Human Interest

Mom of son with anencephaly: ‘I was attacked by a doctor’ for choosing to give birth

late-term abortion, Massachusetts, new york, anencephaly, abortion survivors, abortion

The booklet Hope in Turmoil: A Guide for Decision-Making after Receiving a Difficult Prenatal Diagnosis Regarding Your Baby was compiled to encourage parents whose preborn children have life-threatening illnesses or disabilities. By telling the stories of women and couples who gave birth to their disabled or dying children, the contributors hope to encourage other parents to do the same.

One story is about Barb’s son Paul, who had anencephaly. Barb writes about a doctor who pressured her to abort Paul:

Seven months into the pregnancy I was referred to the high-risk clinic. It was there where I was attacked by a doctor because I decided to keep the baby. My husband did not come with me, so I had nobody to defend me. The doctor basically told me that by keeping this baby I put myself in a great risk of having a lot of things go wrong. He even offered for me to abort that baby at that time. I cried so much when he was telling me this, but he did not seem to care. As I was driving home. I could not stop crying. How could somebody be so cruel? I couldn’t abort this baby. It was a gift from God even if only for a short time. I heard the heartbeat, I felt the movements, how could I just kill an innocent baby?

READ: ‘God has a plan for Emma’: Parents meet and grieve loss of daughter with anencephaly

The doctor’s cruelty and heartless attitude upset Barb, but she and her husband stood firm in their choice to have Paul. They knew that they would only have a  short time to love and nurture their son. But they valued his life too much to abort him. Barb was able to hold Paul and surround him with love:

I was able to hold my precious boy and wait for all my visitors to come and greet him. I knew I didn’t have much time with him, so I held on tight until the end. He lived for 11 hours.

Despite Paul’s severe disability, he knew and acknowledged Barb as his mother:

What was also amazing was that this little boy knew that I was his mommy. He only stayed quiet and comfortable in my arms. My little baby boy was a gift from God who came to this world for only a short time but had received so much love from everybody but also brought so much love and transformed many people’s lives.

Barb has no regrets:

There is not one day I don’t think about my precious baby Paul and I know I would not have changed anything for the world. He made me a stronger and a better person and I’m sure that my journey has made many people look at things differently.

Source: Bernadette Zambri Hope in Turmoil: A Guide for Decision-Making after Receiving a Difficult Prenatal Diagnosis Regarding Your Baby (2014)

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