The news just kept getting worse and worse for Courtney Mitchell and her unborn son.
It began when Mitchell went for her 20-week ultrasound. Her doctor discovered strange pockets of fluid in her placenta and ordered a high risk ultrasound for the next day. After the second ultrasound, doctors told Courtney and her husband, Chris, that their son had genetic problems and probably would not live outside the womb. Doctors gave baby Eli less than 1 percent chance of survival.
The news got even worse when doctors told the young mother that her life was at risk, too.
“What the doctors were most worried about though was the risk to me,” the South Carolina mom told LifeNews. “They said this was a partial molar pregnancy and that continuing in this pregnancy would be a severe risk to my life.
“They recommended an immediate abortion.”
Doctors told Courtney that she had cancer in her placenta that could spread to her liver, lungs and brain. She said she also was at risk of seizures, blindness and death – and the risks would increase the longer she carried her unborn son. Despite the tragic diagnosis, the Mitchells refused to abort Eli.
“My husband and I are Christians and having an abortion goes against all that we believe in,” Courtney said. “We prayed and begged for the Lord to deliver me and my son.”
The medical staff monitored Courtney very closely as her pregnancy progressed. Though she felt sick, she said her condition was not as bad as it could have been. She said she traveled to doctor’s appointments three times a week and spent several days in the hospital, away from her husband and older son, Rhett.
“When we found out the news about Eli, and realized we may lose him, all I could think of was, ‘I’m never going to get to see my two boys playing on my living room rug together.’ It was an image I couldn’t stop thinking about,” Courtney wrote on her blog.
Courtney and Chris said they prayed that Eli’s birth would be delayed until 24 weeks, when babies have a good chance of surviving outside the womb.
“… but God not only gave us that, but allowed me to carry him until 30 weeks!” Courtney said. “I went into the hospital one night because I was feeling strange, on March 31, and all of my labs came back normal but they said that Eli’s heart rate was dropping. So the next morning, on April Fools Day, they delivered him via C-section. God truly used the foolish things of this world to shame the wise!”
Eli weighed 2 pounds, 7 ounces when he was born. Despite doctor’s dire predictions, Eli was healthy. His genetic tests all came back normal, his mother said.
“…every time I look at him I am just blown away at the goodness of God,” Courtney said.
Eli spent 55 days in the neonatal intensive care unit before the Mitchells finally took him home.
Today, he is a healthy 8-month-old baby who is progressing faster than expected. The family recently posted a new photo of Eli by the family’s Christmas tree on a Facebook page they began to share their journey. Eli is eager to start crawling, his mother announced on Facebook.
“He is all smiles and is one of the sweetest babies,” Courtney wrote. “He is such a blessing to us! … We have oh so much to be thankful for!!”
Eli also inspired his parents to participate in an event to pray for unborn babies. In August, the family shared their story at a public event to pray for unborn babies, their mothers, victims of abortion, abortion workers and others, according to their Facebook page.
“If ever there was a reminder to choose life and fight for the unborn, this little guy is it. Can you imagine how many other precious little ones haven’t gotten that chance?”
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