about women, when what he really cares about is VOTES - and aborted babies don't vote.
My heart breaks at these stories... for those involved directly, but all the more so for those stories not told. Of women, all but forced into having their children killed and for their precious babies. May God have mercy on them.
Thank you for bringing these stories into the light.Posted by: Rhonda at November 13, 2008 6:38 AM
Can this brave nurse show up at his inauguration and rain on it?Posted by: carder at November 13, 2008 6:38 AM
A good cry in the morning. I love your fierce love, dear Momma. I am so grateful to God for you and your precious son!!
I think I would have had to sue their stethascopes off!!Posted by: Carla at November 13, 2008 6:51 AM
Jill, I know stats show that 3 genetically-standard babies die for every baby with DS that's identified and eliminated in the womb. But I started to wonder how many mothers we're killing in this eagerness to wipe these kids off the face of the earth.
The CDC had noted that at 16 weeks, their data (which we know to be lacking most abortion deaths, but it's all we have to go on) show abortion to be as risky as childbirth, and the risk doubles every week after that. And these abortions are done after 16, 18, 20 and more weeks. How many mothers are we killing?
Why are so many lives being sacrificed in the war on disabled children?Posted by: Christina at November 13, 2008 6:55 AM
OH, Jeanne, your story sounds so much like mine!
Thankfully, I had doctors who were supportive of trying to do all they could to keep me pregnant after my water broke at 23 weeks.
By the grace of God (and the intervention of about 5 kinds of anti-labor drugs) I was able to stay pregnant for 7 more weeks. My son was born via c-section and was able to breathe on his own when he came out. He was in the NICU for 7 weeks, but came home healthy and happy...just a bit small. I am so thankful that my doctors respected my wishes and stopped pushing "termination" when I made it clear it was not what I wanted.'
these stories are heartbreaking, but at least the mother's persisted and refused to kill their unborn children.
This is very chilling how Margaret Sanger's Eugenics have pushed into the 21st century, trying to eliminate those who aren't "perfect".Posted by: LizFromNebraska at November 13, 2008 7:45 AM
Carla mentions suing the doctors who are pushing to kill the babies, and I think that's actually very important. The motivation to kill the babies, IMO, is financial: they are afraid of being sued for "wrongful life", as has already happened. The only way to combat that is to make them equally afraid of being sued for "wrongful death" by suing the pants off them.Posted by: Doyle at November 13, 2008 8:17 AM
Thank you for your courage and strength!
Tears are streaming at the words of your son who said he saw Jesus in his incubator! I am in awe. Please keep telling your story. I am going to forward this to as many people as I know.
THANK YOU!Posted by: eileen at November 13, 2008 8:19 AM
These are heart wrenching stories, I believe that life is so precious..
I work in a Pediatric Pallaitive care program in TX, my life has been dedicated to serving both the born and the unborn. One of the places in medicine that is growing is the palliative care influence in our perinatal world. We have seen in our institution that after a woman is presented with a fetal diagnosis that is either lethal or life limiting, we are then called in to to discuss palliative care... in the past two years we have seen a 40% reduction of termination.
Our services are started at the time of the results of genetic testing, through the pregnancy and the delivery. We sit with families and discuss the tragic reality of what is to come, we support them in their intmate decisions..(how the delivery will occur, memories, possible hospice care etc etc)
However, after working so hard in this area, funding is very difficult... We also work with the families of the severely disabled, chronic and longterm conditions and severe premature infants... The past 10 yrs has been a struggle, the government took away many of the funds that we had worked so hard to get...
I will say this.. we have a confused government. Already I have hope, these are the types of programs that democrats DO SUPPORT. I have found after working in this field that the Republican agenda doesn't find much space for programs that don't bring in the revenue... and are supportive services.
The BAIPA has brought me to this place, to work so hard to help families that need assistance in their decisions, to educate them that termination of their baby will not prevent grief or help them deal with their loss, but rather, that making a path that can be comfortable, beautiful and expected can give them time with their infant, even if it is for hours.
The Republican party is not innocent here...(either are the democrats..) You must and I mean MUST really investigate into the larger world of what is actually being done... Abortion is a horrific concept, but both parties are to blame...
The best we can do is get into the nitty gritty of the world, talk with people, work in the system, figure out what works...
Keep it up.. and keep thinking... this problem is not an easy fix... and it never will be.
I actually have had an infant with the help of a palliative care program. My baby was genetically diagnosed with trisomy 18. I was given the option to terminate, and I considered it.. I never, thought, in my wildest dreams I would be faced with such a horrific and tragic diagnosis... I was 27yrs old, healthy and envisioned a perfect, healthy baby.
My baby was born at 38 wks, she weighed 4lbs 6 oz.. We never sent her to the NICU, we took her home, fed her with a syringe for comfort care and she died peacefully in her sleep 5 days later... She is my angel.
However, My insurance would not pay for hospice... they didn't pay for the pallaitive care team... I ended up making the decision for "life" and now have a 25, 000 dollar bill.
This is a problem... I found out after getting into the world of helping other folks that insurance companies are allowed to make and decide what they want to cover..alot of popular plans don't cover pediatric hospice or home nursing..
This is a reality... and not one that promotes the decisions that those of us so desperately want to help people make..
My daughter was worth every 25,000 dollar... however.. I am a nurse and my husband is in Iraq...and now we are up a creek financially. Sometimes I feel punished for making the right choice..
Posted by: Amy.
at November 13, 2008 8:34 AM
(and our insurance is Tricare--- the insurance provided for the military..)
This is an interesting column.. a good friend of mine told me to check it out.. Since I have experience life with two 23 and 24 wks deliveries..
One of my infants died... She was 15 oz.. she lived for 3 months in the nicu. We tried and tried.but after 3 months of a hard medical course, we decided to let her go...
my second was born at 24 wks...he was 1lb 12oz. He was a bit stronger.. he was in the NICU for 7 mo. He ended up going home trach'd, vented, g-tube, and needing home nursing around the clock.
So what have seen? The reality is most of these teeny tiny premie don't make it... Many have severe disablities.. My son is severely mentally retarded, he has metabolic issues..he will never talk, hear, see...
We love him regardless...
However--- Our insurance maxed out.. we lost our finances... I am now part of a group that advocates for infants like mine...We have found some very disturbing facts with our medical system and the way we are treated...
Life is so precious, yes.. however, for those of us in the "real" world... we are so left out and many of us are hanging on with a thread.
The Republican initiatives, as stated above, do not provide much assistance for people like myself... And yes.. you almost feel punished.
I have always been very conservative.. but after going through this process.. I am not sure what I would do if I got pregant again and knew what was to come.
Please, as a conservative site.. investigate what types of funds help the folks struggling... Pro-Life goes FAR beyond just putting a stop to abortion..(I never thought I would say this...)
jill... I am not sure how much experience you have with folks like myself.. and of course you are in Illinois which is better than many of the "red states".... but broaden your scope... Point your finger at the folks cutting programs and funds to the people that chose life, regardless of the outcome...Posted by: Amanda J at November 13, 2008 8:42 AM
Oh my heart. Thank you brave mommies for coming here and sharing your stories. You have touched me deeply today.Posted by: Carla at November 13, 2008 8:51 AM
"She said after the diagnosis, every doctor persistently recommended she abort at every visit, even into her 32nd week"
Sickos.Posted by: Jasper at November 13, 2008 9:14 AM
I am speechless ... God love you allPosted by: Eileen #2 at November 13, 2008 9:22 AM
These are heartbreaking stories. Surely there are organizations out there that would support those that do choose life so that they do not have bills of 25K or more punishing them for thos brave choice. Is there such a program that I could financially support?Posted by: Lisa at November 13, 2008 9:24 AM
Listen up people!
If you are pregnant and you have a doctor who urges you you to kill your child, you have a doctor who is NOT a true doctor, you have a quack who is anti-human and anti-life.
Tell the inhuman quack what you think of his/her lack of moral and human values, tell him/her you are taking your business elsewhere and NEVER go back. "Doctors" who believe in destroying people (especially children) are not morally qualified to practice medicine and should be avoided like the plague.
If you are pro-life, don't waste your time with abortionist "doctors". Life is too short. There are organizations of pro-life obstetricians/gynecologists and pro-life pediatricians. Contact them and find a doctor in your area who has strong moral values. Make sure any doctor you deal with is pro-life or refuse to deal with them.
Why give your hard earned money to the "culture of death"? Obviously, of course there is no reason to.
If any "doctor" tells you to kill your child, terminate your relationship with the quack and find someone who has love and compassion for ALL children.Posted by: Joe at November 13, 2008 9:27 AM
Sorry for the double post below.
Joe, you have a good point. My annual visit is coming up. I should see if my ob/gyn is an abortion advocate. I suspect she is and I suspect I would be hard - pressed to find one that is not and because I have an HMO, my provider list is limited.
I still think though that we should be able to help and honor Moms who have stories such as Amanda and Amy above.Posted by: Lisa at November 13, 2008 9:44 AM
Excellent comment Joe.
I found a prolife Dr. after the shrew I had who dismissed my miscarriage as a plum sized clot.
You ladies are Awesome Strong Mamas! May God Bless you forever.... I too would be interested in supporting an agency that Promotes... LIFE.... Is there such a place? Any United Way Agency or ??? I am blessed to have 4 boys...and 3 babies waiting for me on the other side. I didn't get to see their faces, but God has my children. The only reason they are not with me....is because the only one who should decide....decided different. He Creates and He should be the only one to take them. Not Men and Women with murderous hearts.Posted by: Barbara aka MOM4Life at November 13, 2008 9:46 AM
I read no blame in insurance carriers. I suspect some of the digagnosis is expressed with the Insurance carrier and that is followed by reduced reimbursement. If the carrier suggests to recommend an abortion because they do not want to cover the NICU, don't blame the doc alone.Posted by: xppc at November 13, 2008 9:55 AM
Yes (xppc) this is true. Insurance carriers should shoulder some blame too.Posted by: Lisa at November 13, 2008 9:58 AM
So with Federal medicine, they will call the shots. It looks like the Feds will be practicing medicine.Posted by: xppc at November 13, 2008 10:03 AM
(xppc) I didn't mean the Feds should control insurance carriers or doctors, but I do think there is room for improvement in their policies today. Insurance companies have a great deal of power over my medical care, for example. And obviously also over the medical care of the women with these tender - loving (life) stories today.Posted by: Lisa at November 13, 2008 10:12 AM
This issue of government medicine is so hard for me. On the one hand it is good for all ill children to have coverage. On the other, it scares me that the government will decide that certain people aren't wroth keeping alive (like the oregon women who could have a medicare covered suicide, but not continued treatment)
I really don't know what the answer is, but I knwo that we all need to figure it out.Posted by: lauren at November 13, 2008 12:37 PM
Thanks to the courageous moms who have posted their stories here. My heart goes out to you.
I'm betting there is lots of money for sex ed and abortion, but very little for the care of these tiny ones who need our love and good medicine and for the parents who shoulder so much of the burden.
You are living saints, every last one of you!
If I had a doctor who suggested abortion for a Down's baby, (which wouldn't happen because I only go to pro-life doctors) the first question I'd ask is if he knows anyone with Down's, personally. Secondly, I'd ask the doctor if he thought that person would rather not be alive or if his family thought so. If he didn't know anyone with Down's, I'd ask him how he could possibly make a judgement on the value of my baby's life.Posted by: Janet at November 13, 2008 2:05 PM
If we have to have Universal Health Care, my nephew needs reconstructive surgery for his cleft lip that current insurance won't pay for.
(typing this via my Wii)Posted by: LizFromNebraska at November 13, 2008 3:11 PM
Insurance won't pay for cleft lip surgery? I thought that only happened in third world countries. We hear about doctors who travel around the world doing those surgeries for free. I guess we need them here too.
I don't know why -- but that's what my sister said. It'll cost something like $10,000. (I know, shocking right?). He's 7, going on 8.Posted by: LizFromNebraska at November 13, 2008 3:52 PM
it's the truth..My daughter needed heart surgery after birth and they wouldn't pay for the type of surgery she needed because they would only cover two facilities in our area and wouldn't pay for a transfer... We had a 2.5 million dollar bill---we took them to court and now have a sweet little 65,000 dollars after a settlement.
The reality is, we need to stop letting insurance companies have so much control... I am not sure what John Mcain thought with his healthcare plan..Posted by: Deanne at November 13, 2008 4:18 PM
Amy--have you tried to contact an ombudsman or insurance liason? Or better yet, the American Legion? Sometimes the bills can be re-submitted under different coding that WILL be covered. I'd definitely appeal it--if they paid for OB care, & L&D, it should be covered. Even Medicare covers hospice--perhaps your precious baby could be qualified under MediCare as a disabled minor[separate from the parents]? If not--let's go public with this one. Start with your local news station! Keep us in the loop--God bless.
A lot of you will probably call me barbaric for this....
If a doctor or group of doctor's came after the life of my child week after week with the aggression described here, I, or my husband, would beat the snot out of them. I say that with 100% seriousness. Those murderers almost killed her and her child. I think some snot-beating was in order, and I consider it no different from beating the snot out of someone trying to kill an older child. Come after a child, any child, in my presence, and I will put the hurt on them.Posted by: Laura at November 14, 2008 5:10 AM
Infamous grown ups are much more likely to not only survive, but profit from, an appropriately administered snot-beating than innocent children are to survive, let alone profit from, being murdered!
Posted by: give them life at November 14, 2008 11:10 AM
Just what we don't need, a medical community sent by the government on a "quality of life" search and destroy mission.
Medicine + corrupt government power + "quality of life" ideology = Auschwitz.
Speaking of Auschwitz, here it is again:Posted by: Anonymous at November 14, 2008 11:19 AM
Just what we don't need, a medical community sent by the government on a "quality of life" search and destroy mission.
Medicine + corrupt government power + "quality of life" ideology = Auschwitz.
Speaking of Auschwitz, here it is again:
"Do you treat, care for, and help a sick or disabled person, or do you kill him? Do you measure the value of a person’s life in money? Or in utilitarian usefulness? The cost to society to care for all the physically and mentally handicapped among us is but a tiny fraction of the cost to society for the morally deformed among us. Professor Jerome Lejeune, discoverer of the chromosomal pattern of Down’s syndrome once related to us a story he had heard from a geneticist colleague which illustrates this well:
"Many years ago, my father was a Jewish physician in Braunau, Austria. On one particular day, two babies had been delivered by one of his colleagues. One was a fine, healthy boy with a strong cry. His parents were extremely proud and happy. The other was a little girl, but her parents were extremely sad, for she was a Mongoloid baby. I followed them both for almost fifty years. The girl grew up, living at home, and was finally destined to be the one who nursed her mother through a very long and lingering illness after a stroke. I do not remember her name. I do, however, remember the boy’s name. He died in a bunker in Berlin. His name was Adolf Hitler."
There is no evidence that the handicapped want to be murdered anymore than they need or deserve to...which they don't.
There is abundant evidence that people who overcome such challenges inspire and enrich the societies that welcome them.
That everyone alive is stronger or weaker in comparison to someone else is just a dumb certainty of life. That the way to create & maintain a civil, just, humane, compassionate and optimally free society is to encourage the stronger members (in whatever regard) to use their advantages - whether social, physical, mental, social, economic, whatever - to assist and empower those less fortunate, rather than to exploit/destroy them is clear to anyone who has any working knowledge of human history.Posted by: Anonymous at November 14, 2008 11:28 AM
I much agree. When you start considering one human life to be less valuable, it's a very long, very slippery slope to becoming one of the pro-abortion monsters we see today. Every. single. life. matters. But when you don't believe the God who made us all gives us inherent and priceless value, it's such an easy judgement to make. This is why atheism is so very dangerous to the well-being of our world.Posted by: Laura at November 15, 2008 12:42 AM
And I think that a lot of people who claim to be believers in some faith are lying. You're an atheist when you answer to no one and nothing, and your morals are ever-changing, depending on "what feels right".Posted by: Laura at November 15, 2008 12:44 AM