Katie White, of Saint Louis, Missouri, was experiencing a normal pregnancy until her 20-week ultrasound revealed that her little girl had hydrocephalus, a condition that causes a build-up of fluid around the brain. With this diagnosis, doctors told White that her child would never be able to walk, talk, or eat — and as a result, they encouraged her to have an abortion.
“I was distraught and bawling my eyes out,” White said of hearing the diagnosis. “They immediately tried to get me in contact with family planning to terminate the pregnancy. I needed to go home and think. I couldn’t make such a huge decision off the back of one doctor’s advice and I thank my lucky stars that I did,” she said, adding, “My daughter would not be here today if I had taken that advice.”
White sought out a specialist, Dr. Michael Paul, who reassured her that there was hope for her child, despite three previous doctors telling her to expect the worst. “Dr. Paul knew where I was coming from,” White explained. “He has a child with special needs and knew I couldn’t just give up on my daughter.”
However, when she was 30 weeks pregnant, she transferred to a new hospital, where abortion was again recommended. “It was overwhelming,” White recounted. “I was scanned again in a room full of unfamiliar faces – it was awful.”
Again, she refused to end the life of her preborn child, and on May 23, 2021, baby Kensley was born weighing 6 lbs, 7 oz. “I was overjoyed seeing my baby for the first time, but it was bittersweet knowing she would have to be taken away,” White said, noting that she held Kensley for just five minutes before she was whisked away for medical treatment.
As she’s grown, Kensley has defied all of the dire predictions her doctors initially set forth. “She hasn’t ever had a seizure, she eats by mouth and can see,” White said. “She absolutely loves food and eats like a horse.”
White has documented much of her journey with Kensley on her TikTok account, with one reel starting off with the words, “No one will EVER convince me that I made the wrong choice.”
@katiewhite__ Replying to @hangdognc ♬ Can’t Help Falling in Love – Haley Reinhart
“She is so full of character and is my little angel I wouldn’t change her for the world,” White added.