A PRENATAL MISDIAGNOSIS
Drew and Adriann Corpstein were devastated when they were told at 20 weeks that their unborn baby had a lethal brain abnormality called semilobar holoprosencephaly, an abnormality of brain development in which the brain doesn’t properly divide into right and left hemispheres. They were told that the baby might only live a few days as a “vegetable” and encouraged the couple to consider a late-term abortion.
Instead they decided to trust God, deliver their baby and love him for whatever time they had with him.
Baby Matthew was born on July 29 but just the next day, the doctor gave them the stunning news that Baby Matthew did NOT have the lethal brain condition but rather hydrocephalus-an excess of fluid around the brain that can be treated with a shunt. Baby Matthew could then survive and even have the chance of a fully functioning life! (Click here to see a beautiful video of Baby Matthew and his parents.)
Personally, I have seen more than one prenatal diagnosis turn out to be wrong.
Of course, prenatal testing is not always wrong but there is cause for concern about the number of unborn babies misdiagnosed, especially with some newer screening blood tests. (Please see my February blog “A Dark Side of Prenatal Testing” )
But there are alternatives to abortion when the prenatal diagnosis turns out to be accurate.
As Baby Matthew’s parents mentioned in the article, they prepared for end of life care for him when he was expected to die shortly after birth and there are often such hospices available in many areas.
These organizations’ websites also have parents’ stories of their children with a range of prenatal diagnoses ranging from lethal ones like anencephaly to disabilities like Down Syndrome or Spina Bifida.
MAN SAVES GRANDCHILD FROM ABORTION
This month, I read an uplifting story that personally resonated with me.
With a heavy heart because his wife was “dead-set” on abortion for their 16 year old daughter, “Brian” took his daughter to A Woman’s Pregnancy Center in Tallahassee, Florida. But when his daughter went in to speak to a counselor, “Brian” was surprised when a male counselor wanted to speak with him.
“Brian” didn’t know that when a client comes into A Women’s Pregnancy Center (a crisis pregnancy center) with another person, the staff determines the other person’s relationship to the client and invites the support person to speak with a different counselor about their thoughts and feelings on the client’s situation.
“Brian” told the counselor that his wife wanted their daughter to have an abortion and he wanted their daughter to be safe. But when the counselor told him, in effect, that ‘You are made in the image of God for a reason and a purpose. You are Eliza’s father AND the grandfather of her child. He is the Creator of the Universe and has given you this role. Trust Him, and He will equip you to take care of your family’, “Brian” changed.
He went to his daughter and said “Baby girl, we’ve got this.” He told his daughter to look at him and said “I’m going to take care of you.” His daughter burst into tears of relief.
Sherri Daume, director of client services at the clinic, explained about ministering to a support person when a woman is considering abortion:
“The support person is often as confused and scared for their loved one as the client herself. They might have a grandchild or niece or nephew in the picture. They usually want to help the client but don’t know how. We equip the support person with information and resources that help them support their loved one in a relevant way.”
I totally agree with this and I have personally seen the effects of such support.
When my oldest daughter Marie became pregnant at 18, her friends were “pro-choice” on abortion. But, as she told me, she knew too much about unborn babies and abortion from growing up in a pro-life family. For Marie, abortion was out of the question.
Marie was surprised but pleased when she told her “pro-choice” friends that she would not have an abortion and they enthusiastically supported her decision. Many even offered to help. However, they did not support her anguished but brave decision to release her baby for adoption.
I told her that I would support her if she decided to raise her baby herself but she decided that her and the father’s problems would keep her baby from having the best life possible.
That decision was hard for our family to accept but our beautiful oldest granddaughter turned 20 this week with the loving and proud parents who adopted her after birth. And despite my daughter’s untimely death almost 9 years ago, we are so grateful that our family will also be able to celebrate this milestone with her and the family who adopted her.