When Johnathan Was Born at 23 Weeks, Doctors Gave Mom a Choice to Save Him or Just Let Him Die

National   |   Life Dynamics   |   May 21, 2015   |   9:09AM   |   Washington, DC

Laura Maikata’s baby boy was born at a gestational age of 23 weeks and weighed 600 grams at birth. His chances of survival were slim. His parents named Jonathan Amos, which means “God’s gift and carried by God.”

Writing about her experience on her blog, Jonathan’s mother says this about getting the news tat doctors wanted to perform a C-section to remove the baby:

      I felt my skin prickle a bit, then I went white. We were delivering this baby. I looked at Steve. He looked very brave and very worried simultaneously. He walked over and held my hand.

They wheeled my bed away and put me on the surgical table. Then they asked me to sit up for the anesthesiologist, so that he could put a needle in my spine. Sit up. I hadn’t gotten out of bed in two days. The world seemed strange. If I sit up, then maybe this baby would come. But now they wanted this baby to come. The radical shift was difficult to comprehend.

I’m having this baby. The little guy that’s been kicking around the last few days. I’m going to meet him. He’s too small.

The nurse helped me to a sitting position. The anesthesiologist explained the procedure.

“I want to see the c-section” I told the anesthesiologist. A girlfriend had said she’d watched hers, and I thought it sounded like a good idea. I needed to know this baby as much as I could.

I want to see the baby born,” I said.

He positioned the mirror so I could see. Out came the tiniest baby I’d ever seen. He let out a small, barely audible, squak as with jerking movements he flung his arms to the side.

What’s his name?” a nurse asked.

“Jonathan Amos” we said.

Jonathan weighed 1 pound 5 ounces and was about a foot long.


My OBGYN came to my side of the sheet,” Laura writes.

Congratulations” is what she said. “I’m sorry” is what her face said.

The neonatal nurse asked Laura if she wanted to touch her son.

I thought I’d break him. I didn’t want to hurt him,” Laura said, “But I also didn’t want him to die overnight without having touched him.”

“Hang in there, little guy, I thought, as I pulled my hand away. Make it through the night at least.”

Jonathan’s eyes were fused shut when he was born. They opened for the first time two weeks later.

At 3 1/2 weeks, Jonathan’s kidney’s started to fail. Heart surgery was performed in hopes that a better heart would mean healthier kidneys in his tiny body. Thankfully, the surgery worked. But, later, Jonathan fought a serious infection. His parents say they had the peace of knowing that God loved their son and they trusted in that.


“We knew God knew and loved our child, even when we didn’t know if J. would live,” they said.

Jonathan later underwent eye surgery to save his sight. A month later, Jonathan was breathing on his own. Jonathan was finally released from the hospital five months after he was born.

Laura told Life Dynamics that when Jonathan was born the doctor told her of all the possible complications such as: blindness, deafness, profound mental retardation, nonambulatory, nonverbal, etc.

I was okay with that,” she said.

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“When he was born, I had a choice to ask the doctors to resuscitate him, or to let him pass peacefully in my arms. This choice is given to all parents of 23 weekers. We are given as much information as the doctors have. That is to say, they tell us that while our child might outgrow all signs of prematurity, there is a very high (over 95% chance) that issues from prematurity may follow them through the rest of their life. And this is IF they live, and there’s less than a 50% chance of that.”

Laura said that she depended on God and had a view of life that was hopeful.

Jonathan Amos squeezes finger born 23 weeks

“IF he would live, I would make life as good for him as possible. THAT is pro-life. It’s seeing the value of EVERY person, regardless of ability or disability.”

Laura has observed that often pro-choice women abort their babies because they feel the child would have no chance of social acceptance, no chance of a happy and fulfilled life.

We pro-lifers MUST be better about inclusivity, about welcoming the disabled into our communities and churches. If we aren’t able to do so, we aren’t pro-life.

“I made the choice I did because I believed he COULD have a good life, no matter how profoundly disabled. I believed he COULD be loved and WOULD be loved by my extended family. A lot of people don’t see that sort of hope. And this has to change,” she said.

Laura has chronicled much of Jonathan’s first year in the video below:

Today, in America, babies Jonathan’s age are killed in the womb through legal abortion. As you can see in the video above, babies at 23 weeks gestation are human persons worthy of legal protection.

LifeNews Note: Reprinted with permission from Life Dynamics.